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Old 10-27-10, 07:05 PM   #1
retnav94
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Dura Ace, Dura Ace, or Dura Ace?

I picked up a 1991 Bottecchia that my brother built when he was into this obsession of ours, using Dura Ace components. I have the opportunity to obtain a 2003 cannondale cadd 5 in mint condition with Dura Ace components. In addition I am contemplating a new bike with 2010 Dura Ace components. My question is, are there discernible differences between the three? Since I am new to biking, I am still feeling my way around the components. any info would be appreciated.
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Old 10-27-10, 07:41 PM   #2
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Yes. Very different groupsets. With 7-8 years between the groupsets Shimano would have made pretty big advancements. Stiffer, lighter, sexier (IMO). Different method of shifting between the oldest and the new stuff.

I'm not an expert but the '91 is 7 or 8 speed with down tube shifters, yes? The '03 9 speed with brifters? '10 Dura Ace is of course ten speed.

Buy new. You know you want to.
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Old 10-27-10, 08:14 PM   #3
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I of course do want new, however, my mind says "shiney!" and my wife keeps me grounded, which I am thankful for. Since I am new to the sport I just bought a MTB and love it. I am just venturing into road, so I am not sure how that will go. I want to do longer distances. Did 60 on the mtb. I can't ride the Bottecchia, just don't think I can deal withe the shifters on the down tube. I can pick up the cannondale for about 800 and I like that idea over a few grand for the Dura Ace on a new one. I am keeping my options open.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:23 PM   #4
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I of course do want new, however, my mind says "shiney!" and my wife keeps me grounded, which I am thankful for. Since I am new to the sport I just bought a MTB and love it. I am just venturing into road, so I am not sure how that will go. I want to do longer distances. Did 60 on the mtb. I can't ride the Bottecchia, just don't think I can deal withe the shifters on the down tube. I can pick up the cannondale for about 800 and I like that idea over a few grand for the Dura Ace on a new one. I am keeping my options open.

IMO, you won't be able to discern the differences among the component groups unless something is seriously wrong with one or the other. Also, picking a bike on the basis of components is backwards. You need to fit the bike to your body, not the other way around. With your changing fitness level, the way your body fits the bike will change, too.

I would say your best course is to get the Cannondale and then make friends with the nearest professional bike fitter. Save some money for fitting the bike, and recheck the fit as you lose weight.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:48 PM   #5
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You could probably buy a new bike with 105 or Ultegra, and the parts will be nicer than old used Dura-Ace.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:55 PM   #6
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I have a 2002 CAAD5 with full Ultegra, and a 2005 6/13 with full DA. I actually like the Ultegra shifters better than the DA.
If it is one of the Stars and Stripes CAAD5 frames I would buy it in a heart beat at $800 with full DA.
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Old 10-27-10, 10:01 PM   #7
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Don't worry about what label is on the components (I know, I'm guilty of it too..) Get whichever bike fits you best, or feels good when you ride it. This will be a stronger indicator of how much you enjoy it. Unless you're a serious racer, you won't be able to tell the difference between any of the groupsets listed.

The downtube shifters on the Bottecchia are the only thing I'd stay away from. IMO it really does make more sense to have the shifters on the handlebars.
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Old 10-27-10, 10:42 PM   #8
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If I were you I'd get the '03 Cannondale with 9speed Dura Ace. 9-speed and 10-speed to me shift about the same, but there's a huge jump in performance in comparison to 7-8speed to 9-speed. Plus it would keep the wifey happy that you didn't blow money on a new bike.
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Old 10-27-10, 10:45 PM   #9
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You could probably buy a new bike with 105 or Ultegra, and the parts will be nicer than old used Dura-Ace.
I agree with this sentiment in that buying a new bike gives you the option of riding several different sizes to find the one that fits you best. Current 105 is going to be superior in many ways over 2003 Dura Ace. Remember the technology trickles down with time, so current 105 will share features of 10 spd Dura Ace/Ultegra from years past.

I disagree with those who say that more gears doesn't make much of a difference. It's really nice to have closer gear ratios. It allows you to shift the front less frequently. If at any point you decide you want a cassette with a little bit larger range the gaps are going to be closer with 10 spd than with 9.

A new bike with Dura Ace components is going to cost some serious coin, and I would advise against spending that much on your first road bike.

I dunno, $800 seems like a lot of money to be spending on a seven year old bike with outdated components on what is now considered to be more of a entry level road frame in Cannondale's current lineup.

I'd consider going with a Caad 9 (if the local shops still have them) or a Caad 10 with 105.

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Old 10-27-10, 11:59 PM   #10
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I'd go with Caad 9 personally.
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Old 10-28-10, 07:22 AM   #11
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I have to agree with all those who are saying to get a bike that fits YOU, then worry about the components. Personally, I had 'upgraded' to DA 10 speed, and could not tell a big difference (except in my wallet). I have since gone 'back' to 9spd, and am glad I did. Less expensive, and I need lower gears, so use 24/34/52 with 11-34 9spd MTB (XTR RD, XT FD). It goes as fast as I can pedal (on downhills, usually), and I have not had to walk it up a hill--except the steep part just before the summit of Mount Diablo. I was not the only one walking that part, though.
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Old 10-28-10, 07:30 AM   #12
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retnav94, If the CAAD5 is in good condition and it fits it'll be a good buy, IMHO. A good bike is a good bike, regardless of age and I have a 2X9 DA on one of my bikes and have never felt the need for a 10+S rear. Oh yeah, that DA is on an outdated CAAD3 frame and I have no compelling urge to replace it either.

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Old 10-28-10, 07:34 AM   #13
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9 speed dura ace rocks, you can downshift through half a cassette in one sweep of the right brake lever, and its smooth, fast and sexy looking. I just broke my '03 dura ace equipped trek's frame, and I really miss my old dura ace when im test riding new bikes now.
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