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Ultegra VS 105(10 posts)

Ultegra VS 105chskin
Mar 21, 2002 1:04 PM
Hello
I am a mountain biker who is getting fairly serious about purchasing my first road machine this spring. One of the harder decisions I am facing is the pro's and con's of going with Ultegra or 105. I hope to ride about 1500 miles a year and would like to keep the bike for several years. While I can afford both, I am going to have a harder time talking me wife into an upgraded model. Here are my questions:

What is the difference in quality of the new components?
What is the long-term reliability of Ultegra vs 105?
How much extra am I paying for weight savings (not very important to me) vs mechanical reliability?
Is there a difference is feel and operation between the two?

Thank you all in advance.
Craig
re: Ultegra VS 105MikeC
Mar 21, 2002 1:26 PM
I've owned both 105 and Ultegra, but used them only for about two years, and about 5K each.
I did experience the infamous Ultegra lever rattle, but I hear that's largely a thing of the past. The 105 levers were rock solid.
I think that the Ultegra brakes felt a little better, but I can't remember why.
My overall impression was that the 105 group is one of the most honest, workmanlike groups ever made, while Ultegra might have been a little quicker-shifting, but was also a little more high-strung.
I'd probably go with 105. It'll treat you great, and when you're ready to upgrade to DA, you'll be making a two-step upgrade that will feel more satisfying because it'll be more noticeable.
re: Ultegra VS 105Softrider
Mar 21, 2002 2:53 PM
I have both, and can tell you that you probably won't be dissapointed with either. My 105 has been very reliable, it is probably 5 or 6 years old and has alot of miles on it.

I think that the Ultegra stuff is prettier and may operate a bit smoother, but as far as reliability goes I would say that there is not alot of difference.

I know that the Ultegra shifters have been a problem in the past, so you might want to upgrade those to Dura ace. When I built my latest bike, my LBS upgraded them for free. They build alot of tri bikes and have the shifters left over from the build kits. It's worth asking about.
re: Ultegra VS 105Jekyll
Mar 21, 2002 6:25 PM
Probably the easiest analogy would be that of XT vs LX.
Both work fine and there are probably very few reliability issues. Ultegra is "sexier" and a bit lighter. I think that Ultegra does shift a little nicer and the brakes seem to work a bit better than 105. Ultegra is also something like 20% more expensive than 105.
I guess if on a MTB you would bother to pay the difference between XT and LX then you should go with Ultegra. Otherwise 105 will treat you just fine.
Another 2Cmuncher
Mar 22, 2002 1:17 AM
If weight is a bother to you - get 105 with an Ultegra block at the back - low cost way of taking almost all the weight difference out of the equation. I have been riding 105 for 10 years (2 sets) - I don't think you can beat it for function & value. I'd say ask 105 or DA - it a better question.

M.
re: Ultegra VS 105Ian
Mar 22, 2002 5:05 AM
The biggest difference I see is in the STI levers. When shifting, the 105 levers have a long throw and feel kind of sloppy. The Ultegra levers have a short throw and feel crisp. The old problem with Ultegra levers rattling has been fixed with the new design.
re: Ultegra VS 105Mike Prince
Mar 22, 2002 6:21 AM
If I was faced with this I would go 105 with one modification. I used 105 for years before I put DA on my new bike last year and the group works great. Not quite as crisp as DA or Ultegra, but I see no practical advantage to "upgrading" from 105 to Ultegra. I don't think you will notice any difference in terms of performance, reliability or quality. Ultegra is just a bit better finished and marginally lighter.

The one modification I would make is to go with the Dura Ace STI levers if your budget allows. The 105 levers still have a rattle issue as they have not changed like Ultegra has. DA levers are a further step up from Ultegra as they have ball bearings vs. bushings and the shift action is great. Plus, you'll have the first part of the 105 to DA upgrade complete :)

One final piece of advice. If this is your first road bike, put your money into the best "fit" components (frame, stem, bars and saddle) for you and don't sweat other components at this point. Everything from Veloce/105 level on up works so well anyway. Components can be upgraded easily and affordably, but the true victory (and riding enjoyment) comes from a well-fitting ride. Just my 2 cents. Enjoy the new bike.
Exactly!Spoke Wrench
Mar 24, 2002 6:29 AM
How often do you shift? Fit affects your performance, comfort and enjoyment every single minute that you are on the bike.
DAKEN2
Mar 22, 2002 8:53 AM
Agree with Mike--105 is fine across the board, and I would upgrade now to DA STI shifters. I've had all three, and DA not only works better, it lasts much longer. And shifters the weak link in Shimano's drivetrain, because there are so many little finicky non-replaceable parts inside.
re: Ultegra VS 105LC
Mar 22, 2002 10:26 AM
Unless you are custom building up your own bike, I doubt that you are going to find a bike with 105/Ultegra components and Dura Ace shifters, so this is not really something that you have a choice on.

Most of the components are similar in reliability except I found the 105 rear der does not last as long as Ultegra and the self extracing bolts on the Ultegra crankset are nice to have. The new Ultegra shifters are also better for shifting feel and less rattling than 105. With the amount of miles you are planing on doing the differences in quality is not as important as the guys that are doing 6-7000 miles a year, so you may find 105 plenty durable.