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mid 70s Centurion Super Lemans

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mid 70s Centurion Super Lemans

Old 11-19-14, 09:26 AM
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mid 70s Centurion Super Lemans

been looking around for a winter project and considering older Japanese frames
are mid 70s Centurion Super Lemans frames hi-ten steel or cromo? I've read they switched over to cromo for most bikes by the 80s, but not certain about the Super Lemans. I believe its the model with the "reynolds-like" tube decal and reads as double butted. Did they make double butted hi-ten tubes then?

Any tidbits anyone can provide on the Centurion mixte frames would be greatly appreciated
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Old 11-19-14, 09:37 AM
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I had a '76 Super LeMans with double butted hi-ten. It was really heavy. That said, it had a lot of chrome and pinstriping which looked great, and it was all nice alloy Suntour parts. The ride was pretty nice, too. Comfortable, like a touring bike, rather than dead, like most hi-ten bikes.
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Old 11-19-14, 09:51 AM
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If it's like the one below, the frame is high tensile. I bought the one below for parts and donated the frame to the coop.

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Old 11-19-14, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
If it's like the one below, the frame is high tensile. I bought the one below for parts and donated the frame to the coop.

Looks rather similar to my '80 Elite exception being the Elite has a bit tighter geometry. I guess our PO's had a thing with barcons.


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Old 11-19-14, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Looks rather similar to my '80 Elite exception being the Elite has a bit tighter geometry. I guess our PO's had a thing with barcons.
AFAIK, barcons were standard equipment on this particular Super Lemans, can't speak for the Elite.
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Old 11-19-14, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
AFAIK, barcons were standard equipment on this particular Super Lemans, can't speak for the Elite.
My barcons say "Raleigh" on them. There is a boss on the downtube where I assume clamp on shifters were.
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Old 11-19-14, 11:11 AM
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I believe that the very first batch of Centurions were rejected Raleighs. Mitch Weiner was a Raleigh sales agent at the time. He got his hands on the Raleighs and rebranded them as Centurion.
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Old 11-19-14, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
I believe that the very first batch of Centurions were rejected Raleighs. Mitch Weiner was a Raleigh sales agent at the time. He got his hands on the Raleighs and rebranded them as Centurion.
That's a weird story. At the time, Japanese bike quality was soaring, and Raleigh quality was sinking. I hope @RobbieTunes can confirm or refute your story.
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Old 11-19-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
That's a weird story. At the time, Japanese bike quality was soaring, and Raleigh quality was sinking. I hope @RobbieTunes can confirm or refute your story.
It's according to the Centurion wikipedia page, so take that for what it's worth. Apparently Raleigh thought the future Centurions were too high quality for the price compared to the stuff rolling out of the British factory.
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Old 11-19-14, 12:20 PM
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Rejected because quality was too high?

No hard feelings, though. Centurion was a nice line of bikes. I sold them briefly in about 1979. The LeMans was great fun to sell, because the aesthetics were much better than you would expect at that price point.

I have an affection for the old English Raleighs. I've owned several and have five or so (two of them are 3-speeds).
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Old 11-19-14, 12:34 PM
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interesting read, I've skimmed that one before but didn't pick up on the fact that they were not rejects but instead deemed too good. I can't imagine in today's world to tell a contract manufacturer to make something at the same pricepoint but crappier. Boy have times changed in the global market....

Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
It's according to the Centurion wikipedia page, so take that for what it's worth. Apparently Raleigh thought the future Centurions were too high quality for the price compared to the stuff rolling out of the British factory.
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Old 11-19-14, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
interesting read, I've skimmed that one before but didn't pick up on the fact that they were not rejects but instead deemed too good. I can't imagine in today's world to tell a contract manufacturer to make something at the same pricepoint but crappier. Boy have times changed in the global market....
I don't think anyone at Raleigh, or anywhere else for that matter, could have anticipated in the 70s what a giant impact the Japanese would have on the bicycle market in the following decade. Raleigh's loss. I'm not sure if it's helpful to you, but I've been eyeballing a Centurion Le Mans mixte on my local CL. It's cro-mo, but I couldn't tell you the exact production year. Looks to be early 80s.
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Old 11-19-14, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Rejected because quality was too high?

No hard feelings, though. Centurion was a nice line of bikes. I sold them briefly in about 1979. The LeMans was great fun to sell, because the aesthetics were much better than you would expect at that price point.

I have an affection for the old English Raleighs. I've owned several and have five or so (two of them are 3-speeds).
Me too, though I've never owned one. My eyes are always open for a Superb in my size and maybe one of the racing models.
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Old 11-19-14, 12:54 PM
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Just noticed you have a Handsome Devil. Tried to get a She Devil recently on auction. Lost in the final seconds but in hind sight for the better as it was one size too small. Bare mixte frame are hard to come by. How do you like the Devil?


Originally Posted by icepick_trotsky View Post
I don't think anyone at Raleigh, or anywhere else for that matter, could have anticipated in the 70s what a giant impact the Japanese would have on the bicycle market in the following decade. Raleigh's loss. I'm not sure if it's helpful to you, but I've been eyeballing a Centurion Le Mans mixte on my local CL. It's cro-mo, but I couldn't tell you the exact production year. Looks to be early 80s.
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Old 11-19-14, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Just noticed you have a Handsome Devil. Tried to get a She Devil recently on auction. Lost in the final seconds but in hind sight for the better as it was one size too small. Bare mixte frame are hard to come by. How do you like the Devil?
Currently not assembled. I bought it on eBay as a frameset and am debating how to build it up/acquiring parts. I have a Shimano 600 wheelset, so I'm thinking it will be a 1x8 using an old Deore XT rear derailleur but I haven't settled on a crankset. It's a nice looking frame, though, and I like the copious amount of braze-ons. I'm looking forward to building it up (my first time doing so) over the winter.

To return to the topic of mixtes though, have you looked at the New Albion Starling? It's a good looking Cro-mo mixte frame and the price is right. New Albion is Soma's budget brand.
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Old 11-19-14, 07:48 PM
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the New Albion is very nice, great color as well, back ordered on a few sites I've found selling the frame, price isn't bad, a bit less than the She Devil and Soma
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