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Turning my Centurion Dave Scott into a touring bike

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Turning my Centurion Dave Scott into a touring bike

Old 06-07-10, 10:03 PM
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Bike'n'write
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Turning my Centurion Dave Scott into a touring bike

Hello all,

I have been in the market for a new touring bike for the last couple of weeks, and have looked at a thousand different bikes. Although this would be my first touring bike, it will also be a bike that I will be commuting with.

For the last three years I have been riding on a Centurion Ironman Dave Scott Expert. It was my first road bike, and I have loved the way it has treated me over the years.

I was going to go all out, get a brand new LHT, Fuji Touring Classic, or Redline Conquest classic. You all know. Spending the big bucks. But then a thought came to me to just turn the Centurion I have now into a souped up dynamo with all new parts, and smaller wheels so I could eventually put on thicker tires. Throw on disk brakes,

If any of you have any thoughts, please let me know. If this is totally absurd, let me know.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:16 AM
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The Ironman doesn't have clearance or braze-ons. There are ways to get around these problems, but no real reason you should bother. My recommendation is to buy a cheap ten speed off of CL with clearance and braze-ons and change parts out as you see fit. You should be able to get an 80's touring model for $175 or less.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:29 AM
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Frames are best left alone. You'd need extensive modifications to the DS frame for it to work, but you'd still have limited tire width capability. Disc brakes? I don't think so. This frame was was not intended to handle the stresses, aside from the extensive modifications needed in the first place.

For all that work you'd need a competent frame builder. It would cost more than a LHT frame.

Leave the DS frame as it was intended to be ..... a road bike.
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Old 06-08-10, 10:25 AM
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you could probably use something like a cardice camper longflap and a good size handlebar bag. never used one, but they look like they would be perfect for a road bike.

https://www.carradice.co.uk/home

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Old 06-08-10, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mr geeker View Post
you could probably use something like a cardice camper longflap and a good size handlebar bag. never used one, but they look like they would be perfect for a road bike.

https://www.carradice.co.uk/home
You can tour without braze ons. It takes some planning and the relatively short wheelbase of the Centurion might be an issue, but it's definitely possible. I tour on a Rivendell Rambouillet with 28mm tires, but would be ok on 25mm too.


l_1600_1200_ff2a7f&.jpeg
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Old 06-08-10, 11:20 AM
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A thousands different bikes?

Smaller wheels for thicker tires?

The expense of all all new parts, including disc brackes and those smaller wheels vs. the big bucks for a brand new LHT, which you can get for $1,100?

You have me scratching my head.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:45 PM
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I wouldn't. The steel on the ironman is very thin. The bike has zero capacity for larger tires, rack or fenders. It's an older race bike designed for speed, not hauling stuff.

It's really easy to get a cheap, used touring bike off CL/ebay. Easier than turning an ironman into a touring bike. But then I have a touring bike and an Ironman, what do I know.

Last edited by friendly-fred42; 06-09-10 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 06-09-10, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by friendly-fred42 View Post
no, no, No, No, NO, NO!!!! There's a reason that I have a Trek 520......
The Centurion may not be the idea touring bike, but I don't agree with your emphatic rejection. It would be difficult to attach 4x panniers to it (not a bad thing in my opinion), but it will work for lightweight touring
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Old 06-09-10, 09:34 AM
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when i was younger id go camping and ride my dyno bazooka dirt jumping bike to get to cherry glen, everything needed was in a backpack. a bmx style bike isn't suited either, but in a pinch it works. i still say you could get away with using a supersized sadle bag and a handlebar bag. all paniers do, realy, is tempt you to take more than necisary.

don't get me wrong, i love my panniers, but i could tour with out them. i just choose to use them.

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Old 06-09-10, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mr geeker View Post
........ all paniers do, realy, is tempt you to take more than necisary.
+1, you're singing my tune
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Old 06-09-10, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike'n'write View Post
Hello all,

I have been in the market for a new touring bike for the last couple of weeks, and have looked at a thousand different bikes. Although this would be my first touring bike, it will also be a bike that I will be commuting with.

For the last three years I have been riding on a Centurion Ironman Dave Scott Expert. It was my first road bike, and I have loved the way it has treated me over the years.

I was going to go all out, get a brand new LHT, Fuji Touring Classic, or Redline Conquest classic. You all know. Spending the big bucks. But then a thought came to me to just turn the Centurion I have now into a souped up dynamo with all new parts, and smaller wheels so I could eventually put on thicker tires. Throw on disk brakes,

If any of you have any thoughts, please let me know. If this is totally absurd, let me know.
I feel like people are answering two different questions here.

Question 1: Is modifying the Centurion Ironman to fit disk brakes, smaller wheels and presumably at least one rack a good idea?
Answer: No. For one, you will likely never get disk brakes onto your Ironman, and if you do, it won't be for less money than buying a new touring bike. Smaller wheels will throw off your geometry, lower your bottom bracket, and won't really get you that much extra clearance (plus you'll need new, long reach brakes). The idea of racks, however, brings us to....

Question 2: Can I tour on a Centurion Ironman?
Answer: Yes! It isn't ideal, and the bike is admittedly purpose-built for a completely different purpose, but it can be done (it probably has been done already). Get a comfy backpack and use some p-clips to rig up a lightweight rear rack. Add a handlebar bag and maybe some clip on fenders and I think you'll find your time more limited than your bike's ability to tour. You may want to upgrade eventually, but you shouldn't let lack of the perfect bike stop you from riding really ****ing far.

Originally Posted by anthony691 View Post
The Ironman doesn't have clearance or braze-ons. There are ways to get around these problems, but no real reason you should bother. My recommendation is to buy a cheap ten speed off of CL with clearance and braze-ons and change parts out as you see fit. You should be able to get an 80's touring model for $175 or less.
Maybe if you get really lucky at a garage sale... Touring bikes are hot right now. You'll still pay less for a vintage bike than a new one, but $175 won't typically buy you what you want.
I'd expect to pay $450-600 for a Miyata 1000 or Specialized Expedition—these are the two touring bikes that pretty much all modern touring bikes are measured against and fully measure up to their reputation, but their name recognition does add a premium. For most other well-equipped vintage touring bikes, I'd expect to pay more in the neighborhood of $350-500. There are a few slightly lower level models that bridge the gap between fully-loaded and sport tourers that you might be able to get cheaper, at the expense of features or weight.

I liked my Ironman so much I got the Centurion touring bike to go with it. I paid $165 for my Ironman (absolute steal, imo) and $300 + $100 shipping for the Pro Tour (when shipping costs are factored in I think I paid maybe slightly under market value... I know a nearly identical Pro Tour sold on the forums for $400 plus shipping recently...) I follow Centurion prices a little more closely than other vintage bike brands, so that's why I mention these, but other comparable makes will have comparable prices.

Not saying that $175 is unheard of, but for that money you're probably dealing with someone who doesn't know what they have. Admittedly, this will happen often in the vintage bike world (just go check the "Find of the Day" thread in C&V).
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Old 06-10-10, 06:30 AM
  #12  
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Don't know for sure how much you are going to spend to do all this but, check out BD please don't hit me and look at the Windsor Tourist. I bought this bike after much deliberation and haven't regretted it at all. Nice steel frame decent components. If you have the ability to put the thing together (not much to do) and change out the crappy pedals and brake pads its a decent bike for $599.00 and free shipping to the lower 48 USA. Yes you will either have to true the wheels yourself or get the LBS to do it but its a decent bike and though it doesn't have the cache of the LHT and some of the other really nice touring bikes its very serviceable.
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Old 12-02-10, 08:53 PM
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

I ended up getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker (Her name is black and tan). She now has a rear rack and brown fenders. SO glad I upgraded!

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