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Centurion Pro Tour - restoration and 650B conversion

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Centurion Pro Tour - restoration and 650B conversion

Old 02-01-13, 04:45 PM
  #1  
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Centurion Pro Tour - restoration and 650B conversion



so this arrived today. it popped up with a low BIN on eBay and I've wanted one for a while, so....

The wheels aren't original and some dummy stuck a 25.4 seatpost in there with a shim. the paint is OK, but scratched and faded. I'm thinking of doing the following:

- stripping the original paint down to the chrome underneath. I've seen several Centurions online that have been stripped to their chrome, and I think they look fantastic.

- convert it to 650B. it's a 54cm which is a bit too big for me (i ride 53cm bikes) plus I've been loving the 650B ride of my French rando. the rear spacing is 126mm, which is a bit annoying since all of the cheap 650B wheelsets online are 135mm O.L.D. spacing. So either I lace up my own 650B set or I have the bike re-spaced.

thoughts? suggestions? ideas?
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Old 02-01-13, 04:59 PM
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Nothing wrong with putting in a seatpost and shim, as long as the combo fits properly and doesn't lead you to bend the ears of the seat lug.

I built up a bike with drum brake hubs but now I'm selling the bike piecemeal. I have the wheels if you're interested, and it would solve the brake-reach problem. The rear hub takes an 8-speed cassette and maybe a 9-speed.

Spacing the rear is easier than you think. Sheldon Brown wrote an article on how to do it. And you can probably just put your wheel in there without permanently bending the frame, at least to try it out.

Not every bike is a good 650B candidate. You need room for the tires, and you may be lowering the bike overall, which might put you at risk of striking your pedals against the ground. Have you measured?
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Old 02-01-13, 05:04 PM
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Too bad it has vertical dropouts, I was going to suggest doing a 8+ IGH with the 650B thing.
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Old 02-01-13, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Nothing wrong with putting in a seatpost and shim, as long as the combo fits properly and doesn't lead you to bend the ears of the seat lug.

I built up a bike with drum brake hubs but now I'm selling the bike piecemeal. I have the wheels if you're interested, and it would solve the brake-reach problem. The rear hub takes an 8-speed cassette and maybe a 9-speed.

Spacing the rear is easier than you think. Sheldon Brown wrote an article on how to do it. And you can probably just put your wheel in there without permanently bending the frame, at least to try it out.

Not every bike is a good 650B candidate. You need room for the tires, and you may be lowering the bike overall, which might put you at risk of striking your pedals against the ground. Have you measured?

Google searches have turned up a number of Centurion Pro Tours that have been converted to 650B, apparently it's a good candidate. Brake-wise, the Dia-Compe 750 center pulls have the correct reach and can easily be swapped in to replace the 610's that come stock on the Pro Tour.

I've read Sheldon's article, but I don't feel comfortable cold-setting my frame to that degree. A jump from 126 to 135 is pretty significant, so i think i won't be able to squeeze a 135mm rear wheel in there without cold-setting it first. Too bad there aren't any 130mm rear 650B wheelsets out there.
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Old 02-01-13, 06:00 PM
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I know this isn't a help, but I did convert my Centurion Semi Pro to 650B before moving those parts to a different frameset. It fit 38mm tires no problem. Brakes are Dia Compe 750 CP:

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Old 02-01-13, 06:12 PM
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I'd go 700c with a French fit, or pm "me" with an offer to sale or trade

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Old 02-01-13, 06:14 PM
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My vote is to lace up your own rear wheel around a 7-speed (126mm) freehub, but I might be biased.
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Old 02-01-13, 06:20 PM
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just lace your own. It's fun. Nice project frame and keep us posted on the build!
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Old 02-01-13, 06:36 PM
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fwiw I used the sheldon method to cold set my nishki from 126 to 135. While a bit a scary initially taking a 2x4 to a frame....it was really pretty easy. think that it is only 4.5 mm per side (or roughly 3/16")
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Old 02-01-13, 06:38 PM
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If it helps inspire you, here's the set of 650A wheels I laced up for my winter project.

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Old 02-01-13, 06:54 PM
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The frame is chromed, not sure the chrome that was meant to be painted is all that nice.
Once you strip it, you can tell, and then decide on paint, coat, leave.

650B conversions are so far out of my league, couldn't say one way or another.
Very nice touring bike if you want one, no matter how you do it.
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Old 02-01-13, 09:16 PM
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Whether you go 700c or 650b I would also encourage you to build your own. Choose 126mm or 130mm depending on your desired gearing.

What rings are on the SR Apex? That could make a nice wide range double.
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Old 02-01-13, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
I know this isn't a help, but I did convert my Centurion Semi Pro to 650B before moving those parts to a different frameset. It fit 38mm tires no problem. Brakes are Dia Compe 750 CP:


oh man, that looks awesome. very inspirational! the Pro Tour is also very similar to the Semi Pro. If mine had paint that nice I wouldn't strip it.

anyone know the seatpost size of the Pro Tour or Semi Pro 1979 version?
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Old 02-02-13, 12:17 AM
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Oh Boy! I've been wanting to do something similar (those brazed on dia-compes are too cool), but haven't been able to find one of these in my size. If you're wary of using a board to do this, Park does make a tool that makes the process seem somewhat more sanctioned, although it's the same action. IF there's a bike co-op in your area, I imagine that they have the tool and a volunteer who has used it in tandem with the other requisite alignment gauges before. Building wheels is fun, and a worthwhile thing to try out. I would also advocate measuring bb dropand comparing with your current 650b before sinking a lot of time/or\money into the 650b party. A bike shop should have a sizing pillar to tell you the size. My guess is that it's a funky size.
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Old 02-02-13, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
oh man, that looks awesome. very inspirational! the Pro Tour is also very similar to the Semi Pro. If mine had paint that nice I wouldn't strip it.

anyone know the seatpost size of the Pro Tour or Semi Pro 1979 version?
Awesome indeed!!!

Not sure it will help but my 1975 Semi Pro, that I miss, had a 26.8 Criiep Rider seat post.
Don't know if they changed size by 1979.

Again, the blue one pictured is a stunning looking bike.
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Old 02-02-13, 08:58 AM
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Why'd you have to do this to me... I figured I was pretty close to "done" and now you present this "Centurion Pro-Tour" thing... and I see that one on Velobase with the chromey lugs and chromed wraparound seat stays...
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Old 02-02-13, 09:13 AM
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Dang, I really like that bike a lot. Love the chromed bits on it.
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Old 02-02-13, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cooperryder View Post
Awesome indeed!!!

Not sure it will help but my 1975 Semi Pro, that I miss, had a 26.8 Criiep Rider seat post.
Don't know if they changed size by 1979.

Again, the blue one pictured is a stunning looking bike.
That blue Semi-Pro is an '81 (I think) and takes a 26.8mm post.
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Old 02-02-13, 02:36 PM
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sounds like 26.8 is the way to go for the seatpost.

i actually help run the local bike co-op and we have Park FFG-2 dropout alignment gauges, but it doesn't look like (from Park's site) that they can be used for frame spreading. Can anyone confirm/deny?
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Old 02-02-13, 02:37 PM
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Correct, that's a different tool.
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Old 02-02-13, 05:55 PM
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Replying to subscribe to the progress, and to say that my 78 pro tour has a 27.0 post.
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Old 02-03-13, 12:45 AM
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Looks like a fun conversion/resto. i've been coveting those late '70s/early '80s Pro Tours for a while but the last few that I've seen pop up on my local CL have been $600+, too rich for my blood. Word is that the brazed-on centerpull mounts yield crazy braking power and the chrome frame details are just icing on the cake. If I hadn't just sold my 126-spaced 650b wheels this morning, I'd be shamelessly pitching them to you now.
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Old 02-19-13, 02:45 PM
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My 1984? Pro Tour.
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Old 02-19-13, 03:23 PM
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i've collected up most of the bits for this build:

- Suntour Cyclone derailleurs and SunTour ratcheting bar-ends for the drive train.
- Building a 50.4 BCD crankset from vintage Nervar arms mated to Viscount 52/42 rings.
...Or maybe a triple based around a Sugino AT 110BCD crankset with drilled rings. ...Or maybe re-using the original SR Apex triple that it came with.
- Ideale 92 saddle
- SR Randonneur bars with either vintage Dia-Compe non-aero levers, or modern Tektro aero levers. The Tektros will feel better, the Dia-Compes will look better.
- 27.0 SR Laprade seatpost
- Dia-Compe 750 centerpull brakes
- Honjo hammered fenders (26" version)

Still up in the air:
- Quill stem
- Wheelset
- cassette
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Old 02-19-13, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
i've collected up most of the bits for this build:

- Suntour Cyclone derailleurs and SunTour ratcheting bar-ends for the drive train.
- Building a 50.4 BCD crankset from vintage Nervar arms mated to Viscount 52/42 rings.
...Or maybe a triple based around a Sugino AT 110BCD crankset with drilled rings. ...Or maybe re-using the original SR Apex triple that it came with.
- Ideale 92 saddle
- SR Randonneur bars with either vintage Dia-Compe non-aero levers, or modern Tektro aero levers. The Tektros will feel better, the Dia-Compes will look better.
- 27.0 SR Laprade seatpost
- Dia-Compe 750 centerpull brakes
- Honjo hammered fenders (26" version)

Still up in the air:
- Quill stem
- Wheelset
- cassette

Lots of pictures will be required :-P
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