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I bought a bike. Another bike. I don’t know why. I have a carbon road bike that I love, but I wanted a classic. So after hunting Craigslist I found it. A 1987 Dave Scott Centurion Master in Purple Smoke.

It was perfect and complete, except for two spots of rust on the cable guides. Rust is unacceptable. I can’t have that, and while I’m at it, there are a few other things to change too. The Purple Smoke is dated, so that triggered a paint-job instead of just touch up. The paint prep disassembly got stuck, as the stem was fully seized in the fork. Weeks of YouTube and a hydraulic press finally cleared that aluminum chunk out. Now the bike was ready to be stripped. Sanding was making no progress, so off to the sandblaster.

Once the frame was stripped, it was time for paint. A helpful soul at Lowe’s recommended the cheap spray-paint, which dripped like crazy, costing me more time and more sanding. I felt like I know and trust automotive paint much more, so that would be the way to go. I picked a light Honda Accord blue because that paint will be available forever (for touchups).

First off, the 80’s Arya box section wheels had to go. Amazon sells the AeroMAX wheelset for $119. It is a heavy (2200g for the set) 29.3mm V-section wheel with bladed spokes. For this rehab and an updated look, they fit the bill perfectly.

The 20mm vintage tires had to go. A coworker of mine sold me his extra Michelin Dynamic Classic 25mm gumwall tires, for that classic rubber look.

Since I’d spent the last two weeks destroying my stem, I needed a new one. My parts bin yielded a Cinelli stem and a set of Cinelli ergo drops.

Now despite the bike being complete and very operational, the hoods were STICKY! It turns out that Shimano 600 hoods are super rare and overpriced, so set of tan Cane Creek SCR-5s brake levers were purchased and installed to match the vintage theme.

The seat that came on the bike was a suede Selle Italia Turbo saddle that was showing its age. It looked like it was growing things in spots. The saddle was replaced with a classic looking leather unit from China.

Now the bike was rideable, the question was; how would it ride? A couple of quick climbs proved that A) the bike was solid and B) I had to learn how to prepare for tube-shifting. It is a whole new feeling to be cruising down a hill at 30+mph and taking one hand off and down below to shift gears. The steel frame is alive for climbs and smooth for distance rides. This bike has classic looks and rides so smooth. Now I have two wonderful bikes to choose from. The Centurion reminds me why I ride. It is just fun to be out there. I know I can’t climb like I can on carbon, but I can keep up with the pack, and I just love riding it. I look at it like a hot rod. It is not for pure speed, but for the enjoyment of the ride.

Raleigh Purtzer

Raleigh Purtzer

I was born and raised in Corvallis Oregon. Corvallis is a rainy little college town that is very environmentally connected. Biking is a way of life for everyone. A bike was a ticket to freedom for me as a kid. The entire town was accessible by bike and I rode everywhere; until we moved to southern California. I took several years off biking through highschool and college, but the allure of ridiculously cheap big box store bikes brought me back. A few short rides and I remembered everything that I missed about being on a bike. Currently I road bike and mountain bike. I have two kids who enjoy biking and have taken my youngest on a couple of long rides.

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