New-Old-Stock (NOS) Shimano 600/Ultegra Front Derailleur... Braze-On / 8-Speed Model for Double Chainring Thank you for your interest in this item and please visit our store for other offerings. This is a new-old-stock (NOS) Shimano 600/Ultegra front derailleur from the early to mid 90's (model FD-6401).Some of it's more prominent design features include.. Capacity: double chainring with 14T (max) difference (shop catalog specs). Compatibility: marketed as road bike model during the 8-speed cassette era (although see notes that follow for other drivetrain possibilities). Cable pull: bottom (so cable routing must enter from below the unit). Weight: 93 grams (per our digital postal scale).
The Shimano 600/Ultegra groupset of this generation, as it is today, is considered one of the better component groups on the market, and one step below Shimano's top-of-the-line Dura-Ace group. Our Shimano catalogs indicate this groupset in the early to mid 90's was marketed primarily as an eight-speed drivetrain with 130 mm (locknut-to-locknut) spacing. These specs indicate this front derailleur was considered narrow chain compatible, as defined for this period (as the eight speed drivetrain with a 130 mm freehub typically required a narrower chain). Please do keep in mind, however, when we speak of narrower chains from this era, this is relative to the wider chains historically used on regular spaced six speed drivetrains with 126 mm spacing and/or regular spaced five speed drivetrains with 120 mm spacing.
Today's nine and ten speed compatible chains are even narrower then those that were typically used on these eight speed drivetrains. Having said the above, we also compared this model FD-6401 front derailleur to it's predecessor model FD-6400 (the latter of which was marketed in the late 80's and very early 90's primarily with a seven speed drivetrain).
We compared these two units... And specifically the derailleur cages (or chain guides), because we wanted to assess any differences in their width and/or design. After making such comparisons and taking some caliper measurements, it appears this second generation model has a slightly narrower chain guide (especially near the front half of the cage). As a result, this model FD-A6401 should probably be limited to 7/8/9-speed applications, given it's slightly narrower chain guide. This is not to say this unit would not function on a 5/6-speed drivetrain with a wider chain, but there are better options for such drivetrains (with slightly wider cages) that are still readily available.
The finish is a combination silver and charcoal enamel (painted finish) that covers most of the clamp band, as well as a heat treated and chrome plated steel chain guide. As for the cosmetic condition of this finish, I have a few of these units that are nice and still in their original retail packaging (and this is one of those units). This is my last unit at this time and the pictures have been updated to reflect this last unit.
These are small scratches/scuffs, but I still wanted to point them out to folks considering this offering. General note regarding narrower/wider front derailleur cages (chain guides) and chains... We do not see many good quality clamp-on front derailleurs with these slightly wider cages, which are typically more effective at shifting the wider chains desired on some vintage road bikes.Narrow chains may also be used with these vintage setups, but because they are typically more expensive and usually not as durable (because they are made with thinner/lighter component pieces)... They are probably not the best alternative for a vintage road bike. Wider chains are usually a better option, because they are made with thicker/heavier component pieces that will generally hold up better over a longer period (so more miles between replacements). The problem is that most of today's front derailleurs are built with cages to accommodate extremely narrow chains (for 9 and 10-speed shifting), which means they might not work as well on a vintage road bike when a wider chain is preferred (for the reasons noted above). In many cases, it's still possible to get the newer front derailleurs to function... But with a narrower cage and a wider chain, it would appear the limit screw adjustments have to be near perfect to eliminate chain rub so little margin for error here... And hence the reason the slightly wider cage on these older front derailleurs is a nice feature. You may visit our store by clicking on this "Store Home Page". Link and please note the product categories on the left side of our "Store Home Page". We have also moved our "Terms and Conditions". You may navigate to this page by clicking on the link on the left side of our "Store Home Page". Unfortunately, this service is more expensive, especially for smaller/lighter packages, relative to the First Class International service. This item is in the category "Sporting Goods\Cycling\Bicycle Components & Parts\Front Derailleurs".
The seller is "bicyclists_retreat" and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped worldwide.