|No function whatsoever, other than making it more|
interesting to look at.
|Interesting to look at, and one of the lightest, best-shifting|
derailleurs of its time.
|Shimano 600 "Arabesque." The decorative details had|
only one purpose: Looking cool.
Campagnolo tools also followed the philosophy of looking good for the sake of looking good. Perhaps the most notable would be the cone wrenches -- which are perfectly designed for their purpose, fit the hand nicely, but also have the great visual detail of the Campagnolo name against a pebble-textured background. The crank bolt wrench, also known as the "peanut butter wrench" is another one -- a tool that I love to feel in my hands -- but which is also somehow more "satisfying" to use than similar tools that lack the interesting visual detail.
|Bloated, and blah.|
As I said at the start -- I'll probably hear some arguments from people who say there's no comparison in performance between these 30+ year old parts and the components of today. Some might even say they don't mind the styling of modern components, either. Granted, on the bland and bloated popped-out-of-a-mold carbon fiber bikes of today, these decorative, almost delicate-looking derailleurs would look incredibly out-of-place. On the other hand, that's just another thing I love about traditional lugged steel frames. They are enjoyable on a different level -- not just for their wonderful ride, handling, and "feel" -- but for those little visual touches that make them special. Some people call it "soul." I hesitate to use that term, but I'm not sure what word fits the intent any better. The bikes, or the parts, or even the tools might be hand-made, or just look like they are -- but somehow, the fact that they have that artistic essence imparts something special, making them much more desirable for me.