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westsailpat

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#1
Besides other stuff I like vintage road bicycles , Centurion is a interesting Co . It was started in Canoga Park , Ca. (a town I used to live in) . They made nice commuter bikes and they also made full on racers , namely one they dubbed the "Centurion Iron Man". At the time the Italian's and the Brits' not to mention other other Euro countries were really into making the road bikes sophisticated , OK Schwinn also but this was the early 80s' Schwinn was pretty much done . Anyhow the Centurion group were not mfgs. they were designers , they had their bikes built in Japan . However they pioneered some really sophisticated frame tubing (Tange 1 & Prestige) , google it it's awesome . haha I'm not a Iron Man . Iron Man designation is given to people who race the IM events where they bike , swim , run. It's big in Hawaii . Back to Centurion , at the end of the end of the late 80's they felt the need to reinvent themselves and now are currently called Dimond Back and had a good run producing BMX bikes . I always felt they could have done all this in the good ol' USA . IMO .
Here are some pictures of my 86' Centurion Iron Man .
DSCF2351_zpszvdkekze.jpg
DSCF2242_zps6ha7qi1b.jpg
DSCF2208_zpscorfufhn.jpg
 

Ulma Doctor

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#2
Very nicely preserved! looking good!
i had a couple diamondbacks in the 80's , they were sweet bikes!
sadly one was stolen, and the other i outgrew and gave to a younger friend of the family.
i haven't thought of them in a long time!
those were some good times :grin:
 

woodtickgreg

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#3
Man this thread brings back some memories. I grew up in California in the 60's and 70's, started working in bicycle shops at a young age. I built many bikes and I was making beach cruisers before beach cruisers where cool. I was lacing 10 speed hubs into 26" baloon tire wheels before they ever became available to buy in a store. I was always custom building them for people. I remember when mongoose started out and the bmx craze was in it's infancy. I also remember all the import italian bicycles with colnago and campi components. Back then Schwinn was still a good name and you could be proud to own one. I remember buying my first brand new Schwinn varsity 10 speed, I paid $112.00 for it with paper route money. My paper route bike was a bike I custom built, Schwinn 26" baloon tire frame, springer front fork, drum brake front wheel with 105 gauge spokes, bendix 2 speed kickback rear hub drilled out for the 105 gauge spokes, big a$$ steel flat bar rear rack for the paper bags, big basket on the front that was very heavy duty, flashlight clamp on the front bar, and brackets to hold a mini baseball bat for the dogs that would chase me and try and bite my ankles. I cracked more than one of them mutts in the head and sent them yelping. Ah yes, a trip down memory lane.
 

ddickey

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#4
I remember Centurions. Good old GP4's. I rode GEL 280's. I rode for a team out of Colorado in the '88. We rode DeSoto frames made my Brent Steelman made with Tange Prestige tubing.
 

Uglydog

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#5
I still have my 1970s Tommasini with full panto and Super Record.
What a ride. Steel was real!
She is only a 52cm. Like many of us I used to be shorter, well..... also thinner.
Someday I'm gonna have do to something with her.

Thanks for the pics!

Daryl
MN
 

ddickey

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#6
I had a really nice Tomasso. Not sure about the bike. I think it might have been a bike imported by Ten Speed Drive. The Tommasini was the real deal though, made in Italy.
 

bfd

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#7
ten speed you are showing your age there at 30 or more by now last I saw 30.
 

wawoodman

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#8
One of my first real jobs (middle 60s) was working for my uncle, who had one of the two Schwinn stores in Baltimore. Along with repairs, I assembled the bikes to go out on the sales floor. I remember the Varsity, Continental, and Super Sport very well. I could have put them together blindfolded.

And he had a 56 Chevy, that I got to drive!
 

Cheeseking

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#9
Cool thread. I was into road biking in the early 80s. We used to do organized "century" rides all over WI and IL. Started with the standard Varsity then saved my coins and bought a Miyata (sp?) 610 touring bike and for fun made a total unicorn out of it- swapped all the hardware with a super record gruppo . I still have the bike. The gum rubber brake hoods are original and literally crumbling to pcs.
 

C-Bag

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#10
Very cool. I didn't know that Centurion became Diamondback.

I talked my dad into buying me a Dawes 10sp in '68 to ride to school. But when I saw where you had to park and how all the good bikes got stolen, I never rode it to school. My brother guilted my dad then into a Raleigh International because he wanted to race. Then he decided that he HAD to have this Italavega Super Speciale ( all Columbus handmade frame w/Campi everything Cinelli forks and bars). My dad kept the International and still has it. After a couple of years my bro quit riding and I traded my Suzuki 185 enduro for the Italavega and had it for 40yrs until he bought it back. Shortly there after it was stolen out of his house :(

I've always loved the freedom and quiet of a bike but have never liked the seats no matter how much padding or that my hands went to sleep. Even when I went to mt bikes with special seat and bar grips. Couple of years ago I got onto recumbent trikes and bumbled into one locally. It was just like being a kid again and the thing that hurt most was my face from having a stupid grin all the time. I log so much time on my recumbent my truck only gets a couple K's if that a year now. We live pretty much in bike heaven here even so still have to watch traffic. My wife got jealous of my grin and I found her a recumbent off the local CL too.
 

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C-Bag

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#11
Not to hijack your thread Mark( I'm so happy there is a part of the forum where there are other bike fans!) but I got some pix of my dad's '68 Raleigh International. Coinkydinkly, he just got it out of the shop. It's not as cherry as your Centurion but looking better than in decades. Maybe some of you others can post some pix too?
 

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rzbill

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#12
Wow. This holiday has sure gifted us with some cool threads. C-Bag, I had a Dawes that got upgraded continuously during my ownership until the only Dawes part left was the frame....and I did a custom JPS style black and gold paint job on that with Dupont Imron. I regret selling it.

westsailpat, I'm curious are those sew-up rims on that Centurion?
 

C-Bag

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#13
I was curious if those were sew ups too. Are they a thing anymore?

That's cool Bill you had a Dawes too! It was the first alternative in the price range of Schwinn when a independent bike shop opened up where we were living. I loved the bike but quickly went to motorcycles and it got lost in the shuffle. I really don't remember what happened to it. Then when my brother got the motorcycle bug I traded it for the Italavega. Put many a painful mile on it. When I asked somebody why they have to be so uncomfortable he said it was to keep you up and riding. It made me go like crazy so I could get there and get off. Whole 'nuther world with the recumbent even though it can go quickly down the road if I need.
 

westsailpat

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#14
Hey there bill and Bag , yes they are sew ups . I don't know why I like them , when they flat they are hard to fix and some you can't fix ( like this pair of Tufo's I have ) When I get a flat I just glue on a new tire and try to fix the flat later , after 5 o'clock and some Jack Daniels .
 

C-Bag

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#15
LOL, the old "JD repair trick"! Never did even try to fix a sew up. The Italavega had them and as long as I was watching closely I never popped a tire. Learned I could never loan it to anybody as they never got how careful you had to be. Hate to say it, but that's another thing I don't miss. The tires I have on the trike have Kevlar liners, knock on wood haven't popped one yet in going on 3yrs on the road.
 

rzbill

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#16
Awesome. I remember the day I first put a set of sew-up rims on the Dawes. The reduced rotational inertia was striking. I made the claim multiple times that the bike would 'coast uphill'. I had good luck with them. Repairs were rare. And yes I caught the MC bug too C-bag.
 
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