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White Shimano Groupsets

Old 03-02-21, 01:56 PM
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White Shimano Groupsets

I've seen two videos recently of bikes from the 80s/early 90s with Shimano groupsets painted white. One was 'Sante', which I guess slotted in between Dura Ace and 600 but the other was RX100, which I have on one of my bikes, but in silver. Anyone know when and how long these groupsets were produced in white?
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Old 03-02-21, 02:41 PM
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I believe Sante was available from 1987-1989. I'm not sure about RX100.

Here's a link to the Sante Brochure dated December '86, but presumably for the 1987 launch of the group:
Shimano Sante - brochure

Sante is still included in the 1989 catalog:
Shimano Bicycle System Components - 1989 scan 14

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Old 03-02-21, 02:52 PM
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RX100 was manufactured for the 1990-1999 model years. I don't recall it being offered in white, other than the white nylon covers for the headset cups. Circa 1988-1989, Sport LX was offered with white outer parallelogram arms on the derailleurs and white covers for the shift levers.
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Old 03-02-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
I believe Sante was available from 1987-1989. I'm not sure about RX100.

Here's a link to the Sante Brochure dated December '86, but presumably for the 1987 launch of the group:
Shimano Sante - brochure

Sante is still included in the 1989 catalog:
Shimano Bicycle System Components - 1989 scan 14
Santé was introduced for the 1987 model year as mini-group (derailleur, shift levers, freewheel and 600 EX chain). It was fleshed out to a full group for the 1988 and 1989. While it wasn't officially catalogued for 1990, I believe there was lots of leftover stock. I recall dealers passing off Santé equipped bicycles as 1990 models but I'm not sure if these were actual 1990 models using closeout components or just leftover 1989 bicycles.
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Old 03-02-21, 03:28 PM
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Sport LX was also available with a bunch of white-accent components. Except perhaps the crankset?
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Old 03-02-21, 03:37 PM
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Sante was the Sora of groupsets and RX was the Claris back in the day. Shimano was approached by bike companies to build a group set to a price (not much has changed these days) corners are cut on chains, cassettes, mechs and chainsets, the weight of OE product vs blue box products is what makes the price difference.
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Old 03-02-21, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
RX100 was manufactured for the 1990-1999 model years. I don't recall it being offered in white, other than the white nylon covers for the headset cups. Circa 1988-1989, Sport LX was offered with white outer parallelogram arms on the derailleurs and white covers for the shift levers.
I think they made a white edition for the RX100 early on when the RX100 series was still DT shifted and not STI. I have a white RX100 right crank in my 'stash.
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Old 03-02-21, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
RX100 was manufactured for the 1990-1999 model years. I don't recall it being offered in white, other than the white nylon covers for the headset cups. Circa 1988-1989, Sport LX was offered with white outer parallelogram arms on the derailleurs and white covers for the shift levers.
I've seen some white RX100 parts on Ebay, looking to put together a complete A551 RX100 group for my old Cannondale that I'm restoring, but the video I saw was a complete groupset in white - cranks (but not rings), derailleurs (parts of them), brakes (the front arm, the rear looked gray like 105), hubs (I think). It makes for a very interesting look, built up into a bike. It was 7 speed/DT shifters, so it might have been early in the run. Most of what I've seen is silver, whether it's 7 or 8 speed, DT or STI.

I imagine in use it was a pain to keep clean - especially the hoods - but it's a nice look.
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Old 03-03-21, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dirk de Chablis View Post
Sante was the Sora of groupsets and RX was the Claris back in the day. Shimano was approached by bike companies to build a group set to a price (not much has changed these days) corners are cut on chains, cassettes, mechs and chainsets, the weight of OE product vs blue box products is what makes the price difference.
Respectfully, you are incorrect. It was slotted between 6400-era 600 and 7400-era Dura-Ace during its time. Heavy emphasis on fashion/aesthetics while retaining all the function and quality of a 600/DA groupset. Light Action was the Sora/Claris level offering at that time, If not the A550/unbranded stuff or multiple levels of Exage. Still plenty reliable and functional, decent-looking, too, IMO. But Sante was way up the line at the top. Shimano had a lower-level groupset offered with white-painted components--I forget which. Suntour had Ole (as a response, in a way).
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Old 03-03-21, 01:43 AM
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So Sante was discontinued before RX100 in white came out, but it seems to be more prevalent.

Of course, I had to look on Ebay. There were 3 bikes with Sante groupsets, luckily all of them too small for me!
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Old 03-03-21, 02:10 AM
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Timely thread! I never got my Sante group set so I am painting a 105SC group white. We will see how it turns out, lol! The Sante is fairly difficult to find in good condition. I have some RX 100 in white lever / hoods. There is also some SRAM Apex in white. I recently saw it on Ebay UK, but their crank is black.
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Old 03-03-21, 05:24 AM
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There's also Suntour Ole. I have a couple of white Superbe chainrings as well.
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Old 03-03-21, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dolbydj View Post
There is also some SRAM Apex in white. I recently saw it on Ebay UK, but their crank is black.
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Old 03-03-21, 07:43 AM
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Old 03-03-21, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dolbydj View Post
Timely thread! I never got my Sante group set so I am painting a 105SC group white. We will see how it turns out, lol! The Sante is fairly difficult to find in good condition. I have some RX 100 in white lever / hoods. There is also some SRAM Apex in white. I recently saw it on Ebay UK, but their crank is black.
Yeah, I imagine it's not only tough to keep clean and white, but also a lot harder to polish up without wearing off the paint.
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Old 03-03-21, 11:34 AM
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1n 1987 to promote Sante components, Shimano teamed up with Bicycling magazine to sponsor a contest asking frame builders to make a bicycle with Sante components. The winner would be awarded $3000. That was an amount like winning the lottery back then for builders. Besides that there was the expectation that the winner and perhaps the others on the podium would get big spreads in the magazine. The rules were to submit photographs of the finished bicycle and the editors would choose 8 to be brought to magazine headquarters for further evaluation to determine the winner. The deadline for submitting photos was April 15, 1987.

Between the time when we were notified of the contest and the winner was announced in the fall (I forget when exactly), Shimano had decided to drop the Sante group from their lineup. The winner was Bill Davidson in Seattle and there was barely a mention of the results in the back pages of Bicycling magazine with just a tiny accompanying picture.

What I recall from Shimano's promotion at the time was that this group was marketed to Yupies. A supposedly cool component group for those young urban types that had some money that wanted to ride a cool bicycle. It was not marketed for racers. I remember it to be in price and quality between Dura Ace and Ultegra 600 (I don't remember if the Ultegra name was being used in 1987).

Sante's pearl white color did not go well with all frame paint colors. I remember discussing this with my colleagues. Shimano was not a company to keep making something that didn't sell well and Sante's life was short.
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Old 03-03-21, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I imagine in use it was a pain to keep clean - especially the hoods
White hoods! Bad in general. Certainly bad when it's white hoods on brake levers. I have white hoods on my Ultegra 600 tri-color STI and it turns yucky and gunky within 3 weeks of me taking the hoods off and scrubbing them clean with Simple Green.
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Old 03-03-21, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
1n 1987 to promote Sante components, Shimano teamed up with Bicycling magazine to sponsor a contest asking frame builders to make a bicycle with Sante components. The winner would be awarded $3000. That was an amount like winning the lottery back then for builders. Besides that there was the expectation that the winner and perhaps the others on the podium would get big spreads in the magazine. The rules were to submit photographs of the finished bicycle and the editors would choose 8 to be brought to magazine headquarters for further evaluation to determine the winner. The deadline for submitting photos was April 15, 1987.

Between the time when we were notified of the contest and the winner was announced in the fall (I forget when exactly), Shimano had decided to drop the Sante group from their lineup. The winner was Bill Davidson in Seattle and there was barely a mention of the results in the back pages of Bicycling magazine with just a tiny accompanying picture.

What I recall from Shimano's promotion at the time was that this group was marketed to Yupies. A supposedly cool component group for those young urban types that had some money that wanted to ride a cool bicycle. It was not marketed for racers. I remember it to be in price and quality between Dura Ace and Ultegra 600 (I don't remember if the Ultegra name was being used in 1987).

Sante's pearl white color did not go well with all frame paint colors. I remember discussing this with my colleagues. Shimano was not a company to keep making something that didn't sell well and Sante's life was short.
cool info here!

IIRC Ultegra replaced 600 in the 90’s, so 600 carried through the 80’s.

I remember Sante catering to “lifestyle” consumers - the same folks who would opt for the gold emblems on their cars, with “smooth jazz” as their preferred soundtrack.

Really cool components, though, with very good performance.
Now that 30+ years have passed, these stylish components are retro-cool today.
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Old 03-03-21, 12:51 PM
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I went back and checked my Shimano literature. A white option is listed for RX100 in 1991 and 1992. It's not mentioned for 1993 (or 1994-1996). I don't have any 1990 literature but presumably it was available in white that year based on November 1989 date codes on some crankarms that I found on-line. RX100 was the replacement for Sport LX, with both groups being just below their respective version of 105, so the white finish appears to be a price point carryover.
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Old 03-03-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirk de Chablis View Post
Sante was the Sora of groupsets and RX was the Claris back in the day. Shimano was approached by bike companies to build a group set to a price (not much has changed these days) corners are cut on chains, cassettes, mechs and chainsets, the weight of OE product vs blue box products is what makes the price difference.
Sante was up at the 7-series level, just below Dura-Ace (well above 600), and using a Dura-Ace type 7s freewheel.
It was also offered in a 7s cassette freehub version.

Finish and materials were to very high specification throughout.

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Old 03-03-21, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
cool info here!

IIRC Ultegra replaced 600 in the 90’s, so 600 carried through the 80’s.

I remember Sante catering to “lifestyle” consumers - the same folks who would opt for the gold emblems on their cars, with “smooth jazz” as their preferred soundtrack.

Really cool components, though, with very good performance.
Now that 30+ years have passed, these stylish components are retro-cool today.
Ultegra came out for the 1988 models.

Being a teenager in the late 80's I loved Sante the minute i saw it, there was a draw to me because it wasn't polished/Chromed. I know thats Blasphemy to some, but thats how it seemed like it was. Think about Sport LX, 600 Ultegra and 105 (both 7-Speed 105 and 105SC) they all went away from polished components until the late 90's (Shimano that is).

Suntour also did white components in Cyclone, Sprint and Superbe. along with a one year only and one model bike only that has White/Grey XC. (1988 GT Avalanche)

Sante is such a different groupset from the others in the time, besides the color there was alot of design differences that Sante had. such as hidden bolts for the chainrings, and enclosed back side for the pedal on the crank arms.
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Old 03-04-21, 03:14 AM
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It is too bad that Sante's version of that pearl white didn't go well with all frames. Perhaps if we're critical, The "ice grey" of certain 7400 components didn't either (I will admit this is the case for me). Pretty, but 6400 had the lock on the late-'80s look. I also wish Sante's finish wasn't so fragile as they can go from hero to zero in the looks department without much wear. I'd rock Sante on a super rad late-'80s bike, but I'd have to find one my size, paint it, and then get Sante. Tall order!
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Old 03-04-21, 03:42 AM
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This thread needs more pics.

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Old 03-04-21, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
This thread needs more pics.

^^^^^^
You beat me to it, words are sometimes good but as T-Mar says .....A picture is worth a....
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Old 03-04-21, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
...IIRC Ultegra replaced 600 in the 90’s, so 600 carried through the 80’s....
Originally Posted by cfreslider View Post
...Ultegra came out for the 1988 models...
You're both right or you're both wrong, depending on your point of view. The proper name for Shimano's 1988-1997 group was 600 Ultegra.
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