Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The Ultegra line is (IMHO) the best bang for the buck. The step up from 105 is not that much, but the step up to Dura Ace is substantial. Ultegra doesn't have the Dura Ace branding, and is probably heavier, but when the crank arms are spinning and the fact that I could shed some lbs, neither of these are big factors. Some of my ride buddies have DA and kick my butt, but I I know they'd do the same on Ultegra or even 105s.
Some of my friends even "cheat" with the cassette. They have DA everything, except the cassette. I guess they figure no one can really spot a DA or Ultegra cassette, so why spend twice the price for a wear item if no one (except the rider) will know?
Of course, I'm an Ultegra road guy and an XT mountain guy.
Also, a few friends have SRAM Force components (their middle of the line in the Rival-Force-Red group) and seem to be a good alternative to Shimano. I'd definitely consider SRAM for my next purchase. BTW, I do use SRAM chains and cassettes with my otherwise Ultegra group.
PS: Earlier this yearI bought a new Ultegra compact crankset (in OEM packaging) for $99 because it was last year's model. If you don't mind the "old" look, that's another cost savings on a quality product.