Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dura-Ace 7400 - when Shimano wanted to be Campagnolo

I recently picked up this NOS FH-7400 hub set to sell. It's the earliest incarnation of 7400-series hub, with the unique Uniglide freehub body designed specifically for Dura-Ace UG cassettes.

I'm not certain, but I believe the theory behind the smaller thread size on the locking cog was to allow for a smaller low gear, though modern Hyperglide cassettes have proved that 13t can fit over the original spline pattern (or 12t with a Hyperglide C body).

At any rate, the fit and finish of these hubs bring to mind a valiant attempt at copying Campagnolo's stylistic beauty, though Shimano always had their own way of going about it - such as those black Dura-Ace dustcaps with carefully etched lettering and a miniature grease port. In fact, I'd say considerably more effort went into designing these hubs than most Campagnolo offerings. Oddly enough, the Nuovo-Record inspired quick releases are missing from this set.

The hubs are a rather unique and - for the time - unusual 28 hole set; definitely designed with the up-and-coming 1990's weight weenie in mind. As it's a 7-speed set, the rear is spaced to the traditional 126mm OLN.

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