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Shimano Prototype Parts

Old 03-18-19, 08:23 PM
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Shimano Prototype Parts

I recently picked up a 1990 Diamond Back Expert TG, and the wheels are mismatched, the front was a Mavic rim with a Shimano RX100 Front hub, interestingly after i cleaned the hub enough, it has a prototype sticker on it, Looks old enough to be original , but got me thinking, how common is prototype parts out there in the wild.

Anybody have insight on how this happens and how common it is?

also if you have any post-em

here is the RX100 f-hub

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Old 03-18-19, 10:22 PM
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I've never seen one.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:07 PM
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Me neither. And the photo makes it look like the an "oyster" anodizing, which my RX100 components definitely do not have. Maybe it's an oyster clear coat, instead? I should check and see if I still have the rims that came with the 1990 Diamond Back Expert TG I flipped years ago.

Probably not anymore.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:15 PM
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Likely came from a bike that was a sample for a trade show or other pre production use. Shimano would make parts available so bikes could be photographed or shown. Sometimes they were functional, some times not so much. If the hub is working after this long, you got a good prototype
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Old 03-18-19, 11:15 PM
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I have an older style Shimano Hyperglide freehub body that has an aluminum outer shell. No, it's not anything like the 10s freehub bodies, this one mounts the normal way with the hollow bolt and shallow (Octalink?) type spline at the hubshell.
Came in a box of parts from a racer at a swapmeet in SoCal.
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Old 03-19-19, 10:46 AM
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In order to increase my confidence in a prototype, I would check for a date code stamp. It there isn't one it could be a prototype. If there is one, check to see if it pre-dates the first RX100 production runs, which would have been mid-1989. Around this time, Shimano typically stamped hub date codes on the spoke hole flanges.
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Old 03-19-19, 01:18 PM
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Here’s another proto part. Some bits are missing as they were used to repair other brakes, but I used these proto 6400s for years on my winter bike. These are painted. I think the production brakes are anodized?


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Old 03-19-19, 02:09 PM
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The subject caliper appears to have a JA date code, which would make it January 1985. 600 Ultegra didn't debut until the 1988 model year and wouldn't have been production prior to about mid-1987. So, a JA code on a BR-6400 caliper would be a legitimate prototype. However, my recollection is that the standard production finish was a grey electrostatic paint.
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Old 03-20-19, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
In order to increase my confidence in a prototype, I would check for a date code stamp. It there isn't one it could be a prototype. If there is one, check to see if it pre-dates the first RX100 production runs, which would have been mid-1989. Around this time, Shimano typically stamped hub date codes on the spoke hole flanges.
It looks like its NH, you were right it was on the outside of the hub flange.
N=1989
H-August
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Old 03-21-19, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fleslider View Post
It looks like its NH, you were right it was on the outside of the hub flange.
N=1989
H-August
Typically, Shimano would have been into mass production of the 1990 model year components by August 1989. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that the label indicates a display item used at one of the trade shows. As such, it wouldn't be a true, pre-production prototype.
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Old 03-21-19, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Typically, Shimano would have been into mass production of the 1990 model year components by August 1989. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that the label indicates a display item used at one of the trade shows. As such, it wouldn't be a true, pre-production prototype.
Makes sense, Thanks for the insight T-Mar!
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