Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have heard that Shimano releases an updated or redesigned component line about every four years. The old technology then passes down to the less expensive product line. If this is true, theoreticaly a newer Ultegra component would be a better buy and possibly of better quality than an older Dura-Ace. So my thought is, can you reliably date a component that has no serial numbers or manufacture date.

share|improve this question
    
I would think you could get fairly accurate based on weight for most components. –  Ken Hiatt Apr 30 '13 at 23:16
    
@KenHiatt, maybe with the help of weightweenies.starbike.com –  James Bradbury May 1 '13 at 8:00
1  
To the sarcastic responders: when you're comparing used bikes and components at different prices, this is a very useful question (and it's about reliability, not just weight). But this might be a duplicate: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/108/… –  amcnabb May 1 '13 at 15:48
    
I wasn't being sarcastic...as the technology moves it way down, the weight of the component changes. I think that might be one of the only ways to accomplish the task. –  Ken Hiatt May 1 '13 at 17:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

All Shimano components have a series number (not serial number) embossed or engraved in the component. While it is possible that the numbers may be worn off or scratched over on older components, the theory you are working under seems to indicate that you would be looking for newer, lower level components, rather than older higher end stuff.

Check the back of the inside front derailleur plate for a number like FD-6700, for example, (which would indicate current Ultegra). There is a number on each component, with the first 2 letters indicating the type of component, and the number indicating the series.

For Example:

  • CN = Chain
  • ST = Shifter
  • BR = Brake
  • FD = Front derailleur
  • RD = Rear derailleur
  • HB = Hub
  • WH = wheel
  • BL = Brake lever
  • CR = Chain ring
  • CS = crank set

The higher the number the higher the component level. Current 11 speed Dura Ace is 9000 series. Last year's 10 speed Dura Ace was 7900. The series prior was 7800.

For Ultegra, the upcoming, not yet released group for Ultegra will likely be 8000. The current is 6700 for most components. 6600 was the prior group, and 6500 before that.

If the 3rd number is a 5, as in 6650, (ususally only noted on the crank) then the group came with a compact crank.

If the 4th number is not zero, it is either a revision, in the case of CN-6501 or 6502, or designed for a triple crank. This will be noted on all parts, as shifters and derailleurs also must change for a triple geared crank, in most cases.

If the 3rd number is a 7, i.e. FD-6770 the part was designed for electronic shifting. This will be on derailleurs, batteries, wiring, and shift levers. If you find a number on any single component, it can be used to date the whole group set.

I hope that is useful.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.