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Old 10-30-05, 05:33 PM   #1
jkrones
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durace vs ultegra

I am in the process of considering the make up of a new road bike. Currently I ride a tri-bike with 9 speed durace. The new bike would be a 10 speed. What are riders thoughts on 10-speed durace vs 10-speed ultegra. I hear that the 10-speed ultegra is smoother and more efficient than the 9-speed durace. Is the extra money for the 10-speed durace worth it? I am a high volume rider. Thanks for your input.
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Old 10-30-05, 06:06 PM   #2
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It's mostly cost and finish and a small weight difference. I believe the functionality is nearly identical. The warranty on Dura Ace is longer if that's a consideration. So is the snob appeal. It's your money so you have to decide.

One mechanical difference is that the Dura Ace 10-speed hubs are strictly 10-speed. Nothing else will fit. Ultegra 10-speed hubs will accept 9 and 8-speed cassettes also.

If it were someone else's money, I'd go for Dura Ace. For my own money it's Ultegra.

I recall reading a similar question on the difference between Record and Chorus on a Campy site. The moderator's take was; "Record is 'Pretentious Man's' Chorus." I think this is a similar choice.
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Old 10-30-05, 09:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jkrones
I hear that the 10-speed ultegra is smoother and more efficient than the 9-speed durace.
I've never heard this. The only thing I can think of that would make this true is that since the distance between gears is smaller, the shifts would be a little faster and smoother. This would be true of Ultegra 10s as well though. The price difference between Ace and Ultegra really isn't justified by performance differences. Like HillRider said, it's good if someone else is paying, which is why pros all ride Dura Ace. Of course, they also ride it to advertise it to people like us, so that we'll think we need it.
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Old 10-30-05, 10:55 PM   #4
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My opinion, go with Ultegra. Dura Ace is not that much lighter or "better" to justify the increased cost. Also, many professional teams seem to hold the same opinion as you will find a significant number of them running Ultegra!
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Old 10-30-05, 11:14 PM   #5
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OK, so I've never worked with or ridden high-end road stuff (besides suntour superbe), but just out of idle curiosity: if there is very little difference between DA and Ultegra, is there much difference between Ultegra and 105? What about campy? I'm always hearing people compare Ultegra to Veloce, though veloce is 'below' record, chorus AND centaur.
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Old 10-31-05, 02:52 AM   #6
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Just Replace The Lever,(i Think The Lever Has Much Better Feeling Than 9speed).anthingelse I Think Basicly Same,
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Old 10-31-05, 10:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
OK, so I've never worked with or ridden high-end road stuff (besides suntour superbe), but just out of idle curiosity: if there is very little difference between DA and Ultegra, is there much difference between Ultegra and 105? What about campy? I'm always hearing people compare Ultegra to Veloce, though veloce is 'below' record, chorus AND centaur.
With the 9-speed stuff, Ultegra was much more similar to 105 than to Dura Ace. For example, the 9-speed Ultegra and 105 brifters were nearly identical with only finishing being different. Same with the 9-speed cranks, except that the Ultegra chainrings were machined, while the 105 chainrings were stamped. The 9-speed cassette was a good place to go Ultegra, because it had the aluminum carrier from Dura Ace, with the steel cogs from 105, making it more durable than Dura Ace, but much lighter than 105. The 9-speed Dura Ace brifters were considerably better than both 105 and Ultegra 9-speed stuff. With 10-speed, the gap (and price difference) between Ultegra and Dura Ace appears to have narrowed considerably, and I've only seen pics of the new 10-speed 105.
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Old 10-31-05, 12:03 PM   #8
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I'm always hearing people compare Ultegra to Veloce, though veloce is 'below' record, chorus AND centaur.
You have to understand Campagnolo lovers. They are so in love with all things Campy that they believe the lowest line, cheapest stuff Campy makes is superior to ANYTHING Shimano makes. On the basis of pricing, Record stands alone as the most expensive. Chorous is slightly less expensive than Dura Ace and Centaur is on par with or slightly lower than the cost of Ultegra 10-speed. It's good stuff, in someways better than Shimano and some ways not as good. It's not magic.
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Old 10-31-05, 12:16 PM   #9
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I would again like to call for a blindfold test comparing DA to Ultegra. Have the cyclist sit on a trainer, shift around for however long is deemed necesary, and positively identify the group installed. 50/50 chance

After riding both recently, I remain unconvinced that there's any real benefit or tangible difference with DA, for anyone but the most bling-conscious. I would not buy DA with my own money.
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Old 10-31-05, 02:39 PM   #10
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I would again like to call for a blindfold test comparing DA to Ultegra. Have the cyclist sit on a trainer, shift around for however long is deemed necesary, and positively identify the group installed. 50/50 chance

After riding both recently, I remain unconvinced that there's any real benefit or tangible difference with DA, for anyone but the most bling-conscious. I would not buy DA with my own money.
With 9-speed, if you knew how each one felt and they were both adjusted properly, you could identify the DA, particularly in a trainer, every time. The lever feel is different on DA, with slightly shorter throws on the upshifts, and more precise feeling downshifts.

Note, however, that I did not say that DA would actually shift faster or "smoother" than Ultegra. With respect to that criteria, I think that you would get to around a 50/50 chance of choosing one or the other, if both were set up properly. 9-speed Ultegra and 9-speed 105, I'd say virtually no chance of differentiating between the two.

Again, I have not compared 10-speed DA to 10-speed Ultegra (or 10-speed 105).

Last edited by Cycling Giraffe; 10-31-05 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 10-31-05, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrones
I am in the process of considering the make up of a new road bike. Currently I ride a tri-bike with 9 speed durace. The new bike would be a 10 speed. What are riders thoughts on 10-speed durace vs 10-speed ultegra. I hear that the 10-speed ultegra is smoother and more efficient than the 9-speed durace. Is the extra money for the 10-speed durace worth it? I am a high volume rider. Thanks for your input.
I used to ride a 2002 Lemond Zurich with Ultegras. Then last week, I bought a '05 Fuji carbon bike with DuraAce, and have had 4 rides since (20-35 miles each). As a previous post mentions, the DuraAce shift is very precise and just snaps into gear. The Ultegras, however, are smooooth as butter. It may be because the Ultegras are 3 years old, who knows? As much as I appreciate the military precision of the DuraAce, I like the smooth feeling of the Ultegras. They both work beautifully in terms of precision of shift. I personally don't think the DA derailleurs are worth the extra money. Now, as far as the cassettes and such, I believe there is some argument to having DA for the difference in materials. My $.02 worth....
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Old 11-01-05, 12:12 PM   #12
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Dura-ace may be slightly more durable. But as HillRider said, the finish is better. Dura-ace will likely look much better years later. I made the same Ultegra/Dura-ace decision 19 years ago (actually, back then it was 600/Dura-ace) and went with Dura-ace. The parts still look nice and shiny.
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Old 11-12-05, 10:35 AM   #13
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I rode a Full Ultegra 10 bike yesterday for a few miles. I was very impressed by how "precise" the shifting felt, up and down. The Ultegra brakes felt very smooth and strong as well. As a Campy owner, I will say I came away impressed with this group.
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Old 11-12-05, 11:03 AM   #14
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I rode a Full Ultegra 10 bike yesterday for a few miles. I was very impressed by how "precise" the shifting felt, up and down. The Ultegra brakes felt very smooth and strong as well. As a Campy owner, I will say I came away impressed with this group.
Awesome comment. No need to put my thoughts forward really, it's all been said; just look at my signature, click the link and know that I have no complaints nearly 1500 miles on.
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Old 11-12-05, 12:47 PM   #15
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the DA20 is the best there is from shimano. ive the titanium coated rear cogs so they will last longer. every thing on the bike is for PERFORMANCE , not for anything else. they are not meant to do the typical commuting milage, its for racing pretty much so dont expect to get the same wear like you get from your "105". its so good though, putting all that aside. i love it, i love it , i love it. it is the tightest shifting , most precise set up ive ever been on and i wouldnt down grade for anything. if your really good then buy the dura ace, if you just like to ride then get the ultegra or the new 105 ten speed.
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Old 11-12-05, 12:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrones
I am in the process of considering the make up of a new road bike. Currently I ride a tri-bike with 9 speed durace. The new bike would be a 10 speed. What are riders thoughts on 10-speed durace vs 10-speed ultegra. I hear that the 10-speed ultegra is smoother and more efficient than the 9-speed durace. Is the extra money for the 10-speed durace worth it?
No. Ultegra is considerably more versatile. The only benefit of Dura-Ace is that is a teeeeeensy bit lighter.

It is common in Shimano history that the more recently updated group performs better than previous models, even of nominally higher end groups.

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Old 11-12-05, 03:06 PM   #17
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I have a bike with each. I can't tell the difference. The DA front derailleur is shinier, to be sure.
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Old 11-12-05, 04:59 PM   #18
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I just went riding with someone who had a Durace 10 speed set up on his bike. Just the two of us. I have the 10 speed Ultegra. Because he knew the route he rode in front most of the way. His shifting sounded noticibly noiser than mine. I don't think it was a case of adjustment as his gears as mine always went right to the next gear when shifting. Just my Ultegra seemed quietier.
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Old 11-12-05, 05:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
I used to ride a 2002 Lemond Zurich with Ultegras. Then last week, I bought a '05 Fuji carbon bike with DuraAce, and have had 4 rides since (20-35 miles each). As a previous post mentions, the DuraAce shift is very precise and just snaps into gear. The Ultegras, however, are smooooth as butter. It may be because the Ultegras are 3 years old, who knows? As much as I appreciate the military precision of the DuraAce, I like the smooth feeling of the Ultegras. They both work beautifully in terms of precision of shift. I personally don't think the DA derailleurs are worth the extra money. Now, as far as the cassettes and such, I believe there is some argument to having DA for the difference in materials. My $.02 worth....

I bet if we rode bikes equiped with properly tuned Dura-Ace, Ultegra, and 105 but no markings of the model, the average bike rider would barely notice the difference. I believe alot of what makes poepel believe Dura-Ace is better is the psychological feeling with it. They feel they spent so much or its marketed as such a better product, it feels faster and smoother.

I truely think, we all wouldnt be able to tell the difference.
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Old 11-13-05, 08:34 AM   #20
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I have 9 speed Ultegra on my Lemond. I upgraded to DA levers after a crash and I love the feel of them. They are different than the Ultegra 9. However, the new 10 speed stuff has been redesigned, so that observation is moot. I did ride a Cannondale equipped with full DA and I thought it shifted a bit smoother than my set-up. However, was it so much smoother that I need to run out and spend a wad of cash on it? No! Do I WANT to run out and spend a wad of cash on it? Well, that's a different story!
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Old 11-13-05, 12:26 PM   #21
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I have 9 speed Ultegra on my Lemond. I upgraded to DA levers after a crash and I love the feel of them. They are different than the Ultegra 9. However, the new 10 speed stuff has been redesigned, so that observation is moot.
Right. The ergonomics are completely different between 9-speed and 10-speed STI brifters. This is a 9- vs 10- issue, not a Dura-ace vs Ultegra issue.

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Old 11-14-05, 12:05 AM   #22
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For the small difference in performance between the two, I would rather get Ultegra and use the extra money towards a chichi wheelset. Of course, when I win the lottery, my answer will be different.
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Old 11-14-05, 12:15 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cycling Giraffe
With 9-speed, if you knew how each one felt and they were both adjusted properly, you could identify the DA, particularly in a trainer, every time. The lever feel is different on DA, with slightly shorter throws on the upshifts, and more precise feeling downshifts.

Note, however, that I did not say that DA would actually shift faster or "smoother" than Ultegra. With respect to that criteria, I think that you would get to around a 50/50 chance of choosing one or the other, if both were set up properly. 9-speed Ultegra and 9-speed 105, I'd say virtually no chance of differentiating between the two.

Again, I have not compared 10-speed DA to 10-speed Ultegra (or 10-speed 105).
yeah, the DA levers feel more solid with shorter throws. The sound is also different. However, in actual performance terms, is DA gonna make you faster and help you cross the finish line faster? I don't think so...
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Old 11-14-05, 04:39 PM   #24
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gotta jump in on this, cause I was wondering about my new 6600 shifting probs:
Bought elcheapo internet bike with full 6600 including chain. It's my first sti shift bike, but i ride enough to justify it. The frame is downtube shifter compatible (for future frankenbike use?)

So, after about 500 miles, and lots of adjusment, i continue to have problems:
1. chain jumps off the 53 chainwheel, even just crusing w/ low torque. Happens 'sometimes', not predictable. I have fiddled with the limiter and trim. Shiny new crankarm is scratched up quite a bit
2. from lowest gear, it shure doesn't like to get on the middle chainwheel. You could say that it needs to be trimmed to the right, but see problem #1. I keep in the habit of going down a cog before shifting from low to middle chainwheel.
3. cassette is pretty smooth through the middle gears, but between 12 and 11, big clunk. it shifted, sure, beats the heck out of downtube shifters and i keep my cadence on, but i'm not getting where everyone says ultegra is 'smooth'. I've gotten to know 'where' to shift the chainwheel to catch the pins, but i'd think the cogs would not be so clunky.
I'm considering putting on downtube levers to isolate the problems.
I have 4 months to figure it out, snow comes next week..

meanwhile, my 21 spd stx mtb is beat to hell and still shifts fine as long as it gets maintained. bike threw me, but it never threw the chain. less gears is better, i say.

-ned
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Old 11-14-05, 05:02 PM   #25
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I was going to suggest hunting around for a 9-speed Dura Ace bike. You'd probably get a great deal on it, plus you'd have the advantage of interchanging wheels with your tri-bike.

The trouble is finding it.
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