Road Bicycles Manufacturers
|Launched||circa 1969 (ceased in 2000)|
|Headquarters||Camarillo, Ca and Newbury Park, California (subsequent location)|
|Mitchell M. Weiner, Co-founder
Junya (Cozy) Yamakoshi, Co-founder, Item Developing
|"In Which We Contribute, Others Must Follow"|
Centurion is a brandname of bikes created in 1969 by Mitchell (Mitch) M. Weiner and Junya (Cozy) Yamakoshi, who co-founded Western States Import Co. (WSI) in Canoga Park, California (in the beginning Wil-Go Imports) to style, specify, distribute and promote the bicycles. The bicycles on their own were produced at first in Japan by companies including H. Tano business of Kobe and later in Taiwan by companies including Merida. The Centurion brand had been consolidated with WSI's hill bicycle brand in 1990. WSI stopped businesses in 2000.
Centurion and WSI competed in U.S. against domestic and European bike producers including Schwinn, Raleigh, Peugeot, Gitane and Motobecane — as well as other nascent Japanese bicycle companies including Miyata, Fuji, Bridgestone, Panasonic, Univega, Lotus and Nishiki — itself a type of Japanese-manufactured bicycles that have been specified, distributed and promoted by-west Coast Cycles — a U.S. company similar to WSI. Japanese-manufactured bicycles succeeded inside U.S. market until money fluctuations within the belated 1980s made all of them less competitive, leading organizations to origin bikes from Taiwan.
WSI advertised the Centurion model of road and touring bikes in the United States utilising the tag line "in which Centurion leads, other individuals must follow" and "an eternity Bicycle", supplying a warranty without time-limit. For a short period the bikes transported a "Centurion bike Works" headbadge.
According to Frank J. Berto, composer of The Dancing Chain: History and improvement the Derailleur bike (3d Ed. 2009), Raleigh Industries of The united states was indeed examining a Japanese supply for Grand Prix model. Raleigh The united states ordered 2, 000 bikes from Tano and business of Osaka however their moms and dad organization in England, TI-Raleigh, disapproved — concerned your Tano-built bicycles were too well made and could have outsold their very own British bikes.
Raleigh's telemarketer, Mitchell Weiner, who was simply reading during the time, took bill regarding the bicycles, put Centurion decals in the bicycles and marketed all of them successfully, subsequently developing Western State Imports after merging with Rick Wilson's organization, Wil-Go of Santa Clara, Ca. Due to the fact bikes had all been intended as Raleigh Grand Prix models, as Centurions, they transported the colors associated with the Raleigh The united states Grand Prix model.
Cozy Yamakoshi served because the company's item development supervisor, creating the bike's frames, matching the make of bicycles by Japanese manufacturers, and importing the bikes into the US. Subsequently, around 1986, Centurion introduced their very first Taiwanese built model, the Signet. The Cinelli Equipe Centurion of 1985 (only) was a joint-venture of WSI and Cinelli of Italy.
Early cycle product sales were limited by the West Coast, with all the brand receiving larger exposure by the belated 1970s. WSI stopped making use of the Centurion name brand in 1990, consolidating their particular road and touring bicycles underneath the Diamond Back (subsequent DiamondBack) brand name. As the brand Centurion had become popular, in new name brand their marketplace for road and touring bikes shortly evaporated. Early Diamond Back models (ca. 1990) carried a high tube decal reading "Centurion Designed" and stickers close to the base bracket reading "Designed in the united states" and "solely designed for WSI." Diamondback Bicycles was ultimately offered to Raleigh American, and make was moved to Taiwan.
WSI later unsealed a company in Van Nuys, Ca, and eventually maintained offices in Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colorado and Dayton, nj — furthermore a headquarters in Newbury Park, Ca. After Weiner died, the company proceeded its growth underneath the management of Mike Bobrick.