Sunday, May 27, 2012

1985 Centurion "Cinelli" Equipe

Even with a microfiber cloth lining the shop stand jaws, the Equipe logo disintegrated. :( Lesson learned, and WHY didn't Centurion clear coat these decals?

Test ride of this bike HERE.

I've decided to concentrate on collecting unique bicycles, for now, anyway.

This Centurion certainly qualifies. Popular "expert" opinion estimates the number of stock Equipe bicycles may be as high as 50, but probably fewer, and this one is pretty darn close to stock. The brake levers are not stock, as the original, Universal AER levers were replaced at some point with Modolo Speedy levers. I've got an eBay search for the originals, so it's only a matter of time. Just put the Dia Compe 204 hoods on the Speedy levers and they fit perfectly.

The original Cinelli seat was falling apart, and I have another Cinelli Volare on a different bike that I'll swap over as time permits.

The Ofmega Sintesi pedals are long gone as well, replaced with period-correct (well, within a year or two) Campagnolo Chorus pedals. [6/30/13 Update - I bought a pair of NOS Ofmega Sintesi pedals and installed them on the bike. They work well, but the bolts for the toe clips are a real pain to keep tight.]

I'll let you read up on the history of the Centurion Equipe HERE on the Cinelli Only blog. The owner of the site, Angel has good info there and is restoring another variation of the "Equipe" which you can read about HERE

How does it ride? Smooth, stable, tracks like an arrow and is ready to jump into action when needed. The component mix, except for the brakes which don't stop worth a darn, is excellent, and the frame is light and responsive. Sew ups are such a joy to ride on. More on that in an upcoming post.

Enjoy the pics above and see more HERE.

Test ride of this bike HERE.


  1. The Centurion Equipe was originally intended to be marketed as the Cinelli Equipe Centurion (Cinelli Team Centurion), but Cinelli was not fond of leading off the name of a frame built under contract. The original order was for 1 shipping container, and that was the limit of the production. Alan Goldsmith negotiated the agreement on behalf or Western States Imports, parent company of Centurion (US, not to be confused with the German Centurion bike firm). It is pretty much agreed that the frames were produced in the Chirico factory in Bussero, Italy, on the outskirts of Milan. Chirico made other frames for Cinelli, and one of the Chirico sons "apprenticed" under Cinelli's master frame builder for 14 years, returning to Chirico to develop and patent a process to make forks. The frame is as much Cinelli as any other model, but lacks the tiny winged C stamp on the head lugs, and avoided comparisons to the Super Corsa by using more standard seat stay caps. Smaller models were Columbus SL, with larger models being a combination of SL and SP. Attention was paid to Cinelli components, but also to other Italian components that were competitors to Campagnolo, such as Ofmega (Mistral crankset, Sintesi pedals, bottom bracket and alloy headset. Universal provided the nice AER calipers and levers, Miche the hubs, Fiamme the rims, and Gipiemme the seatpost. The awful Centurion decals were produced in orange/green and lavender/black, and these cracked within about a year. Many restored models do away with those and just use Cinelli decals. The "Cinelli Equipe" decals were negotiated to the 1" decal on top of the down tube and on the L chain stay. The bike flopped, but has a nice following in the US, where originals are very hard to find, but the frames are still popular.

  2. Would anyone be able to determine the differences between Cinelli-Centurion frames. There was the production model, the Project model and then there were (2) prototype models produced. Information through blogs indicate there were changes between original and production models, what were these changes? My frame does not have braze-ons for the pump under the top tube nor for the set tube water bottle. My frame has never had chrome head lugs. Images i have seen indicate these frame options are more of the Project Cinelli-Centrion model.
    Does anyone have any insight on this topic?


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