Mid-week C & V: SR Bicycle with Shimano 600 Arabesque...



Truth be known, it would make more sense to switch that title around. As far as I am concerned it is not the frame that is the more interesting, but rather the components. Or at least some of them. Though I have been a Campy advocate for at least twenty years, there was a time that I preferred the stylishly sleek lines of a Shimano 600 Ultegra. The Arabesque line dates from the late 1970s to probably 1980. After that Shimano came out with a succession of models - 600AX, EX, SIS and ultimately Ultegra in, I think, 1986. As its name suggests, the Arabesque line was designed with a decorative flourish; you can see this in the fancy scrollwork on the downtube shifters shown here. Both derailleurs, and to a lesser degree the crank arms, also have some extra decorative detailing.

Unfortunately this SR bicycle, which likely dates to roughly the same time period as the components, is not equipped with a complete Arabesque group. Shifters, front derailleur, brake calipers, and crank set seem to be it; the rear derailleur is missing, and I don't believe that the brake levers and headset currently matched to the frame are 600 Arabesque; there was also a hubset in the Arabesque line, but I didn't pay close attention to these ones - I will have to go back and give them another look. Arabesque components have become quite collectable in recent years, so even if you are not keen on the styling, there are other reasons to find them interesting.




Like so many of the C&V posts I do here, you can see the bike in person by visiting the Velo, World's Smallest Bikeshop, located in Claremont.

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