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Centurion Ironman Dave Scott: 30 Year Old Bike Review

The Centurion Ironman Dave Scott was a mid to high-level road bike designed for use in triathlons. They were manufactured in Japan between 1985 and 1989. Quite a few of these bikes were made so they are pretty easy to find on Craigslist and eBay. A Centurion Ironman in good condition can be had for around $300.

Centurion produced several different versions of the Ironman Dave Scott over the years. The original was made from 1985 to 1986. In 1987 the line split into two models called the Master and Expert. with the Expert being the higher range model. These were made from 1987 to 1989. An Expert Women’s version was produced in 1987.

I bought my Centurion Ironman Dave Scott to use as a commuter bike. I rode it every day for 3 years during college. In this guide, I’ll review this classic bike.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

Components

Based on the components and color scheme, I believe I had a 1985 model. It included:

  • Shimano 600EX groupset
  • Tange 1 steel frame
  • Shimano 600 downtube friction shifters
  • Shimano 600 hubs
  • Araya rims
  • Shimano 6 speed freewheel

The regular Ironman Dave Scott and the Master models come equipped with Shimano 600 components. The Expert version comes equipped with Shimano 105 components. Both are very reliable and of good quality. Shimano 105 are one level up from the Shimano 600.

The Ride

Even though mine had seen better days, it still rode fast and smooth. The highlights of this bike are the frame and wheels. The Tange 1 steel frame is well-made and of high quality. The bike has a comfortable but sporty geometry. For their day, the wheels were pretty high-grade. They are light and sturdy.

Reliability

At the time, I wasn’t really into cycling and did pretty much zero maintenance other than adjusting the brakes when I got it. The bike took a beating and never left me stranded. I rode this thing pretty rough, occasionally going over curbs and hitting potholes. I never broke a spoke.

Who This Bike is Good For

This is a great bike for someone who is just getting into road cycling. It also makes a good commuter or around town bike. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on a new road bike, you can pick up one of these used and get started for a few hundred bucks. Because this bike was a higher end model for its day, it still holds up compared to low to medium level modern equipment. If you are on a tight budget, this is a much better choice than a department store bike.

What I Don’t Like

I had only owned mountain bikes before I bought the Centurion Ironman. The only downside of this bike for me is the down tube shifters. They take a bit of getting used to but are low maintenance and shift smooth.

Another thing that may bother some people is the color scheme depending on the year and model you get. These bikes were made in the 80s and have a very 80s look. Many feature bright pink, purple, yellow, or green paint jobs. I prefer less flashy colors but that is a personal preference. Lucky for me, mine was dark gray with quite a bit of rust.

My Experience With the Centurion Ironman Dave Scott

The Centurion Ironman Dave Scott was my first road bike. I bought the rusty old bike on Craigslist for about $150. For years I commuted to school and around town on it while I was living in Santa Barbara. At the time, I thought of it as just an old beater bike to ride around town. As I learned more about the model, I really grew to appreciate it.

Do you ride a Centurion Ironman Dave Scott? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Sandie

Friday 22nd of September 2023

I have the Schwinn Sierra mountain bike since it first came out and still have it. The only thing I ever did to it was get new brakes. I still ride it and love it. I am 79 years old We put alot of miles on it. My husband has one also.

Danny Bordas

Wednesday 16th of August 2023

The models are reversed in this article. The "Master" is the top of the line. The "Expert" is the intro and lower version of the "Ironman" line. In the late 80's the 600 group was above the 105. I understand that changed when the 600 groupset was discontinued, but none the less, at that time the "Master" is a higher quality bike than the "Expert". My son and I each own an Ironman Master (White/Purple Fade). I am the original owner of mine and purchased my sons bike for him in 2016. He was born in 2000 and loves his bike. We ride together often to this day at 61 & 23 years of age respectively...

John Tocado

Sunday 7th of May 2023

I have an 89 Dave Scott Centurion Master in black. I upgraded the wheels and put period correct Suntour freewheels and shifters and changed the gearing to 53 38 in the front and 12 to 36 in the rear. I moved the shifters to handle bars using Gavanalle Audex friction shifters with Rivendale Bikes friction shifters. There is one other downside I am a heavy rider (over 300) and I cannot put anything bigger then 26 mm tires and often get flats. Other then that it is my favorite bicycle and has given me no trouble.

Lionel del Valle

Sunday 8th of January 2023

Hello, I own a Centurion Ironman Dave Scott. Mine is mostly red. I acquire the Centurion by exchanging it with a Kuwahara BMX (blue). Up to this day I still ride the Centurion. I also own a Kestrel, Trek USPS & a Bianchi ( for commuting).

Scott Williams

Saturday 8th of October 2022

I had one, bought it new and put many miles on it here in Orlando in the late eighties. That's back before the paved bike trails, I rode right out in traffic with the cars. You can't do that today or you will get run over. There is too much traffic here and drivers are on their phones!!! Now I stick to the back streets on my 29er mountain bike. I do remember telling people I never rode on Mondays or Fridays. People hate Mondays (work related), Fridays have lots of drunk drivers. Enjoy your ride where ever you may be.

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