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Centurion Iron Man video/blog post review on The Pro's Closet

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Centurion Iron Man video/blog post review on The Pro's Closet

Old 06-08-20, 08:25 AM
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Centurion Iron Man video/blog post review on The Pro's Closet

Short story and video on a 1986 Centurion Iron man. A lot of the short comings can be easily corrected. Not sure that shifting with downtube shifters is as hard as he characterizes it at the end of the video though.

TPC Centurion
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Old 06-08-20, 11:01 AM
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Nice article! Thanks for posting it.
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Old 06-08-20, 11:38 PM
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42-24 as a low gear combo sucks on hills, especially long drags at elevation anywhere over a 4% or so grade. Downtube shifting is not hard at all. Yeah, forgetting to shift before a steep kick or whatever will catch anyone out now and again, but man, it's just downtube shifters, not the Space Shuttle.

Cool to see an old bike get ridden nice and hard, on video. Single pivot brakes = agree. Biopace = for me, knee killers. 1987 was the last year of the long-running 6200 generation of 600. Some of the prettiest cranks in the Shimano line.
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Old 06-09-20, 12:37 AM
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Yeah, switching from the original 13-24 Suntour freewheel to a 13-28 SunRace made a big difference. The SunRace shifts better and runs quieter too.

Biopace was okay for me when set up properly. I rode the 52/42 Biopace road double for about a year, first on a Trek 5900, then on my Ironman for a few months this year. I liked Biopace with the right crank length after strengthening my legs and slowing my cadence from 90 rpm to around 75 rpm.

With round rings I can get along with cranks from 170-175, no problems. But with Biopace I liked only 170 cranks. When I tried 172.5 I started getting knee twinges, and the eccentric rings felt herky-jerky, surge-y. Switching back to 170 fixed that problem.

I understand what the fellow meant about downtube shifters. I use them and like 'em, but they do take some familiarization. If I go awhile without downtube shifters and use bikes with brifters or something else, the downtube shifters feel a bit awkward. Takes practice to shift smoothly without affecting balance. And downtube shifters will always be a hindrance on climbs that require lots of shifting. With brifters I can shift while standing and not lose momentum. With downtube shifters I need to sit for a moment to shift, then regain momentum. Over time and distance it costs more energy. On reasonably fast group rides that's where the group usually gapped me -- on our many short, steep climbs, I'd lose momentum with the downtube shifters, or burn up my legs quicker grinding and mashing bigger gears rather than shifting. Brifters are quicker in some situations and conserve energy and momentum.

I've ridden my Ironman exclusively since disassembling my other bike in February. Just never got around to finishing the rebuild. But I have no complaints about the Ironman. However, if it was my only road bike, I'd probably switch it to brifters. And upgrade to at least an 8-speed cassette, or more.
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Old 06-09-20, 03:09 AM
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I have never ridden a "new" bike and consider myself fortunate to have not yet been sullied by the luxuries of modern technology. I often worry that if I did, I might find the same qualms that our friend in the video finds about his vintage tech. Nonetheless, cool video it is always nice to see someone pull out their vintage steed.
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Old 06-09-20, 05:33 AM
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I read the article yesterday and watched the video this morning. In the article, When he said the brakes needed a lot of hand strength I knew he Wasn't on a '87 Ironman. Unlike the '86, the '87 have the best brakeset ever offered on an Ironman or any bike I've ever ridden, the original Shimano 105 brakeset...game changer.
My guses is RobbieTunes is either yawning at the kudos for the Centurion Ironman or Wrote the script.
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Old 06-09-20, 11:20 AM
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Very cool! I'm just getting into Centurions now, and the video has me craving more, lol.

I picked up an '84 Pro Tour on ebay that's currently in the *6 weeks at the dang powder coat shop* phase of restoration, and I've been antsy to get it home so I can ride it! Really seems like there's something special about these things.
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Old 06-11-20, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Shrevvy View Post
Not sure that shifting with downtube shifters is as hard as he characterizes it at the end of the video though.
+1, esp. since there's a brief moment showing him reaching for the rear shifter without even looking down, as if it's second nature.

The other takeaway is how he describes the Specialized Turbo cotton tires and Look-compatible Shimano clipless pedals, both of which were ubiquitous in the late '80s, as "modern touches" that make it "not a true re-enactment" of an '80s ride.
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