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Shimano Dura Ace 6 speed Replacement chain

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Shimano Dura Ace 6 speed Replacement chain

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Old 10-07-18, 09:06 PM
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sanchan
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Shimano Dura Ace 6 speed Replacement chain

Greetings....I hope that I am posting in the right neighborhood, and that if not, that the moderators, will see that it gets to the right spot.
I have a vintage Pinarello ( circa 1984 ) that I am refreshing after hanging in the garage for 15 years.
The components are Shimano Dura Ace MF-7400, I am replacing the original 6 speed cassette ( 13 - 21 ) and have been trying to locate a replacement chain that is compatible.
The original chain called for a Shimano Dura Ace CN-7400 UG (Narrow chain) which are apparently, unavailable / obsolete.
Can anyone suggest a suitable replacement?
Thanks in advance,
Sandy
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Old 10-07-18, 09:29 PM
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Hello Sandy,

You might be able to find that exact chain on eBay for big $$$$$, but there really isn't anything special about it. Any modern 6,7,or 8 speed chain will work just as well, and be much cheaper. KMC is a brand that is generally well regarded, and easy to find in most bike shops, or on Amazon. Their Z72 chain runs about $9-$10, and is recommended for 6, 7, and some 8 speed applications. They also offer other fancier chains with some, or all of the links being nickel plated. (Keeps it looking nicer, and is more rust resistant, but doesn't make it last longer, or shift better.)
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Old 10-07-18, 09:53 PM
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I forgot to mention that the UG "Narrow Chain" was just narrow compared to old 5 speed and regular spaced 6 speed chain. Any 7 speed chain is the same width as the old 6 speed narrow, they just don't bother calling them narrow anymore, since no one has sold a bike with the older, wide spaced freewheels or cassettes in almost 30 years. In practice, the narrower chains work great, even for older, wider spaced freewheels, but some times they are a bit too flexible for good shifting. (Most of my bikes are 5 and 6 speed with wide spaced freewheels, but I use 7 speed chains on them exclusively.)
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Old 10-07-18, 10:18 PM
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Thank you...I guess I know what i am going with. ( I was trying to make it a lot harder than it needed to be.)
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Old 10-07-18, 10:34 PM
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I will second the recommendation on the KMC Z72. It also comes with a master link for easy on/off.
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Old 10-08-18, 03:22 AM
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Replacement Chains

YES! Agree with all of the above answers

Shimano chains are crazy, stupid, expensive ripoffs!

There's very little difference between the modern crazy, stupid, expensive ripoff chains than the Shimano Uniglide 600 and DuraAce chains that came out about 1975. They were an amazing improvement over the existing chains of the day. I still have a take off 1975 Uniglide chain that I've run on 4-5 different bikes (low mileage use).




I've heard good things about KMC chains and have one on a bike I bought. I use mostly SRAM PC-850 chains because I can get them at the local shops I deal with for under $20. They look the same as the Shimano chains and work on 6-7-8 speed cassettes and freewheels.

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Old 10-08-18, 03:59 AM
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I use mostly SRAM PC-850 chains
Yup, these chains are light and easy to install or remove, thanks to a master link. They work very well on any five, six, seven or eight speed. And, inexpensive to boot...
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Old 10-08-18, 04:30 AM
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SRAM PC-850 for the win, as they say today.
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Old 10-08-18, 07:29 AM
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Yep, my DA7400 wears SRAM 850/870 chains.
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Old 10-08-18, 08:46 AM
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One more endorsement for KMC 8-Speed on a Dura-Ace 7400 6-Speed indexed set-up. I run this on my '86 Tommi' and it works perfectly.

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Old 10-08-18, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
YES! Agree with all of the above answers

Shimano chains are crazy, stupid, expensive ripoffs!

There's very little difference between the modern crazy, stupid, expensive ripoff chains than the Shimano Uniglide 600 and DuraAce chains that came out about 1975. They were an amazing improvement over the existing chains of the day. I still have a take off 1975 Uniglide chain that I've run on 4-5 different bikes (low mileage use).




I've heard good things about KMC chains and have one on a bike I bought. I use mostly SRAM PC-850 chains because I can get them at the local shops I deal with for under $20. They look the same as the Shimano chains and work on 6-7-8 speed cassettes and freewheels.

verktyg
Shimano gave me to test a New Uniglide chain and freewheel in March of 1975. They advised they would pick it up in a month, I used it for three weeks and removed it as the chain had stretched to the point of skipping.
The three reps from Shimano when they saw the chain ... two were sucking air through their teeth as the Japanese sometimes do when surprised, frustrated.
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Old 10-08-18, 10:17 AM
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Well, I really like the HG71 from Shimano on my Shimano bikes. I get a kick out of installing the pin on my 6, 9, and 10 speed chains. SRAM's shiniest chain works well on my 6 speed Super Record bike.
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Old 10-08-18, 10:32 AM
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I've been a fan of the SRAM 850 and 870.
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Old 10-08-18, 11:24 AM
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+5 on the SRAM 8spd chains once you go with a master link you will never want to use a pin connector chain ever again, I have the tools and knowledge to do so but I refuse! FWIW the master link chains in theory can be taken apart without tools in practice dropping $15 on a set of Park Tool MLP-1.2 Master Link Pliers will save aggravation for chain removal. When I had to swap an RD 3 times on a build recently those pliers paid for themselves.
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Old 10-08-18, 01:37 PM
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Shimano Uniglide Chains ca. 1975

Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Shimano gave me to test a New Uniglide chain and freewheel in March of 1975. They advised they would pick it up in a month, I used it for three weeks and removed it as the chain had stretched to the point of skipping.
The three reps from Shimano when they saw the chain ... two were sucking air through their teeth as the Japanese sometimes do when surprised, frustrated.
"... sucking air through their teeth as the Japanese sometimes do when surprised, frustrated." Ah so, neba hatchi

Seems I remember hearing something about those problems back in 1975. We started getting Uniglide 600 chains sometime during the summer of 1975. Never had a problem. (I liked the pretty blue color of the boxes).


The 600 chains sold for about $7.00 retail vs. about $5.00 for standard Sedis chains. Even so $2.00 was enough to make some folks balk back then. DuraAce chains didn't offer much other than the all gold appearance plus they were a lot more expensive.

Regina Oro chains sold for $19.00!!!! Yes, but the slavish raceur set convinced themselves that they were better - that's what the Pros used!

What I had determined was that the old Sedis chains with the extended pins shifted better on wider range FWs (14-28T and up) because the sprocket teeth would pick up the protruding pins.



The rounded pins on the Regina chains probably worked better on straight block and corn cob FWs because they were smoother than the protruding Sedis pins and the jumps between sprockets were smaller.



About 1977 we started importing 50 & 100 meter bulk spools of SedisSport chains from France. This was before they officially hit the market. They cost us less than $3.00 per chain when we split them up. These new SedisSport chains worked as well as the Shimano 600 chains, in some cases better like on smaller FWs because of the flush pins and flat outer links.

They were some of the first bushingless bicycle chains sold which gave them some lateral flex that aided in shifting wide range gearing that was becoming popular with touring bikes.




The original SedisSport chains had spread inner links. The 2nd generation had thinned outer links. They later became the SRAM PC-48, 58 & 68 style chains.



First generation SRAM PC-48 chain.


Later SRAM changed the design and pretty much copied Shimano with their PC-830, 850, 870 & 890 chains.


I still have a few NOS PC-48 chains that I've had to go to for some freewheels like wide range Suntour Ultra 6 & 7 speeds.

Back in New Mexico in the 70's I was running a bike shop. I used WD40 for chain lube because of the dry dust problem. The original Sedis chains cost me ~$3.00 and I changed them every 3000 miles. I put the used chains in Baggies and saved them. A number of years ago I bought one of the Park CC-3 chain checkers, cheap, easy to use and clean.


I checked out all of those old Sedis chains and found they were all still good! There have been several occasions with old French freewheels and Simplex Criterium RDs that I had to use those old Sedis chains to get good shifting!

@ryansu The Park MLP-1.2 Master Link Pliers are well worth the money plus master chain links are such a great time saver. BTW, I bought one of Park CT-3.2 chain breakers, another worthwhile investment.

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Old 10-08-18, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Shimano gave me to test a New Uniglide chain and freewheel in March of 1975. They advised they would pick it up in a month, I used it for three weeks and removed it as the chain had stretched to the point of skipping.
I had a Dura-Ace Uniglide chain on my wife's bike since the late 70s; no problems, but she doesn't put a lot of miles on and we keep it clean. It's still within tolerance for wear, but I replaced it this spring with a NOS SedisSport when I uncovered my long-missing stash of SedisSport chain..
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Old 10-09-18, 02:18 PM
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I recently went through the same dilemma; if you want to get fancy, you could buy a 17.00 wipperman 7-speed chain like i did. but like others have said, modern technology on old chains makes them all the same; the only difference is the metal coating and the logo.
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Old 10-10-18, 04:23 PM
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I wanted to thank everyone who responded to my initial post, I decided to go with the SRAM PC-50 chain...now I have one more question....I have received my replacement cassette, (Shimano Dura Ace MF-7400 6 speed 13 - 21)
and I am wondering if I need to do anything to the cassette before I install it? (i.e....lubrication?) it appears to have a good coating of grease and is NOS, never used.
Thanks
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Old 10-10-18, 08:35 PM
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Some grease on the hub threads is a good idea. Some folk use ant-sieze. A 13-21 is a cool cog set. (Don't visit this thread for a while. If your bike has been hanging for all those years, there will be many advising you to use a different cogset or to replace your crankset. Take your time. Ride lots.)
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Old 10-11-18, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by sanchan View Post
....I have received my replacement cassette, (Shimano Dura Ace MF-7400 6 speed 13 - 21) and I am wondering if I need to do anything to the cassette before I install it? (i.e....lubrication?) it appears to have a good coating of grease and is NOS, never used.
Thanks
Is your replacement a Uniglide DA cassette or a Uniglide DA freewheel? There is a big difference.

A cassette mounts on a freehub which is integrated into the rear hub. Basically the five larger sprockets slide onto the freehub body as a unit, and in the case of the Uniglide model, is then secured in place by a threaded smallest (13T) sprocket.

A freewheel contains the entire mechanism which "freewheels" when coasting and engages when pedaling. The freewheel body threads onto the rear hub. The freewheel body also carries the sprockets. In the case of a DA the five larger sprockets slide on and the 13T threads to the body.

Loose DA freewheel sprockets:

A very contaminated DA body ready for service and new lube.

A DA after cleaning and new lube and ready for reassembly.


Granted this is an extreme example of a freewheel being neglected, abused, and ignored. But any vintage freewheel, whether NOS or one that is lightly used and never serviced, can benefit from a complete cleaning and new lube. The same is true for hubs, headsets and BBs.

While not a DA, the Shimano 600 is similar. This one was ready to go back into service.
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Old 10-11-18, 11:00 AM
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The various Shimano Uniglide "twisted-tooth" freewheels are still the very best for shifting with friction levers.

Shimano initially used a full-width (8mm or so) bushed-link design for their matching Uniglide chain (some of which were prone to very rapid wear).

But when Shimano finally brought out 7s freewheels with narrower spacing around 1987, their new chain (called UG-Narrow) was of the newer bushingless design, and the dimensions of that chain survives to this day in all of their current 5-6-7-8sp HG chains (and has been widely copied by their competitors).

As Shimano continued producing 5, 6, and 7-speed freewheels, that new UG-Narrow chain design was retro-specified to all of their drivetrains, even with the standard-spaced 5 and 6s freewheels. The new narrow UG-Narrow (and similar HG) design was simply superior in every way, retaining excellent durability, was/is lighter and more tolerant of scant lubrication, all while operating at lower friction levels.

Chas is correct though in saying that the Sedisport chain works better on old French split-tooth freewheels (such as the still-ubiquitous Helicomatic variety), as power transmission while changing gears on those French freewheels becomes even less reliable when using chains having the newer design.
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