Centurion Explorer

This bike’s most notable feature is probably the story behind its rollout: In 1987, Wolfgang Renner, CEO and founder of Centurion, traveled to Tibet together with a group of fifteen fellow bikers. Their plan was to pedal all the way from Lhasa to Kathmandu, a mere 700-miles distance across the Himalayan mountain range. It took eleven days, countless dirt roads of all calibers, including 16,000-feet-high pass crossings, until the group finally reached the capital of Nepal.

After the team’s return, the bike model provided for the trip went into regular production. The Centurion Explorer Lhasa Kathmandu, as the bicycle was named, became a milestone in the company’s breakthrough on the MTB market.

On the technical side, it is a rather ordinary 26-inch-wheel expedition bike. It weighs in at about 14kg, quite a bit given its smallish 18-inch frame. But this is what steel bikes were built like back in the day! This 1988 model’s most unusual detail is its rear brake, a chainstay-mounted SunTour XCD 6000 roller-cam.