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Centurion Serial Number Database

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Centurion Serial Number Database

Old 02-18-06, 02:44 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
While dating some Centurion models for a forum member, I noticed what I believe to be a series sequence in the format. Based on this, I was able to predict the model years, which were verified using info on the components, tubing and graphics. Due to the small sample size this could all be co-incidence, but I'd like explore the matter further. Therfore, it would be greatly appreciated if Centurion (and Diamondback) owners would summit their serial numbers, including the year (if known), model name, tubing, major compnents and if possible, pictures. You can post it here or send it to me via the forum e-mail or private message sytem. Thank-you in advance for your assistance.
Here's the specs to my Centurion Elite RS. Judging by the aqua green and silver color scheme, my best guess would be that it's from the 80s. Any light you could shed on it would be great. I'll give you the specs as I just bought it used (I've changed/replaced a few things as needed):

Bike: 19XX Centurion Elite RS
Color: Aqua Green Top & Down Tube and Chain & Seat Stays. Silver Head Tube and Seat Tube.
Frame Material: Tange 2. Lugged. Serial No. IN6E6556
Stem and Handlebar: Nitto
Seatpost: SR
Headset: Tange Falcon
Shifters (DT) and Derailers (f&r): Shimano 600
Crankset: Shimano 600 with Biopace Rings (double)
Pedals: Shimano 600 with toe clips
Wheelset: Wolber rims on Suzue hubs (700c)
Brakes (f&r) & Levers: Diacompe Royal S, AGC (?)
Freewheel: Shimano Uniglide Freewheel (6 spd)
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Old 02-18-06, 03:17 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by chocnut
Here's the specs to my Centurion Elite RS. Judging by the aqua green and silver color scheme, my best guess would be that it's from the 80s. Any light you could shed on it would be great. I'll give you the specs as I just bought it used (I've changed/replaced a few things as needed):

Bike: 19XX Centurion Elite RS
Color: Aqua Green Top & Down Tube and Chain & Seat Stays. Silver Head Tube and Seat Tube.
Frame Material: Tange 2. Lugged. Serial No. IN6E6556
Stem and Handlebar: Nitto
Seatpost: SR
Headset: Tange Falcon
Shifters (DT) and Derailers (f&r): Shimano 600
Crankset: Shimano 600 with Biopace Rings (double)
Pedals: Shimano 600 with toe clips
Wheelset: Wolber rims on Suzue hubs (700c)
Brakes (f&r) & Levers: Diacompe Royal S, AGC (?)
Freewheel: Shimano Uniglide Freewheel (6 spd)
This is the first centurion that I have seen with a double letter at the beginning the serial number! However, the format is consistent, with the addition of the extra letter. Both the serial number and paint scheme suggest a 1986 model, however, Shimano 600 components were not spec'd for that year. They were also not spec for the 1985 or 1987 LeMans RS, and are higher level than original spec, so I'm assuming they are an upgrade.
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Old 02-18-06, 05:32 PM
  #53  
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Hi T-Mar,
I picked up a Centurion Accordo for a good price recently. It's a very small frame, too small for me, so I'll probably tune it up, etc. and resell it. It's in great shape..........the serial # on the bb is N5D0451. The components are: Sugino VT crankset (currently two chainrings, but it's threaded for a third ring), Sakae handlebar, Sugino seatpost, Arraya rims with Suzue hubs. The brakes and drivetrain are Shimano, with Shimano 600 DT shifters, and Shimano BR-Z57 brakes, with a date code that indicates 1985. The front der. is Shimano FD Z204. The rear derailleur and freewheel I suspect are not original, the rear der. is an old mtb model, a 200 GS (with a date code that indicates 1991 I believe), and the freewheel is a Shimano 14 x 30 six speed. I'm thinking maybe the 200 GS der. was put on to accomodate the 30 tooth cog on the freewheel?.............the frame is Tange Infinity, the fork hi-ten. I'm thinking it's probably a mid-'80's bike. What do you think? Thanks in advance-
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Old 02-18-06, 07:59 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
This is the first centurion that I have seen with a double letter at the beginning the serial number! However, the format is consistent, with the addition of the extra letter. Both the serial number and paint scheme suggest a 1986 model, however, Shimano 600 components were not spec'd for that year. They were also not spec for the 1985 or 1987 LeMans RS, and are higher level than original spec, so I'm assuming they are an upgrade.
Your right. Upon closer inspection, the serial number reads N6E6553. Guess I haven't been washing her as frequently as I should . Anyway, what component spec would the Elite RS normally have that year? This is my current road ride and I'm guessing it weighs 21-22 lbs. Since I mainly do mountain rides, this bike is all I need to cover my riding needs on the road. Here's a few pics of her:
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Cnturion 02.jpg (65.1 KB, 416 views)
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Cnturion 03.jpg (65.9 KB, 407 views)
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Old 02-19-06, 12:20 PM
  #55  
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I'd like to add another question to my post above about the Accordo. I've got the bike completely dissassembled, as I can't seem to get my hands on anything without taking it apart. Anyway, this bike has very long chainstays, a nice high stem, the 14 x 30 freewheel listed above; as far as I'm concerned, it's just begging to have a rack and fenders installed and someone will have a nice commuter/tourer. And as noted above, the crankset is threaded for a third chainring. The current rings are 52 and 40, and I'm thinking a 30 tooth inner ring, combined with the 14 x 30 freewheel, would give some nice climbing gears for a bike of this type. But before I order the new chainring and reassemble everything, I'd like to know if the current front derailleur has enough range of movement to shift to a third chainring. It's a Shimano FD, and the only model number I can find is stamped on the back, #FD Z204. The shifters are Shimano 600 on the downtube. Thanks for any input-

edit: after looking at the range of movement on the Accordo's FD compared to the "triple" FD's I've got on other bikes, I'd say it's very doubtful it will work when I add the third ring. So if I want to do this, I guess I'll need a different FD. Thanks-

Last edited by well biked; 02-19-06 at 12:44 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 02-19-06, 03:14 PM
  #56  
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T-Mar,
Here's my contributions:

Model: Centurion Super Le Mans
SN: TA771472
Tubing: High Tensile Ultralight (Double butted top and bottom tubes"
Fork: High Tensile Ultralight
Derailers: Suntour SL in front, Suntour V-GT LUXE rear
Shifters: Suntour bar end shifters Brakes: Dia Compe with hoods (hoods worn)
Hubs: Sunshine on Araya rims with IRC "High Racer" 27 X 1 3/8"
Cranks: SR Apex 52/40
Color: blue
5-spd Suntour "Perfect" freewheel
Dropouts are forged.
Saddle: Avocet Touring W-II

Model: Centurion Le Mans (Mixte)
SN: N3E5380
Tubing:Champion #5 (Double butted top and bottom tubes"
Fork: Tange
Derailers: Suntour ARx in front, Suntour ARx in rear
Shifters: Suntour Power Shifters: Dia Compe with hoods
Hubs: Suzue on Araya rims with IRC "27 X 1"
Cranks: Sugino GT 52/40
Color: Rose
6-spd Suntour "Perfect" freewheel
Dropouts are forged.
Saddle: Serfas Woman's Dual Density
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Old 02-19-06, 09:56 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by chocnut
Your right. Upon closer inspection, the serial number reads N6E6553. Guess I haven't been washing her as frequently as I should . Anyway, what component spec would the Elite RS normally have that year? This is my current road ride and I'm guessing it weighs 21-22 lbs. Since I mainly do mountain rides, this bike is all I need to cover my riding needs on the road. Here's a few pics of her:
The OEM derailleur system was Shimano Light Action with L-525 on the back, Z-206 on the front and S-424 shifters. Spec'd weight was 23 lbs.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:24 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by well biked
I'd like to add another question to my post above about the Accordo. I've got the bike completely dissassembled, as I can't seem to get my hands on anything without taking it apart. Anyway, this bike has very long chainstays, a nice high stem, the 14 x 30 freewheel listed above; as far as I'm concerned, it's just begging to have a rack and fenders installed and someone will have a nice commuter/tourer. And as noted above, the crankset is threaded for a third chainring. The current rings are 52 and 40, and I'm thinking a 30 tooth inner ring, combined with the 14 x 30 freewheel, would give some nice climbing gears for a bike of this type. But before I order the new chainring and reassemble everything, I'd like to know if the current front derailleur has enough range of movement to shift to a third chainring. It's a Shimano FD, and the only model number I can find is stamped on the back, #FD Z204. The shifters are Shimano 600 on the downtube. Thanks for any input-

edit: after looking at the range of movement on the Accordo's FD compared to the "triple" FD's I've got on other bikes, I'd say it's very doubtful it will work when I add the third ring. So if I want to do this, I guess I'll need a different FD. Thanks-
The OEM rear derailleur was a Shimano Light Action (specs don't say which model number) series paired with a 13-28T freewheel. Based, on the freewheel and chainring sizes, it was probably a standard cage model, which was spec'd for maximum cog size of 28T. The replacement 200GS was probably to handle to extra 2T and upgrade to SIS.

There was an FD-Z204-GS front derailleur with a longer parallelogram and cage designed to handle triple chainrings with up to 27T difference. However, given the spec gearing and the quoted model number, it sounds like you have the standard Z204 which was intended for a double crankset and a maximum chainring differnce of 16T.

Yes, it's a 1985 model.
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Old 02-19-06, 10:33 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Mhendricks
T-Mar,
Here's my contributions:

Model: Centurion Super Le Mans
SN: TA771472
Tubing: High Tensile Ultralight (Double butted top and bottom tubes"
Fork: High Tensile Ultralight
Derailers: Suntour SL in front, Suntour V-GT LUXE rear
Shifters: Suntour bar end shifters Brakes: Dia Compe with hoods (hoods worn)
Hubs: Sunshine on Araya rims with IRC "High Racer" 27 X 1 3/8"
Cranks: SR Apex 52/40
Color: blue
5-spd Suntour "Perfect" freewheel
Dropouts are forged.
Saddle: Avocet Touring W-II

Model: Centurion Le Mans (Mixte)
SN: N3E5380
Tubing:Champion #5 (Double butted top and bottom tubes"
Fork: Tange
Derailers: Suntour ARx in front, Suntour ARx in rear
Shifters: Suntour Power Shifters: Dia Compe with hoods
Hubs: Suzue on Araya rims with IRC "27 X 1"
Cranks: Sugino GT 52/40
Color: Rose
6-spd Suntour "Perfect" freewheel
Dropouts are forged.
Saddle: Serfas Woman's Dual Density
Thank-you for posting. The LeMans Mixte should be a 1983 model, though my literature calls for a "LeMans 12". The head tube should also be a contrtasting color, according to my references.

The Super LeMans appears to be from the late 1970s, but I don't have enough samples and references from that period to break the code - yet. Could I trouble you for some component date codes? T.I.A.
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Old 02-20-06, 11:14 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
The Super LeMans appears to be from the late 1970s, but I don't have enough samples and references from that period to break the code - yet. Could I trouble you for some component date codes? T.I.A.
T-Mar,
I have pretty much the same blue Super LeMans in my edited post on the 1st page. Same components and SN arrangement.
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Old 02-20-06, 11:21 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
The OEM rear derailleur was a Shimano Light Action (specs don't say which model number) series paired with a 13-28T freewheel. Based, on the freewheel and chainring sizes, it was probably a standard cage model, which was spec'd for maximum cog size of 28T. The replacement 200GS was probably to handle to extra 2T and upgrade to SIS.

There was an FD-Z204-GS front derailleur with a longer parallelogram and cage designed to handle triple chainrings with up to 27T difference. However, given the spec gearing and the quoted model number, it sounds like you have the standard Z204 which was intended for a double crankset and a maximum chainring differnce of 16T.

Yes, it's a 1985 model.
Thank you, T-Mar!
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Old 02-22-06, 08:52 AM
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The following represents the current understanding of the various serial number formats used on Centurion models marketed by Western States Imports in the USA. Serial numbers were statistically analysed and the results compared against component date codes and extant literature.

1980-1990 Japanese models:

Most Japanese models during this period use a serial number format WXYZZZZ where;

W = a letter, purpose uncertain, but probably indicates manufacturer or Centurion
X = a number, indicating the calendar year of manufacture
Y = a letter, indicating the fortnight of manufacture (A = wk 1 & 2, B = wk 3 & 4, etc)
ZZZZ = four digit number, probably indicating frame number during fortnight

Example: N4E0283 indicates the 283 frame manufactured during the period of weeks 9-10, for the year 1984.

The letter prefix for these codes is typically 'N'. It has been suggested that this represents National, the Japanese market brand for Panasonic, which are built my Matsu****a. While the Panasonic branded models use a similar format, there is no prefix letter, nor is there a letter prefix on the Matsu****a manufactured Schwinns. This suggests the N-codes are be another manufacturer. reportedly Tano, though this is unconfirmed.

However, a number of circa 1984-1985 Centurion have turned up that match the Matsu****a format.


Miki manufactured models (circa 1975-1980)

During the late 1970s, Japan based Miki appears to have manufactured the upper end Centurion models for Western States Imports;

Serial number format Myfxxxxx, where,

M = Miki
y = number indicating year of manufacture
f = letter indicating fortnight of manufacture (i.e A = weel 1-2, B = weeks 3-4,,,,Z = weeks 51-52)
xxxxx = sequential frame number within the fortnight

Example: M7C11265 is the 11,265th frame manufactured by Miki during the 3rd fortnight of 1977.


Katakura manufactured models (mid 1980s)

Japanese manufacturer Katakura appears to have manufactured some bicycles for Western States Imports during the mid-1980s.

Serial number format Kmyxxxxx, where;

K = Katakura
m = letter indicating month of calendar year (i.e A = January, B = February, etc.)
y = number indicating last digit of calendar yaer (i.e. 4 = 1984, 6 = 1986, etc)
xxxxx = numbers, probably indicating sequential manfacturing number during month

Example: KG511505 is 11,505th frame manufactured by Katakura during July 1985.

Note: this serial format can be easily mistaken for the Kawamura format used on many Nishiki models.


China Bicycle Company (circa 1988- 199?):

Circa 1988. China Bicycle Company starting manufacturing low end Centurion and Diamonback models for Western States Imports and they purchased WSI cira 1990. The serial numbers associated with these models are often U-codes, so this may indicate China Bicycle Company.

Serial format Uymmxxxxx, where;

U = China Bicycle Company manufactured models(corroboration req'd)
y = last number of year of manufacture (i.e. 9 = 1989)
mm = number indicating month of manufacture (01 = January, 02 = February,,,,, 12 = December)
xxxxx = sequential manufacturing number within month

Example U91013632 is the 13,632nd frame manufactured during October 1989.


1970s lower end models:

This group consisted of few samples and several formats. Unfortunately, I do not have sufficient Centurion literature from this period to correlate the data to model years and any statements on the serial number format would be pure speculation.


One cautionary note pertaining to the year indicators is that they appear to represent a calendar year and not a model year. Frames produced in the latter portion of the year may be production for the following model year. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing the cut-off point and it probably floated somewhat from one year to the next. In such cases, you need to use graphics, component mixes or other tools to positively identify the year.

Hopefully, this will be of some use to Centurion owners. I am still willing to accept data on Centurions / Diamondbacks and help in dating models. Hopefully, we can get some more data for 1970s and CBC models. Again, thank-you to all the forum members who participated.

Last edited by T-Mar; 05-03-17 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 02-25-06, 08:46 PM
  #63  
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1989? Centurion "Dave Scott" Ironman Master

Purple Marble and white paint
Full Shimano 600 Group
Nitto Stem and Bars
Mavic Open Wheels

Serial# is N7S5749
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Old 02-25-06, 09:41 PM
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If anybody happens to come across this frame - I'd like it back - it was stolen in 1990.

1989 Ironman Expert, size 60, Suntour GPX group, Araya wheels. White with blue marble panels.

And of course, I don't have the serial number.

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Old 02-26-06, 12:25 AM
  #65  
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When was the mustache stolen?
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Old 02-26-06, 02:34 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
If anybody happens to come across this frame - I'd like it back - it was stolen in 1990.

1989 Ironman Expert, size 60, Suntour GPX group, Araya wheels. White with blue marble panels.

And of course, I don't have the serial number.

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Have you questioned racer #3667? He seems to be eyeing the bike very intently and may have information to its whereabouts.
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Old 02-26-06, 03:25 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by lecterman
When was the mustache stolen?
Mustache wasn't stolen, it just evolved into a 90's style goatee. After all, I was raised in the porn capital of the world - Chatsworth CA. I finally looked in a mirror around July of '01.

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Old 02-26-06, 04:29 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by lecterman
1989? Centurion "Dave Scott" Ironman Master

Purple Marble and white paint
Full Shimano 600 Group
Nitto Stem and Bars
Mavic Open Wheels

Serial# is N7S5749
Based on the serial number it should be a 1988. White and purple paint is correct, but it should be smoke instead of marble. 1988 & 1989 were spec'd the same except for paint, saddle (1988 - Selle italia, 1989 - Avenir) and pedals (1988 - Shimano 600, 1989 - Sampson). According to specs, the wheels, or at least the rims, have been replaced.
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Old 02-26-06, 08:36 PM
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Ok - I'm having fun visiting this Centurion thread.

I have in my possession an original set of Sampson pedals and cleats from my '89 Expert. Pretty good shape as I used them for maybe 2 weeks when the bike was new and then replaced them. They've been bagged up in the equipment box ever since.

Free to the first person to show me a photo of the the Ironman they'd go on. I'll pick up the shipping.

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Old 02-26-06, 10:01 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Ok - I'm having fun visiting this Centurion thread.

I have in my possession an original set of Sampson pedals and cleats from my '89 Expert. Pretty good shape as I used them for maybe 2 weeks when the bike was new and then replaced them. They've been bagged up in the equipment box ever since.

Free to the first person to show me a photo of the the Ironman they'd go on. I'll pick up the shipping.

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Tempting, but I think I have an unfair advantage and will have to disqualify myself from this competition.
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Old 02-26-06, 10:33 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Ok - I'm having fun visiting this Centurion thread.

I have in my possession an original set of Sampson pedals and cleats from my '89 Expert. Pretty good shape as I used them for maybe 2 weeks when the bike was new and then replaced them. They've been bagged up in the equipment box ever since.

Free to the first person to show me a photo of the the Ironman they'd go on. I'll pick up the shipping.

55/Rad
OK, nice offer! Here is my '89 Ironman Expert:
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Old 02-26-06, 10:37 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Old School
OK, nice offer! Here is my '89 Ironman Expert:
Hmmm- that's looks an awful lot like the one I've been looking for. You didn't happen to buy it in a dark alley in the San Fernando Valley back in '90?

"pssst, hey buddy....want a good deal on a hot bike?"

Send me a PM with your address - I'll ship them out tomorrow. Looks like you could use them.

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Old 02-26-06, 11:49 PM
  #73  
Lecterman
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
Based on the serial number it should be a 1988. White and purple paint is correct, but it should be smoke instead of marble. 1988 & 1989 were spec'd the same except for paint, saddle (1988 - Selle italia, 1989 - Avenir) and pedals (1988 - Shimano 600, 1989 - Sampson). According to specs, the wheels, or at least the rims, have been replaced.
Mine must be an '88 then as the saddle that came on it was a Selle Italia.

But the saddle is going bye bye as I have torn the bike down to rebuild. The paint is going away also as I am dropping the frame and fork off at the powder coater tomorrow.
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Old 02-27-06, 01:17 PM
  #74  
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holy cow what an fun and interesting thread! i've owned and operated a bike shop here in metro detroit for over 30 years and still have very fond memories of the days we sold centurions. mid 70s they were our first decent brand and i can remember having the whole crew in the back room on a saturday doing nothing but cranking out the 6 or 7 colors of lemans' and that bad boy super lemans. i think, if i remember correctly, we sold the lemans for 139. and the super for 189. those were the days.
didn't see this one mentioned, does any one remember, had to be maybe 81 or 82 the full campy, built in italy, pretty sure by cinelli model? i can't for the life of me remember what it was called, but what a cool bike at the time.
funny thing about this industry, how numorous brands and models have had there 15 mins of fame and faded into history, but aparenty centurion won't just fade away.
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Old 02-27-06, 02:55 PM
  #75  
T-Mar
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Originally Posted by cap'n_Rob
holy cow what an fun and interesting thread! i've owned and operated a bike shop here in metro detroit for over 30 years and still have very fond memories of the days we sold centurions. mid 70s they were our first decent brand and i can remember having the whole crew in the back room on a saturday doing nothing but cranking out the 6 or 7 colors of lemans' and that bad boy super lemans. i think, if i remember correctly, we sold the lemans for 139. and the super for 189. those were the days.
didn't see this one mentioned, does any one remember, had to be maybe 81 or 82 the full campy, built in italy, pretty sure by cinelli model? i can't for the life of me remember what it was called, but what a cool bike at the time.
funny thing about this industry, how numorous brands and models have had there 15 mins of fame and faded into history, but aparenty centurion won't just fade away.
The Cinelli manufactured model was the Equipe. It was produced only for 1985. However, it was not all Campagnolo. While the derailleurs were Campagnolo Nuovo Record, it used an Ofmega Mistral crankset and Universal AER brakeset. Still, a very nice bicycle.
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