Classic & Vintage - Please help - dating Shimano 600
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11-13-05, 09:21 PM
Can you tell me anything about these 600 derailleurs? No visible date / model codes anywhere on the back of either one... The word "uniglide" appears on the top surface of the front derailleur.
shimano 600, not 600ex, 82, 83, and 84. See
its in german but it doesn't really matter.
edit - after cruising that list for a minute, the derailleurs were only made in 1982.
11-13-05, 10:35 PM
Thanks, Luker. I've looked at that site a couple times in the past - really useful stuff! - but couldn't figure out what I was looking for without a part number...
11-13-05, 11:38 PM
I've got the same rear derailleur but I thought it was a 1977 because of the date code on the cage (BJ). Am I missing something here? By the way, thanks for posting that pic of the front derailleur brokenrobot - now I'll know what to look for when I get ready to find a matching FD for mine.
11-14-05, 12:54 PM
Hmmm... that date code DOES seem to throw a monkey in the wrench! FYI, though, I'm not certain these are a matched set; the bike they came on has definitely been repainted, and the components may have been changed out. If they're from 82, they're definitely aftermarket, based on what I can tell of teh rest of the bike - but if they're from the mid / late 70s, then perhaps they're original...
I have had less than 100% fit with the shimano date codes, even with parts that I know the age of, because I bought 'em new...
11-14-05, 10:45 PM
I have seen photos of similar units in a book that was published in 1978.
hmmmm...could Germans make a mistake in their tabulation? Ach!
Brokenrobot's derailleurs are 1st generation 600 models, which were introduced for the 1976 model year. They were superceded in 1978 with the introduction of the 600EX (arabesque group). However, they did remain in the catalogs until at least 1982, for manufacturers and cyclists who wanted a less expensive alternative to 600EX. However, in this case, the front derailleur has a Uniglide stamping. I believe, the introduction for Uniglide was 1977, so the at least the front derailleur would appear to be from 1977 or more recent.
The part numbers for these derailleurs are RD-6100 and FD-6100. The German site does show them for 1982 as Luker states, however, it does not contain any earlier entries, regardless of the components. Obviously, the compiler did not have those catalogs and 1982 is the effective starting point for this website. So we can't say they got anything wrong, just that hey don't have all the data.
In fact, everyone's comments are correct, though the story was somewhat incomplete. ChrisLite was right about the 1977 date code and they would have still been current for the 1978 book that Alanbikehouston saw them in. They were also still in manufacture for 1982, as Luker commented. The bottom line is that these components were available from 1976-1982 and for part of their life span were being produced concurrently with 600EX and 600AX.
As for the Shimano date codes, I have yet to run into any fit problems, provided I consider the circumstances. Components can often sit on LBS shelves for a number of years, so even if you by them "new", they could be several years old. This can even sometimes happen with manufacturers who have poor inventory control and push the remaining stock to the back of the shelf when a new supply arrives. In such cases, the parts can get pushed back repeatedly and it can take a long time for the old parts to surface. Secondly, big manufacturers like Shimano have to start manufacturing components a year in advance, to have the necessary stock for the manufacturers and LBS. So even if you buy the "just introduced" derailleur, it could have a date code from the previous year.
Can't help being a little bit argumentative. Snow and now real cold (4 degrees!) has kept me off the bike since Friday. So, rather than go to the Y (aiyiyi!), I rummaged through my junk a little. The front set of brakes has a reasonable date code of "O" on one brake and "P" on the other, but the back ones have date codes of "S" and "T".
The cranks that go with the older set have a reasonable range of "D" to "F" (inner chainring, looks to be a replacement), but the drive side arm month code is clearly "Z", and I dunno what that means. The cranks that go with the new DA stuff have an arm date of "R", okay, but the inner ring has a date of "K", and it looks to be original, although I really haven't any proof of the set being all original.
Actually, I dunno much about how any of the date codes work other than what Skip has documented. There must be more here than meets my poor tired eyes...
11-15-05, 11:35 PM
I ran across a rear Dura-Ace center-pull with a "S" year code too (on a Taiwanese junker. Go figure). The front brake was missing so I gave it to the owner of my favorite LBS to put in the case with his other early DA stuff. According to all available logic "S" would be 1968 but that doesn't wash since 1973 was the first year for DA stuff. Something is definately afoot with the early dating scheme.
The earlier stuff is where I see weird things - I looked at another early set of black brakes and found a Z, and an O...I could have sworn that they were a matched pair before I looked at the date code. Do you suppose that they would have used different codes for different export countries?
I'm pretty sure that the Araya that I have is all original, so a date code check on it might be revealing - I also have a box of DA bits that I'm saving for something or other; I'll dig it out tonight and see if there are any trends -
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