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Ultegra vs Dura Ace(11 posts)

Ultegra vs Dura AceHENRY K
Dec 21, 2003 5:47 PM
I am sure that this has been tossed around before but I will be purchasing a new group in the off-season and I am considering both groups but, don't want to spend more $ than I need to (there is quite a large $ difference). Weight is not an issue, a few ounces extra does not matter to me. I don't race, I ride about 2K per year group rides centuries etc. but I do expect good performance from my components. I have had an Ultegra group for quite a while with no problems at all. I have heard that the Dura Ace shifters are better though. Any opinions on using an Ultegra group with D/A shifters?
re: Ultegra vs Dura Acerussw19
Dec 21, 2003 7:11 PM
If you are going to upgrade from Ultegra to Dura-Ace, that's the place to start. The Dura-Ace shifters are a lot nicer than the Ultegras. They don't rattle as much and they don't mysteriously self-destruct like some people's Ultegras have.

If I were to personally ride Ultegra, Dura-Ace shifters and a nice King headset would be the two things I would change about the group. The rest is fine.

re: Ultegra vs Dura Aceal0
Dec 22, 2003 7:00 AM
All tat was said was applicable before this year, now big difference exists DA is 10sp and Ultegra still 9sp.

Or you meant 9sp DA?
re: Ultegra vs Dura Acelaffeaux
Dec 21, 2003 9:02 PM
I ride bikes with both. The Dura Ace levers and hoods are narrower and give a different feel - I prefer it slightly. The rear shifting is the same to me, there's not enough difference to distinguish. Front shifting is a tad better on the DA double, but it's not dramatic - it's probably more a function of fewer "trim" positions on the DA, versus Ultegra with its triple/double compatability.

I've had good luck with both. Other than breaking off the plastic covers on the shifters in CX crashes, they seem to take a beating and continue to work fine.
Additional questions.....Giant_Tom
Dec 22, 2003 2:21 AM
I was going to post a similar thread about this topic but if it's ok I'll just jump in here. I was wondering about the crankset, according to Shimano's website the only difference is the chainring finish, both use forged crankarms. Is the DA crankset(7700) worth the extra money over Ultegra?? Also what about the cassette, worth the extra $? I don't race, I just like how the DA shifts compared to the Ultegra. Thanks, Tom
like the original post, I assume we are comparing 9 speed onlyrussw19
Dec 23, 2003 6:05 AM
If so, then you would probably not notice any significant difference between a Dura-Ace crankset and cassette versus the Ultegra models. The finish is differnet, it looks different, but you most likely would only notice a difference in how light your wallet is if you went with Dura-Ace.

If you are not racing it, you won't get much advantage from the Dura-Ace over the Ultegra. And if you like the way D-A shifts, it's most likely the shifters. That is the one place where I think D-A is worth the extra money to people who don't race. They are still a bit nicer, but that's all I would upgrade if I were personally buying an Ultegra group.

Again, this is all assuming we are talking 2003 9 speed groups and not 2004 Dura-Ace 10 speed.

like the original post, I assume we are comparing 9 speed onlyGiant_Tom
Dec 23, 2003 10:45 AM
Thanks Russ and you're right I was comparing 9 speed, I should have been more clear. Thanks for the info.
re: Ultegra vs Dura AceChen2
Dec 22, 2003 7:02 AM
Of course you understand that you cannot mix 10-speed D-A shifters with a 9-speed Ultegra cassette and chain.
re: Ultegra vs Dura AceHENRY K
Dec 22, 2003 4:14 PM
Speaking for myself I am only talking about D/A 9-speed.
My answers to you were regarding 9 speed for both... nm.russw19
Dec 23, 2003 5:59 AM
I have gone through the same thing myselfWOY
Dec 23, 2003 8:42 AM
OK we are talking about 9 speeds double group here (and I am ignoring wheels, headset, seatpost, pedals etc)

From my research and speaking to people here is my opinion

Shifters, DA is definitely better, smoother more defined shifting. I have actually been told by a bike shop that this is the only upgrade they would recommend.

Front Derailleur – practically no difference but DA gets a chromed cage

Rear Derailleur – DA has a roller ball raced bottom jockey wheel whereas Ultegra has a ceramic bush. When both are new the shifting performance very similar; however as the ceramic bush wears the shifting performance will fall faster than DA (However the DA price is nearly twice so you can have two Ultegra rear Ds over the life of one DA...)

Brake apparenty the Ultegra brakes are much stiffer and provide stronger braking power (they run the same pads). I did think about running Ultegra at the front and DA on the back for a while, but is it worth 10g and $$$?

Crankset I have read somewhere that the Ultegra is stronger/more rigid than , DA however I have no experience on the difference in longevity of the chain rings. Oh an the Ultegra has steel chain ring bolts and DA has alloy. So if you are after weight saving change the steel to alloy and save 15g

Bottom bracket – perhaps the major difference of the two groups. In terms of weight the bottom bracket (and cassette) has more significant % weight difference. The DA BB uses a combination of ball race and needle bearing and is apparently smoother than the Ultegra sealed unit. However the DA BB requires regular service/adjustment whereas the Ultegra is install and forget.

Cassette other item with a more significant % weight difference (in price too). I believe the shifting is the same, however the DA TI sprockets may wear quicker than the steel in the Ultegra. Matter of fact, I think the most cost effective Shimano cassette is the CS-50-9. Same steel sprockets and only ~15g (for a 12-25) more than Ultegra!

Obviously DA components overall are lighter but only you know how important weight is for you. However I would say DA shifter, chain and Ultegra everything else.

Hope this help!