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Vintage Word - Centurion Pro Tour - Dec 76 Bicycling

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Vintage Word - Centurion Pro Tour - Dec 76 Bicycling

Old 01-31-06, 09:31 PM
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cyclezen
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Vintage Word - Centurion Pro Tour - Dec 76 Bicycling

nice bike, covering the world of real touring as opposed to the usual daytripper/racing machinery.
note the 'reviewer' - Gary Fisher
also note, what was 'old' is new again - not the 1st but one of the group touring cranksets that now constitute 'compact' design. Sugino Mighty Tour shown here in 52/36, but more often than not on the sales floor or in the showcase came as a 50/36... and of course 110 BCD. nice stuff and, what, 30 years before it was 'fashion' the 2nd time around?
nice
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Old 01-31-06, 10:18 PM
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Gary Fisher? That name sounds familar. Is it possible that there was a time when "Bicycling Magazine" printed articles by guys who knew more about bikes than about fashion trends?

Thanks for the post about the Centurion ProTour. My ProTour is from the 1983/1984 era. By around 1985, the folks who wanted a "tough, reliable bike" were beginning to turn away from "loaded" touring bikes and were lusting after those new-fangled mountain bikes.

Golly, that name "Gary Fisher" does sound familiar.
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Old 02-01-06, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Golly, that name "Gary Fisher" does sound familiar.
Yes that's the same Gary Fisher that went on to fame and fortune as an ATB pioneer and manufacturer. Well, he made not have made his fortune as a ATB manufacturer, but he almost surely did when Trek purchased Gary Fisher Bicycles and took over the manufacture.
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Old 07-24-11, 07:25 PM
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necro-BUMP

got bored and typed up the article for posterity's sake

BICYCLING!
ROAD TEST

Centurion
Pro-Tour

by Gary Fisher
Photos by Gail Heilman

Someone gave a lot of thought to the design of this bike. We are often questioned about what's available in touring bikes in the $300-and-over range. Frankly, there hasn't been anything unless it was custom made. That was up till now, however, as the Centurion Pro-Tour was designed to fill this niche.

Comfort becomes a very meaningful word after two or three days of five-plus hours in the saddle. Numb hands, sore backs, and saddle sores are common complaints from the rider who chooses an upright and stiff racing machine for an extended tour. One's hopes of flattening out the hills is oftentimes replaced by the reality of 25 pounds of gear fighting the rider for control of the bike.

While most bikes in this price range are made for the day tourer or club rider who does without racks and panniers, the Pro-Tour, at $369, is designed from the ground up with distance touring in mind. 41 1/2-inch wheelbase and 2 1/2-inch fork rake give high speed stability; more important, they iron out bumpy roads. You might compare the Pro-Tour, for example, with the more typical Centurion Semi-Pro which has a 38 1/2-inch wheelbase and shorter fork rake. The Pro-Tour also weighs about two pounds more than the Semi-Pro, and most of this extra weight is found in the heavier gauge Tange chrome molly frame tubing. The heavier gauge was chosen for longer frame life under tougher conditions and gives the rider more control over the extra weight of front and rear luggage.

Eye-catching items on our road test bike were the brazed-on Dia-Compe centerpulls. Joined to the frame at their pivots, the brakes have super stopping power. I'd compare them to Mafac tandem cantilevers. Their disadvantage is lack of centering adjustment. While the rear stay bridge is drilled and provided with a bolt which could be used to mount a conventional brake setup, the front crown is only drilled halfway; so one is forced to stick with the original equipment. the fork crown hole is, however, threaded for a near little Phillips head screw to hold mudguards and/or racks.

Two threaded eyelets, complete with more Phillips screws, are provided on front and rear dropouts. Others are provided on the water bottle mounts, but we found them too large to fit a TA-type water bottle cage.

Fingertip shifters were originally designed for shifting when out of the saddle during the final meters of a race. They're also nice for touring, however, when one wants to have both hands on the bars when hitting the bottom of a steep hill or while riding in a strong crosswind. With the SunTour Cyclone derailleurs, shifting to lower ration gears is smooth and positive, even under considerable pressure. The 16-tooth front chainring jump is easily within the range of this super-light, anodized derailleur. Note the wide-range gearing: 32 to 100.

The wheels are rather interesting. Cross-3 spoking in the front gives a most positive feel, while cross-4 in the rear adds durability. Both use straight gauge stainless steel spokes and beautiful Sunshine Pro-Am small-flange hubs.

The super-soft YFC King saddle lives up to its name. It's one of the softest I've used and has spring-steel rails and a nylon base. An SR micro-adjustable seat post solid clamps the saddle, while Randonneur bars add to that armchair ride. When loaded with gear, the Pro-Tour was free of rattles and wobbles at both low and high speed. It responded reasonably well when climbing, thanks to the tubing and 73-degree angles. It was even one of the most solid feeling Japanese bikes I have ever ridden.

Further information on the Centurion Pro-Tour is available from the distributor, Wil-Go Corporation, 365 Reed Street, Santa Clara, California 95050.

Last edited by frantik; 07-24-11 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 07-24-11, 07:36 PM
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Those 'brazed on' center pull brakes have me curious. I would like to try those vs. cantilevers vs. traditional centerpull brakes.

I would imagine them being less effective than cantis, but more effective than centerpulls?..
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Old 07-25-11, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
Those 'brazed on' center pull brakes have me curious. I would like to try those vs. cantilevers vs. traditional centerpull brakes.

I would imagine them being less effective than cantis, but more effective than centerpulls?..
That's likely a fair assessment, Roger.
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Old 07-25-11, 07:05 AM
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I didn't have my Pro Tour long because of the size (and because I hate barcons and rando bends), but the thing I noticed the most were the brakes - they were fantastic. I honestly thought they were as strong, or perhaps stronger, than most cantis I've ridden. Ata guess, they seemed like they'd be more expensive to do than cantis - so the price might be why they never became more popular as opposed to functionality.

Zaphod - opinions?
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Old 07-25-11, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
Those 'brazed on' center pull brakes have me curious. I would like to try those vs. cantilevers vs. traditional centerpull brakes.

I would imagine them being less effective than cantis, but more effective than centerpulls?..
IME, cantis are nothing to write home about, and a well set up MAFAC Racer or Raid will outperform them any day. But of course YMMV.

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Old 07-25-11, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
IME, cantis are nothing to write home about, and a well set up MAFAC Racer or Raid will outperform them any day. But of course YMMV.

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If you think a MAFAC Racer is better than most cantilevers you could probably stand to do a better job setting up the cantilevers. I know Racers can perform great when set up properly with good pads, but "outperform them (cantilevers) any day"? That's just not at all true.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
If you think a MAFAC Racer is better than most cantilevers you could probably stand to do a better job setting up the cantilevers. I know Racers can perform great when set up properly with good pads, but "outperform them (cantilevers) any day"? That's just not at all true.
Col. - but the PITA setting them up is a legit strike against cantis.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Col. - but the PITA setting them up is a legit strike against cantis.
Dude, have you ever set up Racers? They're no easier than cantilevers. Regardless, the claim was made about performance. And, as much as I like Racers, they're flexy (cantilevers are not) and do not have the mechanical advantage that cantilevers do.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
Dude, have you ever set up Racers? They're no easier than cantilevers. Regardless, the claim was made about performance. And, as much as I like Racers, they're flexy (cantilevers are not) and do not have the mechanical advantage that cantilevers do.
No! But I do use cantis, and I do find the setup to be a PITA. The braze on center pulls were actually pretty easy.

*Edit - I did use Weinmann centerpulls, and while less strong than cantis, they were easier to set up for me.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
opinions?
here?
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Old 07-25-11, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
No! But I do use cantis, and I do find the setup to be a PITA. The braze on center pulls were actually pretty easy.
Cantilevers and Racers are both a pain to setup. Weinmann/Dia Compe 610/750s like those on the Pro Tour are much easier.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
Cantilevers and Racers are both a pain to setup. Weinmann/Dia Compe 610/750s like those on the Pro Tour are much easier.
I think we're both saying the same thing.

My argument is that the braze on center pulls are easier to set up than the cantis and plenty strong. I'm arguing that the difficulty in setting up cantis, ESEPCIALLY the short arm cross cantis, is a real mark against them.

I'm really not saying anything good about centerpulls. I did have some Weinmann 905s on the International and found them suitable with Kool Stops. Suitable, but unremarkable. They were easier for me than cantis.
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Old 07-25-11, 12:58 PM
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^ Yeah, I was just addressing bobbycorno's claim.
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