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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 18 months ago I bought a NOS 1981 Centurion Elite. It's time to admit that it was a mistake. I just never took to the bike. I really tried. I gave it a Brooks seat. I built up some old Phil hubs and replaced the cheap 27" wheels. I put on a Sugino XD2 triple and switched to indexed barcons. The bike just doesn't thrill me.

I think there are 4 problems. First, it was a midrange bike--straight guage chrome moly. Second, I didn't have any strong connection to the brand. Third, it is a little too small. Finally, I built up 2 other bikes that I really do like and the Centurion pales in comparison.

Lesson learned. Maybe a nice old Paramount frame would be the fix.

Anyone else have Retro Remorse?
 

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I feel for you, man. I'm currently enduring "retro remorse" over an '83 Trek model 970 road bike. Like you, I've just completed building up a set of wheels using NOS Campy record hubs and Wolber Super Champion Aspin rims.

My problem is that I willingly paid way too much for the bike, given its overall condition. I got carried away and just couldn't imagine letting it slip away. So I suppose I got what I deserved. BUT, the bike is my frame size, has a silver-braised Columbus SL frameset, cool looking paint job, came appointed with a full Super Record Gruppo, and is a fairly rare model. When all's said and done, I'm hoping my remorse will evaporate like the denatured alcohol I used wiping down the finished wheelset.

Your problem may have been sinking time, effort, and money into a bike that doesn't excite you and probably doesn't rate the attention (unless you have some fond memories of a Centurion Elite you owned as a kid). Personally, I don't get very excited about Centurion bikes anyway. If you feel no connection to the bike, I suggest you sell it, even at a loss, and go on to the next project.

Finally, you can rationalize the experience by remembering that probably some of your finds were really good deals; diamonds in the rough perhaps. Maybe the hunt is the most fun. And taking these sometimes neglected machines and nursing them back into shape where they ride as good or better than new is very satisfying.

Good luck on your next find.
 

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a poorly sized/fitting bike will kill the passion quickly, retro or modern... retros typically had geometry different than today's bikes- slack sta, long tt, a fewer sizes
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FatTireFred said:
a poorly sized/fitting bike will kill the passion quickly, retro or modern... retros typically had geometry different than today's bikes- slack sta, long tt, a fewer sizes
I have long legs and a short torso, and I like the handlebars about 2" below the seat, so the retro geometry fits me better than most modern bikes. The Centurion is 64 cm c-t seat tube with a 58 cm toptube, but I needed a Nitto tTechnomic stem and a longer seatpost to get comfortable. It works fine, but I don't like the looks of 4" of stem neck. There are some good old 66-69 cm cm bikes that still have a short top tube. An old 26" seat tube Paramount would be great, or maybe a modern custom.
 

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It's a sad thing when your golden oldie turns out to be a moldy oldie. Sometimes nostalgia ain't what it used to be. It didn't exactly happen to me, but I have to say I was disappointed with my neo-retro Rambouillet.
 

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Been there. It looks pretty BUT anything with straight gauge tubing is automatically out for me. You have listed several other deal killers in your post. When looking at a bike, I make sure(for the most part) to make sure it passes my "deal killer" list before I consider it a good addition. Being human, no matter what the level of our collection, we will be subject to less than rational decisions and will always have regrets. JMO
 

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I've got a beautiful Colnago super I had repainted and loaded with Nuovo Record. I bought it years ago when I didn't really understand sizing and so I got a 57, which was similar to the compact frame I was riding at the time.

Nowadays I ride a 61.

Soooooooo... as much as I want to love my little colnago, it's just too f'ing small. On top of that, I'll never recoup the cost of getting it repainted if I ever did sell the frame.

Oh well.
 
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