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technical differences(12 posts)

technical differencesOhioBret
Sep 7, 2002 7:15 PM
Aside from weight and finish, what are the actual differences between Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105 and Tiagra? Do the higher level components actually have more accurate tolerances or a hardness for durability?
This winter I will be building my first road bike and would like to know how to spec it with regard to quality/value. I will not be racing competitively, just long road rides.
What areas are the most critical to have high end components. Are build kits that way to go, or should I spec each part?
re: technical differencesAkirasho
Sep 8, 2002 3:52 AM
... high end gruppos generally share similar overall enhancements in performance (not necessisarly durability).

The difference in function 'tween Dura Ace and Tiagra are significant... and reason enough for many to pay the extra dollars... the differences 'tween 105 and the gruppos above are a bit hazier... though still apparent (which is why many folks will save a few bucks on a 105 equipped bike... or use Ultegra or Ultegra/105 mixes on a race bike instead of full on Dura Ace).

It's a law of deminishing return... less tangible differences are noted as you spend more bucks (105 is good, Ultegra is race ready... and Dura Ace is race ready with a vengenace (albeit, mostly a psychological vengeance)).

You can save a lot of money with 105 and use said savings to invest in a good set of wheels (rotational weight saved is the best saved on a bike build) or you can get Ultegra with near Dura Ace weight and performance for a lower cost... or mix and match as your budget and needs dictate (maybe 105 levers, brakes and cranks with Ultegra cogs and rear der). The price of an Ultegra gruppo is not too bad if the frame is worthy... and Dura Ace is a pure indulgence for most of us (you could afford a Rolls, but a Bentley will set you apart).

We abide.

Remain In Light.
you get what you pay for...C-40
Sep 8, 2002 6:00 AM
Up to a point, you get more if you pay more. Groups below the 105 level are pretty much crap for anyone that rides a lot of miles.

Personally I'd look into Campy. The shifters are repairable and you get 10 speeds with the Centaur or higher groups. Chorus is the best value, IMO. You get all the performance of Record at a price that's less than DuraAce. It's money well spent.

The biggest mistake you can make is buying parts that are too low-level. Tossing a cheap component later and replacing with something better at a later date is always more expensive.

Also buy the entire groupo. It's always cheaper than buying one part at a time. Lots of places will have closeout prices on 2002 groupos soon. It's a good time to buy.

Try for good group prices.
Two group rule.Spoke Wrench
Sep 8, 2002 9:20 AM
My personal experience is that I can't subjectively feel a difference if I move up or down only one group, but I can clearly feel "crisper" operation if I upgrade two groups. I suspect a lot of guys feel the same because I've seen several posts that suggested skipping 105 and going to Ultegra or skipping from 105 directly to Dura Ace.
Bang for buckfiltersweep
Sep 8, 2002 10:51 AM
Look at the prices and differences between prices: shifters cost about the same whether they are 105 or DA, so you might as well get the DA. DA derailleurs cost only marginally more than Ultegra, so again, go DA. Brakes are brakes... might as well buy Ultegra. The crankset will be the most expensive difference between groups, so might as well go Ultegra (with Ultegra BB). If you don't need hubs, seat post, etc... skip them altogether.

For bang for the buck, I'd mix groups- you can also mix 105/Ultegra if your budget dictates- but don't buy lower end components now thinking you will upgrade later- you'll be wasting your money. I'd go with upgraded shifters/derailleurs over anything else. My DA/Ultegra mix cost only $60 more than full Ultegra- FWIW.
re: technical differencesSpunout
Sep 8, 2002 10:36 AM
Consider the bearing surfaces. A sweet Ultegra build may use Dura Ace hubs. (Omit Bottom bracket considerations though).

IMHO, Campy gives you the best bearings, races, and cones at any level so such a mix is totally unecessary.
Except for the grease ports on Record hubs/headsets.SnowBlind
Sep 9, 2002 1:02 PM
From a neuvo-grouch perspective, I like the darn things.
Except for the grease ports on Record hubs/headsets.OhioBret
Sep 9, 2002 6:45 PM
I like the idea of grease fittings. As a aircraft mechanic, I know the benefits of cycling new grease in while pushing the old grease out. Is the Campy Record the only group that has grease fittings?
From Campy, yes. (and the new hidden HS does'nt have em)SnowBlind
Sep 9, 2002 7:18 PM
Does anybody REALLY use the grease ports? (NM)Spunout
Sep 10, 2002 9:15 AM
Oil holes, not grease portsKerry
Sep 10, 2002 4:36 PM
These holes are for adding oil when racing events like time trials, in good weather. If you inject grease in there, you will fill the space between the axle and the hub body with grease, significantly increasing rolling friction. You're far better to open up the hub, wipe out the old grease, and add clean stuff. Functionally, the oil holes on Campy Record hubs have no value to 99.9% of riders.
Maybe on track components they are useful, not road (nm)Spunout
Sep 11, 2002 5:32 AM