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Where's that GPS?
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I hope others who had one of these bikes will add thier thoughts as well as pictures to this thread...

Centurion – My Love Story

In the early 1980’s, when I went out to buy my first multi-speed bicycle in Copenhagen, Centurions were all the rage in Denmark.
At the time, practically anyone and everyone in Denmark still rode a bike. For one make of bicycle to move into that market in such a big way so quickly, I knew there had to be something special about Centurions.

From fixed gear to racers (as road bikes were known back then), everywhere you looked, those tired and heavy green or black Raleighs that everyone and their Grandmother had ridden were being abandoned and brightly colored Centurions were popping up like dandelions in the urban landscape. My personal favorite was a solid bright- red “racer” with Centurion printed on its sides in bold white letters. I decided to save up some cash and get one as soon as possible.

My local bike dealer was willing to put me on a payment plan as long as I could pay for half of the bike up front, which I quickly did.
He informed me that, due to my height, the red racer was a non-starter, the only frame he had in my size was metallic baby blue (aka Ice Blue)! I was not happy about that, but I swallowed hard and took it like a man. He pulled down, what I now believe was a 1983 LeMans, from a rack and invited me to sit on it.
There was something about the fit of this bike – I have not been able to replicate it in my subsequent bikes. My local bike shop dealer adjusted the seat and after that it was perfect. You would sit on this bike and it would feel “fast”… you would feel fast.
With my money in hand, the dealer let me take the bike for a spin.
I couldn’t believe the lightness and responsiveness of this bike. Baby blue be damned, I was in love!

I commuted back and forth to work on this bike, often very early in the morning as I worked a swing shift. Copenhagen was dead at three o’clock in the morning and I rode to work as fast as I could (I was about twenty years old at the time and in great physical shape), blowing through red lights and taking turns at reckless speeds (no helmet of course), always trying to beat my previous best ride times. My Centurion was quick and nimble and never once got a flat! Had a couple of spills taking corners too quickly, but that was operator error – the bike preformed like a champ and never let me down.

Unfortunately, bike theft was the number one crime in Copenhagen in those days. My Centurion was stolen twice. Each time, I went back to the same bike shop and bought another one…in Ice Blue, naturally. Gave my last one to my former roommate when I left for the States (that one was also stolen!).

I ride a Specialized Allez Double these days. It’s a great bike for my purposes, but I doubt I will ever love it the way I did my Centurion (s).

P.S. Thanks to Ashley Wright for going above and beyond the call of duty and her continuing help in researching my old Centurion.
 

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great story!!!! ,,i traded my brother-in-law a mountain bike for my first Centurion, a 86 LeMans, i have had it a few days and turned it into my commuter, added some chop and flop bars...also added bigger tires Bontrager 700x 28's...this bike will fly!!,it still has the Wobler wheels!!,,a blast to ride..
 

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Where's that GPS?
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3,117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sweet bike...I'm jealous!

It is amazing how light they were.

Enjoy.
 
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