Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Shimano Arabesque better than regular 600?

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Shimano Arabesque better than regular 600?

Old 10-10-08, 02:29 PM
  #1  
custermustache
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
custermustache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 790

Bikes: 1968 Falcon San Remo 1973 Raleigh International, 1974 Schwinn Suburban, 1987 Schwinn High Sierra, 1992 Univega Ultraleggera, 2007 Dahon Vitesse DH7G

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shimano Arabesque better than regular 600?

I have a road bike with a Shimano 600 set on it, but I like the look of the arabesque set - is the Arabesque set an unpgrade by any chance?
custermustache is offline  
Old 10-10-08, 03:26 PM
  #2  
WNG
Spin Forest! Spin!
 
WNG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Arrid Zone-a
Posts: 5,964

Bikes: I used to have many. And I Will again.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
I'll probably get stoned for this.... no the 600EX Arabesque group is not an upgrade to 600.
If I understand you correctly, the 600 group is newer than Arabesque 600EX. The 600 group dropped the EX insignia....gets evolutionary improvements.
WNG is offline  
Old 10-10-08, 04:31 PM
  #3  
T-Mar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 22,744
Mentioned: 604 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4482 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2,555 Times in 1,621 Posts
Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you have. There was a first generation Shimano 600 that was not Arabesque. Second genration, Arabeesque (ie, 600EX components) got a lot of upgrades. 3rd generation 600AX got a lot more, though a lot of it was controversial. 4th generation New 600EX toned things back a bit both techically and cosmetically, but was still better than 600EX functionally. It started out as friction then got the SIS upgrade. 5th generation 600 Ultegra just blows 600EX away from a technical standpoint.
T-Mar is offline  
Old 10-10-08, 05:09 PM
  #4  
stronglight
Old Skeptic
 
stronglight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New Mexico, USA
Posts: 1,044

Bikes: 19 road bikes & 1 Track bike

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
If I recall correctly, both Dura-Ace and 600 were formally introduced as complete component "groups" in 1975. The original 600 were very nicely finished, but not very remarkable looking in a sea of other decent quality components.

The Arabesque-style 600 EX was introduced in 1978 and again with a more popular price than the Dura-Ace. They were deliberately made to look very hand crafted (i.e.: fancy) to showcase the overall high quality of those more affordable Shimano products when compared against even the long popular Campy Nuovo Record components (which had been brought over from Campy's ornately cast pieces of the 1950s & 60s). The 600 EX were indeed very nice quality (as were the earlier models too), but this pushed them up a notch in consumer recognition. They even included a Freehub - not the first such concept, but now pretty much perfected by Shimano, and long before its time.

They do look very nice to me too. And I think after many years of seeing very streamlined and simplified components they are gaining new appreciation among others vintage enthusiasts as well. They were made from 1978 to 82... (I think). After that, the concept of "Aerodynamics" overshadowed old world craftsmanship as the new trend, so the "AX" groups were introduced and quickly became very popular.
stronglight is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 10:14 AM
  #5  
Antipodes
Who cares, just ride it!
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 989

Bikes: 1992ish Davidson Impulse, 1981 Apollo Gran Sport SS, 2006 Salsa Las Cruces, 2010 Soma Double Cross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
600 Arabesque looks nice and performs well enough, though it is rather pointless to compare it with latter 600 groups because of the obvious differences in technology. So with that said, it is not an "upgrade", just earlier on the evolutionary ladder of bicycle parts. Personally, I don't like how Shimano cheaped out on some of the parts in the group, most notably the rear derailleur, with its stamped steel parallelogram and plastic features. It does shift pretty well though for a friction derailleur. If I was trying to keep a bike roughly period-correct, I would go with a 1st gen. Suntour Cyclone group, which I think is an overall better choice.
You said that you had a 600 group, but that you liked the look of the Arabesque group. If you are implying that you have a later 600 group, then my suggestion would be to leave it alone. The later period 600 group, IMO, is great stuff. Durable, and functionally excellent.

Last edited by Antipodes; 10-11-08 at 10:18 AM.
Antipodes is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 11:20 AM
  #6  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,415
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 440 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
I always thought of the Arabesque RD as a mid range piece tarted up to fool the consumer into thinking it was in the same league as Campagnolo Nuovo Record. Lipstick on a pig, so to speak.

I have an Arabesque crank that I think is at least the equal of Campy Record. It's beautiful, has self-extracting bolts and it doesn't have a reputation for breaking.
Grand Bois is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 02:29 PM
  #7  
custermustache
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
custermustache's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 790

Bikes: 1968 Falcon San Remo 1973 Raleigh International, 1974 Schwinn Suburban, 1987 Schwinn High Sierra, 1992 Univega Ultraleggera, 2007 Dahon Vitesse DH7G

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
how do I find the age of my current group?
custermustache is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 03:06 PM
  #8  
ozneddy
Senior Member
 
ozneddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Posts: 1,485

Bikes: Casati, ,Peugot,Mitchell,Raliegh,Nishiki

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I dont know how good arabesque is but I know what I like and for me it,s either arabesque or nuovo record,(I have both) but its just a personal thing and I dont race ! I can see the beauty in it so I suppose it depends what you need it for? resto or performance, I have never had any trouble with it ,just my 2 bobs worth !
ozneddy is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 07:50 PM
  #9  
RobbieTunes
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27,297
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 1,386 Times in 895 Posts
Arabesque simply looks better on some classic bikes, to me, especially those with chrome clamp-on cable guides, more accents on the detailing, etc.
RobbieTunes is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 08:13 PM
  #10  
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,987
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 404 Post(s)
Liked 211 Times in 134 Posts
I agree with Dirtdrop on the rear derailer -- looks like a posturing job, not well done, a confusion of curlique ornament and fake cooling vents. And how about those Arabesque brake calipers -- ungainly pieces of crap (with the cables on the "wrong" side) or what?
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 08:20 PM
  #11  
SoreFeet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,116
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Suntour Cyclone is better than any of that vintage Shimano garbage. As one poster said the later Ultegra 600 stuff is the cats meow. The cranks are light and well made. I don't like the plastic bits on the arabesque rear derailleurs. The plastic houses the spring...its junky. Cyclone or VX is much nicer to look at in terms of form and function.

The Suntour are technically superior to the crap Shimano and Campagnolo were producing at the time of the arabesque stuff.
SoreFeet is offline  
Old 10-11-08, 10:25 PM
  #12  
cyclotoine
Senior Member
 
cyclotoine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Yukon, Canada
Posts: 8,772
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 108 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
The Suntour are technically superior to the crap Shimano and Campagnolo were producing at the time of the arabesque stuff.
You mean functionally? Campagnolo will outlast the shimano or the suntour and I don`t know why people like the VX derailleur so much, they don`t shift significantly better than a crane or even first generation rally. The campy stuff has an artistic quality and it is all metal unlike the shimano and suntour which used some plastic and usually stamped steel bits while the campy is all alloy. Of course you can`t compare a VX to campy NR because NR is a racing derailleur and the springs on early suntour cyclone are weak, campy is 100 times more durable (technically better? IMO yes).

I dislike arabesque for what it is, a CHEEP (in terms of cost, materials and finish) nuovo record knockoff.
__________________
1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear
cyclotoine is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 09:21 AM
  #13  
BlankCrows
Avenir Equipped
 
BlankCrows's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,148

Bikes: Chesini X-Uno, etc.....

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by custermustache View Post
how do I find the age of my current group?
The components of your group have two letter date codes on them. Go here first to figure out what those mean. Then you can look over all of the Shimano 600 stuff over at Velobase.com.
BlankCrows is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 09:55 AM
  #14  
Antipodes
Who cares, just ride it!
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 989

Bikes: 1992ish Davidson Impulse, 1981 Apollo Gran Sport SS, 2006 Salsa Las Cruces, 2010 Soma Double Cross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
(with the cables on the "wrong" side) or what?
What do you mean by cables on the wrong side? Do you mean that the cable enters the caliper on the left side instead of the right? Why is this wrong? Because it's not what Campagnolo was doing? I know there are a few ways to route cables, but personally, I like it better, at least for bikes where the levers are set up so that the left lever is for the front and the right for the back. The reasons why? 1) With the front you don't have to resort to crossing the stem or making an awkward angle under it. 2) With the back, the cable stays on the same side as the lever. Mind you, I don't route the rear around the stem like some others do; I just go with a nice arch over the bars, then straight to the top tube.
I don't have any pictures off hand, so maybe this is a little confusing.

Last edited by Antipodes; 10-12-08 at 09:58 AM.
Antipodes is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 10:09 AM
  #15  
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Posts: 26,813

Bikes: https://www.theheadbadge.com

Mentioned: 81 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1656 Post(s)
Liked 2,032 Times in 1,154 Posts
Shimano Arabesque better than regular 600?
Only when you have Shimano-proprietary downtube braze-ons!

-Kurt
__________________







cudak888 is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 10:16 AM
  #16  
Sixty Fiver
Bicycle Repair Man !!!
 
Sixty Fiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YEG
Posts: 27,268

Bikes: See my sig...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 26 Posts
I run an Arabesque group on my '73 Raleigh Gran Sport... I like the way it looks and performs (the 600 crank is wonderful) although would never argue that the Suntour groups from that period were far better.

I am presently cobbling together a Cyclone group...
Sixty Fiver is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 10:24 AM
  #17  
afilado
Senior Member
 
afilado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chattanooga
Posts: 1,169

Bikes: '93 Bridgestone RB-1, '91 Specialized Allez Epic, '85 Raleigh Team Pro, '78 Andre Bertin, early '90s F. Moser Leader AX , '85 Centurion Equipe, '98 Litespeed Tuscany, '89 Klein Quantum, '80 Nishiki Superbe, '83 Peckham, '84 Fuji Opus III

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
Say what you will about the Arabesque parts, I think history will be kind to it.

It is an authentic representation of the excesses in the design and marketing thinking of the times. I daresay it was designed for '80s America.

Regardless of one's opinion of performance or aesthetics, the very fact that is such a provocative subject insures its prominence and value in cycling history. It foretold the rise of the Japanese and, particularly, Shimano into global significance.

I have always been puzzled by the disdain it garners. I think it's beautiful in a "campy" (pun intended), dramatic kind of way. I'm holding on to a mint group to fund my deep retirement. ;-)
afilado is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 10:36 AM
  #18  
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,987
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 404 Post(s)
Liked 211 Times in 134 Posts
Originally Posted by Antipodes View Post
What do you mean by cables on the wrong side? Do you mean that the cable enters the caliper on the left side instead of the right? Why is this wrong? Because it's not what Campagnolo was doing? I know there are a few ways to route cables, but personally, I like it better, at least for bikes where the levers are set up so that the left lever is for the front and the right for the back. The reasons why? 1) With the front you don't have to resort to crossing the stem or making an awkward angle under it. 2) With the back, the cable stays on the same side as the lever. Mind you, I don't route the rear around the stem like some others do; I just go with a nice arch over the bars, then straight to the top tube.
I don't have any pictures off hand, so maybe this is a little confusing.
OK, OK, don't get your knickers in a twist -- my comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek: see the quotes? I actually like to have the brake cables crossing over the stem, but that's just my opinion. For whatever reason, just about everyone (including Shimano and Dia-Compe) with "handed" calipers ended up with cable fixings on the left side when facing them. Why do you think that is?

I will suggest that wrong-sidedness is a holdover from producing brakes from a left-side-of-the-road country.

Arabesque does seem to have both people in a swoon about it, and pooh-poohers. I have to admit, I'm one of the latter; it seems like a copycat group that didn't quite make the grade, to me at least.
Charles Wahl is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 11:46 AM
  #19  
cyclotoine
Senior Member
 
cyclotoine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Yukon, Canada
Posts: 8,772
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 108 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by afilado View Post
It is an authentic representation of the excesses in the design and marketing thinking of the times. I daresay it was designed for '80s America.
I think it was designed for the 1970s but was a decade late on the introduction, a stab at campagnolos market which shimano couldn't figure out, then they just decided to beat campagnolo with performence and they did a good job. 600 wreaks of copycat. Like the chinese imitations of big brand names today (nike oakley etc... which also suck now anyway).
__________________
1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear
cyclotoine is offline  
Old 10-12-08, 12:11 PM
  #20  
Grand Bois
Senior Member
 
Grand Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pinole, CA, USA
Posts: 17,415
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 440 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Those "wrong sided" sidepull calipers are the only type that will work on Raleighs that were originally equipped with center pulls because Raleigh put the top tube stops on the drive side.
Grand Bois is offline  
Old 07-01-17, 06:05 AM
  #21  
mar_ji
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i got 2 vintage bikes..an Italian Benotto 3000 {1980** equipped with Campagnolo Super Record group and a recent purchased of a Dutch/Japanese Koga Miyata {1979**...equipped with Shimano 600 Arabesque.....its a work of art....simply beautiful....

Last edited by mar_ji; 07-01-17 at 06:09 AM.
mar_ji is offline  
Old 07-01-17, 03:58 PM
  #22  
ryansu 
Ride.Smile.Repeat
 
ryansu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 2,869

Bikes: 2009 Handsome Devil, 1987 Trek 520 Cirrus, 1978 Motobecane Grand Touring, 1987 Nishiki Cresta GT, 1989 Specialized Allez Former bikes; 1986 Miyata Trail Runner, 1979 Miyata 912, 2011 VO Rando, 1999 Cannondale R800, 1986 Schwinn Passage

Mentioned: 72 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 794 Post(s)
Liked 518 Times in 364 Posts
My first real bargain find of a quality Vintage bike was a late 70s Miyata 912 -for $25-with Arabesque shifters and derailleurs and brakes. Arabesque stuff is lovely IMHO overly fancy to some but lovely
ryansu is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
vintagerando
Classic and Vintage Sales
15
01-04-17 11:47 PM
JesusBananas
Classic & Vintage
123
06-06-16 05:29 PM
Phaseshift
Classic & Vintage
21
03-29-12 07:45 PM
rrotello
Classic & Vintage
15
04-02-11 03:28 PM
AL NZ
Classic & Vintage
13
09-02-10 06:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.