The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles

Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Corvallis, Oregon

1987 Centurion Ironman Expert

At this moment, featured on Craigslist ads all over America, there are scores of Centurion Ironman Dave Scott’s available for purchase. Why then, is this one any different?

1987 Centurion Ironman Expert

1987 Centurion Ironman Expert; Dave Scott – Georgena Terry Inspired

The answer to this question begins with a woman named Georgena Terry. Georgena is in the business of creating bicycles specifically for women. To quickly summarize, she was not satisfied with the geometry on bicycles, as many models did not fit smaller framed women. She began building her own that were more proportional to that particular frame. Her friends wanted bicycles, word spread and the rest is history. Her fascinating history is well known around the cycling circuit and more information is easily found with a quick search, which is why I won’t go into further detail about this frame-building pioneer.

The Centurion Ironman Expert, Dave Scott edition is a bicycle that was a mid-to-high level frame, fairly underrated yet was produced on a moderately large scale. This means, there are still scores of these fine bicycles still floating around and priced quite reasonably. But this particular bike isn’t just any Ironman, this is a Georgena Terry Inspired Ironman. A model, in the 1987 lineup, that was produced for only one year.

Major differences are clearer when you know what to look for. Mainly though, the 24” front wheel is the oddity. This size wheel permitted a lower standover height while still having the ability to use traditional lugs and a horizontal top tube. It also allowed for a shorter top tube, without severe toe clip overlap from the front wheel.
24” wheels are clearly a non-typical size. They weren’t, and still are not, found at most local bike shops. They were special order items at the time and certainly aren’t plentiful today. But, the frame adjustments and the wheel size worked and the concept was reproduced on a number of other bicycle brands including Nishiki and Miyata, to name a few.

I can say with certainty that my favorite aspects of the Centurion Dave Scott editions are how instantly recognizable they are within a certain decade of history. The Dave Scott edition was produced from 1985 to 1989. It is clear this frame was screaming 80s from the beginning of production and didn’t let up until productions end. It became even more electric with the additions of geometric shapes on the Centurion logos and paint that became wilder. Yet, it fit with the decade. An explanation found states that the Centurion design group style was in full swing with the popularity of Miami Vice. Bold magenta’s, primary yellows, aqua, white and even the salmon pastel, as offered above, provided a frame that boldly cemented itself in a distinct time period.

Although this particular line of Centurion is not to everyone’s liking, there is something special about the model lineup. Whether that is the intense colors, the pristine lugwork, the bulletproof Shimano 105/600 groupsets (standard on all models) or the specially made model made specifically for a smaller body type.

There is beauty in everything if you just look close enough.

Color: Salmon and white
Frame Size: 47cm (C-T) seat post & 49cm (C-C) top tube
Frame/Drop-outs: Tange 1 (Double butted), Cr-Mo; Shimano
Fork: Tange 1, Cr-Mo
Bars: Nitto B115
Bar Wrap: Fizik Superlight Celeste with chrome bar plugs
Stem: Nitto
Headset: Shimano 105
Saddle: Selle Royal Contour Saddle; Pearl
Seat Post: SR Laprade; Fluted
Shimano FC-105; Takagi 48/40; 165mm
Front Derailleur: Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105
Shifting Levers: Shimano 105 SIS 6-speed downtube shifters
Brake Levers: Shimano 105 SLR; White hoods
Brake Calipers: Shimano 105; Shimano pads
Cable and Housing: Jagwire CGX-SL; White
Freewheel: 6-Speed Shimano MF-Z012 (13/15/17/19/21/24)
Sachs Sedis
Shimano 105; Parallax 110
Wheels: Araya CTL-370; Bronze anodized; 700c; 32 hole & 24″; 28 hole; Shimano skewers
Tires: Panaracer Pasela; Skinwall; 700 x 25c & 24″ x 1″
Pedals: MSK Sylvan
Special Features: Two bottle mounts; Chain rest

© Josh Capps and The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Josh Capps and The Simplicity of Vintage Cycles with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

9 comments on “1987 Centurion Ironman Expert

  1. ryansubike
    March 20, 2017

    Funny that before I even read the article at the first glance of the bike I was thinking “that bike would look right at home on the set of Miami Vice” Interesting history.

    • Josh C.
      March 20, 2017

      It’s not just this one, Ryan. They all have that vibe to them. It’s their blessing and their curse.

  2. alexmwilkins
    March 29, 2017

    So mesmerized by the color scheme, I didn’t even notice the front wheel size. Need my eyes checked…!

  3. JamesF
    March 13, 2018

    I had one and loved the ride. Gave it swaths few years ago and still miss it.

    • Josh C.
      March 13, 2018

      I think we all have a “one that got away”, James. That’s a helluva one to lose. Mine, I’d say is from the very first post I made on this blog. My Motobecane, which was too small for me, but such a wonderful bicycle on a few levels. Ah, the memories… So, James, I can honestly say that I feel your pain.

  4. vivalaslider
    August 20, 2018

    Nice write up,

    FWIW:Although it was never referred to as a Georgena Terry edition. They were just referred as “Ironman Expert Womens” there was 2 frame sizes a 46cm which you have here with a 24″ front wheel and a 48cm size that has a regular 700c front wheel .

    • Josh C.
      August 21, 2018

      Thanks for the information!
      When doing research for the post, I could have sworn there was proof this was a specific Terry edition Ironman but a quick look does not have me finding that proof. Instead, I have edited the post to “Georgena Terry inspired” so not to misrepresent the frame.

  5. RobbieTunes
    December 5, 2018

    The Ironman was an iconic bike, created out of the desire to market to budding triathletes who would train and race on the same bike. A bargain at it’s price point, then and now, as there are always Ironman models for sale. The frame really comes alive with modern components, and is equal in balance, precision, and ride quality with models costing 4-5x as much in MSRP. Almost everyone who was riding in the late 80’s either had one, knew someone who did, or wanted one. I was no exception, and I’ve probably had 50 come through my shop. The bike/frame still has a good following, and is still a huge value for the money. Thanks for showing the Terry-inspired model. Many marques produced this geometry during that era, but few equipped it with the level of componentry that Centurion did. The 24″ front wheel is also known as a 520c.

    • Josh C.
      December 5, 2018

      I am stunned at how much value this comment adds to the original post by diving just a little deeper into the Ironman line at the time it was in its pinnacle.

      Thank you for the addition, Robbie.

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