Ever heard of Centurion bicycles?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Bob Kruse, May 7, 2003.

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  1. Bob Kruse

    Bob Kruse Guest

    I've recently become the owner of an old Centurion Accordo road bike. Components are Sun Tour. I've
    looked it up on the internet and learned a few things about the origins of Centurion and the history
    of Sun Tour.

    I'm curious if there are former (or current) owners of Centurion bikes that read this group and what
    their opinions of the bikes were.

    I'm curious because this bike is in very very good condition so I think I'll ride it and enjoy it.
    I'd just like to hear from others that owned the brand.

    Thanks, Bob Kruse
     
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  2. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    They are one of the three or four companies that have licenced the Bergwerk rear triangle setup for
    XC mountain bikes. Bergwerk calls it a "low ratio suspension". This is the same one Specialized uses
    on the Epic.

    That is all I know.

    -Dave
     
  3. Islandtime

    Islandtime Guest

    Bob Kruse <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I've recently become the owner of an old Centurion Accordo road bike. Components are Sun Tour.
    > I've looked it up on the internet and learned a few things about the origins of Centurion and the
    > history of Sun Tour.
    >
    > I'm curious if there are former (or current) owners of Centurion bikes that read this group and
    > what their opinions of the bikes were.
    >
    > I'm curious because this bike is in very very good condition so I think I'll ride it and enjoy it.
    > I'd just like to hear from others that owned the brand.
    >
    > Thanks, Bob Kruse

    ...................................................

    Hey Bob, We carried Centurions at the shop I used to work at..(abut 15 yrs ago) They were for the
    most part good bikes...There was a "Dave Scott" model that sold really well. Good luck with
    it..Which Suntour grouppo does it have?

    islandtime
     
  4. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I'm curious because this bike is in very very good condition so I think I'll ride it and enjoy it.
    >I'd just like to hear from others that owned the brand.
    >
    >Thanks, Bob Kruse

    Yep, thats the right thing to do with bike, enjoy it and ride it. Centurions were decent bikes, I've
    had a few and enjoyed riding them. They had several models, not quite sure where the Accordo fit in,
    somewhere in the middle if I am not mistaken. The models I remember were the Ironman Expert (Dave
    Scott), the RS Elite, the LeMans, the Accordo but there must be several more.

    The Accordo's I remember were red and white but Centurion changed their color schemes, though most
    of them were two tone.

    Centurion was associated with Diamond Back, I believe Diamond Backs were the name Centurion used
    when they started producing MTBs. Sometime about 1990, they decided to drop the Centurion name and
    all their bikes became Diamondbacks.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  5. Bob Kruse

    Bob Kruse Guest

    Hi Islandtime,

    I looked over the bike and what I see is Sun Tour AR. Is AR the designation for the gruppo you're
    talking about? If so, what does that tell you?

    Thanks, Bob Kruse

    AR
    >Hey Bob, We carried Centurions at the shop I used to work at..(abut 15 yrs ago) They were for the
    >most part good bikes...There was a "Dave Scott" model that sold really well. Good luck with
    >it..Which Suntour grouppo does it have?
    >
    >islandtime
     
  6. Fritz M

    Fritz M Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote:

    > Centurion was associated with Diamond Back, I believe Diamond Backs were the name Centurion used
    > when they started producing MTBs. Sometime about 1990, they decided to drop the Centurion name and
    > all their bikes became Diamondbacks.

    That's correct; Centurion and Diamondback were (are) the same company, similar to the way Chevy and
    GMC are the same. Centurion was the brand given to road bikes, Diamondback was the MTB line. I also
    recall the name change occurring about 1990, but I think that was because they completely abandoned
    the road bike business for a while at the time.

    My bike is a red and white Centurion Accordo I purchased in 1987 for about $400. I use it mostly for
    commuting now.

    RFM
    --
    To reply, translate domain from l33+ 2p33|< to alpha. 4=a 0=o 3=e +=t
     
  7. Bob,

    I own two Centurion bikes. One was a high end bike (for its time, early 80s) that my wife uses. It's
    really nice, with chromed lugs on the frame and fork with the ends of the seat stay tubes also
    chromed. It is my wife's bike. It also has a Sun Tour triple component set.

    The other is one low end bike I bought at a thrift store for $40. It has a Cro-Mo frame and fork. I
    cleaned it up and put modern components on it and it has been my commuter bike for the past two
    years. I also sometimes take the fenders off and put big 700x38s on it and go off-roading. That
    frameset gets a *lot* of miles.

    You can search these groups for more info on Centurion. I may be wrong but I think they either
    changed their name to Diamondback or were purchased by them.

    Hope this helps, Tom

    Bob Kruse <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I've recently become the owner of an old Centurion Accordo road bike. Components are Sun Tour.
    > I've looked it up on the internet and learned a few things about the origins of Centurion and the
    > history of Sun Tour.
    >
    > I'm curious if there are former (or current) owners of Centurion bikes that read this group and
    > what their opinions of the bikes were.
    >
    > I'm curious because this bike is in very very good condition so I think I'll ride it and enjoy it.
    > I'd just like to hear from others that owned the brand.
    >
    > Thanks, Bob Kruse
     
  8. Bob Kruse <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I looked over the bike and what I see is Sun Tour AR. Is AR the designation for the gruppo you're
    >talking about? If so, what does that tell you?

    That tells me that it has a Suntour AR rear der. on it... AR was a nice, quality mid-range der.
    ususlly used on mid-range bikes (which is what it sounds like an example of... I have a Centurion
    Cavelleto with the indexing Suntour ARx as its rear mech).
     
  9. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Yep, thats the right thing to do with bike, enjoy it and
    ride it. Centurions
    > were decent bikes, I've had a few and enjoyed riding them.
    They had several
    > models, not quite sure where the Accordo fit in, somewhere
    in the middle if I
    > am not mistaken. The models I remember were the Ironman
    Expert (Dave Scott),
    > the RS Elite, the LeMans, the Accordo but there must be
    several more.
    >
    > The Accordo's I remember were red and white but Centurion
    changed their color
    > schemes, though most of them were two tone.

    I remember they were the best value, most popular "everyman's" road bike about 15 years ago, at
    least in southern CA.

    > Centurion was associated with Diamond Back, I believe
    Diamond Backs were the
    > name Centurion used when they started producing MTBs.
    Sometime about 1990,
    > they decided to drop the Centurion name and all their
    bikes became
    > Diamondbacks.

    I believe you are correct -- both brands actually belong to United Bicycle Company, a Taiwanese
    firm. I'm pretty sure KHS is theirs too.

    Matt O.
     
  10. Ancient history:

    I bought a Centurion Super LeMans back in 1973. It had a collection of low end SR and SunTour alloy
    components. It had stamped dropouts and fairly crude lugs. Brakes were Dia Compe center pulls. Araya
    alloy rims with high-flange Sunshine quick release hubs. It had a 3-pin alloy crank. The best
    features of that bike were the SunTour V-GT which shifted well even under load, and SunTour bar-end
    shifters. The worst feature was the quilted plastic seat, which I quickly replaced with an Ideale
    leather saddle.

    Though far from top of the line, it still was far superior to the department store bikes (e.g.
    Sears) of the time. I rode that bike down the Pacific coast twice, proof (like Lance says) that it's
    not the bike.

    The brazing on the head tube eventually failed. Now I have a "Le Mans
    12." This is a nicer quality frame, with forged dropouts, water bottle braze-ons, and a derailleur
    hanger. The lug work is average and the frame rides "heavy" compared to my Schwinn Paramount, but
    it gets me around town.
     
  11. I sold lots of Centurion Accordos back in the day. Very nice entry-level road bike, nothing fancy
    but held up nicely. It's not something to compare to a current road bike, as it lacks STI shifting
    and good brakes, but if it's not costing you anything and in decent shape, it's a great way to get
    into cycling.

    The Suntour AR derailleurs are nothing special, but they work. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be
    finding decent-quality 27" tires to put on it.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles www.ChainReaction.com

    "Bob Kruse" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:eek:[email protected]...
    > I've recently become the owner of an old Centurion Accordo road bike. Components are Sun Tour.
    > I've looked it up on the internet and learned a few things about the origins of Centurion and the
    > history of Sun Tour.
    >
    > I'm curious if there are former (or current) owners of Centurion bikes that read this group and
    > what their opinions of the bikes were.
    >
    > I'm curious because this bike is in very very good condition so I think I'll ride it and enjoy it.
    > I'd just like to hear from others that owned the brand.
    >
    > Thanks, Bob Kruse
     
  12. Evan Hanson

    Evan Hanson Guest

    I thought I was the only one still riding one of these.

    On 8 May 2003 10:37:17 -0800, "Garrison Hilliard" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >Bob Kruse <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>I looked over the bike and what I see is Sun Tour AR. Is AR the designation for the gruppo you're
    >>talking about? If so, what does that tell you?
    >
    >That tells me that it has a Suntour AR rear der. on it... AR was a nice, quality mid-range der.
    >ususlly used on mid-range bikes (which is what it sounds like an example of... I have a Centurion
    >Cavelleto with the indexing Suntour ARx as its rear mech).
     
  13. Bob Kruse

    Bob Kruse Guest

    Thanks to everyone who posted. I've been trying to get back into cycling but I've had such huge
    expenses with this old house and my stupid car that money has been tight. This bike was a find and
    it's nice to know it's still in use by some riders. I'm sure this will get me along fine until I'm
    ready to move up.

    By the way, for those who are interested, my internet research indicated that Centurion was never a
    real bike company. The name was owned by several companies that contracted with various Japanese
    factories to manufacture the frames. They bought their components from Sun Tour.

    I had to look up a history of Sun Tour as well. It appears that Sun Tour tried to compete with
    Shimano but Shimano had the money and the ability to market their components to manufacturers.
    Dealers carried the Sun Tour (aka Suntour) components as aftermarket replacements because they were
    a quality product at a good price.

    Fee free to refute or add to anything I've typed here as my information is only as accurate as the
    original author's web pages.

    Bob Kruse
     
  14. Nope... and mine is in "better than new" condition... I swapped out the steel handlebars and
    seatpost for aluminum ones, and swapped out the 27 1/4" wheels for 700c ones! I purchased it a
    little while ago in VERY NEARLY unused condition from a local Goodwill thrift shop for twenty bucks!

    [email protected] (Evan Hanson) wrote:
    >I thought I was the only one still riding one of these.

    <snip>

    >>That tells me that it has a Suntour AR rear der. on it... AR was a nice, quality mid-range der.
    >>ususlly used on mid-range bikes (which is what it sounds like an example of... I have a Centurion
    >>Cavelleto with the indexing Suntour ARx as its rear mech).

    Nope...
     
  15. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I believe that at one time Suntour was the premier
    Japanese component
    > manufacturer. However the way I understand it (my
    recollection of A. Muzi's
    > analysis) was that most everything Suntour made was
    actually subbed out to
    > smaller companies and they were unable to compete with
    Shimano in making
    > consistent parts for index shifting. Shimano made/makes
    their product in
    > house.
    >
    > It appears to me that the shift really occurred in the mid
    to late 80's. Prior
    > to that Suntour was cruising along happily competing with
    Campagnolo at the
    > high end.

    Happily indeed. I've had both Campy and Suntour bikes from that era, and there's no doubt in my mind
    that Suntour was best. Campy looked neat and had that Italian cachet but that was about it. Suntour
    remained the best until Shimano came out with their Hyperglide stuff. After that, Suntour never got
    their act back together, and quickly went down the tubes.

    I dug this up awhile ago:

    http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~hadland/page35.htm

    ...the whole Suntour story in a nutshell.

    Matt O.
     
  16. Nope... and mine is in "better than new" condition... I swapped out the steel handlebars and
    seatpost for aluminum ones, and swapped out the 27 1/4" wheels for 700c ones! I purchased it a
    little while ago in VERY NEARLY unused condition from a local Goodwill thrift shop for twenty bucks!

    [email protected] (Evan Hanson) wrote:
    >I thought I was the only one still riding one of these.

    <snip>

    >>That tells me that it has a Suntour AR rear der. on it... AR was a nice, quality mid-range der.
    >>ususlly used on mid-range bikes (which is what it sounds like an example of... I have a Centurion
    >>Cavelleto with the indexing Suntour ARx as its rear mech).

    Nope...
     
  17. Nope... and mine is in "better than new" condition... I swapped out the steel handlebars and
    seatpost for aluminum ones, and swapped out the 27 1/4" wheels for 700c ones! I purchased it a
    little while ago in VERY NEARLY unused condition from a local Goodwill thrift shop for twenty bucks!

    [email protected] (Evan Hanson) wrote:
    >I thought I was the only one still riding one of these.

    <snip>

    >>That tells me that it has a Suntour AR rear der. on it... AR was a nice, quality mid-range der.
    >>ususlly used on mid-range bikes (which is what it sounds like an example of... I have a Centurion
    >>Cavelleto with the indexing Suntour ARx as its rear mech).

    Nope...
     
  18. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Thomas Reynolds) writes:
    > Bob,
    >
    > I own two Centurion bikes. One was a high end bike (for its time, early 80s) that my wife uses.
    > It's really nice, with chromed lugs on the frame and fork with the ends of the seat stay tubes
    > also chromed. It is my wife's bike. It also has a Sun Tour triple component set.
    >
    > The other is one low end bike I bought at a thrift store for $40.

    I bought my gf a bike whose downtube is lettered with "Centurion". There are no other indications as
    to make or model. It's a faux mixte (single downtube), external 5-speed. I don't think it's a "true"
    Centurion ... maybe it's an after-labeled Sekine.

    The most wonderful thing about it is the nickel, rather than chrome plating, on stuff like the
    streamlined Art Deco fenders, and under-saddle springs.

    It has *real*, orig Suntour stuff ;-)

    But she sure is pretty.

    So's the bike ;-)

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  19. Dave Stocker

    Dave Stocker Guest

    All of this talk about Centurion being daimondback, or being a front company for various Japanese
    firms got me to wondering. My Centurion reference (http://www.centurion.de/b00_start/frames.html)was
    a German company that has a symbiotic relationship with the Taiwanese firm Meridia
    (http://www.merida.com/frames.php?dhtml=on).

    So to add to the confusion. Diamondback==Centurion==Meridia? Or are there multiple front firms
    called Centurion?

    Who is who is related to who?

    -Dave
     
  20. Larry Schudt

    Larry Schudt Guest

    On Thu, 08 May 2003 19:29:00 -0700, Bob Kruse <[email protected]> wrote:

    >By the way, for those who are interested, my internet research indicated that Centurion was never a
    >real bike company. The name was owned by several companies that contracted with various Japanese
    >factories to manufacture the frames. They bought their components from Sun Tour.
    >
    >I had to look up a history of Sun Tour as well. It appears that Sun Tour tried to compete with
    >Shimano but Shimano had the money and the ability to market their components to manufacturers.
    >Dealers carried the Sun Tour (aka Suntour) components as aftermarket replacements because they were
    >a quality product at a good price.
    >
    >Fee free to refute or add to anything I've typed here as my information is only as accurate as the
    >original author's web pages.
    >
    >Bob Kruse

    When I started riding in about 1988, my bike was a Centurion Sport DLX (yellow and black - looked
    like a bumblebee). It had Shimano Light Action components on it.

    The "same bike" is on its third frame, kind of like George Washington's hatchet...

    larry
     
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