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Ultegra vs Dura Ace - will upgrade by worth it?(19 posts)

Ultegra vs Dura Ace - will upgrade by worth it?fig man
Oct 28, 2002 8:05 AM
I have a 3 month old Motobecane le Champion which I love. It is all Ultegra - very light and rides great. I have a friend that might buy it from me for $900 and my local dealer has a 2002 le Champion Team he is closing out at $1495 -- same bike but 1.5 lbs lighter and it is Full Dura Ace. So my cost to drop a little over a pound and move up to Dura Ace would be $600.
So this is my question - is it worth it? Will the Dura Ace work better and/or last longer. Plus my dealer says the 2003 Dura Ace is exactly the same as the 2002 - is that correct?

thanks for you input
re: Ultegra vs Dura Ace - will upgrade by worth it?Chen2
Oct 28, 2002 8:15 AM
It's really up to you. But if you don't go for the D-A, there will be times that you'll wish you did.
then againSteve_0
Oct 28, 2002 8:17 AM
if you DO go for the DA, there'll be times that you wish you didnt.
Shifters, maybe........curtis
Oct 28, 2002 8:26 AM
My experience with both MTB and road groups is that the only part that offers any real improvement is the shifters, especially at the upper levels. You will likely get faster, smoother shifing from DA shifters over Ultegra, but what can the bottom bracket really offer? Other than a few GRAMS, I'd say nothing. Buy some shifters and spend the rest on new wheels and tires. That's where you'll really see some improvement.
Oct 28, 2002 9:12 AM
I felt a difference with the shifters everything else was marginal.
Agree on shifters. Ultegra bottom bracket is better than the DA version. -nmTig
Oct 28, 2002 12:29 PM
Oh, same with Ultegra cassettes over DA as well. -nmTig
Oct 28, 2002 12:34 PM
I would, and didspookyload
Oct 28, 2002 8:28 AM
I made the upgrade last year and haven't regretted it. You won't notice the difference like going from a huffy(no offense to airborne owners) to your current bike, but there is some performance benefits. Most notably the stiffer cranks and crisper/more positive feeling shifts. As for durability I would say some Dura Ace componets have a shorter life like the cassette and bottom bracket. Most people replace the Dura Ace bb with an Ultegra one anyways.
Bad idea.elviento
Oct 28, 2002 9:02 AM
Just my opionated perspective, so feel free to disagree.

1. why would you put Dura Ace on a Motobecane? It will still be a Motobecane.

2. assuming the frames are the same, isn't $600 too much to pay for the upgrade since the price difference between the two groups is roughly $300-$350?

3. it never makes sense for an outsider to judge a purchase option without knowing your alternative evaluation of money (although people do it all the time).

You see, $600 has a whole different meaning to a guy with $40K income, a housewife and 3 kids, than to a single guy that makes $150K a year.
Oct 28, 2002 9:15 AM
is too much to pay for an upgrade, if you wont realize any benefit, IMO.
Never sell a bike that you love. nmGMS
Oct 28, 2002 9:35 AM
ubiquituous quote on this board....Steve_0
Oct 28, 2002 9:39 AM
'I LOVE my bike, but its time to upgrade'.
Never understood it.
It's not about the bike.scottfree
Oct 28, 2002 9:45 AM
It's about the ego.
I like to run them untill the frame fails.MB1
Oct 28, 2002 10:44 AM
Been known to repair a steel frame. You can always change/repair/replace the parts.

The only Dura Ace parts we run are the hubs. Ultegra, XT & XTR for the rest.

Of course we don't even ride 20,000 miles a year-each-well Miss M might this year. Ultegra is fine.
Are you racing hills?bigrider
Oct 28, 2002 10:44 AM
Unless you are a serious racer why pay 600 bucks for a 1 to 1.5 lb. lighter setup?

DA will wear out quicker and gives marginal performance benefit (other than less weight)

Like my uncle always said

If you like the dura-ace better than the money it is a good deal.

Only you know if it is worth it for you.
re: Ultegra vs Dura Ace - will upgrade by worth it?aliensporebomb
Oct 28, 2002 11:24 AM

You will need to decide what to do. But, that being said
you will likely get more of a performance boost by actually
losing 10-15 pounds yourself than you would getting a 1.5
pound lighter bike.

Sure there's a certain cachet' having the Dura-Ace name
on your bike but it also screams "steal me" in foot high
letters of flame to knowledgeable bike thieves.

I've thought about this and would probably get a nicer
wheelset before I get nicer drivetrain components and

Keep us posted.
All else being equalTrekFurthur
Oct 28, 2002 11:27 AM
I'd splurge for DA shifters, crank, and derailleurs for your current bike . . . if indeed you love it. My training bike is 2 lbs lighter than my race bike and that's a noticeable difference, but the shifting and functioning of the drivetrain are what I really notice. I used to say that the only difference between Ultegra and DA was the price tag, until I got DA. I'm now considering upgrading parts on my training bike--the same parts listed above. If you can upgrade these parts for less than $600, then I think you're golden, though your friend's out a bike; if this is an opportunity for him to have a bike and you to have one that is better, to you, then go ahead.

As for durability, the only DA parts that may wear faster than Ultegra are the cassette (and I'm not convinced on that one) and the bottom bracket (lots of comments about those, but mine's fine). Shifters, chainrings and derailleurs should last longer.
re: Ultegra vs Dura Ace - will upgrade by worth it?Juanmoretime
Oct 28, 2002 11:30 AM
The shifter would definitely work better and last longer. The Dura Ace bottom bracket is not maintenance free. I ride Dura Ace and Ultegra both, I don't think Dura Ace is any less durable. I did get rid of my Dura Ace calipers. The more material on the Ultegra's, heavier, yeald much better braking. Is it worth the extra money? If you have the cash and it's in your budget, go for it. For extra cash, I would hope you are getting some upgraded wheels as well.
re: Ultegra vs Dura Ace - will upgrade by worth it?deHonc
Oct 28, 2002 2:31 PM
fig man,

Go for the DA - the folks who claim that Ultegra is as good as DA are the ones who ride Ultegra - there is plenty of difference between the groups (not only in the shifters as most people state) - and contrary to popular belief the DA BB is very good -if you install it right and maintain it. If you don't push yourself (and the bike) to the limit you might not appreciate the difference between DA and Ultegra - if you ride long and hard DA is the best - cranks, BB, the lot. I suggest you go for it if you can afford it.

The 2003 DA group is identical to the 2002 group.

Hope this helps, ride safe.