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Centurion Serial Number Database

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Centurion Serial Number Database

Old 09-04-19, 05:54 PM
  #2251  
casanewt
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Diamondback Momentum


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Old 10-05-19, 02:54 PM
  #2252  
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OK, not to throw in a monkey wrench, but a friend of mine just got this:



By the down tube logo and the head badge it appears to be 1975 or earlier:




By the dropouts, lugs, wrap around seat stays, stem/bars and seat post, it appears to be a semi-pro. But this is the serial number:




Is this a different bike with a reproduction Centurion decal?
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Old 10-06-19, 07:44 AM
  #2253  
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Originally Posted by 0.2HP View Post
OK, not to throw in a monkey wrench, but a friend of mine just got this:

By the down tube logo and the head badge it appears to be 1975 or earlier:

By the dropouts, lugs, wrap around seat stays, stem/bars and seat post, it appears to be a semi-pro. But this is the serial number:

Is this a different bike with a reproduction Centurion decal?
While a D-code serial number is atypical, I have no reason to believe this is not a legitimate Centurion Semi-Pro frameset. The serial number indicates 1975 and we know the Semi-Pro was produced this far back, even if all the submissions to date have been Miki manufacture. Centurion was a marketing brand owned by Western states Imports. As such the bicycles were all contract manufactured and I've logged well over a dozen different manufacturers for Centurion. If the prime source got into manufacturing difficulties for some reason (i,e, labour disputes, material shortages, equipment breakage, etc.), it was common to resort to a different source until the problem was resolved. Or it could be as simple as the operator grabbing the wrong stamp.
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Old 10-06-19, 07:51 AM
  #2254  
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Originally Posted by casanewt View Post

1991 model, manufactured in January by a source believed to be China Bicycle Company, who bought Western States Imports in 1989, and phased out the Centurion brand for the 1990 model year.
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Old 10-06-19, 08:16 AM
  #2255  
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
...@T-Mar , could it be that the "N" in the Japan-made Centurions with the N(1) format stands for Nippon?...
There's a 2011 Korn Ferry Institute article on Georgina Terry, where it is reported that her supplier, Tano, copied her frame design for use on Centurion models, which they manufactured for WSI. We know that Centurion introduced the Terry style Ironman Expert Women's model in 1987, followed by the LeMans Proportional in 1988. Samples of these bicycles in my database show them having S/N with N-codes. This would seem to be reliable information suggesting that the N-codes represent Tano. However, the sole 1987 Terry S/N I've found is an S-code. While it's possible that Tano used a different prefix for different customers, this does not appear to have been a common practice among manufacturers and is enough to leave some doubt as to the manufacturer of the N-codes. Still, Tano is currently my leading candidate for the N-codes. In addition to the article statement, Tano is generally cited as being the original Centurion source and is often reported as being WSI's major supplier in the 1980s.
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Old 10-07-19, 01:53 PM
  #2256  
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Fun thread, and great info. I'll need to snap a picture of the serial number on my Ironmanwhen I get home.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:46 PM
  #2257  
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Here is mine...
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Old 10-13-19, 11:09 AM
  #2258  
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Lemans

Hello T-Mar - I can't get down to the basement to check the serial number because I am in a cast but will in time. I got this Centurion Lemans as a throw in on a purchase I made a couple weeks ago. It's a heavy bike with steel wheels. Please tell me about it since I know nothing of Centurion other than what I read on Wikipedia.
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Old 10-13-19, 11:00 PM
  #2259  
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Picked up an Ironman this weekend. Serial number is N5Mxxxx, but the build and livery indicate 1986. Red with white seat tube / head tube, '86-style branding, 600 SIS, etc.
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Old 10-14-19, 08:42 AM
  #2260  
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post
Hello T-Mar - I can't get down to the basement to check the serial number because I am in a cast but will in time. I got this Centurion Lemans as a throw in on a purchase I made a couple weeks ago. It's a heavy bike with steel wheels. Please tell me about it since I know nothing of Centurion other than what I read on Wikipedia.
Yes, it would be quite heavy, given the steel rims and hi-tensile frame. The SunTour VGT rear derailleur is the version introduced in 1974 and the frame still bears the North Star style head badge, so it should be circa 1974-1978. At the time, it would have been considered an upper entry level model and was 2nd from the bottom of the line. As you're probably aware from your reading, the Le Mans was the model that established the Centurion brand and was originally intended as a Japanese sourced Raleigh Grand Prix. This one is finished in the Raleigh influenced livery
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Old 10-14-19, 02:43 PM
  #2261  
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Thank T-Mar. The look of the frame was familiar to me. Having grown up in small town North Western Quebec, it must have been common enough to have found a spot in my long-term memory.
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Old 10-15-19, 05:15 AM
  #2262  
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Originally Posted by Dannyboy21 View Post
Thank T-Mar. The look of the frame was familiar to me. Having grown up in small town North Western Quebec, it must have been common enough to have found a spot in my long-term memory.
What you're probably remembering is a Raleigh Grand Prix, as the graphics were very similar (see attached pic). Raleigh was arguably the 2nd most popular brand of 10-speeds in Canada during the early 1970s bicycle boom and the Grand Prix was their best selling model. Raleigh had a wide, well established distribution network and opened a bicycle factory in Waterloo, Quebec in 1972, so they may have been even more popular in Quebec. On the other hand, Centurion were relatively rare in Canada during this period.
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