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I have to make a decision! How does mid 70's Shimano Dura Ace Components perform?

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I have to make a decision! How does mid 70's Shimano Dura Ace Components perform?

Old 09-20-12, 09:58 AM
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I have to make a decision! How does mid 70's Shimano Dura Ace Components perform?

I have a serious doubt. I found a bike that I really like but with the components mid '70s Dura Ace. I currently have a decent Suntour BL on my '83 Trek 600 that likely I will have to sell if I buy this other bike. Anyway, the frame is better (Bob Jackson) but the components are not (at least I don't think so), however, I don't know if there is much of a difference. I'm just at a point that I can't make a decision. Keeping both bikes will not be an option, no space and limited cash flow (well, actually, more limited cash flow than space )

I need to move fast on this decision, please help!


Shimano Dura Ace (black) hubs, crank and front derailleur
Shimano Dura Ace Crane GS Crank rear derailleur
Grand Compe (black) brakes
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Old 09-20-12, 10:17 AM
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I say get it and if you don't like the Dura Ace components switch them to the Trek before you sell. Just a thought.

Also, I have a set of dura ace ex brakes and levers that would go well with the other components if you decide to keep them. I am also on the SS of Indy.
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Old 09-20-12, 10:22 AM
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Mid-70s Dura-Ace was quite good; shifting was better than Campagnolo, performance-wise. Brakes not quite as nice as Campy feature-wise, but nicely finished and worked just as well. Hubs were top-notch, fully equal to anything else on the market at that point. Cranks likewise, and 130mm BCD allowed wider range than Campy.
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Old 09-20-12, 10:39 AM
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the dura ace period NOS items I have on my Volare work great. Crisp shifts and as far as I'm concerned the brakes will stop on a dime and give back 9 cents change.
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Old 09-20-12, 10:49 AM
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A Bob Jackson with 70's Dura Ace is definitely an updgrade over an early 80's Trek with Suntour BL . Taking the bike frames out of the equation; the Dura Ace stuff is still nicer than the Suntour BL stuff. The Dura Ace is on par with Suntour Cyclone IMO, but not BL
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Old 09-20-12, 10:54 AM
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What Thompson said...............the stuff works well. Check the BB shell
on the frame...there was a period when Bob Jackson frames had a few issues
with this, but I think most of those are gone by now.
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Old 09-20-12, 10:54 AM
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The only drawbck to the Dura-Ace is that the Crane does not shift as well as the BL, otherwise it is superior.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
The only drawbck to the Dura-Ace is that the Crane does not shift as well as the BL, otherwise it is superior.
Huh, I had the opposite experience. Not much to draw on there though, that's just one persons account I suppose
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Old 09-20-12, 11:28 AM
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Thank you everyone for the fast responses, I knew I could count on the bike forum members, what a great crew! I will go check the bike tomorrow night and if it fits and rides nice, I will probably get it. At the same time, my Trek 600 is all original and I think it will bring me more cash if I keep it like that and perhaps hold and sell it next Spring. It's good to know that Dura Ace is good stuff, I had no idea. I have to admit that I'm excited about this Bob Jackson.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:30 AM
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Hi there Purebikes, nice to know you're in the SS Indy, we are neighbors! I'll check your website right now and get a hold of you, I may need some help with my new addiction: classic bikes.

Originally Posted by purebikes
I say get it and if you don't like the Dura Ace components switch them to the Trek before you sell. Just a thought.

Also, I have a set of dura ace ex brakes and levers that would go well with the other components if you decide to keep them. I am also on the SS of Indy.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:30 AM
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I've got some first gen black dura ace hubs and they are buttery smooth!
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Old 09-20-12, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cobrabyte
Huh, I had the opposite experience. Not much to draw on there though, that's just one persons account I suppose
I own or have owned and use(d) both Crane/LeTour long cage and short cage and Suntour Cyclone long and short cage. The shifting of most any slant parallelogram derailleur is superior to that of the Crane. That doesn't mean I'm going to replace the LeTour GS on my 1973 World Voyageur with a different derailleur.
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Old 09-20-12, 11:37 AM
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Good to know!
Originally Posted by mparker326
I've got some first gen black dura ace hubs and they are buttery smooth!
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Old 09-20-12, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
I own or have owned and use(d) both Crane/LeTour long cage and short cage and Suntour Cyclone long and short cage. The shifting of most any slant parallelogram derailleur is superior to that of the Crane. That doesn't mean I'm going to replace the LeTour GS on my 1973 World Voyageur with a different derailleur.
Suntour Cyclone is my favorite of all, I was considering Suntour BL vs Dura Ace though, through my personal experiences with both. I would choose Cyclone over pretty much anything though if given the option.
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Old 09-20-12, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BRAZUCA
Thank you everyone for the fast responses, I knew I could count on the bike forum members, what a great crew! I will go check the bike tomorrow night and if it fits and rides nice, I will probably get it. At the same time, my Trek 600 is all original and I think it will bring me more cash if I keep it like that and perhaps hold and sell it next Spring. It's good to know that Dura Ace is good stuff, I had no idea. I have to admit that I'm excited about this Bob Jackson.
A lot of British makers were using the early Dura Ace stuff, a friend's Roberts was equipped with it as well as my Bob Jackson. I think you'll be very happy with it if you get it. Maybe between now & spring you'll find something else you can sell and keep both bikes
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Old 09-20-12, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cobrabyte
Suntour Cyclone is my favorite of all, I was considering Suntour BL vs Dura Ace though, through my personal experiences with both. I would choose Cyclone over pretty much anything though if given the option.
Sure, but I believe that just about any slant parallelogram RD will shift better than the Crane (or other dropped parallelogram RD), including the BL.
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