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Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me choose...(7 posts)

Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me choose...TheWanderer
Oct 6, 2001 12:39 PM
I'm in the process of building my new bike, and need help upgrading. My last road bike was older 105 and RSX stuff, so I haven't had much exposure to higher level stuff. I'm looking for performance and durability; minor weight differences aren't an issue. So, assuming I don't have an unlimited bank roll, what should I go with to make my money go the farthest. If I buy Ultegra, I'd probably go with a 105 bb, cassette, and chain, with the cranks, STI, and rear mech being Ultegra. If I go Daytona, it will be all Daytona. Anyone have help for me?
No wrong choice hereMick
Oct 6, 2001 5:39 PM
I ride a mix of Chorus and Daytona; Chorus levers, Daytona derailleurs, bb, cranks. I've never owned but I have ridden Ultegra and Dura Ace.

Here's my opinion. The Shimano gear shifts better in the front derailleur and the Campy gear shifts better in the rear derailleur. And that's the only difference I could notice.

When I say better, I mean with a positive feel and quick shift. Since I shift the rear constantly and the front infrequently than I think I made the right choice. I also prefer the thumb button shifters on a Campy lever.

I prefer the looks of Campagnolo but I admit that's entirely a taste and style question. If I had a hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket, I'd get a Chorus rear derailleur but it's hard to make such swaps when what I have has worked flawlessly for me.
re: Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me choose...nestorl
Oct 6, 2001 6:31 PM
SOrry but I am pretty sure that you can't have a 105 bb and ultegra cranks...not compatible. It is possible that the new (2002) 105 bbs are also splined, but if they are you probably want the ultegra anyway since you can get it for $34 at

I would:
keep your old 105/rx break callipes and front der.
get ultegra bb, cranks, rear der, chanin.

and INVEST in the dura ace STI (go ebay and get them new for 3/4 of the regular price) OR find a store that has some old non flightdeck compatible.

You do not save much money by getting the 105 chain, and cassette (about 10 bucks tops) so it is not worth it.

If you go with the Ultegra STI, make sure you get the 2001 model, orthewise you are up for a nasty experience (read the reviews on this site).

I am not familiar with the Daytona so I could not tell you about them.

Good Luck, cheers. nestor
re: Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me choose...Leisure
Oct 7, 2001 2:09 AM
I think Nestoryl has solid advice regarding Shimano's lineup if you decide to stick with them. The Ultegra shifters are supposed to get more of Dura-Ace's solid construction for 2002, and 105 will *allegedly* inherit all of Ultegra's reliability problems. If it matters I'm pretty sure the '01 105 cranks are actually splined but again I agree with Nestoryl that you may as well spend a scant couple of bucks and go with Ultegra. Be thorough about installing Shimano's splined cranks correctly! Don't ask, just do and you'll probably be happy. The fact that you have a lot of compatibility with you're old equipment is certainly an incentive to save money or upgrade more on select components with Shimano.
I posted recently that I just purchased a Daytona grouppo. It wasn't easy because I had to weigh between disappointment with the reliability of most Shimano equipment I've purchased over the years versus uncertainty over whether an Italian company would pay much attention to their third-tier product line. I'm pleasantly surprised at how similar most of the Daytona is to Chorus. The derailleurs are almost identical, while the primary difference between the shifters are that Daytona uses bushing where Chorus has bearings. I'm curious to know if the Daytona shifters can be upgraded to bearings down the road, but so far the shifting has been outstanding both front and rear, and I prefer the feel and ergonomics of the shifters over STI. The Daytona hubs are, in my opinion, the starting-point for high-end hubs; far superior to Ultegra, and most likely Dura-Ace as well. The brakes are fine, no problems as yet at any speed. Ditto the crank arms, which are not quite as stiff as Shimano's Hollowtechs but hardly flexy as it applies to road riding. Possible points of concern are the cassette and super-narrow 10-speed chain. The former is easily upgraded if need be, but I admit I made the arrogant assumption that if Campy's house chains weren't up to snuff, SRAM would come to my rescue with some wonderful replacement. I've still never bothered to find out if that's true. Oh well. One other point, if it matters, is that Daytona probably weighs about 100g less than Ultegra, which in turn probably weighs about 100g less than 105. Big whoopdeedoo if you ask me, but you certainly can't argue that Daytona will be a tank and you'll never get over the hill. Ultimately I went for Campy looking for better reliability than Shimano, and that's something for which only time will tell. I suspect the odds are in my favor.
re: Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me
Oct 7, 2001 10:20 AM
Have ridden both many miles and i think you are okay with with either route you take. I have ultegra, chorus, and daytona, with record on soon to be finished bike. I would pick daytona over ultegra, but that is just me. It looks to me that you can save money up front with ultegra (current parts in the mix), but i think you might save some later with daytona. On a day to day comparison i have found daytona to be relatively close to chorus, which i did not expect initially.
re: Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me choose...tarwheel
Oct 8, 2001 8:59 AM
I've got Ultegra 9-speed on one bike, Chorus 10-speed on another. From what I understand, Daytona is functionally very similar to Chorus but a little heavier. I would choose the Daytona over Ultegra, based on my experience. Although there are things I like better about Ultegra, on balance I prefer the Campy. Ultegra shifts smoother and it's a little easier to operate with everthing controlled by the same levers. However, the Ultegra also has some quirks that drive me crazy. Namely, the chain rubs the chainring in 12, 13 and 14 gears -- meaning you really only have 6 speeds in the lower range -- and it doesn't trim worth a damn. Ultegra also has a nasty habit of throwing the chain off the inner ring, which apparently is so widespread that a company markets a Chain Watcher just to fix that problem. My Chorus has none of these problems. The chain doesn't rub in any gears, it always shifts precisely, is very easy to trim, and has never thrown the chain. Plus, you can get 10-speeds with the Campy -- and you'll be able to use all of them (except, of course, the big-big or small-small combinations that you shouldn't use anyway). Campy stuff feels kind of stiff when you first get it, but it gets smoother and smoother as you break it in.
re: Ultegra vs. Daytona/Centaur. Help me choose...SingleThreaded
Oct 21, 2001 10:04 PM
I've just spent the last two months test riding bikes in the 1600-2200 range outfitted with Ultegra and Daytona. Ultimately, I ordered a 2002 Zurich with Ultegra. After one set of tweaks at my LBS after a week out of the box, I can't believe a groupo can get much better. The index shifting has been flawless -- you hit the lever, you get your next gear. No thought needed as to how lightly or how forcefully you need to hit the levers.

But as I've seen through all the test riding, a cheap groupo can be made to operate perfectly, and vice versa in the hands of right technician. I chose Ultegra over Daytona because I felt shifting became an afterthought right away. It's much easier to shift from more places on the bar and the index provides sure shifting.

I had the aforementioned chain rub in outer bracket gears, but any technician worth their salt can clean that up.

As I started my search I wanted to get the Campys to say I rode Campys. But in the end, I just loved the Ultegras too much.