Centurion Carbon-R Build!

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Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:17 pm

Grabbed this piece of history off a member here! Its the Centurion Carbon-R bike. Its one of the first few lugged carbon frames around, and would date back to the late 80s. However the serial number on the rear dropout says 91C0165. Looking around, this wouls indicate possibly a '91 frame manufactured in Jan, and is the 165th frame made? Im unsure. Maybe one of you guys would know. Anyway, this bike came with a full RSX groupset which wouldnt have been out til 95. Most likely there had been a full upgrade later into its life. The RSX hubs are laced to Velocity Aerohead rims, which are Aussie. A Jap frame would most liekly stick with Jap components, and dont see why Velocity would be factory spec. Lastly, this frame was sold by Manly Cycle Centre, back when everyone had 7 digit phone numbers.

EDIT: Got some history on the frame now. Possibly a 89 model.
The Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Carbon came out in 1988 only, and was
shipped with Dura Ace 2x7 components. Very few have ever gotten far with
the components. I've seen a couple that still had the crankset, and none
with the headset. I suspect the headset was always Shimano 600 (6400
series) The hubs were laced to Araya CTL-700 rims, the seatpost was a
smooth 25.4 and the stem/bars were Nitto.

The Centurion Carbon is not nearly as well known, and may have been an '89
model, or an overseas model. Domestic US distribution of Centurion models
ended in 1989, with a couple of Diamondback/Centurion models sold with two
logos as late as 1991, but no later.

European licensing seemed to extend for a couple of years after that, I'm
not sure.

The font and decals on the Carbon indicate a likely 1989 model. The
graphics are consistent with 1989, and unless it was a non-US model, that
would be the highest likelihood. The Carbons (and I've only seen two) came
with Shimano 600 components, also known as "tricolor," the 6400 series. The
frames, other than graphics, are nearly identical. I've owned 3 of the
Ironman Carbon models, and none had Tange on the frame anywhere, but they
did have Made in Japan on them. The fork was all aluminum, polished, and
had Tange on the fork decals.

So, my best guess is 1989, and my take on the original components would be
Shimano 600, the 6400 series. I don't know when RSX came out, but 1991
comes to mind, which would likely be long after production of these frames
ended.


My plans are to keep everything as is. The clear coat of the carbon is suffering from UV degradation, so Ill remove the top coat, and will be recoating. The decals are stickers, so they'll be removed, and then scanned. Now I need to find a vinyl/sticker printing service. Any here able to do it? Or know someone who can? The RSX groupset will be overhauled, and then reinstalled.

Received it this arvo! Took it out, and stripped the last of the components off. Bare frame here
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Bottom Bracket with an integrated cable guide. Does that 59x64 mean the angle of the tubes?
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Some pics in the sun to see the carbon weave!
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And serial number on rear dropout. Looking around, everyone says its on the BB, but as you can see, its not there, but on the dropout.
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Anyway, decals have been removed, and Im in the process of scanning, and creating a file for someone to print.

Tomorrow, I will begin to strip the top coat. Once thats done, all the aluminium lugs and fork will be polished to mirror! :mrgreen:
Last edited by QuangVuong on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:34 pm

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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby easybeatle » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:34 pm

Looking forward to seeing this get built up
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby munga » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:38 pm

QuangVuong wrote:Grabbed this piece of history off a member here! Its the Centurion Carbon-R bike. Its one of the first few lugged carbon frames around, and would date back to the late 80s.


cool project, but lugged carbon frames have been around for 40 years. just not very common in .au 8)

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pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:50 pm

Yeah, there were those ones, Grafteks, and whatever else there was. Which brings to my memory, a Raleigh which had screw together lugs. The lugs were halves which sandwiched the CF tubes together. Well, those were the super early ones. I guess you can say these were the early generation ones.

Found this
From Sheldon site wrote:In 1988 the Ironman Carbon model was introduced. It boasted a carbon fiber frameset and Dura-Ace components. This model sold for around $1,500-$1,600 and was the highest-priced Centurion of the period. I have not ranked it at the top of the heap only because it falls outside the steel-framed category.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby munga » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:01 pm

hardly gunna start a peeing competition - i've had more time to study ;p

frame reminds me of the giant cadex/cfr frames. maybe it's that wishbone seatstay arrangement..
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby hitchhiker » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:03 pm

I'll be watching this thread closely as I have a strange fascination with the early lugged carbon frames

Good luck!
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:20 pm

I wasnt gonna start a pissing comp.

And Ive actually am waiting on one of those Cadex frames on the way as well. Hopefully itll arrive Monday. There are some differences which I can see from just pics. The head tube on this is a carbon tube, whereas the Giant has just a full aluminium one. This seatstay has somesort of pivot holding it, which the Giant doesnt. But everything else is very similar. Possibly the internal lug joints are different. THis I can see that there are actually hex screws in the BB entering the tubes. Those could be some sort of expander to keep the CF compressed againts the lugs. Dunno, but the Giant has some sort of x shape. Dont have the frame, so cant tell, yet.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:34 pm

QuangVuong wrote: Now I need to find a vinyl/sticker printing service. Any here able to do it? Or know someone who can?



I've had decals made by a local signwriter in Noosa, from what he told me pretty much any signwriter worth their salt should be able to do it with their hands tied behind their back. Just supply them with jpgs of what you want and the technology does the work for them.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:43 pm

That sounds good! Ill see what services are around my area.

And update on the history:
The Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Carbon came out in 1988 only, and was
shipped with Dura Ace 2x7 components. Very few have ever gotten far with
the components. I've seen a couple that still had the crankset, and none
with the headset. I suspect the headset was always Shimano 600 (6400
series) The hubs were laced to Araya CTL-700 rims, the seatpost was a
smooth 25.4 and the stem/bars were Nitto.

The Centurion Carbon is not nearly as well known, and may have been an '89
model, or an overseas model. Domestic US distribution of Centurion models
ended in 1989, with a couple of Diamondback/Centurion models sold with two
logos as late as 1991, but no later.

European licensing seemed to extend for a couple of years after that, I'm
not sure.

The font and decals on the Carbon indicate a likely 1989 model. The
graphics are consistent with 1989, and unless it was a non-US model, that
would be the highest likelihood. The Carbons (and I've only seen two) came
with Shimano 600 components, also known as "tricolor," the 6400 series. The
frames, other than graphics, are nearly identical. I've owned 3 of the
Ironman Carbon models, and none had Tange on the frame anywhere, but they
did have Made in Japan on them. The fork was all aluminum, polished, and
had Tange on the fork decals.

So, my best guess is 1989, and my take on the original components would be
Shimano 600, the 6400 series. I don't know when RSX came out, but 1991
comes to mind, which would likely be long after production of these frames
ended.


So it looks like its an 89 model, which for some reason had the 600 groupset 'upgraded' to a RSX.
80's Bundy
87 Kestrel 4000
88 Giant Cadex 980c
89 Centurion Carbon
89 Peugeot Carbon Pro
99 Kestrel 200 EMS

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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby dayne » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:24 am

I thought rsx brifters were around late 90's
The bike had dura ace 7400 pedals so may be it came with full 7400,

It may have then been swapped out in the late 90's for brifters.

I will ask the irigal owner that bought it new from manly when I see him next.
Good luck with the build and the research.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby spirito » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Cool ride ... look forward to seeing this refurbished and built up.

I will start a pissing contest .... which of the early Carbon frames would you actually ride? Some of the early ones were born to fail.
I'd jump on a Vitus or a La Vie Claire era Look (TVT) no probs ... Graftek ? .. not so sure i'd be keen to ride unless I had a brother that was a dentist.

your turn ... :wink:
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:51 pm

Dayne, that would be good! According to Velobase it is 1995 when it was introduced, but some have seen RSX on early 90s bikes(unless those were upgraded later on). But info from the original owner would be good. A purchase year will sort out the assumed 89 frame.

Spirito, Id ride any, only making a decision once Im on one(actually, make that once Ive hit the road :o ).

Frame with decals removed. Might be a little hard to see, but look at where the decals would be. Those are the areas which are still new looking, and havent suffered from the UV.
Image

Anyway, spent the day stripping the clear coat, which wasnt at all hard. Those who have enquired about going about it, heres how. There are a few options. You can go with chemicals, or sandpaper, or blades. I chose the latter, since chemicals would prob destroy the resin holding everything together. First you want a rug cutting blade, preferably with a handle. I did not have one, which slowed me down due to the extra effort put in. I would say, its best to get some cheapo blades, and not expensive ones which last forever. Two reasons for this, one being that its cheaper, and the other is the itll have a lower carbon content meaning its softer. It is softer than the carbon, so once you hit the carbon you will wear the blade, and not cut/damage the carbon. The top tube which had suffered the most damage from the UV, was so easy to strip. Water from a hose wouldve blasted it away. You can see this foryourself in the video. Once pretty much all of the clear coat has been removed, I then wet sanded the carbon. Used 600 grit paper around the areas under the stickers first to get rid of the coat which was a little hard to remove. Then I continued to sand the rest of the tubes incase I missed any small spots. The 600 turned into at least 2000 grit when I was done. This is a worry for some people, but carbon is a hard material. Sanding will take minimal amounts of carbon away, and its really the sandpaper that is being worn away. So unless youre using a really low grit paper with lots of effort, its really hard to stuff up the carbon.
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Click to view video below. Look at how little effort I need to put in. But this was really only for the top tube and head tube. The seat tube, and rear triangle was a little hearder to remove, but wasnt as bad the the down tube. The downtube took forever to remove the coat since it wasnt really degrading. Overall, I took 3 hours to remove the coat. 30 mins for the top tube and 2 seat stays. Cut my finger cause I was speaking to my Dad whilst scraping. Took a 30 min break to buy some petrol to clean the groupset, not really so much cause of the cut. Came back and continued for 2.5 hours. I began off with one blunt blade cause I couldnt find any others, but when I reached the downtube, I had to find more blades, otherwise I wouldve broken my arm. With a new blade, it was so much easier to remove. So let that be a tip, ALWAYS USE A RELATIVELY SHARP BLADE! Use like a blade per tube.
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You can see the difference. The seat tube and stay has a yellow tint to it. Thats the top coat turned yellow due to time and UV degradation.
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Frame fulled stripped, before sanding.
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You can see hints of the top coat on the right hand side, which was under the Carbon-R logo.
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Began polishing the the dropouts since they didnt require sanding.
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I started sanding the other lugs, but darkness hit, and I called it a day. Will resume work tomorrow, and hopefully get some paint on!
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89 Centurion Carbon
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:28 pm

Wow that's looking really good! :)
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:57 pm

Polishing the rest took forever(5 hours or so).
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BB was hard to do, so I did what I could.
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Then proceeded with the first couple coats of clear. I am using waterbased polyurethane(Cabots Cabothane Gloss). Its for wood products, but its useful for other purposes as well.
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Nice and glossy
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Got a few runs in the last coat I sprayed, so Ill sand those areas down and continue clear coating tomorrow.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby dayne » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:15 am

My only advice with clear coating is give it plenty of time to dry between coat's.
If you can smell the paint when you touch your nose on it has not cured.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:10 am

Water based polyurethane doesn't have a smell really. But it was more of an issue of me thinning the paint a little too much.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby xx68 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:29 am

Looks Great !

I have a cfm mtb , bought new in 92 ...it still looks new ! As an aside my uncle was the centurian importer in the late 80's . I had a very nice bike !
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby Dan » Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:05 pm

Looks nice, but I'll leave you to the test ride of said 20+ year old carbon frame.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:36 pm

Painting done! Once stickers get printed, I may add 2 more coats over the top.
Image

Cheated a bit for the BB. I was not bothered fully polishing it, so I just got some chroming powder, and covered it. Not as shiny as the other lugs, but its one colour overall, rather than bright and dark patches light before.
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Shiny!
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And polished up the forks!
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Didnt get anything else done because my Cadex frame arrived! Build thread( viewtopic.php?f=23&t=63420 )
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Anyway, I will continue working on the decals. The frame will be hung up for a couple days for the polyurethane to fully dry. In the meantime, I will clean up the RSX groupset ready to be put on in a few days.
Last edited by QuangVuong on Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby hitchhiker » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:42 pm

Two frames now! Keep up the good work, the Centurion is coming along very nicely
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby vaeske » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:15 am

i was seriously cringing when you used that razer to scrape the downtube...did the job though. so cabots will do the trick! nice one.
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Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby Dan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:36 am

The bit that makes no sense to me is that you'd spend hours stripping clear coat, sanding, recoating, polishing forks, etc., but coated the the bottom bracket with chroming powder because you couldn't be bothered spending any time on it.

I'm intrigued, because it seems at odds with the effort and level of detail imparted on every other aspect of your builds.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby QuangVuong » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:56 am

Vaeske, you mean the top tube? It's unlikely a razor will damage the carbon as carbon is harder than the metal used in the blade.

Dan, I know I got a little lazy, but that BB area would be just taken too long, plus I was running out of buffing tips. And that part I reckon was casted, not forged and polished like the others. The cast lines were stil there together with the rough sandy surface. This made polishing hard. Getting in there with sandpaper would be almost impossible. But overall, it isn't too bad. It's still shiny, but a shade darker than the others.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby Dan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:59 am

Hey, if you're happy it's all that counts. Just surprised me.
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Re: Centurion Carbon-R Build!

Postby baabaa » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:52 pm

For what it is worth, Manly Cycle Centre back then was run by a French bloke who was an old pro mechanic.
He was knew his stuff and was one of the first shops in Sydney to really click in with the growing demand for fast light bikes which could be run as tri bikes. Sold quite a few fancy lugged aluminium Vitus and Alans back then and always had a range of Centurions. Many complete bikes bought back then would have been rebuilt to suit a rider. He also built good wheels. Really a boutique shop and had some good stuff and he was way ahead of the normal bike shop back then.
If I think hard I can almost remember seeing bikes like this in the shop window…..
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