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Centurion Serial Number Database

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Centurion Serial Number Database

Old 04-15-12, 12:24 PM
  #1526  
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Originally Posted by beanteck View Post
Since we are on the topic of late 70s/early 80's elites, would anybody know what one retailed for around then? Im getting a bogus story, and just wondered how bogus it is.
T-Mar may know, if he's got the catalogs. I figure $250-$350.
Not sure what the "story" is, but original prices from then would have little, if any, bearing on value now.

This far out, it's about:
Fit,
Frame quality and condition,
Fit,
Components quality and condition,
Fit,
Wheels and tires and disposables,
Fit,
Cost to get ready to ride (saddle, wrap, etc.)
and fit.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:49 PM
  #1527  
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Thanks for the reply Robbie. Was more looking for overall validity to a story, rather than a current value.
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Old 04-24-12, 06:30 PM
  #1528  
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I just pick up an 88/89 LeMans. To small for me though.




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Old 04-24-12, 09:04 PM
  #1529  
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A lot of flippers would love to have that in the lineup. Big sellers here.
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Old 04-25-12, 06:25 AM
  #1530  
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Really? Yea I figure it has some demand and might be worth a buck or two.
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Old 04-30-12, 09:45 PM
  #1531  
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Hi T-Mar and all,
I picked up an older Centurion at my local flea market this weekend. It does not have a model name, but it is a lugged frame with Nervex-type lugs, Tange double-butted tubing, and chrome stays and fork blades. The serial #, stamped on the seat tube, is 6R6529. From the brake lever date codes, and maybe the first digit of the serial #, this is a 1976 bike. I'll try to post some photos before long. I'm still cleaning up the frame but it is in pretty good shape for a bike that is almost 40 years old. The original paint is a dark brown metal flake.
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Old 05-01-12, 02:48 PM
  #1532  
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(NOTE: The following is written by Ashley Wright, who has asked me to post it here)

The image above comes from an article in the December, 1984,
issue of the German magazine TOUR. The article is about a
cycling trip through Italy and includes a visit to Cinelli.

The author and photographer, Carlson Reinhard, writes about
this visit that they were escorted during the visit by Signor
(Claudio) Chirico who studied under Master (Luigi) Valsassina
for eleven years.

In response to the "publication" on the Web of my transcription
of the Cinelli Equipe Bicycle Guide article, Alan Goldsmith, the
design consultant who did the deal with Cinelli for Western
States Import (WSI) has written to me and filled in many details
that clear up questions about this bike's origins, who built it
and where. The April 1985 Bicycle Gluide article is at:
http://velobase.com/Resource_Tools/ArticleToC.aspx or
http://classicrendezvous.com/images/...ion_Equipe.pdf

1. The deal was done between WSI and Cinelli (the company) of Milan.

2. Goldsmith represented WSI and Andrea Cinelli, Cino Cinelli's
son, who remained working for Cinelli after his father retired
and sold the company to Antonio Colombo in 1979, represented
Cinelli (the company) in the negotiations that began in late 1983.

3. The frame was designed by Goldsmith and built in the Chirico
family shop in Bussero on the outskirts of Milan after design
details were discussed among Goldsmith, Andrea Cinelli and
Chirico and revisions were made. The Chirico shop also built
Super Corsas for Cinelli (the company).

Chirico was then owned and operated by Erminio Chirico,
who had taken over the 50-year-old family business from his
father Enrico in 1948, about the same time Cino Cinelli founded
his own bicycle business. Erminio's son, Claudio Chirico was
production manager for part of the period up until 1980, when
Andrea Cinelli took him on as frame builder for Cinelli (the
company). Claudio had previously apprenticed at the Cinelli
shop for 11 years under Cino's master frame builder, Luigi
Valsassina. It appears Claudio remained engaged in his father's
business during his tenure with Cinelli. Claudio's son Luigi,
took over the business in 1987 and continued to make bicycles
into 2012.

4. Goldsmith says not more than 150, or one shipping container
load, of this bike was made. He has since had a chat with
another former WSI principal who said he "feels" that the number
was either 50 or 100, but was not sure.

5. Goldsmith said that "sales were horrible" due to a host of
logistical and market factors. It was not a failure of the
bicycle but a failure of distribution and marketing.

My own thinking is that the numbers must be more than 50 as I've
seen 17 sell on eBay over the last seven years and am aware of
half a dozen more in private hands. That would be an unusually
large percentage of the total to track down. So maybe a 100 but
I would go with Goldsmith's guess of 150 as one container load
would seem a logical first contract target. It might also be a
reasonable number for the shop to turn out in a year, in
addition to whatever SCs it was producing. Just uninformed
speculation here on my part.

There was a question of Cino Cinelli's role, if any, in the
Equipe project. The introductory ad in the December 1984 of
Bicycling Magazine clearly states: "The frame is designed by
Cino Cinelli and production is coordinated and supervised by his
staff." But Alan told me that as far as he knows, Cino did not
play a role in the Equipe project. He pointed out that Andrea
Cinelli, who was running the company at the time for Antonio
Colombo, was an expert in his own right and would not have
needed his father's help executing the Equipe project.

I'm thinking the writer of the '85 Bicycle Guide article, which
also implies a Cino role, may have confused Alan's visit with
Cino to discuss the Centurion Ironman DS of '85 after Alan
signed on Dave Scott as endorser/promoter of that model, not yet
on the drawing boards. Alan said he had hoped to incorporate
Cino's ideas into the Ironman design but WSI nixed the idea in
favor of designing it after the already successful Comp TA,
another project of Alan's.

Alan, a lawyer by profession, and his wife Susy started up
Bikecology in Santa Monica, CA, in 1971. Bikecology (renamed
Supergo in 1982) was a retail and mail order business dealing in
high-end European bikes, frames and components. It was sold to
Performance Bicycles in 2002. Alan did two stints with WSI under
contract as a consultant, the first in the late '70s working on
the Semi-Pro and Pro Tour models among others and in the early
to mid-'80s focusing on the Comp TA, Equipe, Ironman and Accordo
models.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
cinelli laser germ.jpg (99.2 KB, 45 views)

Last edited by JunkYardBike; 05-09-12 at 06:23 PM. Reason: Updated information
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Old 05-01-12, 06:40 PM
  #1533  
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Cinelli Equipe Centurion Esoterica at it's finest ...
seriously a great read thanks for getting this out junk yard
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Old 05-07-12, 06:58 PM
  #1534  
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Updates to Cinelli Equipe story posted above.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:42 PM
  #1535  
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So very cool. Some background, for those interested.

Ashley, AKA A. Winthrop, wrote the Centurion article for Sheldon Brown's web page on Centurions, is a former reporter (as if they ever quit...) He provided the Kool-Aid for myself and JYB when it came to the Equipe, and he somehow injected me with some kind of Centurion drug.

Over time, as I pursued Centurion info and stuff, Ashley kept a nagging interest in the origins of what many called the "fake" Cinelli: the Equipe they produced for Centurion. He's the one who uncovered Mr. Goldsmith (a wealth of information) along with a couple of other people who knew the insides, a bit, of WSI, Centurion's parent firm.

Equipe owners have a constant inferiority complex about their Cinellis, and it took about a year to determine and confirm they were made in Italy. We tossed around conjecture and speculation, which sometimes yielded information when someone realized we were wrong, and corrected us with facts.

The variance in decals, we've just now gotten a grip on. There seems to have been only two "official" decal sets. The "Project" set was put on the two matte black prototypes, and have since appeared on a very clean blue model, which the owner confirms he bought, brand new, from a bike shop. The "production" set included the awful lavendar/black Centurion decals that came on the production run. Early on, some owners turned to Jim Cunningham at CycleArt to remedy this situation, and his version of the decals is actually one of the more popular versions I've had presented to me as "original." CycleArt is that good. As for the orange/green decals, I don't know. It seems to me that someone let Peter Max into the decal shop that day.

Many owners went with the idea that the bike was a Cinelli, and got around the decals and silver paint with their own schemes. The Equipes of poprad, jan nikolajsen, and one of my first builds are good examples of Equipes repainted and decaled with just the flying C or older versions of Cinelli labeling. ggl205 is just finishing up a rehab of what may have been another prototype, as it had shadows of the "Project" decals still visible on it.

When I bought my second one, I had to sweat out a possible bid from one of those "other buyers interested" that you wonder about when a CL seller is trying to set the hook. I bought the bike after waiting out the seller, and shortly thereafter, I was contacted by the actual "other buyer," also known here as valentinodel. He owned one of the prototypes, a flat black Equipe with the red "Project" decal kit, and sent me a photo of it. I outlasted him on my Equipe by $25, something which I'm relieved to know and he was a little chagrined to find out. He's probably got one of the rarest of all, a prototype. A super nice guy, and he actually was chasing some Equipe info out west.

In the midst of all that, afilado was tracking one of the blue ones, sometimes called the mystery Equipe. Very similar to the silver Equipe, but outfitted without chrome on the frame and with an SC fork, they sure seemed like Equipes, but I'd never seen one with any decals. He bought it and joined the hunt for information. When the latest blue one showed up, purchased new with the "Project" decal kit, it now seemed that those blue frames may well have been produced after the prototypes and before the production run. We'll probably never know, but the preponderance of evidence points to them being Chirico-produced. I've now seen about 4 of them. The largest concentration of the silver Equipes was at 123bikes in Mt. Airy, MD, I believe, which had a web site that is now down. He had several, and last I checked, wanted 1700 each.

Information on the bike's production was gleaned from a blog on Cinellis, Classic Rendevous, and a frame detective who lives in England, cross-referenced with information provided by Alan Goldsmith, with the gentle prodding of A. Winthrop. I actually encountered the gentleman in England when I had my Equipe on eBay (it didn't sell) The last push was from his thread put here on BF about Chirico frames. What I've learned since then has been super to know.

The little tidbit about Super Corsa production by Chirico is interesting, as one of the sources feels these were for the North American market, and likely not all of the SC's were built there, but no one is checking on that. As two frame builders have told me, my SC was obviously set up with eyelets at the factory. I'd kind of like to know what the reason for that was (my guess is for racks, for brevets).

Now, on a different, but still Centurion topic:
Alan Goldsmith has said he "doesn't understand the fuss" about the Ironman bikes. Uh, what?

I just may have to go visit the man....

and P.S.:
I believe one of our own came home from Trexlertown with one of the aforementioned blue beauties.....
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Old 05-07-12, 08:52 PM
  #1536  
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
and P.S. I believe one of our own came home from Trexlertown with one of the aforementioned beauties.....
Indeed, but beauty often fades!

Some photos detailing areas of difference between the "Equipe" and "Project" frames:



Shorter seatstay caps with "flying C" oriented different than Equipe:



Different chainstay and brake bridge pieces:



"Project" decals:



Internally lugged SC type fork crown vs. tanged fork crown on Equipe:



No cutouts in shell as appear on Equipe:



Different chainstay bridge piece:



Other differences of note: no chromed lugs, no pump peg, no front derailleur braze-on. It's possible the lugsets were different, or were filed differently. The points on my Project appear longer than those on the Equipe I previously owned, and the seatpost binder ears appear slightly different.

Size is stamped on BB shell, as it is on the Equipe.
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Old 05-08-12, 01:13 PM
  #1537  
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Dam, If that baby got the chance to pass through Robbie Tunes Ponderosa, all I can say is, that would be all she wrote!!
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Old 05-08-12, 08:09 PM
  #1538  
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Wow. Thanks for the history lesson!

On a similar note, while recently reading Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen & The Greatest Race Ever Run I stumbled across an interesting detail. Apparently, Dave Scott himself did not actually care for the ride of his signature model bike, and during his Centurion sponsorship days he was actually riding a custom by Nor Cal builder Albert Eisentraut painted mimic the Centurion! I know this was a relatively common practice amongst pro tour roadies during this era, but for some reason it surprised me nonetheless.

Also interesting (though not directly relevant to this thread), one of the photos in the color insert was of Scott Tinley riding a really beautiful blue & chrome Dave Moulton in the 1983 Ironman-- ah the days of beautiful steel racing machines...

Anyhow, the book is an excellent read, and it got me motivated to take my Ironman out on the road more, even if "The Man" wasn't actually crushing records on that very bike...

It's been posted elsewhere, but once more for posterity my Shimergo'd 1986 (87?) Ironman Expert, s/n #N6P7510:

Last edited by tamaso206; 05-08-12 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 05-08-12, 08:39 PM
  #1539  
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Thanks for the tip on the book. I've got his training manual. Hard to believe he won his first one on 10 hours a week.

At one time, I think Scott, Tinley, and Allen all had signature bikes. The bike times on the steel bikes were not that much different than now.

Nice bike. I like the Gatorskins.....
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Old 05-10-12, 07:42 AM
  #1540  
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Here are a few pics of my "new" bike. I believe it is a 1976 Centurion Super LeMans. I love the metal flake paint and chrome.
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IMG_5122.jpg (103.9 KB, 171 views)
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Old 05-11-12, 07:31 AM
  #1541  
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Originally Posted by Stevie B View Post
Here are a few pics of my "new" bike. I believe it is a 1976 Centurion Super LeMans. I love the metal flake paint and chrome.
Stevie B
I really like your Super LeMans. It's the first Centurion I have seen in that color. Do you know what the color is called. Looks like metallic golden brown
or something similar on my monitor.

Also what parts are on it.? I see one sticker that says Dura Ace on the DT.

Enjoy your new ride.
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Old 05-17-12, 05:36 PM
  #1542  
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Just purchased this nice 25" Centurion LeMans RS this week. I bought it sans wheelset since they were really worn and I plan to modify it anyway. It was originally equipped with a mix of Shimano light action and SL brakes and levers. Nice Tange 2 double butted lugged frame with mangalloy fork.
I'm going to build it up with new brake calipers, Shimano R600 levers, keep the dt shifters and install a 105 front and microshift rear 9-speed derailleur. The wheelset will be a cheap set of Vuelta Corsa HD with ultegra cassette and SRAM chain. Installing a sealed cartridge bottom bracket and keeping the original crank for now. I will also be installing a Brooks B17 on the OE sugino seatpost. This will be my primary training bike for the summer and will continue to wear it's original paint proudly.
The Serial Number is N6M6365.

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Old 05-17-12, 06:01 PM
  #1543  
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Miami Vice in DC

Just finished this for a customer in DC who wanted something 56cm with a long-ish top tube and 'very brightly colored'. I showed him a picture of Robbie's frame for sale and it was love at first sight.

Build is Shimano 105 FD/RD's with an FSA Gossamer compact crank (square taper) and a Sugino cup N' cone BB (so smooth), Tektro brakes and levers, Modolo bars and a Selle Italia seat. 9 speed D-A downtuube shifters with a 12/23 D-A cassette. Those are Michelin Lithion 2's on Mavic rims laced to Origin8 hubs (I think they're the same as Alex and Formula). Nashbar wrap isn't quite the same yellow as the seat tube, cable housing and saddle, but it's close. Tried to use black components against the yellow wherever possible to make it pop.

Rides real nice.




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Old 05-17-12, 08:20 PM
  #1544  
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Originally Posted by surlyman View Post
Just purchased this nice 25" Centurion LeMans RS this week. I bought it sans wheelset since they were really worn and I plan to modify it anyway. It was originally equipped with a mix of Shimano light action and SL brakes and levers. Nice Tange 2 double butted lugged frame with mangalloy fork.
I'm going to build it up with new brake calipers, Shimano R600 levers, keep the dt shifters and install a 105 front and microshift rear 9-speed derailleur. The wheelset will be a cheap set of Vuelta Corsa HD with ultegra cassette and SRAM chain. Installing a sealed cartridge bottom bracket and keeping the original crank for now. I will also be installing a Brooks B17 on the OE sugino seatpost. This will be my primary training bike for the summer and will continue to wear it's original paint proudly.
The Serial Number is N6M6365.

Be careful, it will run the other bikes off, and you'll be left with that bike and a big smile.
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Old 05-17-12, 08:22 PM
  #1545  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Just finished this for a customer in DC who wanted something 56cm with a long-ish top tube and 'very brightly colored'. I showed him a picture of Robbie's frame for sale and it was love at first sight.

Build is Shimano 105 FD/RD's with an FSA Gossamer compact crank (square taper) and a Sugino cup N' cone BB (so smooth), Tektro brakes and levers, Modolo bars and a Selle Italia seat. 9 speed D-A downtuube shifters with a 12/23 D-A cassette. Those are Michelin Lithion 2's on Mavic rims laced to Origin8 hubs (I think they're the same as Alex and Formula). Nashbar wrap isn't quite the same yellow as the seat tube, cable housing and saddle, but it's close. Tried to use black components against the yellow wherever possible to make it pop.

Rides real nice.




Bontrager's gel is da match. Tight ride. A little "Darkness on the edge of ...er, Miami"
You do excellent work. He can't lose on that ride.
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Old 05-18-12, 05:30 AM
  #1546  
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Thanks, Robbie. At some point I'll build up that red one for myself...
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Old 05-18-12, 05:37 PM
  #1547  
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Thanks Robbie, I am pretty excited about getting this one ready to ride. I was looking at aluminum and CF, but at the end of the day my heart kept saying vintage steel is the only thing that I will enjoy riding. I plan to put a lot of miles on this bike, and will likely be doing a century in a charity ride in early August this summer on this very bike.
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Old 05-18-12, 08:17 PM
  #1548  
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drrobwave and I are doing a century tomorrow, the Big Wheel Century in Kinston NC.
We've been flip-flopping all week about which bike to ride.

Big Rob had to choose between Miyata Team Carbon, Ironman Expert, or new Soma Stanya.
I told him I'd go with C&V carbon if he did, and Centurion steel if he did.

It's decided; his Ironman Expert, my Semi Pro.

Centurions will rule, everyone else can just gawk and ask questions.
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Old 05-18-12, 10:14 PM
  #1549  
surlyman
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Some tough choices there! I'm sure it will be fun doing this charity ride with the centurion. All the guys with the fancy carbon and some alloy frame bikes will probably turn their noses up, but I'm sure there will be a few aficionados who will appreciate seeing it ridden.
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Old 05-18-12, 10:33 PM
  #1550  
WickedThump
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I got a 1978 24" Super LeMans last week on CL from the original owner. SN# T602386. I love the way this bike fits and rides. Some of the parts have been upgraded or changed, (a Deore crankset for example), but I'm not as interested in restoring this bike as much as I'd like to just upgrade everything.
The bike lacked a frame sticker, so I'm not sure what it is, and if it's a frame worthy of gruppo replacement, or even if it will take a 700c wheelset. Judging by it's age and condition, the OO took very good care of it, and even had it repainted with new decals applied. I've been looking for vintage steel to repaint and restore to my style, sorta hoping for the "right" Peugeot to surface on CL. Opinions?
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