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Ultegra vs. Centaur for first road bike ...(3 posts)

Ultegra vs. Centaur for first road bike ...Bituminous
Apr 22, 2002 8:31 AM
Building up my first road frame and am choosing between the two, prices are essentially the same. Any opinions?

re: Ultegra vs. Centaur for first road bike ...slow-ron
Apr 22, 2002 12:20 PM
This is major flame bait but since going with a Campy 10 Daytona group I've been very happy with the design of the parts, reliability, & servicability. One negative is that most shops in my area don't have replacement parts if something did go wrong.

My biggest beef with Ultegra, which I've also ridden, is the "disposable" nature of the parts. I personally like to do all my own work and I like being able to repair something rather than throw it away, (mainly shifters).

The only way you're going to figure out what you like is to pick a group and ride it until it wears out. Then, try the other group to see if you like it better. The competition between the two companies has made the parts so good that you'll probably like whatever you chose.

Here's what to do. If the frame is domestic aluminum pick Shimano and if it's steel go Campy. For whatever reason I think lugged steel looks good with Campy and alum. looks good with Ultegra. If it's Ti or Carbon then I don't have any suggestions.
They're both great - don't lose sleep over itRay Sachs
Apr 23, 2002 5:05 AM
I've used high(ish) end Shimano and Campy and both work better than you can believe. The differences are subtle, even for people who've been riding a long time and strictly a matter of personal preference. For a first bike, you won't know the difference.

From a new rider's perspective, the key points are that Campy tends to be a bit more durable for the long haul but Shimano is more adaptable to changing needs (for example, if you find you need lower gears, you can slap an mtb derailure and wider range cassette on the Ultegra setup and it will work flawlessly - you can't do that with Campy). The minor differences in feel and function are irrelevant for a first bike. After riding for several years, I personally like the feel of Campy a bit better, but have standardized my bikes around Shimano gear because of the flexibility.