I'm almost due for a new chain and cassette combo and this if my first time doing so. My bike is second hand and was a hodge podge of leftover parts and some of the bits are worn. As usual I'm debating whether to buy online or from LBS - I'd get the LBS to install them regardless of where they are sourced from. Online if of course cheaper, however for the chain I am after there seem to be a few different link sizes.
My current drive chain is 9-speed ultegra 6500 running a Dura-Ace chain, with a 11-23 cassette. I'd like to replace the cassette to go up to 27 on the largest ring which I believe is the smallest gear I can get without having to change other bits and pieces around.
Now a quick look at Dura-Ace 9 speed chains have a few on offer with different numbers of links. There is a 116 and 114 I can find. Will either do? As I understand it they normally remove links to get it to the correct length.
Also, can anyone suggest what may be the best replacement for these parts while keeping everything compatible. I'm not really concerned about weight, but mostly durability while maintaining shifting performance, so I probably wouldn't go with the Dura-Ace chain.
Would it be an idea to stick with Ultegra everything, or perhaps go down to 105 or even Tiagra? Would it make a difference?
Later addition: I have just read through the thread 'Downgearing my road bike' and there is some good info there, especially since I as considering something similar. I would probably plan to replace my current standard double (which is a bit worn anyway) with either a compact double or a triple. The triple sounds good as I rarely use my high gears and it sounds like it's more suitable for a every situation bike while sacrificing weight (which I have already said I am not to concerned about). Now I am pretty sure the Ultegra 6500 shifters that I've currently got will take the triple or the compact. But the Dura-Ace FD I am fairly sure won' take the triple and maybe not the compact. So my questions are, what information do I need to know before I start researching more or picking out possible parts? FD attachment type, bottom bracket type etc?
I am also presuming if I switch to a triple it will mean another new chain because it will have to be longer due to the fact that you can't add links only break them off. Will I have the same issue with going to a compact double?
I realize there are a lot of questions here, so manythanks for any help.