Monday, August 11, 2014

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle After Restoration

Recently I have started a restoration of a Centurion Comp TA.  I will admit that I really do not have much knowledge of Centurion bicycles.  I restored one sometime back from the mid 1970's, it was a Centurion Semi-Professional, an absolutely beautiful bike with chrome head tube and fork lugs, it was before I knew I should take photos and way before I knew about websites.  I wish I had a photo to post now.  With that restoration I did not really do any research on Centurions and besides a few tune ups here and there on the Dave Scott Iron Man's I have not come across many.

I am very impressed with this Centurion Comp TA, it has a complete Shimano 600 group and some really nice bronze color wheels.  The Shimano 600 group is a beautiful set.  The Centurion is extremely light, surprisingly light!!  It is Champion No. 2 Double Butted tubing so that factors into the lightness.

The Centurion Comp is in okay starting shape, the bright work is dull, the paint has some rough spots but in the end I think its going to be beautiful.  The Centurion will receive new tires, tubes, cables, cable housings, handlebar tape, brake elver hoods and a complete restoration.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration \
Bicycle Before - Handlebars

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before - Stem

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Stem

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Head Tube

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Front Brake

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before
Shift Levers

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Champion NO. 2 Decal

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before
Front Derailleur

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before
Bottom Bracket

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Crank

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Seat Lug

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Brake

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Before - Rear Derailleur

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Before
Rear Wheel Rim
 With the frame stripped of the components I can see that the frame is okay starting shape.  There is some surface rust here and there but I not worth a repaint.  I think with a good cleaning and a polishing through all of the grits it should come out very nice.

Some how I lost the before photo of the over all frame.


1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Before
Head Tube

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Before
Comp TA Decal

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Before
Bottom Bracket

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Before - Seat Lug

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Before
Rear Brake Bridge

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Before - Drop Outs

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Before - Fork

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Before - Fork Lug

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Before
Fork Lug

The frame polished beautifully!!  The champagne color looks fantastic polished out.  Most of the surface rust removed well, there is a little damage to the paint in spots around the bottom brackets and lugs but not bad at all.  The paint took on a deep shine and I am very happy with it.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Polished - Head Tube

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Polished
Centurion Decal

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Polished
Top Tube

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Polished - Seat Lug

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Polished
Bottom Bracket

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Frame Polished
Bottom Bracket

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Polished - Brake Bridge

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Polished - Fork Crown

While the frame was disassembled I wanted to weigh it.  The frame does have the headset bearing cups installed.  4 lbs 14 oz.  Pretty darn light.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Frame Weight
The bottom bracket went into the crock pot for cleaning.  I left the headset cups in the frame, the frame has a groove that the headset fits into and it is easier to polish the cups in the frame then it is to remove this style of bearing cups.

The bottom bracket is also a replacement bottom bracket.  The non drive side arm of the crank was frozen into place by the metal crank bolt dust cap, this really sucked to have to replace a Shimano 600 crank arm and bottom bracket because some one when the bike was assembled did not put a dab of grease on the metal dust cap threads.

The bottom bracket and headset polished very nice and are both very high quality components.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Headset &Bottom Bracket
Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Headset & Bottom Bracket
Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Headset
Bearing Cups - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Headset - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Headset
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bottom Bracket - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bottom Bracket
Complete
The stem is a very interesting stem made by Custom.  It has a cam like action to secure the handlebars to the stem.  The stem bolt is actually on the side.  The stem also has a slight texture to it but polished very nice.

The handlebars are in good condition, they are my favorite as always, the Sakae Road Champions.  The Road Champions are not as wide as modern handlebars and I have very broad shoulders but they have always worked for me.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Stem - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Stem - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Headset - Bottom Bracket
Stem & Handlebars - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Stem & Handlebars - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Stem & Handlebars
Complete
The non drive side crank arm was replaced with the exact same crank arm.  The crank cleaned very nice, the crank arms polished pretty good, the crank arms have a strong texture and does not polish to a mirror finish.  The crank bolts polished very nice and look fantastic against the bronze colored chain ring.

With the crank complete it can really be seen how beautiful it is.  The Shimano 600 cranks are already beautiful but I really like the bronze colored chain ring.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Crank - Exploded

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Crank - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Crank - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Crank - Installed

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Crank - Complete
The brake elvers are very nice, the Shimano 600 levers are beautiful levers.  The original hoods are torn so they have been replaced with new hoods.  The brake levers cleaned wonderfully and polished extremely nice!! The new brake hoods look fantastic installed against the levers.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Brake Levers - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Brake Levers - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - New Brake Lever
Hoods - Installed

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Brake Levers
Installed
The brake calipers are one of my favorites, the Shimano 600 calipers are beautiful, they are very well refined, the shape is very nice and the Shimano 600 stamps are classic.

The calipers where in descent shape with only a little rust on the smaller pieces.  I disassembled the brake calipers and cleaned and flushed the pivot points.  I polished the calipers and pieces and assembled the calipers.

The calipers look fantastic and even better installed!! I could not be happier with the results!!


1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Calipers - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Calipers - Exploded

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Calipers - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Brake Calipers - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Front Brake Caliper - Installed

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Rear Brake Caliper - Installed
The derailleurs are of course the extremely nice Shimano 600's.  The front derailleur is a little rough but functioning well. I disassembled the derailleurs and cleaned and polished the derailleurs. The rear derailleur polished beautifully, the front derailleur turned out very nice considering the starting condition.  Best of all with the pivot points lubricated the Shimano 600 derailleurs function extremely well!

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Derailleurs - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Front Derailleur
Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Derailleurs - exploded

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Derailleurs - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Derailleurs - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Front Derailleur
Installed

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Rear Derailleur - Installed
The seat post is a fluted seat post, the best look.  The seat post polished very nice and looks good installed.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Seat Post - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Seat Post - Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Seat Post - Complete
The Shimano 600 shift elvers are one of the most beautiful, they cleaned nice and polished like little jewels.  Installed the shift levers look perfect against the polished frame.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Shimano 600
Shift Levers - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Shift Levers - Installed

The Centurion to this point is really coming along beautiful with the main body components complete.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Main Body Components
Complete
The wheels are beautiful wheels with the bronze colored rims, they fit the look of the Centurion so well.  The rear wheel was frustrating me.  The Sun Tour freewheel was damaged where the freewheel tool fits.  The edge where the Sun Tour two prong tool was broken and rounded off, I tried to improvise and remove the freewheel but the freewheel is frozen with out being able to get the best leverage.  For now the freewheel is married to this wheel.

I cleaned and polished the wheels and packed the bearings in new grease.  he freewheel made the rear bearings inconvenient to install but I was able to flush, clean and install the bearings.

I installed the new Continental Ultra Sport tires and trued he wheels.  The wheels turned out beautiful and look fantastic installed!!

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Rear Wheel - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel Rim
Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub
Old Grease

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel Hub
Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel Bearings
Installed

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel Rim
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
New Continental Ultra Sports Tires

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Rear Wheel - Compelte

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Rear Wheel
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Front Wheel - Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Before

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Front Wheel Hub
Polished

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Front Wheel - Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Front Wheel
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Front Wheel Rim
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Wheels - Complete
With the wheels complete the only things left to do is wire the Centurion and install the handlebar tape and pedals.

I installed new Jagwire Ice Gray cable housings and they look great against he frame color.  The handlebar tape is cork handlebar tape and the black is a perfect color.

The pedals polished pretty good and look great installed.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - New Bits & Pieces

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Wired

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Wired

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Handlebar Tape
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Handlebar Tape
Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Pedals - Polished
The Centurion Comp TA is complete, it looks fantastic and function spectacular on the stand.  Tomorrow I will test ride it and do the road fine tuning.  I will also take the final photos, I think the final photos are going to show a bicycle that really pops in the sun light!!

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
I would like to say I got up earl to test ride the Centurion Comp but I am always up at the crack of dawn, don't want to waste any time sleeping I guess.

I was curious of the weight of the Centurion Comp so I put it on the scale quick before the test ride, 23 lbs 13 oz, not bad for a steel bike but for some reason it feels even lighter then that when you pick it up.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Weighing the Centurion

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
23 Lbs 13 Oz - Not Bad At All!

The only fine tuning the Centurion needed was aligning the stem with the front wheel, it was off maybe 2 degrees, otherwise the Centurion was dead on right from the start.  First impression?? Damn, it is fast!!  (Or maybe I was having a good morning? Not to sore, maybe actually getting into good shape?? LOL!)  The Centurion flies and it is tight!!

The final photos really show how beautiful and understated the Centurion is, the champagne color, bronze chain ring and bronze colored wheels, black tape and black wall tires really work very nicely together.  I am super happy with the results.

The Centurion is the style of bicycle I love, the refined race bikes of the mid 1980's that still keep there raw minimalist feel.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Handlebars

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Stem

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Brake

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Fork Crown

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Front Wheel

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Stem

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Front Half
 In the photo above it seems to me that the Road Champion handlebars have a slightly different shape than normal, i like this shape a lot.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Shift Levers

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration
Bicycle Complete - Seat Lug

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Drive Train

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Rear Brake

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Rear Wheel
It may not really be, but to me race bikes from the 1980's in the rear freewheel, hub and derailleur area look so much more refined and streamlined compared to a modern bike.

1985 Centurion Comp TA Restoration - Bicycle Complete
Rear
Thank you everyone for the interest and business,
John Z.

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