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New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...(9 posts)

New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...Crash
Dec 5, 2001 12:02 PM
I am going to be getting a new bike soon, and one of the last decisions is the gruppo. (Before anyone starts on the Campy vs Shimano debate, I would love to go Campy but I just don't find the ergo levers on Campy as comfortable as the hoods on Shimano). I have full Ultegra on my current bike and have no complaints with it. For anyone that has gone from Ultegra to Dura Ace, is there a real advantage for a middle aged non racer, or is it just the status of going with the best ???
re: New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...grzy
Dec 5, 2001 12:16 PM
Frankly the DA stuff works a little better, looks better, and should last longer. The BB is the one exception - I'd advise the Ultegra unit for hassle free riding. In the end it's about 5 oz. lighter and about $500 more - YMMV.

Given the opportunity I'd run it. Unfortunately we upgraded the wife's bike to an 9 sp. Ultegra triple and I got her 9 sp. double hand-me-downs to replace my 8 speed running gear. At the time I didn't know that Ultegra uses the same levers otherwise I would've opted for a set of DA STI's that are FD compatible (not avail. at the time). When components need to be replaced I'll use DA.
re: New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...gtx
Dec 5, 2001 12:27 PM
I like the DA cranks (look great, light, very durable c-rings) and the hubs (lighter and much better quality) and maybe the brake/shifters (though the new Ultegras are much better than the previous generation), but the Ultegra bb is easier to deal with and the Ultegra brake calipers should be a bit more solid feeling (I have the new Ultegra and previous generation DA and have heard bad things about the current DA calipers). Not much difference on the ders cept looks and maybe a bit of long-term durability. I think the Ultegra hs is the same as the DA 'cept for the fork crown race, which is steel, not AL. If I was buying a new bike and wanted to save money, I'd go with the DA cranks and hubs, maybe the cassette too, and the rest Ultegra. Just my $.02.
re: New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...Galibier
Dec 5, 2001 1:42 PM
The difference between the two full gruppos is approximately $350. Is it worth it for a middle-aged non-racer? No. Is it worth it for a middle-aged non-racer who wants to build up the best bike possible? Yes. As for the BB, I originally had problems with my DA BB until it was properly installed by a capable mechanic. (That would not be me.) Since then, no problems. I attempted to replace the DA BB with an Ultegra BB, but the capable mechanic talked me out of it, even though it would have meant $$ to his shop. His argument is that a properly-installed DA BB is lighter, will perform better, and ultimately, with some routine maintenance, last longer. I cannot say whether this is all true, as my switch from Ultegra to DA occurred less than one year ago. Setting aside the BB issue, the DA works beautifully.
re: New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...Mike P
Dec 5, 2001 1:43 PM
My bike came with Ultegra. As some things have worn out, I have replaced them with Dura Ace parts I have found on sale, mostly on the internet.

When the chainrings needed replacing I found a new DuraAce crankset w/Dura Ace rings on sale for not too much more than the Ultegra chainring would have cost. I have also replaced the Ultegra 11-23 cassette with a new Dura Ace 12-23, also on sale. And the chain too, also on sale.

I think the bike shifts much better now, looks better too. I have no plans to go Dura Ace on any other parts. I like this set up.

re: New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...DAC
Dec 5, 2001 2:45 PM
D/A cogs always used to be significantly softer than Ultegra, so if you are looking for durability, Ultegra is the way to go.
STI shifter comparisonKEN2
Dec 5, 2001 3:10 PM
This year there have (according to my mechanic) been some problems with one of the DA STI levers (left?) hanging up and needing warranty replacement. This is on the Flight Deck models.

I got last year's non-flight deck DA at significant savings and have had it on my road bike now. I also have last year's Ultegra STI shifters on my 'cross bike which I use for commuting. The DA levers are significantly better, with a shorter throw and more positive yet smoother feel than Ultegra. This is probably because of ball bearing use in DA vs. bushings in Ultegra. Also, Ultegra levers have not been immune to getting hung up in mid-shift either (must be all those tiny parts inside that no one wants to mess with).

Bottom line IMO DA STI is better; frankly I can't tell any difference between DA and Ultegra functionality in the entire rest of the gruppo.
My .01look271
Dec 5, 2001 5:26 PM
Go with D/A crank and chain (cost between a D/A chain and ultegra isn't much$$).
re: New Bike, Ultegra vs Dura Ace...firstrax
Dec 5, 2001 7:05 PM
I had full Ultegra and thought I was happy until I got DA levers. Smooooth.