Although marketed as a 7-speed SIS derailleur, the 7401 could be used with 6, 7, or 8 speed drivetrains. The industrial design is elegant, the lines, fit, and finish, impeccable. All this reflects the devotion to detail that remains a hallmark of Shimano engineering.
1986 marked a turning point for road components as Shimano began, finally, to outshine Campagnolo with index shifting technology. It was an exciting time in cycling history as we watched Dura Ace, in particular, but even the Shimano 600 line continue to rise in popularity. For decades, Campagnolo was the pro cyclist's first choice for reliability and performance. At this point, however, we were witnessing something that most hadn't predicted - the gradual but undeniable adoption by pro teams of Shimano Dura Ace. The seemingly-indomitable Italian giant finally had some formidable competition.