08 December 2009

Update on Dad's Bike

Shimano 600 Arabesque component group

Well, as expected I'm learning so much with this project! This weekend's life lesson was to widen one's gaze. Certainly vintage Campagnolo is stunning, and would be correct for dad's bike, but I discovered a treasure trove of bike jewelry that mere mortals might actually afford: Shimano 600 Arabesque.

Man, is this stuff beautiful! It is the vintage analog to modern Ultegra, and was made from 1978 to 1984. I love the engraving, and the black enamel accents are the perfect counterpoint to the rich black paint on dad's bike.

I have included extra-large photos if you want to click to make them huge.

Shimano 600 arabesque front derailleur
The front derailleur is relatively restrained, when you see the rest of the component group.

Shimano 600 arabesque downtube shifters
Absolutely stunning downtube shifters - but Dad doesn't want downtube shifters! More on that later...

Shimano 600 arabesque cranks crankset
The cranks are in perfect condition, they hardly look used.

Shimano 600 arabesque rear derailleur
I went with a short cage derailleur because we'll just have a double crankset in front. I hope it will have enough pull.

Shimano 600 arabesque rear derailleur
Note the engraving and fluting on the front face as well as the derailleur cage.

See Next Installment


JPTwins said...

oh wow! great find! those are gorgeous!

cycler said...

Those are lovely-
I have for so long associated Shimano with "Modern Japanese Efficiency" that it's really surprising to see such detail in these parts.

They'll complement the frame beautifully!

dr2chase said...

What's your shifter plan? Bar-end or Paul's Thumbies? I ask, because I have some leftover Thumbies I am not using, that I think will fit a road bar....

(If I don't use spare/leftover parts in a year or so, I figure I should find them a good home.)

Charlotte said...

Dr.Chase - your kind offer forces me to spill the beans early! Dad wants upright bars and I knew we were going to have to do stem shifters.

I was so proud of myself - I asked the nice ladies at Bikes Not Bombs and we dug through their box of stem shifters and found a set that were compatible with these downtube shifters and transferred the levers. You shoulda seen me doing the Engineer's Victory Dance across the store!

I should add that I love shopping Bikes Not Bombs on Sunday morning. The last two times there were 2-3 women working, one other shopping, and no men around. I like working with men, in my field I do it all week, but there's something really wonderful about a bunch of ladies discussing thread pitch and metallurgy amongst themselves.

So anyway, thank you for the offer of the Thumbies, that's super nice! If the stem shifters don't work out I will certainly email. Thank you.

somervillain said...

the shimano 600 arabasque are indeed a beautiful set of mechs, as well as very high quality-- comparable to campagnolo. there are other very classy and high quality japanese mechs out there as well, such as the suntour cyclone series of front and rear mechs.

what frameset are you using them on?

Filigree said...

Shimano 600 Arabesque!!
I weep with admiration and envy...

Charlotte said...

Somervillian, these are going on my Dad's 70s era Raleigh Competition - it originally had Campy, and still has Campy dropouts and such, but will now sport a new sort of bike jewelry.

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback!

kim said...

interestingly, charlotte, my 1980 raleigh competition came with these shimano parts! i have the front/rear derailleurs, the shiffers, brakes and levers. different crank, though, on my bike. love the arabesque. ;-) am putting silver vittoria tires on my raleigh (32s). should have it ready to ride soon! oh--i'm deciding between the porteur bars and the montmartre. decisions, decisions....

Jon said...

If the short cage derailleur doesn't work, let me know. I have a long cage example in my spare parts box, somewhere.

Charlotte said...

Jon, thank you! That's super nice.

Kim, that's a tough decision. I love my porteur bars, but I'm going with something more like the Montmartre bars on this bike (mine are Wald though). I wanted to make the bike big enough for dad. I can ride it but it feels big, which means it's the perfect size for him. I'll get a photo up soon, and maybe that will help in your decision? It's good to know that some Competitions came with Arabesque, I don't believe this one did because it's a GS. I could be wrong though!

dr2chase said...

Charlotte, maybe you have this in your plans, but be aware that Montmartre bars are made of road handlebar tubing, so you'll need to be sure that your levers match. Either inverse bar-end levers, or the city-bike levers at velo-orange.

Charlotte said...

Thanks again DrChase!
I have the Wald bars on Dad's bike, and some black and chrome Tektro levers that fit well. I had best get a photo up so you all can see what we've got.
I have a few challenges still:
1) learning to install a cartridge bottom bracket - teflon tape? Grease?
2) I am hunting down a clamp-on double cable guide for those derailleurs
3) the hammered Honjos look like they'll fit, but the screw in the fork is too long, it hits the tire. Do I cut it? Leave the fenders off since this will be a California bike and Dad took his other fenders off?
I think that's it actually. We're in the homestretch! Due date a week from tomorrow.

somervillain said...

charlotte, what a coincidence, i'm in the process of restoring a 70s raleigh competition with full campy!

the short cage derailleur should work fine with the crankset you showed. long cages are typically needed only when there is a large difference between the smallest and largest front chain rings, such as when you have a triple chainring setup.

somervillain said...

1) cartridge bottom bracket. follow the mfr's instructions. shimano includes these with the BB, and they state to use grease on the drive side, no grease on the non-drive side. in the absence of any written instructions provided with the BB, i would grease the threads on both sides.

2) good luck! you might find some on ebay. just be sure it matches the diameter of your down tube!

3) yeah, the daruma bolt that honjo provides is totally too long. what were they thinking? i had to cut mine down. btw, honjos will look amazing on a raleigh comp! (my raleigh comp is getting polished VO fenders). do plan to allocate at least a few hours to the honjos alone if you decide to install them. getting the hardware on those things is a royal pain, and then getting the fender arc perfect is a whole other challenge! of course, if you decide it's too much to take on, i'll be happy to take your honjos off your hands! ;-)

hope this helps!

Jon said...

Cartridge bb installation is pretty simple. Grease on the drive side, nothing on the non-drive (if you have the plastic/nylon cup). If you have an alloy cup on the non-drive side, grease it, too.

Jon said...

Oh, and if you can't find the clamp-on cable stops, let me know. I have a few of those lying about, as well.

Charlotte said...

Wow, I'm humbled by all your generosity. THANK YOU!

Somervillian, I can't wait to see photos of yours, you will share them won't you?

Bottom bracket is Shimano, they say loctite or lacking that grease on both sides. I guess I'm just intimidated. My husband's BB got a creak that was solved by the teflon tape, so he's a fan of the stuff but his BB is not a cartridge (yet).

The honjos were originally intended for my International, so they have got the hardware on the fender, and it's just a question of getting the bike-side hardware to fit (and whether it's worth the effort for Dad). Maybe I'll wait to make that a project we can do together? He might decline the fenders.

Jon, I know that some local shops have a clamp-on cable stop, but thank you so much for the offer! I really appreciate all the help you're all giving me with this project.

somervillain said...

charlotte, you can see all of my bike projects here:


i of course will be updating the sets as the builds progress on all projects!

the raleigh comp just got a complete new decal set installed last night and the component build will proceed in earnest starting around next week. it's in queue; it's waiting for one other project to finish. i'm hoping to have the raleigh comp done before the holiday break. i'm still waiting for NOS gum hoods for the weinmann brake levers. that's the only missing link to the project. do you know of a source? they are fetching insane amounts on ebay.

Charlotte said...

Somervillian, I can tell you that I got NOS Campy 8 speed brake hoods from Belmont Wheelworks. They weren't cheap, but they weren't too bad and the tactile experience was definitely worth it over time. Anyway, they have a large stock of this sort of thing.