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Thoughts on Centurion bikes?

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Thoughts on Centurion bikes?

Old 12-13-07, 04:53 PM
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riomx
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Thoughts on Centurion bikes?

I'm thinking about buying a Centurion bike I saw for sale.

Are there any things I should be aware of?

Has anyone had experience with them on the forums?

Thanks,

- Joe
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Old 12-13-07, 05:01 PM
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Type the following search string in Google and settle in for some reading:

centurion site:bikeforums.net

Neal
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Old 12-13-07, 05:01 PM
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What model and year. The IRonman models of the late '80's was a good value for the buck as an entry level bike.
Several friends had them with Shimano 105 and no problems other than Bio-Pace chainrings.
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Old 12-13-07, 05:04 PM
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Up until maybe the late '80's, they were made in Japan. They were made for Western States Importers (WSI) in the U.S. I think production moved from Japan to Taiwan in the late '80's. There's a connection with the Diamondback brand, although I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what it is (others will know). In my opinion, they're typical of Japanese-built bikes from the late '70's to the '80's: excellent value, generally good build quality, etc. Like most brands, Centurion offered bikes that were entry level, and they made bikes that were race worthy, and everything in between. It just depends on the model. I've got two Centurions, one an entry level road bike, an '85 Accordo, and the other a top-of-the-line touring bike, an '83 Pro Tour. For what each of them are, they're both very nice bikes in my opinion.

BF member T-Mar is an expert on Centurions.

Here's an article about Centurions on Sheldon's site:

http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html

And here's another link to Sheldon's site, the '84 Centurion catalog, to give you an idea of the range of bikes they offered:

http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion1984/index.html

Last edited by well biked; 12-13-07 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 12-13-07, 05:37 PM
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Here's a recent thread on the Elite RS, of which I am a happy owner.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=193144
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Old 12-13-07, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Type the following search string in Google and settle in for some reading:

centurion site:bikeforums.net

Neal
Oh boy! The search nazi attacks.

I work on the web and I've been on forums for a decade. I know how to search, and I did.

I just didn't find any substantial information from my searches. Guess I should have mentioned that first to save myself the trouble of having to correct you.
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Old 12-13-07, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dvs cycles View Post
What model and year. The IRonman models of the late '80's was a good value for the buck as an entry level bike.
Several friends had them with Shimano 105 and no problems other than Bio-Pace chainrings.
The ad doesn't say what model or year

And what's the issue with Bio-Pace chainrings? I'm new to the scene, so any info helps!
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Old 12-13-07, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
Up until maybe the late '80's, they were made in Japan. They were made for Western States Importers (WSI) in the U.S. I think production moved from Japan to Taiwan in the late '80's. There's a connection with the Diamondback brand, although I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what it is (others will know). In my opinion, they're typical of Japanese-built bikes from the late '70's to the '80's: excellent value, generally good build quality, etc. Like most brands, Centurion offered bikes that were entry level, and they made bikes that were race worthy, and everything in between. It just depends on the model. I've got two Centurions, one an entry level road bike, an '85 Accordo, and the other a top-of-the-line touring bike, an '83 Pro Tour. For what each of them are, they're both very nice bikes in my opinion.

BF member T-Mar is an expert on Centurions.

Here's an article about Centurions on Sheldon's site:

http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html

And here's another link to Sheldon's site, the '84 Centurion catalog, to give you an idea of the range of bikes they offered:

http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion1984/index.html
Thank you! Exactly what I needed.

I read a brief bit on Centurions on Sheldon's site, but I'm definitely not the best at navigating it, so I'm glad you posted some links.
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Old 12-13-07, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by riomx View Post
Oh boy! The search nazi attacks.

I work on the web and I've been on forums for a decade. I know how to search, and I did.

I just didn't find any substantial information from my searches. Guess I should have mentioned that first to save myself the trouble of having to correct you.
Oh, sorry to put you out. I'm irritable from biking home in the snow today. And I have enough irritation left to say that you need to post pics and say what specific model you have.

Neal
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Old 12-13-07, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Oh, sorry to put you out. I'm irritable from biking home in the snow today. And I have enough irritation left to say that you need to post pics and say what specific model you have.

Neal
What he said. Telling us what model/year Centurion you're looking at would be a good start. "I'm thinking of buying a Centurion" is a bit like "I'm thinking of buying a Ford". Not nearly specific enough to get any useful help.

Then we can talk about condition.
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Old 12-13-07, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by riomx View Post
Oh boy! The search nazi attacks.

I work on the web and I've been on forums for a decade. I know how to search, and I did.

I just didn't find any substantial information from my searches. Guess I should have mentioned that first to save myself the trouble of having to correct you.
Hmmm, I would hazard to guess that Centurion is one of the 5 most talked about bikes on this forum. However, here is a very good article that was originally posted on this forum and subsequently on Sheldon Brown's site. http://sheldonbrown.com/centurion/index.html (edit: sorry about the duplication of information, my internet connection is acting up today)
The higher end Centurions are excellent values. I have a 1989 Ironman Dave Scott that I love. I like it so much that I sold my Pinarello that cost me 3 times what I paid for the Centurion.
However, like most companies, Centurion also sold some low end bikes that should be avoided like the plague.

Last edited by CardiacKid; 12-13-07 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-13-07, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by riomx View Post
Oh boy! The search nazi attacks.

I work on the web and I've been on forums for a decade. I know how to search, and I did.

I just didn't find any substantial information from my searches. Guess I should have mentioned that first to save myself the trouble of having to correct you.
Maybe you should find another line of work then. No substantial information? The search string 'Centurion bicycle' on Google comes up with more than enough, and the 5th hit is Ashley Wright's Centurion page on Sheldon Brown's website.

I think Neal's second response was very gentlemanly indeed. This post makes up for it. He was simply offering advice; I see no hint of arrogance or sarcasm in his initial post. Can't say the same of yours.

Last edited by JunkYardBike; 12-13-07 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 12-14-07, 09:12 AM
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If the ad has a pic and you can provide a link to it, I may be able to identify the model, maybe the year and possibly even supply the original price.
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Old 12-14-07, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by riomx View Post
And what's the issue with Bio-Pace chainrings? I'm new to the scene, so any info helps!
See: http://sheldonbrown.com/biopace

Sheldon "No Hyphen" Brown
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Old 12-14-07, 05:53 PM
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I really like my super lemans, fwiw.
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Old 12-15-07, 10:30 AM
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I had an rs with biopace rings. It realy did ride great. At $15 it was a steel
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Old 12-15-07, 11:32 AM
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The "Ironman" aka "Dave Scott" series, and the "Pro Tour" series were top quality bikes, typical of the Japanese craftsmanship of the 1970 to 1990 era. Other Centurion bikes were priced for the low to mid-range market.

Today, if you find a Centurion in "almost new" or "like new" condition, they are often selling for $150 to $250, whether they were originally sold as an entry level model, or as a top of the line model. That makes the Centurions with Dura-Ace, Ultegra, or Shimano 105 a "best buy", and the "Pro Tour" a "best buy". The lower priced models are not bargains, unless you happen to find one at Salvation Army or a Goodwill store for $50 or $75.
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Old 12-16-07, 09:58 PM
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Mr. Brown,
You say in your article that you use some Bio Pace rings on some of your fixed gears. My friend built a SS with a Bio Pace crank and had terrible chain bounce. So much so that the chain was clanking off the chainstay with every revolution. How do you work around this issue.
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Old 12-17-07, 09:20 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys. A friend looked at the Craigslist ad I had been checking out and deemed it a lower end model that was priced too high. Also, after inquiring, the guy kept raising price, and I didn't really want to spend too much on it.

I ended up picking up a 56cm Puch Austro Daimler instead for $50. It's going to be my commuting bike and I'm going to keep my eye out for a good Gitane or Motobecane if any pop up.
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Old 12-17-07, 10:45 PM
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I like my biopace? Guess it's a personal preference, eh? I have a 105 crankset with rings that look nearly square. Very odd looking but works ok.,,,,BD
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Old 12-22-07, 04:38 PM
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Centurion bikes

Watch out for the rear derailleur if it's been sitting up. The pulleys get a little crazy, and if they're not cleaned and lubed well, they tend to disintegrate when you start riding them again.
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Old 12-22-07, 04:40 PM
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Centurion Bike

If you're tall, there is an '84 LeMans about to go for a pittance on eBay. $26 last I saw it, and it has already been restored, DC area.
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