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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Story:
Quite by accident, I found myself in procession of the same bike model, only 20 years different in age.

1984
Back in the day, when I was full blown tri-geek (before the term existed) I lusted after Panasonic’s and Centurion’s because, well, they weren’t Italian. I sold my Merckx and Pinarello (don’t ask…) and purchased a couple of new rides. My sponsor, Worlds of Panasonic, set me up with a Team Europe, Team Europe II and a Team America.

I also landed a great deal on a Centurion Dave Scott. This was way cool because Dave Scott was the MAN. But along came aluminum, THE frame material (don’t ask again) so good bye to all those heavy obsolete steel things.

2005
More than 20 years, a wife, mortgage and 2 beautiful kids later…
I find an 84 Dave Scott at a yard sale. $30.00 and no arguing from me. I took it.

The paint was a bit worn, but the mid 80’s was not known for the most robust paint jobs. Demand for road bikes was high and production was full speed ahead.

The components, F&R deraileurs, hubs and wheels on the other hand, were in very good shape. So good shape, that after just a bit of cleaning, I found myself with a very nice Ultegra 600 group in need of a new home.

The long dropouts screamed for fixed or SS. I have a couple of fixies and the useless 7 speed hub that came with the bike demanded that I create a SS.

After a few hours of cleaning, going through parts boxes and etc, I became the very proud owner of a cool-retro speedster. Perfect for quick trips to the soccer field and lightening fast commutes.

With this new found group and the desire for a super quick, fun club racing bike, I began placing low bids on lots of ebay frame sets. Not looking for anything special, just a good deal on a nice beater, I landed a 2004 DBR Podium frame and fork.

When it arrived, I took it out of the box and began inspecting for defects and cleaning. That’s when I noticed the word, in red, MASTER. I just saw those words somewhere else. I looked up and there was Dave, with the word, in red, MASTER. Wow, go figure. 20 years later, and marketing at DBR hasn’t come up with anything new.

I hung the 600 stuff (f&r deraileurs and crankset )on the 2004 frame, along with new modern parts (9 speed Shimano Ultegra STI) as needed. I thought it would be fun to compare the two rides.

The Contestants:
1984 Centurion (a.k.a. Diamond Back) Master (Dave Scott Signature)
2004 Diamond Back (Podium) Master (RacerX Signature)

Spec’s
1984 Centurion (a.k.a. Diamond Back) Master (Dave Scott Signature)
Total Bike Weight (as tested) 19.3
Tubing Tange #2 Infinity Double butted steel, fully lugged

Ride impressions
Like going back to your first prom with your high school sweetheart… Smooth…Romantic (?) Dreams of top 5 finishes…

Pro’s
-Long drop outs, lugs and quality steel. This bike will be worth as much, maybe more in 5 years then it is today.
-Classic steel ride, mystic and all that. Gets lots of attention

Con’s
-OK, a little heavy, the frame, fork, hs and bb came in at 7.2. Still, not too bad, all things considered.
-Funky paint job, but DB/Centurion did much worse in the day
-Young riders don’t get it
-Makes me feel old…Seems like only yesterday…
-Bad, bad fork.

Spec’s
2004 Diamond Back Master
Total Bike Weight (as tested) 18.9

Ride impressions
Stiff, agile, quick handling, connected to the road. This podium model is all alu, except for the carbon fork. Might be punishing on long rides, but I wanted this bike just for really fast 20 – 30 milers, not all day races. Handles like a rail, impressive for a mass produced Tiwan sweat shop frame. I did not expect magic, but it does deliver very well all that I ask it to do. Subdued paint and compact geometry blends in but looks nothing at all like the 99 out of 100 Trek’s in the peleton.

Pro’s
Light
Responsive
No Gimmicks (except for the internal headset, yuck)
Compact geometry

Con’s
I like the look of compact geometry, on second thought, I don’t, well, yea, I do…
Internal Headset
Compact geometry
Disposible materials
Trying to find it’s soul…

Final Analysis
In 20 years from now, it is very possible that the 2004 DBR Master will no longer be around. Thin walled, oversized aluminum, while not given to rust, typically doesn’t exhibit the longevity that of a well made steel bike. If it does survive, it won’t be as sought after by those looking for cool fixed gears due to drop out tabs. The internal headset (my prediction) will go the way of biopace by 2010.

However, slowly but surely, demand for Japanese steel bikes of the 80’s is growing. All of the cool old Italian bikes and Paramounts have found their homes by now. With RB1’s getting impossible to find, the next cool frames will be (prediction time again) will be Panasonics and such, like Centurions, DB’s and others.

Bottom line? The 2004 model will not be around in 20 years (neither will I, most likely), while the 84 will still be capable for many fun fixed hours in the saddle.

These are two very different bikes, but both were and continue to be great value for the money. They fit in just fine beside my Trek 5900 and Litespeed Vortex.
 

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On your left!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Syntace...

rebadged as Tsunami Toro bars. I think the model name was Stratos.

They are by far my favorite bull horns. They offer several hand positions and a good amount of drop. I prefer some drop over no drop like most bars today.

Check www.chucksbikes.com for the bars. I think he may be out, but has some other Syntace at a deal.
 

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agreed: your point about Japanese bikes....

of 80's vintage becoming more valuable. I own a 91 RB-1 and have had outrageous offers for it. 3rensho road bikes are next to impossible to find as well as top of the line Panasonics and Lotus'.I think part of what is fueling this is the fixie craze...the horizontal dropouts and sturdiness are perfect for conversion. Or it could be the old guys (like me) using what little disposable income they have to buy bikes they consider classic. Or it could be the new bikes overly expensive, ugly, full of unnecessary fluff (carbon handlebars?carbon cranks?how many sprockets is too many?).
 
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