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Upgrade to Dura Ace - Tips please!(15 posts)

Upgrade to Dura Ace - Tips please!jagiger
Jan 29, 2002 12:42 PM
I'm thinking of upgrading from Ultegra to DA shifters, cassette/chain, derailleurs & possibly crankset. Are there any things that I should be consider in swapping these components? Any gotcha's that I should be aware of? Any tools that would be helpful?

Also, does anyone the difference between the CS-7700 cassette & the HG cassette which I've seen on the Performance site? Thanks for your help!!
re: Upgrade to Dura Ace - Tips please!Chen2
Jan 29, 2002 1:40 PM
The CS 7700 cassettes are partially titanium, the larger cogs. Ultegra HG (hyperglide) stainless steel cassettes are fully compatible with Dura-Ace, if everything is 9-speed.
re: Upgrade to Dura Ace - Tips please!KEN2
Jan 29, 2002 3:06 PM
I assume that your present components are worn or else you have another use for them. Otherwise it's really not worth it. IMO the most noticeable (but still pretty subtle) upgrade is Ultegra to DA STI shifters. I guarantee you won't be able to tell a diff in the crankset.

A couple of other things: if your present cranks are pre-2000 you'll need a new BB since the new ones are splined and yours isn't. Avoid the DA BB--it's too finicky and prone to getting contaminated. Stay with Ultegra on that at least.
re: Upgrade to Dura Ace - Tips please!grzy
Jan 29, 2002 4:51 PM
It's a bunch of money for not much of a performance gain. The real difference is the weight and it's going to cost quite a bit to drop 5 oz. It will shift a bit smoother and have a tighter feel. Be damn careful when installing the crank arms - it is very easy to mis-align the splines and ruin a crank arm. A torque wrench is advised for setting the BB and the crank arms to the proper spec. You should use new cable and housing to get the most from our new equipment. You may want to replace just the STI shifters - this will give you the most bang for your buck and provide the most noticable difference.
Just Shiftersjagiger
Jan 30, 2002 3:29 AM
So it's possible to run all Ultegra & just DA Shifters. Would you upgrade to DA cassette or other components as they wear? Thanks!
Just ShiftersDrD
Jan 30, 2002 4:12 AM
Certainly is (at least the combination works on my bike - DA shifters, Ultegra crankset, cassette, and der's)

Other than weight and cost, I don't think there is any functional difference between the DA and Ultegra cassette. If you are waiting for the Ultegra der's to wear out, it's going to be a long, long time - if you really want the DA stuff, and have the cash, you might as well just go for it. (maybe you can sell the Ultegra stuff on ebay or something to make up a little of the cost...)
Yup - if 9 speed.grzy
Jan 30, 2002 6:21 PM
Everything needs to be 9 speed to be interchangable and it'll work just fine. I'd replace the components as they wear since it's way more economical. Why spend a dollar today if you can put it off unitl tommorrow. You'll also see that while there may be a noticable difference in the shifters it will be very hard to tell the difference in performance of the other parts. It's most noticable on your wallet and, to some extent, a scale. I run a mix of DA/Ultegra parts.
re: Upgrade to Dura Ace - Tips please!Bobo
Jan 31, 2002 9:46 AM
Grzy is right. Don't bother with the cassette either. The shifters make all the difference. Also, if you need to replace your chain, dump Shimano altogether. I love the Sachs PC-89r. My drive train actually runs smoother with this chain vs Shimano.
Jan 31, 2002 7:31 PM
to find this chain, Bobo?
don'tWoof the dog
Feb 1, 2002 3:14 PM
just get an ultegra or durace chain and a PowerLink (gold), and it will be the same friggin sachs chain. It may be cheaper to go this way too. Sachs chain is wider, and that may make some small difference in shifting. For me shifting is everything and that is why I go w/ shimano chains. I think Sachs chain is wider by almost a milimeter, which is a lot.

Forget about Sachs' warning not to use their powerlink with other chains, its the marketing bullshit. I've replaced old chains with powerlink in them still going strong. I use powerlink on all of my chains (two bikes, many replaced chains) and others on this site and elsewhere never ever had any problem. You can search for this in the archives if you really want, you will find only positive things about powerlink used on other chains.

The only reason you may want Sachs chain is if you are extremely powerful and heavyweight rider and snapped many shimano chains in the past.

Ok, if you don't care about shifting/know it will work just fine, go by the price. I think ultegra chain is 15 bucks + 3 or 4 bucks for powerlink VS. sachs chain which i think will cost you 30 bucks.

Just a piece of advice.

Woof, the stick-with-shimano dog.
Feb 5, 2002 7:01 AM
That's usefull information.
You will need Park tool BBT-7(or similiar) to install the BB(NM)James
Jan 29, 2002 8:23 PM
Ult and DA hood are VERY different shapesstr8dum1
Jan 30, 2002 6:46 AM
DA have a pointy top and are thinner as where the Ults are flatter and fatter. I just built a new bike going from Ult to DA. I like the Ult shape much better. I really dont notice much shifting differences with the rear derailleur. The front derailler is much smoother (although it could just be new equip)
Some thoughtsDEANguy
Jan 30, 2002 4:53 PM
Agree with other posters-will notice a marked improvement with DA shifters. Everything else-wait till a sale or your Ultegra stuff wears out then replace piece by piece. That being said-I was was having a devil of a time with my Ultegra front der., so replaced with DA. No problems since.
read thisWoof the dog
Jan 30, 2002 7:23 PM
you may want to stick with Ultegra cranks as they are either just as light or heavier by about 30 grams. The shimano website weasels go around that by listing a durace crank weight for a 170 mm vs 175 mm for Ultegra - of course there will be a weight difference. Go to and follow some links up top to the weights. On that other website, there is a whole bunch of weights and for durace there is a whole bunch of cranks weighed. The trick is to see the right new crank and right length for comparison. From what I figured out last time the difference is likely about 30 grams lighter for durace crank, better finish and it says "dura ace" on it. With ultegra you will likely save like 70 bucks if not more. Thats more than 2 dollars per gram ...ouch!

30 grams would be about the weight of 2.5 door keys. Decide for yourself!

Durace shifters are definitely worth it though. Go with ultegra cassette as it is cheaper and stuff like this, like a chain, tends to wear out. Would you pay 80 bucks for a dumbass ti cogset (i think its only the lowest gear cluster)? I certainly wouldn't. Durace chains make me feel nice though there is no difference other than finish vs. ultegra chain. Go to to look up various prices on durace stuff. If you buy things that you need separately, you may even save money instead of going the whole gruppo. Hope this helps

Woof the smartdog.