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Is Dura Ace durable?(9 posts)

Is Dura Ace durable?Steve-a-Reno
Aug 15, 2003 10:34 AM
Looking at buying new Dura Ace BB, crankset w/rings, FD, and brakes. But after reading the reviews here I am thinking maybe for a 6',2" 220 lb masher I might want to go the way of Ultegra and suffer the very slight weight penalty and loss of chi-chi factor. What say you? Is Dura Ace worth the apparent troubles?
ooops,Steve-a-Reno
Aug 15, 2003 10:37 AM
Sorry, newbie mistake. I will re-post in Components section.
re: Is Dura Ace durable?pmf1
Aug 15, 2003 11:12 AM
Dura Ace is just as strong as Ultegra The bottom bracket can be a pain in the butt to install and adjust. For a small weight penalty, that you'll never notice, get the Ultegra bottom bracket instead. Its a one-piece unit that slides in and never needs to be adjusted (well, hardly ever).

I think the big plus of DA are the shifters. Functionally, you'll never notice a difference with an Ultegra drive system and brakes. But if you like the looks of DA, there's nothing wrong with splurging. All except for the BB IMO.
The DA "track" BB is fully sealed...biknben
Aug 15, 2003 11:53 AM
The Dura Ace track bottom bracket is fully sealed like the Ultegra. I just replaced the
i somewhat
-sealed Dura-Ace one I had in there for two years. The regular Dura Ace BB is just a glorified cup and cone type BB. It gave me headaches. Unless you "enjoy" BB overhauls, go with the Ultegra or Dura Ace Track BB.
No it's notMR_GRUMPY
Aug 15, 2003 12:54 PM
It looks that way, but it isn't. It has non-sealed cartridge bearings, because it's meant to be used indoors or in good weather outside.
This is a good, but tough question...russw19
Aug 15, 2003 4:12 PM
Dura-Ace is a pro level group and it's designed to stand up to the day to day racing stress that pro level riders put it under. However, on the other hand, it is also designed to be maintained by pro level mechanics who tear it apart every day to keep it running well. If you neglect it and don't do the maintainence on it, it will fail. That is the big thing about the bottom bracket. It was never designed to be an install and forget bottom bracket. It was designed to be super light, super stiff, and super smooth. But you have to take care of it for it to stay that way. It was designed for the pros, but is marketed to everyday guys like you and me.

He's the thing though... an Indy car has a superbe engine. But you and I wouldn't dare think of putting it in our everyday cars. The maintainence is too much. It was designed to be torn down after every race.. well that's a stretch to compare to bike components, but Dura-Ace is designed to be raced and serviced... not just riden and forgotten. If you keep that in mind and are willing to do the maintainence, it will last forever. I have a bike that has 98 Dura-Ace on it. That's the year it went 9 speed. This bike has over 40,000 miles on it and my parts, although they are scratched up and don't look the greatest, still work like the day I got them. But I work part time in a shop and I am able to overhaul my bike every week if I choose to. I do a full overhaul on my bike every 6 months and that is why it has lasted as long as it has. But like I said, this group was never designed to be installed and forgotten.

Hope this helps...

Russ
This is a good, but tough question...Ironbutt
Aug 16, 2003 9:15 AM
You have put into words what I have been thinking for the last two years, since I got my last bike and equipped it with Dura-Ace. Well said!
Overhaul every six months?Fez
Aug 18, 2003 5:50 AM
Russ,

I know you work in a shop and probably ride more miles than most, but what do you find needing the most work when you do your overhaul? The BB? What kind of headset are you using?

I was wondering what parts get out of whack the most. And how much wet riding is the bike subjected to?

I ride much less (only about 6,000 miles/year) and have the Ultegra BB, so most of my services have just been truing wheels, adjusting drivetrain and cables, and looking over everything very, very carefully. Have had good luck so far.
Overhaul every six months?russw19
Aug 18, 2003 9:10 AM
Fez, I don't overhaul it every six months because I have to, just because I can. I guess working in a shop is like having a nice lift and tool kit for your car... you would find yourself changing the oil more often because you can.. not because you need to.

I have a Dura-Ace headset on my Dura-Ace bike. It's a sealed cartridge unit so it never gets touched. If it ever goes bad, I wouldn't replace the bearings, I would just get a King... but like the King, the Dura-Ace never really goes bad.

I replace my cables every 6 months.. I replace the housing every year. I swap out my chain and cassette about once every 9 months or so. Mostly, my overhaul is just a much more intense cleaning than anything else. I take the entire bike and strip it down and wash everything in a solvent tank and regrease everything. It's just more comforting to know that I have fresh and clean grease in my parts. Really I don't replace many parts.. the shifters on my bike are beat up from falling a few times, but they work perfectly... the derailleurs are the originals which are like 6 years old now, and I think I have replaced the brake pads 3 times in the last 6 years. Overall, the bike is still like new... but that's why I overhaul it so often. It's more preventative maintainence than anything else, but since I have access to the stand and the tools and the solvent tank and the grease.. I just use it.

Like you, I mostly am trueing wheels and just cleaning everything. I don't ride too much in bad weather, so I don't worry about that. And when I do get caught in the rain, I do a drivetrain cleaning after the ride anyways. I work in a shop because I love it, not for the money or need. So for me, tearing my bike apart and cleaning it and regreasing it is fun, which also explains why I do it so much. But like a car, the big secret to bike maintainence is to do the work before it's needed. It saves a lot of money that way (unless you are paying to have the work done for you.)

I am sure you will continue to have good luck with your bike. It seems like you are doing everything you really need to keep up with it. If you have the Ultegra BB, it's a sealed unit, so you can't overhaul it... just keep an eye on your hubs and freehub body. Other than what you say you are doing, that's all you will really need. I am a big believer that clean bikes are happy bikes, so I am really good about keeping the crud from building up on my drivetrain. That is one of the things most people don't do enough of. Dirt and grime ruin precision drivetrains... so keep em clean and happy.

Russ