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Centurion Serial Number Database

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Centurion Serial Number Database

Old 12-24-10, 01:17 AM
  #1126  
GamleOle
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Welcome to the forums, by the way.
Glad to have you around.
Thx!

What are your plans for the bike?
There is so much surface-rust on it, that I'll have it blown and painted. Maybe some chrome too. Otherwise I'll pretty much stay with the parts, it rides fine. (Best ride I've ever had, but I have never had any real expensive bikes.) New handlebar-tape and probably a new saddle.

Then I'll ride it!
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Old 12-24-10, 07:16 AM
  #1127  
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I have seen one of these before. It looked and weighted the same as my Tange 1 1987 ironman.
Ed
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Old 12-24-10, 07:42 AM
  #1128  
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GamleOle,

WSI had signed a five year licensing deal for the use of Dave Scott's name and the Ironman logo. Obviously, WSI did not purchase the rights to usee them in Europe, presumibly because of the extra expense and/or because they felt the names were not as recognizable in Europe (when the deal was originally negotiated in 1984).

The bicycle itself is very interesting. The paint and decals are very similar to the 1987 US market model. Yet it is obviously a 1988 model by virtue of the serial number. In addition to the tubeset, the other sigbifigant variation from the US models is the manufacturer. The US market Centurion had last used that manufacturer in 1980. Thxs for posting.
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Old 12-25-10, 06:10 AM
  #1129  
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Centurion LeMans

Serial Number: WAK18017A (The last "A" indicating it was imported to Denmark in 1985.)

I've had the bike partially disassembled, and the frame cleaned thoroughly. There is no other serial number.









My daily commuter, taking the brunt of all the ****ty rides.

Frame and fork is Tange Hi-ten.

Things I know are not original:
Entire rear wheel.
Entire front wheel.
Saddle.
Bar-tape.
Hood.
Luggage-carrier. (Enligthen me if it has a more correct name.)

Original things I've replaced:

White Kashimax saddle.
White bar tape.
Leigthweigth Luggage carrier made of steel.
Front wheel.

Original rear-wheel was already replaced when I picked it up. (From original owner.)

Original parts (I feel convinced):

Handlebar: Sakae Custom
Stem: No visible name
Seatpost: Laprade SR
Fenders: No name visible, made of metal.
Headset: No visible name.
Brake, lever and claw: Dia-Compe
Crank-box: Kaita?
Crank-set: Sugino
Original front hub: Suzue 5 B LPF
Original front rim: Araya

Original rear wheel:

I strongly believe the original bike came with this:

A 5-speed internal hub operated by two levers, with the two cables going into each side of the hub. This includes coasting abilety and internal hub-brake.

Reasons for my belief:

- I have seen other bikes with this set-up. One exectly like it, still with the setup. One which had a dropbar, but was otherwise identical, and one with a reverse paint-scheme (red frame, white letters) otherwise identical.
- I removed the remnants of the setup, when I took over the bike.

Semi-relavent rants:

Bikes in Denmark:

Denmark is a small country, and the distances are short.

Therefore, the bulk of danish bikes is not sporting or touring bikes, but bikes for commuting.

The country is filled with dedicated bike-lanes along the roads, and you can bring your bike with you in most trains. In the Copenhagen area, the urban-trains have a special bike-room, and taking the bike with you is free in these trains. You can even bring your bike with the Copenhagen Metro, outside a few rush-hours. (You have to pay a $1 fare though.)

The Danish population is currently 6 million people, while the number of bikes is estimated to be 4,5 millions.

40 years ago most bikes in Denmark would simply have a single-speed hub with internal coaster brake. This was so much default, that if nothing was mentioned, it was assumed this was the set-up. Bikes with derailleurs were quite uncommon, and internal-gears were just beginning to enter the market.

So most people simply rode, and ride, their bikes for commuting, and didn't care for maintenance and such. And they wanted what they were accustomed too; a coaster brake.

This has made internal gears quite popular in Denmark, and in these days they are on a very large percentage of Danish bikes.

The fact that the "Less maintenance"-argument is much weaker than the "Sum of all bothers"-argument, haven't made in impact.

The bicycle graveyards are full of reasonable bikes, thrown out because the internal gear broke, and it would be to expensive to have it replaced.

To be fair, there is a point in favour of internal gears with coaster brakes, as opposed to derailleur: A coaster brake is more reliable when it is raining/snowing. And it often is in Denmark.

For the reasons stated above, I suspect that many imported bikes are specially "accustomed" to the danish market, including internal gears, fenders and so on.

The Danish serial-number system:

The Danish serial number system was introduced in 1942 (Forty-two, no typo), to discourage bike-theft. Every bike sold from a vendor, outlet etc. must have one. There may be a few imported and/or track-bikes and/or bikes for teams without it.

Originally the system was operated manually. But these days, when a bike is reported stolen, the serial-number is entered into a central database. This database can be checked on-line by the police 24/7.

I have descibed the system in the "Centurion SL Computerized" thread.

A guess could be, that it was simply demanded, that imported frames did not have a second serial number, so as to avoid confusion. And that this is the reason that the Danish Centurion bikes are not engraved with the standard Centurion serial number.

Questions and comments are welcome.

Last edited by GamleOle; 12-25-10 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Forgot a detail.
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Old 12-26-10, 08:47 AM
  #1130  
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Originally Posted by GamleOle View Post
Serial Number: WAK18017A (The last "A" indicating it was imported to Denmark in 1985.)

I've had the bike partially disassembled, and the frame cleaned thoroughly. There is no other serial number...
This bicycle appears to be much older than 1985. The head badge and Tange tubing sticker are both representative of the 1970s. By 1985 I would also have expected a set of bottle bosses on a LeMans. The presence of a dropout with integral derialleur hanger would suggest it was orignally intended for a derailleur. These dropouts, in conjunction with other features, would place it late 1970s.

Of course, that is based on North American models. Some discrepancies could be due solely to the market. If it is from the era I suspect, the serial number may be located on the lower seat tube and consist of a letter and three numbers. It would also be intertesting to check the date codes on the components you suspect to be original.
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Old 12-26-10, 09:51 AM
  #1131  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
This bicycle appears to be much older than 1985. The head badge and Tange tubing sticker are both representative of the 1970s. By 1985 I would also have expected a set of bottle bosses on a LeMans. The presence of a dropout with integral derialleur hanger would suggest it was orignally intended for a derailleur. These dropouts, in conjunction with other features, would place it late 1970s.

Of course, that is based on North American models. Some discrepancies could be due solely to the market. If it is from the era I suspect, the serial number may be located on the lower seat tube and consist of a letter and three numbers. It would also be intertesting to check the date codes on the components you suspect to be original.
That's exactly the same head badge as my Super LeMans, which I believe we have accurately dated to 1976. T-Mar, I can't see the logotype lettering clearly on the seat tube, but it appears to be a sans serif font, which is a new one for me.
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Old 12-26-10, 10:03 AM
  #1132  
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I have an 80s LeMans12, serial number N2N7973. It's got a Tange Champion #5 sticker and most of the components are SunTour Blaze. Check out this thread for photos:

198? Centurion LeMans 12
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Old 12-26-10, 10:13 AM
  #1133  
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I'll be happy to try and help.

Where do I find the production code for:

- Brake
- Seatpost
- Stem
- Original front wheel (Could "5 B LPF" be a date-code for the front hub?)
- Crank-box
- Crank-set

Edit: The original front-rim is a 622/700c (Not a 27"). It still lives in my basement.

Last edited by GamleOle; 12-26-10 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 12-26-10, 10:36 AM
  #1134  
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And a question:

I am planning on posting a few more Centurions, which also seem to be somewhat odd in correspondence with what I've read about Centurion in North America. They migth shed some more ligth on things, but maybe also confuse things.

Would it be best to post them now/soon, or better to wait a little?
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Old 12-26-10, 11:01 AM
  #1135  
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https://www.velobase.com/Default.aspx
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Old 12-26-10, 04:48 PM
  #1136  
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Originally Posted by GamleOle View Post
And a question:

I am planning on posting a few more Centurions, which also seem to be somewhat odd in correspondence with what I've read about Centurion in North America. They migth shed some more ligth on things, but maybe also confuse things.

Would it be best to post them now/soon, or better to wait a little?
now now now!
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Old 12-28-10, 04:49 AM
  #1137  
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Originally Posted by GamleOle View Post
I'll be happy to try and help.

Where do I find the production code for:

- Brake
- Seatpost
- Stem
- Original front wheel (Could "5 B LPF" be a date-code for the front hub?)
- Crank-box
- Crank-set

Edit: The original front-rim is a 622/700c (Not a 27"). It still lives in my basement.
The best source for identifying and decyphering component date codes is the components page of the Vintage-Trek website.
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Old 12-28-10, 05:57 AM
  #1138  
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pics.pics.pics

post 'em all.

and thanks.
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Old 12-28-10, 12:48 PM
  #1139  
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Think I've created a misunderstanding, sorry.

Where on the items do I find the code?
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Old 12-28-10, 01:34 PM
  #1140  
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Le Mans Mixte

Serial number: WAK08631V (Indicating it was imported to Denmark in 1982.)

When I picked it up, I had it partially dis-assembled and the frame given a thorough cleaning. I didn't see any other serial-number then. When I took it up for photoing, it was still all clean, and I went over it again. Still nothing.





















Since picking it up, I have removed/replaced:

Bar-tape: Blue
Hoods: Brown (Withered away)
Luggage carrier: Leigthweitgth steel.
Tires.


Other parts:

I strongly suspect all other items (except the reflexes in the wheels) are what was originally on the bike. (It was quite dirty when picked up, but apart from that, well kept. Just look at the saddle.)

Seatpost: No name visible
Saddle: Kashimax. (The same type of saddle, only white and worn out, was on the LeMans above.)
Stem: Says "Centurion" on the front, and has three stylized letters lower on the side facing the rider. Looks like "UIN".
Handlebar: Sakae Custom Road Champion
Brakes: Dia-Compe. A smaal engravement on the inside of the levers says "Dia-Compe regular.
Crankset: Sugino (With a centurion decal on the arms)
Rims. ARAYA 27 X 1 1/4 w/o JAPAN
Hubs: Sunshine 5345 (They both have that number, allthough they are obviously front and rear hub, respectively.
Front quick-release: Sunshine Close.
Fenders: Bluemels Popular.

I would believe the fenders were on the bike when it was sold originally. Those things (in many different colours) where a rage in those years here in Denmark, and were on every bike and its brother.

The red decal is from a local danish bicycle-shop.

Comments and questions are welcome.
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Old 01-12-11, 05:25 PM
  #1141  
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Here are the specs for the 1985 Centurion Elite RS I just picked up from Craigslist for $80. Amazing condition. See this thread for details.



Serial: KE510552
Tubeset: frame sticker says "Tange 2, Cr-Mo Seamless Tubing, Double Butted Tubes"; Fork sticker says "Tange Cr-Mo Steel Fork Blade"
Dropouts: Shimano ST
Group: Shimano 600 (6207 series) including pedals w/original clips, RD, FD, freewheel, cogs (13-28), downtube friction shifters.
Stem: Nitto Technomic
Bars: Nitto Olympiad 115
Headset: Tange Falcon
Saddle: Selle Italia Mundialita (suede-like cover)
Seatpost: Sugino
Cranks: Sugino ALP
Chainrings: Sugino 52 / 42 gold anodized
Wheels: Araya 700C gold anodized
Hubs: Suzue "Sealed Tech" QR
Brake Levers: Gran Compe gold anodized
Brakes: Dia Compe Royal S
Wrap: Black vinyl (appears to be original)
Tires: Trim Line 700/25 100PSI
Frame Pump: Zefal HP X 4 (original?)

Last edited by Machine Age; 01-12-11 at 05:26 PM. Reason: added photo
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Old 01-12-11, 06:06 PM
  #1142  
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1983 Sport DLX
N3D0404
Stem: SR
Bars: Nitto Chromed Steel
Seatpost: Chromed Steel
Cranks: Sugino
Wheels: Araya Chromed Steel 27 x 1 1/4"
Brake Levers: Dia Compe
Brakes: Dia Compe
Shifters: Suntour Stem
Front Derailleur: Suntour Spirit
Rear Derailleur: Suntour Honor
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Old 01-12-11, 07:27 PM
  #1143  
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Originally Posted by GamleOle View Post
Think I've created a misunderstanding, sorry.

Where on the items do I find the code?
Depends on the part. Shimano's are usually stamped on the back side of the component such as on the back of the crank arms. You'll see 2 letters stamped. Here is the sight that will tell you what they mean.
https://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm
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Old 01-12-11, 07:34 PM
  #1144  
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Pretty sure Robbie pegged this as an '86 Elite RS.
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Old 01-17-11, 10:05 PM
  #1145  
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Yep, note the decal differences between the '85 belonging to Machine Age and the '86 belonging to rothenfield1.
'85 had almost the same decals on the Elite, Ironman, and Prestige. '86 is when the decals began to get busy and the fonts changed.
Both way cool bikes.

blue303, that's probably the earliest Sport DLX I've ever seen. Big-time Raleigh influence, IMO, very similar to the Raleigh Rapide of the same year.

And I just had to throw this in, as I'm finally done. Tinkering on this one is over, and there are parts from 4 or 5 BF C&V members on it. I was riding it Sunday and a guy came up to me, asked me if Centurion was selling new bikes again....
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Old 01-17-11, 10:41 PM
  #1146  
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^^^
It does look like a modern bike; difference being, I imagine it rides better then one. You should see if you can buy the Centurion trademark and start selling your own builds. I'd buy one.
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Old 01-17-11, 10:59 PM
  #1147  
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Robbie,

I would have also been incredibly confused if I would have seen this bike in the wild. When thinking of vintage whips with modern kit, I always think "What would Robbie do?", cause your stuff always looks righteous and ready for a fight.
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Old 01-17-11, 10:59 PM
  #1148  
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^ That Facet makes me faster just looking at it.
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Old 01-28-11, 01:15 PM
  #1149  
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I picked up a Centurion Sport DLX in almost mint condition last night. Everything seems to be original except for the seat. I've been trying to figure out the date and as far as I can tell it's a 1985. I'm noticing that about 99% of the serial number I see begin with "N" mine doesn't Y5E2782. Does anyone know what the difference is?
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Old 01-29-11, 08:51 AM
  #1150  
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I picked up an older Centurion yesterday and would appreciate help identifying the model. It has been repainted so there are no identifying decals, only a 1970s style headbadge. The specifics:

SN 6R5011. There is no letter in front of the 6. The date code on the Suntour derailleurs is RL (Dec 75) so it appears to be a 1976 model.
Derailleurs are SL front and VGT Luxe rear. 5 speed Pro-Compe freewheel, suntour bar-end shifters

Most other components are SR including handlebars (Randnner), Custom seatpost (26.0mm), stem, cranks (Apex 5 RG with 118 BCD). DiaCompe centerpulls (no braze-ons on the frame) with cable release on levers and with safety levers

The lugs on semi-ornate on the headtube but with very long points on the top and seat tube. As long as on my 77 semi-pro. They might be chromed under the paint but I don't know. The dropouts are single-eyelet chrome without adjustors.

There are braze-ons: top tube cable guides, down tube cable stops, water bottle bosses (one pair) and a BB rear derailleur cable guide.

Any guesses on the model and tubing type?

Thanks
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