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Ultegra STI 6501 = Mistake???(5 posts)

Ultegra STI 6501 = Mistake???TWD
Mar 6, 2001 10:05 PM
I just ordered these Ultegra STI levers assuming they were good. Read the product reviews afterwords, and was shocked to see how bad they were.

I went to for the fix on the rattling. The reviews sound like there are bigger issues with quality and durabilty (missed shifts, sticking problems etc...).

Anybody want to elaborate on this? Are these crap...should I cancel my order?


re: Ultegra STI 6501 = Mistake???Larry Meade
Mar 7, 2001 2:46 AM
Ultegra(6501) levers are not crap. If you take into account the number of bikes on the market that come equipped with Ultegra, you will probably find that the actual percentage of problems is about on par with every other item on the market. This group is probably the most prolific group on the market so I would expect to see more negative reviews on them than some others. I have been using Ultegra levers on one bike for two years with no problem. If you are just ordering these levers, they are probably the 2001 version and have been updated significantly since the originals. They are said to feel very much like the DuraAce levers now and the rattling problem has been eliminated as well.

re: Ultegra STI 6501 = Mistake???TJeanloz
Mar 7, 2001 6:10 AM
The 6501 is not without it's problems. In many (most?) cases the front cap will begin to rattle after a few thousand miles. The lever will still shift perfectly- you just have an annoying rattle to fix. The problem has been addressed with the Ultegra 6510 lever (new for 2001).
re: Ultegra STI 6501 = Mistake???DrD
Mar 8, 2001 3:01 AM
The Ultegra levers are great! - the only issue I ever had with them was the rattle, which is easily fixable. Any sticking seems to be the result of dirt build-up (which can be cleaned - how well that fixes the problem depends on how well you clean it - do a poor job, and the problem comes right back - do a good job, and they are just like new!)

I like the DA levers better (shorter throw, different feel), but they cost quite a bit more...
The old Ultegra levers are crapSlow Ned
Mar 8, 2001 6:43 AM
I understand that the 2001 models have remedied the problem of the caps coming loose. The pre-2001 model is crap (Shimano would not have spent the $$$ to change the design just for kicks if it were not). I got rid of mine for that reason (got a sweet deal on Dura Ace 9spd levers for $200), and can think of at least 10 folks locally as I type that have had the caps come off or have had to do some crazy remedy to keep them on. Other than the issue with the caps on the front, they seem less durable than Dura Ace (which is to be expected). I have had several friends that have had to replace theirs in the time I have had my Dura Ace levers.

STI levers are significant because your hands are on them much of the time, and they serve 2 roles: braking and shifting. It's important to get something trouble-free. My only word of caution is to be sure you what you ordered is the newer 2001 model.