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Centurion Serial Number Database

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Centurion Serial Number Database

Old 07-01-10, 07:06 PM
  #1001  
Psuedo
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Sorry for all of the replies, but referencing post #295, yes by RobbieTunes, the one number on there is "3A 040", very similar to my "3A 045" ..wouldn't you say? and you have a serial number going along side, I will take a closer look and see if I can find anything, these Taiwan bikes are a bit of a mystery right now, huh? and yes, I have the sport lx stuff all around, pretty much

edit: Negative... No other serial number on mine, where else might I look?

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Old 07-02-10, 06:38 AM
  #1002  
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Originally Posted by Psuedo View Post
Sorry for all of the replies, but referencing post #295, yes by RobbieTunes, the one number on there is "3A 040", very similar to my "3A 045" ..wouldn't you say? and you have a serial number going along side, I will take a closer look and see if I can find anything, these Taiwan bikes are a bit of a mystery right now, huh? and yes, I have the sport lx stuff all around, pretty much

edit: Negative... No other serial number on mine, where else might I look?
In my veiw, we've pseudo-established that yours is a 1989, made either in late 88 or early 89. 3 things support this:

1-The paint job made it's debut on the 88 Ironman Master, and then was used on the following production run's Lemans/Lemans RS.
Centurion seemed to debut their schemes on the Ironman models, consistently opening with them and then following up then next year or so on the Lemans and other models. The early Prestige, Turbo, and Comp TA models seemed to follow their own conservative scheme, and the Ironman and Lemans sort of broke away in that regard in 1986, followed by the Accordo, Sport DLX, and Clic. The '89 Prestige has shown up in that same vein, too. I think the black/yellow Lemans of 86/87 was a surprise hit for them, probably much less predictable than the famous/infamous fuscia/goldenrod "Miami Vice" Ironman.

2-The components tend to match those used during that time frame, though my '87 Lemans had some LX components, also. Not a lot of Japanese manufacturers were 100% consistent with component groups, and my guess is that the assembly process was autonomous enough to make do with what was on hand. This era involved "just in time" manufacturing, but bicycle production was probably not of the volume or critical value that required everything be 100% spec. We've seen a lot of Centurions where it looked like they went to plan B, of sorts, to finish up the bike and get it shiipped. Given the wide array of bikes being produced under different labels, often by the same plant, this is not surprising. The irony in the inconsistency is the consistent high quality. It speaks more to the character of the people making the bikes; a committment and pride in quality, coupled with the requirement to finish the bike within certain guidelines and ship it.

3-The Taiwan manufacture, as only the Ironman and Prestige stayed in Japan for manufacture through '89, as far as I know. My 87 Lemans is a Japanese-made bike, but my 89 was Taiwan origin. Other than the paint and components, really no difference. As for 1988, I don't know, but add in the paint job, and it makes your bike, to me, a 1989 model.
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Old 07-02-10, 03:34 PM
  #1003  
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Thanks for the information. Would a Lemans RS specifically say 'RS' on it? mine doesnt. Also I am still very intereste din touching everything up, which means I must have alot of this white/cream colour, some black, and cf course, a few shades of purple, or just 1 shade and mix and match with other colours which is prob what I will have to do in the end. I am still fairly interested in getting touring components for it, but leaning way more towards leather kind of stuff for that steampunk look, since I already have the steam/smoke paint going for me

Also, another guy in the shop/service with me wants to make an Ironman, as in the movie, bike, with the racecar red or whatever colour it actually was. I bet he would be all for any bike that was actually called 'Ironman' ... but I havent asked him yet. Just speculating if anyone was interested in selling theirs any time soon
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Old 07-02-10, 06:22 PM
  #1004  
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Psu..

The Lemans RS model will, indeed, say "RS" after the Lemans logo. To date, I have no real clear facts on what distinguishes them, but every Lemans RS I've had has been a pretty smooth bike, quite suitable for some light touring. The geometry is not near as relaxed as a loaded tourer should be, but single eyelets and clearance for fenders are there.

For the colors you need, nail polish is the answer. Mix and match to suit.

Ironman bikes have an active market. Try a site MASH or something that searches both CL and eBay, but don't ignore local ads in magazines, yard sales, or just chatting with people at the local bike shop. There are several models with red coloring for your friend, and there is an all-red model, but it's hard to find. I know of 2 or 3, none for sale I know of.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:20 AM
  #1005  
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If anyone is still researching this topic. I just picked up an older Centurion that I plan to refurbish for my daughter. I believe it is from the 70's but I don't know. I could not find any "model" name, but it is a "ladies" step through frame. Dia-Comp center pull brakes, 10 speed Suntour drivetrain. Stickers on frame and etching on components is all Made in Japan. Only serial number was found on the side of the seat tube near the bottom bracket, A J 7 9 9 . Headbadge has a vertical Centurion in red type. Just curious as to what i picked up for $50. While it is ridable it needs a little "lovin" before I turn my daughter loose on it.
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Old 07-08-10, 12:00 PM
  #1006  
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It probably is from the 1970's, then. The decals from this time disintegrate if you blow on them. That said, I love the 1970's Centurions. Great classic paint and craftsmanship.

Post some pictures!
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Old 07-08-10, 12:41 PM
  #1007  
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Got this bike (my first road bike and first bike I've owned in like 10 years!) last month for $240 in Austin, TX. I probably overpaid, but I feel like the road bike demand here is pretty high, so I rarely see good deals on CL (which I still check often). Guy said he bought it for $300, don't know if that was a lie.

'87 Ironman Expert
Serial #: N7D6648







Sugino Cycloid (elliptical) chainring




Sugino SP-KC Seatpost


My brakes are 105. But unfortunately I think my shifters and derailleurs were downgraded? They are indexed and the RD says "Shimano SIS" on it, but definitely do not seem to be 105. Can anyone shed any light on these? And yeah, my right shifter is missing its rubber grip. =[



There's a small 1cm (vertically) dent on my top tube =/ It looks sharper in the picture than it really is because of the picture angle, but it is a bit softer and rounded, a little less than 1cm wide. The indention is ~1mm or a tiny bit less.


But even with these slight flaws and light scratches and wear all around (I think it's great for a 23 year old bike!), I'm in love with it =]

Last edited by Kuotient; 07-08-10 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 07-08-10, 08:32 PM
  #1008  
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I will answer your query in a PM. Unfortunately, after the swim meet tonight, a time trial last night, and ride this morning, I cannot coherently codify completely that information which you seek.

Or maybe it was the Dos Equis.

Either way, I'll get back to you.
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Old 07-08-10, 09:23 PM
  #1009  
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Originally Posted by Kuotient View Post

There's a small 1cm (vertically) dent on my top tube =/ It looks sharper in the picture than it really is because of the picture angle, but it is a bit softer and rounded, a little less than 1cm wide. The indention is ~1mm or a tiny bit less.
Just for your future information, many people will not give 3 cents for a bike with any dents in any frame member. A dent is a value killer. I would never consider building a dented frame. Scratches, rust, neglect can be dealt with but a dent is there and in addition to structural considerations any dent, no matter how inconspicuous, will vastly reduce the value of the bike down to the take off components so when you purchase a dented or bent or damaged frame consider the value of the components only, the frame is of no value.
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Old 07-08-10, 10:14 PM
  #1010  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
Just for your future information, many people will not give 3 cents for a bike with any dents in any frame member. A dent is a value killer. I would never consider building a dented frame. Scratches, rust, neglect can be dealt with but a dent is there and in addition to structural considerations any dent, no matter how inconspicuous, will vastly reduce the value of the bike down to the take off components so when you purchase a dented or bent or damaged frame consider the value of the components only, the frame is of no value.
Thanks for the info, but that's fine. I don't plan on selling it anytime soon. Even if I do, I still think I could make a good buck here around the UT Austin campus.
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Old 07-14-10, 05:07 PM
  #1011  
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Here's either a 1984 or 1985 I just picked up off ebay; Centurion Accordo. First component checked: Suntour FD was April 1984, RD was February 1984. I will look at more component codes once I get into the rehab.



And here's the serial number:

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Old 07-14-10, 10:58 PM
  #1012  
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Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
If anyone is still researching this topic. I just picked up an older Centurion that I plan to refurbish for my daughter. I believe it is from the 70's but I don't know. I could not find any "model" name, but it is a "ladies" step through frame. Dia-Comp center pull brakes, 10 speed Suntour drivetrain. Stickers on frame and etching on components is all Made in Japan. Only serial number was found on the side of the seat tube near the bottom bracket, A J 7 9 9 . Headbadge has a vertical Centurion in red type. Just curious as to what i picked up for $50. While it is ridable it needs a little "lovin" before I turn my daughter loose on it.
I put up the refurbish project here, Centurion Project

Based on the component codes it is no earlier than June of '75
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Old 07-15-10, 07:45 AM
  #1013  
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Originally Posted by Kuotient View Post
Thanks for the info, but that's fine. I don't plan on selling it anytime soon. Even if I do, I still think I could make a good buck here around the UT Austin campus.
Storage/handling dents don't bother me if I plan to keep the bike, and the frame checks out. Loose Chain is right about resale value, the dents freak out otherwise willing buyers.

As far as selling it, yeah, UT would be a good place; wouldn't want it to fall into one of my Aggie's hands....
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Old 07-15-10, 10:58 AM
  #1014  
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I picked up this Centurion Elite RS on Monday in a trade Shimano 600 drivetrain, Dia-Compe Royal S brake set in bronze, Araya Bronze 27"x1" with sealed Suzie/sp? hubs and stainless spokes. It was made in Japan with Tange 2 double butted tubes and is a 60cm frame. This is my only real non touring bike to date and I can't wait to put it back together (the guy I got it from was just about to spray paint it black) I have a nicer 600 crankset for it and I also have a set of 600 brakes but don't know which is better the Shimano or Dia-Compe set that came on it.
Glenn








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Old 07-16-10, 09:58 AM
  #1015  
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Great bike. Toss-up on the calipers.
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Old 07-25-10, 07:04 PM
  #1016  
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Im looking for my first road bike and Im interested in the Ironman models, but have some questions.
What years had the purple/yellow paint scheme, and were they always the "expert" model?
Is the "master" much better than the "expert"?
I also like the red frame with the white headtube and seattube like the bike a few posts back. Ive also seen yellow or teal instead of red. What years had these paint schemes? Ive seen these bikes labeled as both "expert", "master", and with no other designation i believe. Are the ones with no designation (which came before there were seperate "expert" and "master" models I understand) equivalent to an expert or master?

Thanks. This forum is a great resource!
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Old 07-26-10, 04:50 AM
  #1017  
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m looking for my first road bike and Im interested in the Ironman models, but have some questions.

What years had the purple/yellow paint scheme, and were they always the "expert" model?
Only the 1987 and 1988 Experts were available with that scheme, and they are virtually indistinguishable, though you may find Wolber rims on the 87 and Arayas on the 88. That's the only way I know of telling them apart, and my guess is that it was one entire production run of that color, as far as frames. Yes, always the Expert model.

Is the "master" much better than the "expert"?
Probably a matter of opinion. The frames were identical, as were the rest of the non-group components.
The difference in components was basically 105 for the Expert vs. 600 for the Master.
In 1985 and 1986, there was only one, the standard Ironman, and some say the '86 frame has a smoothness unmatched later on.
In 1987, with the Master's 600EX vs. the Expert's 105, the difference wasn't as great, in my book.
In 1988, with the 6400 series (the 600 "tricolor" for the 3 little colored squares on the logo), the difference was more noticeable. Still, some preferred the 105's single pivot calipers and polished appearance.
In 1989, the Expert had Suntour GPX, a nice looking and light group, vs. the Master's 600 tricolor. Both worked well and were great values, but the GPX shifters matched only Suntour cassettes due to differences in spacing.

In 1989, the frame geometry changed slightly, but it seemed only to affect the black Expert frames. Those whom own one of each will generally tell you there is a difference in how the black Expert rides compared to the faded Expert and the Master models. Bicycle Guide magazine noted the geometry change, but didn't really notice it in their test model (a blue smoked fade Expert). They never got their hands on the black Expert to see what the real difference was. The black Expert seems to have a more aggressive ride to it; the faded Masters of the era, and the blue smoked Expert, seem to be a little smoother.

I also like the red frame with the white headtube and seattube like the bike a few posts back. Ive also seen yellow or teal instead of red. What years had these paint schemes?
1986 had the red/white in the standard Ironman, 1987 had a red/white Ironman Expert.
1987 had the teal/white in the Ironman Master. 1987 had the yellow/white Ironman Expert.
I've not seen examples of these outside those time frames, but remember, it was the 80's; nothing was set in stone.

Ive seen these bikes labeled as both "expert", "master", and with no other designation i believe. Are the ones with no designation (which came before there were seperate "expert" and "master" models I understand) equivalent to an expert or master? See above. Some feel the 1985 and 1986 two-tone models were the smoothest Ironman frames. The red/white 86 with the red aero DiaCompe hoods and the copper-colored Araya rims is one of the classier looking bikes of the era, and rides very, very nice. You could call them "equivalent," but componentry changed quite a bit from 1985 to 1989, as far as precision, reliability, and ease of function, so that's a toss-up. Relative to their price point and what everyone else was offering for the same price, they were excellent values. Today, they still are.

Thanks. This forum is a great resource!
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Old 07-26-10, 07:08 AM
  #1018  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Storage/handling dents don't bother me if I plan to keep the bike, and the frame checks out. Loose Chain is right about resale value, the dents freak out otherwise willing buyers.

As far as selling it, yeah, UT would be a good place; wouldn't want it to fall into one of my Aggie's hands....
Meh, already have a red and white. Then of course there is the yummy all red one.

Betchya won't see any Tea Sippin TU'ers riding one of those........
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Old 08-02-10, 11:47 AM
  #1019  
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Any opinions would be greatly appreciated:)

I am new to road biking and was hoping to get some help dating my Centurion. I thought I had dated it to 1972, but after emailing with the originator of the Centurion article realized I was wrong. they referred me to this thread.
serial number N2696
12 speed
Araya aluminum rims 27 inch
Sunshine hubs #5345
Suntour GT V Luxe rear
Suntour sl front
SAKAE RADDNER Aluminum drops

If I can try to get any more info off of it to help let me know I sure will


CENTURION 001..jpgCENTURION 004..jpgCENTURION 003..jpgCENTURION 001..JPGCENTURION 004..jpgCENTURION 007..jpg
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Old 08-02-10, 04:29 PM
  #1020  
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Nice bike, but if you've been corresponding with Ashley, he's the expert. Between him and T-Mar, if they don't know it, it's gone.
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Old 08-02-10, 08:41 PM
  #1021  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Nice bike, but if you've been corresponding with Ashley, he's the expert. Between him and T-Mar, if they don't know it, it's gone.
I asked Ashley if I could excerpt a piece of the article for my blog. I did not bother him with my bike photo's but he did refer me to here. I guess it doesn't really matter I am about to scrap this project anywhoo
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Old 08-03-10, 05:14 AM
  #1022  
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The model you have is pretty desireable, but the condition may detract some folks. A couple of examples of that color and maybe the model came through here not long ago, one was a frame, the other a complete bike. They were close to pristine and really looked great.
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Old 08-04-10, 11:11 PM
  #1023  
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First time post, a discussion with a co-worker about whether or not my old bike should go to my son for college duty was met with some comment that the bike will probably be stolen in no time and that these old bikes were a common target with theives for conversion to single speed bikes. He also mentioned this site. The wealth and contributions by all in this thread is outstanding.

I'm the original owner of this bike, 23 1/2" Centurion Semi-Pro puchased when I was a starving Junior in high school. My dream bike was an all Campy equipped bike on either a Reynolds 531 or Columbus frame. In 1975 such bikes were already close to 1K and were way out of reach for me at that time. With $350 of hard earned cash from weeks of shoveling dump trucks of steer manure on a college hillside, walked into a bike shop in San Francisco near Golden Gate Park and eyed this bike. In a few minutes I was merrily pedaling cross town back to North Beach and was in total heaven. It replaced my old JC Penney tank with the wingnut wheels and Huret derailluers. Man, what a ride.

I've logged many miles on this bike and performed some crazy conversions. At one point it was shod with all Campy and sewup wheels. But at the end all the original equipment was restored except the wheels and pedals. The wheels was my foray into building wheels from scratch and they came out horrendous but ridable. The Dura-Ace hubs with 700C rims replaced the stock wheels Sunshine hubs with 27" rim. Eventually the rear deurailluer was replaced due to wear, same model with out the black anodized body. Rode the bike until 1987, and gave it to one of my brothers before moving out of state. The bike sat in the basement for years, unridden.


Another 7 years would go by before I saw this bike again. It was kept indoors but was covered in soot from furnace work nearby. I brought the bike back home and slowly started to clean off the grime and rebuilt it, replacing what parts I could find, new freewheel , rear shifter, pedals, tires and cables. The bottom bracket and headset were overhauled. It is nearly complete and will have a set of strong touring wheels rebuilt using the Dura-Ace hubs. I may still give this to my son if interested but hoping he won't take it.

The bike reminds me of simpler and happier times when I lived to ride. I'll report the serial number in another post. Again thanks to all for their contributions on the amazing history of this bicycle company.















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Old 08-05-10, 07:25 AM
  #1024  
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Trekday 2100 - welcome to the forum! We are in agreement about the wealth of knowledge on this thread. It's comprehensive! Your bike is beautiful; love the chrome lugs. I would be hesitant to send a bike like that off to college for several reasons, including the risk of theft. Perhaps you could purchase a beater bike for that purpose. Also, is that a cork on the underside of your fork?
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Old 08-05-10, 08:14 AM
  #1025  
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Posts: 98

Bikes: Trek 2100, Diamondback V-Link 1.1, Centurion Semi-Pro

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Yes Force, that is a cork to keep the water out. The bike was my only transportation to school, especially when the local transit went on strike. Rode that bike in rain but sprayed it down with WD40 immediately. There’s no rust on it. The fork and bottom bracket were removed to spray LPS3 inside the tubes, leaving a gummy but protective barrier from moisture. For the paint, borrowed a lot of Blue Coral car wax from my brother to keep the paint from fading.
The bike was never crashed though I ran into joggers and got bounced off a bus once, no harm or foul to either party but a few choice words in parting from both sides.
I’m looking into a local bike co-op that builds junkers cheap or most likely he will take his MTB with him. I always wanted to pass this on to one of my boys but found out from many it might be a bad idea. Maybe I’ll keep it for him until he graduates, the bike is way too small for me to ride.

Serial number ifor the database is M5F0325

Last edited by trekday2100; 08-05-10 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Add serial number
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