This build is moving quickly! I found an amazing condition Dura-Ace 7400/7402 series group set from the late 1980s almost immediately after getting my hands on the frame. And when I say amazing condition, I mean absolutely astounding condition. This is an almost perfect Dura-Ace 7402 8 speed group with down tube levers and single pivot SLR brakes. I can’t wait to build this bike!

This is the group set that took Campagnolo by storm. I firmly believe that Campagnolo’s Super Record was caught napping when Shimano came along with Dura-Ace 7400. From that point on, Campagnolo was always on the back foot and playing catch up.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 1
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 1
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 2
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 2
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 3
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 3
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 4
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Page 4

Starting with the headset; this is a 7400 1″ headset. It was used in the Dura-Ace group until the mid 90s when it was replaced with the cartridge bearing version 7410. It is in excellent condition apart from a few marks on the top nut. But the rest of the headset, cups, bearing surfaces and seals are perfect.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Headset
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Headset

The bottom bracket is also 7400. This was the last cup and cone BB Shimano made in the Dura-Ace range before moving onto their sealed cartridge brackets. It is also in beautiful condition with no wear on any surfaces. The plastic BB sleeve is clean and points to the fact that this BB can’t have been fitted to a frame for very long.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Bottom Bracket
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Bottom Bracket

At the very heart of this group is the rear derailleur. In my opinion, this is one of the best designed and best looking rear derailleurs ever made by any company, not just Shimano. This is the 7402 version required for 8 speed. Dura-Ace started the group in the early 80s with the 7400 6 speed before moving quickly to 7401 7 speed. The rear derailleur normally gets a few knocks and scrapes, but this one has survived really well and is almost untouched.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Rear Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Rear Derailleur

To make the 7402 derailleur work properly, you need 7402 shift levers, and like the rest of this group, these down tube levers are in excellent condition.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Shift Levers
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Shift Levers

The front derailleur is the standard 7400. I can’t use this word enough, but it is also in excellent condition. There are very few marks on the inner surfaces of the cage which again indicates that this group has not had much use. If I was using STI levers, I would use the 7403 which had a slightly different cage shape.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Front Derailleur
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7400 Front Derailleur

Sitting just below the 7400 front derailleur and spinning on the 7400 bottom bracket, is the 7402 170 mm Dura-Ace chain set. This is one of the hardest components to find in good condition. Shoe rub, toe strap rub, gravel rash, scratches, you name it and chain sets normally suffer from it. But this one is ok, not perfect, but still one of the best used examples I’ve seen in a long time.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Chainset
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 Chainset

Brakes are 7402 SLR single pivot short reach with 7402 aero brake levers. There is barely a mark on the original brake blocks. The brake levers are also in very good condition, both the levers and the hoods.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 SLR Single Pivot Brakes
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 SLR Single Pivot Brakes

Hubs are 7402 rear and 7400 front, built with DT stainless spokes and laced to Campagnolo rims. As you can expect, every part of these hubs are in excellent condition, not a single mark to be found anywhere. These also come with the matching 8 speed Dura-Ace cassette and chain.

SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 8 Speed Hubs
SB8868 SBDU Nottingham 753R Services des Courses Dura-Ace 7402 8 Speed Hubs

I just need the finishing kit to complete the build. That will probably be Vittoria Corsa tyres with a Cinelli XA stem (possibly black with yellow insert) and some Cinelli bars. The saddle will either be a black Turbo, or a Turbomatic.

I’ve got the same question with pedals that I always have and that is “do I go clipless or stay with straps”? Dura-Ace did a standard ‘toe clip and strap’ version (7400) and a ‘clipless’ version (7401)… so I’ll have a little ponder. I won’t be building this bike for a few weeks so I have a little time to think.

I’ve wanted a Dura-Ace 7400 equipped SBDU bike for a long time and this one is going to be perfect!

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About the Author Neil McGowran

Blogger of all things to do with the Specialist Bicycle Development Unit (SBDU) and TI-Raleigh Ilkeston.

One comment

  1. I’m going 7400 on mine also (6 speed) just short a front hub, i think the 7400 strap in pedals are still used on track so expensive and hard enough to find but much nicer looking than the clip in pedals imo

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