The early Shimano 600 derailleurs were revolutionary in a number of ways. They were part of a full groupset - a new phenomenon for a mid level price point, they were designed for Campagnolo drop-outs (gone was the homage to Simplex), and most important of all, they were well finished and looked ruthlessly composed and modern. I can well remember marvelling at the sheer glamour of mid-range bikes kitted out in the full 600 groupset - they looked so much better than their peers clad in a mishmash of Weinmann centre pulls, SR cranks and SunTour V series gears.

This example is a short pulley cage version of the second generation which have 6100 model numbers. The distinguishing feature is that the ‘600’ on the outer parallelogram plate is in small script - I have never been able to detect if there were any more substantive differences.

All in all, a pretty damn fine derailleur - particularly in its short cage version, which gave a pleasant fluid gear change despite its lack of a slant parallelogram.

The 6100 series of Shimano’s 600 groupset was the first to sell in quantity in Britain. It feels like an old friend!


  1. Brand: Shimano

  2. My category: Shimano - the Ultegra story, Shimano - the Deore XT story

  3. Country: Japan

  4. Date of introduction: 1976

  5. Date of this example: 1976 (two letter date code is AL)

  6. Model no: 6100

  7. Weight: 231g

  8. Maximum cog: 28 teeth (Sutherland’s 6th edition)

  9. Total capacity: 28 teeth

  10. Pulley centre to centre: 46mm

  11. Index compatibility: friction

  12. Chain width: 3/32”

  13. Logic: top normal

  14. Pivots: two sprung pivots

  15. Material: largely aluminium, steel pulley cage plates


Shimano 600 (6100)