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Early dura ace barcons

Old 12-13-09, 08:55 PM
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Snowden
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Early dura ace barcons

So, I'm looking at a craigslist ad for some "Dura ace Bar end shifters New in box with clips/cables" which the seller claims are from the 70s. My questions:
1) I would be getting these because I want to USE THEM. I'm actually looking to sort of retrograde my bike from the junky newish shimano sora stuff she's wearing now to much classier componants. To make that work price-wise, I'm thinking about good condition OLDER classy things. Plus, I like barcons. The seller is asking $50. If these are NIB as stated, and, I presume, first gen dura ace barcons, is it practical to buy them for use (both quality of use and value-wise)? Or would it be better to keep looking? Or buy these for some restoration project down the road?
2) I've potentially already got a dura ace 7700 rear derailleur lined up for this project. Will these work with that? I'm not necessarily tied to either one, so if one screams better than the other, I'd be happy to go that way... but if both work, then dang, I'm in business.

Also, I don't have access to pictures. This is a little sketchy, but I've been willing to take a shot on worse.

Thanks!
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Old 12-14-09, 08:52 AM
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EjustE
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Originally Posted by Snowden View Post
So, I'm looking at a craigslist ad for some "Dura ace Bar end shifters New in box with clips/cables" which the seller claims are from the 70s. My questions:
1) I would be getting these because I want to USE THEM. I'm actually looking to sort of retrograde my bike from the junky newish shimano sora stuff she's wearing now to much classier componants. To make that work price-wise, I'm thinking about good condition OLDER classy things. Plus, I like barcons. The seller is asking $50. If these are NIB as stated, and, I presume, first gen dura ace barcons, is it practical to buy them for use (both quality of use and value-wise)? Or would it be better to keep looking? Or buy these for some restoration project down the road?
2) I've potentially already got a dura ace 7700 rear derailleur lined up for this project. Will these work with that? I'm not necessarily tied to either one, so if one screams better than the other, I'd be happy to go that way... but if both work, then dang, I'm in business.

Also, I don't have access to pictures. This is a little sketchy, but I've been willing to take a shot on worse.

Thanks!
1. For $50 any Dura Ace barcons are a good deal (as a matter of fact most barcons are a good deal at $50 in NOS condition) and if they happen to be index barcons, they are a steal.
2. there is absolutely no way they are from the 70s. Late 80s maybe. The best way to determine the age is to ask the seller (or rather look at it yourself) the 7xxx part number
3. Your 7700 RD might or might not work depending on the part number and the number of gears you are running. 7420+ could accommodate 8 speeds. Earlier parts only 7.

4. Caveat: Shimano made a barcon housing in the late 80s that accommodates most Shimano DT shifters. It could be that. If so, consider yourself lucky because you would be getting a pair of DT DuraAce shifters + the housing that you can use with most Shimano shifters
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Old 12-14-09, 08:58 AM
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+1 NOS Dura Ace barcons for $50? A steal for an end user.
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Old 12-14-09, 09:14 AM
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70s era bar-cons will not be indexed. Shimano bar-cons from the 70s were modeled after Simplex bar-cons and have a nice retrofriction mechanism that improves shifting response.

Go for it!
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Old 12-14-09, 10:35 AM
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They work extremely well, from experience...

Instead of a ratchet type action, the Dura Ace used a spring...which I find to be much more pleasant.
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Old 12-16-09, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
.. There is absolutely no way they are from the 70s. Late 80s maybe. The best way to determine the age is to ask the seller (or rather look at it yourself) the 7xxx part number...
They absolutely could be from the 1970s. Shimano offered bar end shifters as an option for Dura-Ace right from the beginning, in 1973. Though not specifically labeled Dura-Ace, they were always shown with the Dura-Ace and Crane components. They did not have a 7xxx part number. If the OP posts a picture, I can identify them.

Last edited by T-Mar; 12-16-09 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 12-16-09, 07:38 PM
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Here is a really ugly picture of one of my "Dura Ace" Shimano bar-end... Just how T-mar says, I believe.
I think my camera is running its last lap...
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Old 12-16-09, 08:53 PM
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Aright guys...
you know/assume/suspect that these are "Dura Ace" barcons or bar end shifters because they were included with other Dura Ace components (correct me if I am wrong).
And, yes, Shimano is well known to have provided retro-fit noname components to go with others as necessary (no-name DT shifters with 6208 RDs around '86 as a package to allow index shifting in 6207 gear is a prime example - but does this make these no-name DT shifters 600EX? Nope)

The OP's question is about Dura Ace branded bar end shifters, "new in box". Is there a single chance in hey that such a thing existed in the 70s?

Just saying...
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Old 12-16-09, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Dyermaker View Post
Here is a really ugly picture of one of my "Dura Ace" Shimano bar-end... Just how T-mar says, I believe.
I think my camera is running its last lap...
That appears to be the the 1974-1976 version. They changed cosmetically in 1977. The round label should say SHIMANO FINGERTIP CONTROL. I agree, they have a wonderfully light feel, due to the spiral (watch style) balance spring. The 1973 model looks identical though there is no mention of the balance spring in the factory literature. Given that hey have different part numbers, I'm assuming this is not an oversight.
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Old 12-16-09, 10:22 PM
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I have a a NOS set of Dura-Ace barcons that are an exact match to the one pictured in this photo, courtesy of velobase.com



They came to me in a box labeled Dura-Ace Bar-End Control Pro Model although, as T-Mar has noted mine say Shimano Fingertip Control on the side of the shifter body. The part number stamped on the side of the box is 62800010 and the sale price is also marked on the box at $22.00. According to Velobase the model is L-600, produced from 1973-1976.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:17 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by EjustE View Post
Aright guys...
you know/assume/suspect that these are "Dura Ace" barcons or bar end shifters because they were included with other Dura Ace components (correct me if I am wrong).
And, yes, Shimano is well known to have provided retro-fit noname components to go with others as necessary (no-name DT shifters with 6208 RDs around '86 as a package to allow index shifting in 6207 gear is a prime example - but does this make these no-name DT shifters 600EX? Nope)

The OP's question is about Dura Ace branded bar end shifters, "new in box". Is there a single chance in hey that such a thing existed in the 70s?

Just saying...
That all depends on what you mean by "branded". Will it physically say Dura-Ace on the lever? No, but then neither will any of the Dura-Ace bar end shifters through 9 speed ( I haven't actually seen the 10 speed version, so I can't comment on them). Will it have a 7XXX part number? No, Shimano did not follow this convention for their bar end shifters, again at least not through 9 speed. So where will it say Dura-Ace? Well, it will be included on the Dura-Ace page of the catalog and be packaged in a carton marked Dura-Ace.

The "retro-fit noname" shifters you are referring to in your example were the Light Action SL-424 series shifters. They had they own matching derailleurs, just as the RD-6208 had it's own matching levers, the SL-6208 series. Any mixing and matching you've seen was done by the owner (i.e. as a replacement) or by the bicycle manufacturer (i.e. as a cost concession) and not Shimano. At one time Shimano did try to enforce purchase of complete groups by the manufacturers, to ensure optimum performance, but that was squashed by some sort of government committee.

Certainly, I wouldn't be pointing any fingers at Shimano, when it comes to part numbers and model names on vintage components. I believe their Dura-Ace line was the first to include model names on anything other than the rear derailleur or brakes. I don't believe Campagnolo stuck a model name on any product but rear derailleurs and then, in 1985, they even stopped that for a while. As for part numbers, I can't remember ever seeing them on a vintage Campagnolo product. Boxes and catalogs maybe, but not the product itself. Without a doubt, the true retro-fit, no-name shifters would be Campagnolo's Syncro - designed as a afterthought and intended to be matched to every Campagnolo rear derailleur.

In fact, if you look at the1970s period in question, just how many European products were there with model names or numbers on them? Not very many. The only major components that, for the most part, had any identification were brakes and Campagnolo rear derailleurs. So how do we we know that say, a Simplex rear derailleur is a Prestige and not a Criterium, or that a Stronglight crank is a model 49 and not a model 99, or that a Normandy hub is a Sport and not a Luxe? You go to the catalog and see what it says. But is that good enough? In my opinion, it is. When you don't have anything else to go by, the catalog is the reference. The fact that Shimano included these bar end shifters on the Dura-Ace page (and in a Dura-Ace box) makes them defacto Dura-Ace products, even if the product does not bear a model name or art number.

If anything, we should be thankful to Shimano (and other Japanese companies) for setting a new standard and labeling the product itself with model names, part numbers and date codes that provide traceability and a means of determining exact ages for our vintage bicycles. Personally, such data has been instrumental in allowing me to the crack the serial number codes for several bicycle manufacturers.

Last edited by T-Mar; 12-17-09 at 09:23 AM. Reason: typos - and I probably didn't catch them all!
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Old 12-17-09, 09:58 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
If anything, we should be thankful to Shimano (and other Japanese companies) for setting a new standard and labeling the product itself with model names, part numbers and date codes that provide traceability and a means of determining exact ages for our vintage bicycles. Personally, such data has been instrumental in allowing me to the crack the serial number codes for several bicycle manufacturers.
Agreed 100%
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