's Forum Archives - Components

Archive Home >> Components(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 )

Dura-Ace vs. Ultegra / Double vs. Triple(22 posts)

Dura-Ace vs. Ultegra / Double vs. Triplegojoshgo
Jan 23, 2003 9:44 AM
I am purchasing a new bike and am debating between a Shimano Ultegra vs. a Dura-Ace. Is the Dura-Ace worth the (significant) extra money?

I am also trying to choose between a doulbe or a triple group. Any insight as to the benefits of each and/or recommendations would be greatl appreciated. Thanks!
re: Dura-Ace vs. Ultegra / Double vs. TripleLen J
Jan 23, 2003 10:03 AM
The answer between D/A & Ultega is.....It depends.

D/A is lighter, shifters are smoother, generally have better bearings. It really depends on how much disposable money you have. Ultegra is probably 97 % of the functionality, but that 3% is worth it to some people.

Triple vs double is a matter of personal preference, terrain that you ride in, strength and cadence. I live in a very flat area, so I put a triple on my bike in order to be able to use it when I go elsewhere to do rides (where it is hillier). I would probably have a triple no matter where I lived under the premise that "I never want to look for a lower gear & not have it". Others here are anti triple under the "If you were strong you wouldn't need one", "I don't want to look like a wuss", or "I don't need one & can climb anything with my 12X25 cassette". Only you can assess your riding style, what kind of terrain you ride, how strong you are, and what your goals are.

Campy chorus...C-40
Jan 23, 2003 10:48 AM
Can't resist. If you're considering DuraAce, Campy Chorus is a better deal. Cheaper and 10 speeds.

As for the double/triple debate,the triple doesn't cost much more. Unless you know that you need the triple for the hills, I wouldn't get it.
Campy ...pmf1
Jan 23, 2003 11:16 AM
What is it with guys who have Campy equipped bikes? Why are they driven to put down Shimano? I have never understood this and it doesn't seem to go the other way.

Aside from 10 speeds, you also get to buy cassettes that start at around $150 (vs. $40 for Shimano), chains that cost $35 and chain tools that run $70 ... what a deal!

For a good laugh, there's the website. They even have an annual Campy meet. I wonder if its right after a Star Trek convention.
Campy ...motta
Jan 23, 2003 12:35 PM
It doesn't go the other way because Shimano riders are secure in the knowledge that we ride a superior product.
Campy ...koala
Jan 23, 2003 12:53 PM
Those prices are vastly inflated, and ya, beam me up...BTW, when I read c-40s post I did not see any put down of shimano, just an alternative.
a little harsh...C-40
Jan 23, 2003 4:19 PM
I didn't knock DuraAce, just noted the FACT that chorus is cheaper and offers 10 speeds. Functionally it's identical to Record, at a bargain price.

A chorus cassette is $80-90 and they last a long,long time.

You don't need a $70 chain tool to assemble the new HD-L link. It's recommended, but a regular chain tool works. A $5 wipperman connex link is also a viable option for joining the chain with no tools required.

Yes, the chains do cost $33, but they also last as long as anything on the market, if maintained properly. I buy one every year, even though it's not stretched but a fraction of the allowable amount. Not a big deal compared to the price of tires.

I think that the function of campy ergo levers is far superior to the shimano system.

Have you tried both systems for any length of time? I switched to campy in 1995 after several years of using Shimano STI. No regrets at all.
a little harsh...not a flameatpjunkie
Jan 23, 2003 6:05 PM
I'm not knocking Shimano either but as the one post said, he had 2 Ultegra STI's "crap out" in under 10,000 miles. When Shimano stuff 'craps out", STI's for example you fix by replacing the entire unit at a cost of around 200 bucks. If Campy Ergo's die you can buy 25 cent springs and fix (can even field dress). I'm not knocking Shimano's product (I have it on 2 cx bikes , 1 Roadie, and an MTB) but I don't approve of their business model(forced replacement). I switched to Campy for my main roadie and am a reconvert (I rode it during the 80's) and now roadie #2 will be at some point. On my cx bikes I run Shimano Bar Cons as I don't think every muddy crash should cost me the price of a decent training wheelset. I like(d) the way my STI's worked but I love the Ergo's, plus the feeling of a solid brake lever is nice at high speeds. IMHO you can get a Chorus Group (nearly the same as record just a tad heavier, in fact new Chorus is lighter than Record of 2 Y A) for less than Dura Ace.
I think it's the best value in the market.
yeah, both of them are rightweiwentg
Jan 24, 2003 5:05 AM
Chorus is a tad cheaper than DA, and a little heavier. I've sort of used both systems before, and right now, the only Shimano is my cranks on the road and cross bikes, and on my MTB.
Both waysMR_GRUMPY
Jan 24, 2003 8:16 AM
I've got two Dura Ace 9 speed road bikes and one Campy 8 road bike. I haven't had any problems with any of them. Yes, the Dura Ace levers aren't repairable, but they are covered for three years. If they break you can pick up a replacement lever for $140/$150. If a Campy lever dies, you can send them into Branford Bike to have them overhauled. Parts, labor, and shipping will set you back about $60/$70.
The Campy/ Shimano debate is a little like the Cubs/ White Sox debate. White Sox fans hate the Cubs. Cub fans could care less.
LBS!Andy M-S
Jan 24, 2003 8:40 AM
>If a Campy lever dies, you can send them into Branford Bike to have them overhauled. Parts, labor, and shipping will set you back about $60/$70.

My LBS rebuilt my Sachs (Campy) Ergo for $25, dropped my bike off in the morning, picked it up that afternoon.
Jan 24, 2003 9:11 AM
Very few shops will do this. You are lucky to live near one.
LBS! Campy attitude.atpjunkie
Jan 24, 2003 10:38 AM
good on ya for supporting your LBS. Yes, it's silly. It's that gear snobbery, techno weenie, elitist crap that pushed me into cyclocross. Most are just retrogrouch, luddites (myself included) that lusted after Campy in their youth. Personally I'd be a bigger supporter of the Big S if they'd quit being the Microsoft of Bike Parts. But as posted again, do the math $140-$160+ for replacement levers (shimano) or 25-60 for a Campy overhaul. That's a 3-1 margin at the least.
I have absolutely nothing against Campy componentspmf1
Jan 24, 2003 5:34 AM
I got the prices out of a Colorado Cyclist catalogue which is pretty much retail. I'm sure there are cheaper sources. For me, even $90 is a lot to pay for a cassette because I have several and swap them around depending on where I ride. The Ultegra cassettes last a long time too. DA chains are $20, not a big difference.

Between my wife and I, we have 5 Dura Ace equipped bikes. After buying the tools, extra cassettes and chainrings, Shimano compatable wheels (we have 9 sets), I cannot afford to get a Campy equipped bike merely for the reason that the two aren't compatable (no, I'm not willing to monkey with expensive conversion cassettes that some folks say don't work very well).

I have tried the Campy ergo levers and they seemed nice, but I honestly don't see a huge difference in function between them and Shimano. The carbon ones sure look cool.

As far as 10 speeds go, I could care less. I was happy with 8. Maybe my age is showing.

But what has always puzzled me is why Campy owners feel its their mission in life to put Shimano down. I have heard insults about Shimano for years and years. Coming from everyone from some 16 year old kid working at a bike shop to a 45 year old fat guy here at work who rides his Italian steel Campy bike a total of about 60 miles a year. Do you Campy owners get this? I suspect not. Its really curious to me what it is about Campy that inspires this attitude. Maybe its a snob thing that attracts certian people. I have no idea.
Campy attitudemcteague
Jan 24, 2003 6:43 AM
For years I had wanted Campy. Started with Simplex Prestige, then some new thing called Shimano Crane. After many upgrades I got hit by a car and was getting a new bike so I went all Campy Super Record. Well, the headset pitted very quickly, my ankle hit the crank arm and the damn thing "ghost" shifted at various times. I read in some mags, not Bicycling, as they love everything, that several test bikes with Super Record whould just jump a gear and even pro bikes were using Simplex levers. I tried them and, while improved, it still jumped. I had used friction shifting for years so I knew how to do it. The shop let me swap it all for Dura Ace and I have stuck with it since. I know Campy has gotten over it's terrible index issues of past by now I also have so much Shimano stuff that I don't plan on changing. As for Campy attitude, I really don't get it either. Just a snob thing.

Funny storypmf1
Jan 27, 2003 9:27 AM
I did a Andy Hampsten bike tour in Tuscany in the Fall of 2000 as part of my honeymoon (wife is a biker too). Several of the guides were Americans who raced in Europe in the 80's and early 90's.

A friend had the vintage Bicisport ad with Andy endorsing Dura Ace. He wanted me to get Andy to sign it, which he did (the picture was goofy looking and Andy was amused by it).

So the next day, I'm riding with one of the guides and ask him what the pros of the day thought of Dura Ace -- I figured it would be negative. To my suprise he said everyone wanted it because it worked so well. The Campy ad at the time said "Campy ... feel the emotion". He said the joke was that the emotion came when you shifted and said "oh sh!t".

campy may be the greatest ever in some people's minds, but it wouldn't be what it is today if there was not some competition from Shimano.
Campy chorus...because of the gear range available...Spunout
Jan 24, 2003 4:15 AM
If you want some small gears, you can go 13-29 in Chorus. That was my decision NOT to go the triple route, and that gear is not available in Ultegra/DA(in a stock setup).

Agree, chorus cassette, record chain, park tool, nothing more expensive than anything Shimano. Anyone running $200 Ti cassettes are beyond this discussion IMO.
re: Dura-Ace vs. Ultegra / Double vs. TripleCurtSD
Jan 23, 2003 11:13 AM
A few differences:
The ultegra shift levers are the same for double vs. triple (DuraAce has different shifters for double vs. triple), so Ultegra might be easier if you change your mind on the double/triple thing later. Also, the ultegra triple is 52/42/30, while the DuraAce is 53/39/30 - in case it matters.
re: Dura-Ace vs. Ultegra / Double vs. TripleCJ838
Jan 23, 2003 1:15 PM
I like the Ultegra option. I have all Ultegra group on my bike and it works great. There is a slight weight difference to the Dura-Ace group and the shifting is slightly smoother. But for the money increase, I don't think it's worth it. I would shy away from Campy Chorus only because of the cost. But it is a great product as well.

I also have a triple set-up. I like having the extra gears, even if it adds a small bit of weight.

If money isn't an issue, any of them would be a great choice. Otherwise, stick with the Ultegra, you won't be dissapointed.

Mix it up...KEN2
Jan 23, 2003 3:36 PM
I agree with what others say about double vs. triple... and add that you should be sure you'll be happy with what you choose because it's expensive to switch over later.

I'd recommend Ultegra everything except DA shifters, not only because they're smoother and more solid, but also because they are likely more reliable. I've had two Ultegra shifters crap out in under 10,000 miles; DA still going strong.

In the rest of the group, you'll not be able to detect a bit of functional difference between the two.
Hybrid and thoughts ...IFRider
Jan 25, 2003 5:36 PM
I have two road bikes. One is a IF Club Racer with Ultegra triple. The other is a Schwinn Waterford Paramount with Campy Chorus 10 speed (using the 12-29 setup).

First, using directions from a web bike shop called Hubbub Cycles ( was able to mate my Campy 10 speed Chorus shifters to my Ultegra Triple setup. Personally I prefer the feel of the Ergo hhods and the cleaner cable routing. I did switch back, but plan replacing the Ultegra shifters when they die with Chorus.

The IF is a sport touring bike, and once a year I put panniers on and do a week long tour. The reason I chose Shimano was I could get some really low gearing for these trips in Vermont. I use a XT rear derailleur with a Xt 11-34 cassette. So if gearing flexibility is priority, Shimano drivetrain wins. Also on a tour, I am far from bike shops that might carry Campy.

Shimano offers an Ultegra long reach dual pivot (the IF requires this on the Club Racer) if that matters. Although I would not hesitate putting these brakes on a Campy bike.

More chi-chi wheelsets availabe in Shimano if that floats your boat.

I am told racers are more likely to find Shimano wheels for neutral support. Others may be able to comment.

Enjoy whatever you choose, it is about the ride ...
Oops..... meant to reply uner theCampy?Shimano thread ...IFRider
Jan 25, 2003 5:39 PM
Sorry.... Typing with a broken hand.