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  1. #1
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    Upgrade Claris to used Ultegra?

    New to cycling and this forum. I just bought a CAAD 8 Claris (8 spd) as my second road bike. Two questions -

    1. Is it worth it to upgrade from Claris to a used Ultegra group being relatively new to cycling? Has about 2-3k miles on the used group

    2. Do I have to replace the crankset as well? The person is selling cassette, shifters, front and rear derailleur, and brakes.

    Thanks for the help, be sure to be as sarcastic as possible with your criticism!

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by comeandtakeit View Post
    1. Is it worth it to upgrade from Claris to a used Ultegra group being relatively new to cycling? Has about 2-3k miles on the used group
    Being new to cycling, I doubt you'll be able to see/feel any difference/improvement from Claris to Ultegra. Granted that Ultegra is way higher up the ladder than Claris, but both work in the same way and shifts great when tuned properly. Only difference worth mentioning at your level would be finish (Ultegra looks way nicer), and maybe weight.

    Also, Ultegra is 10-speed and Claris is 8-speed. Being new, it may seem nice to have lots more gears at the back, but it's not that simple. The advantage of having more gears at the back is being able to keep the same cadence/effort for changing riding conditions (terrain, wind, pack dynamics).

    2. Do I have to replace the crankset as well? The person is selling cassette, shifters, front and rear derailleur, and brakes.
    No you don't have to. It'll work fine, but may* need some tweaking. I'll leave the technicals out for now.


    If you're still decided on getting the Ultegra, then go for it. It's your money to spend.

    But for me, I suggest that you focus on getting stronger/fitter on the bike first. Learn how to ride effectively and efficiently. When the time comes that you feel that your bike is already holding you bike, then consider upgrading. Until then, happy riding.

    Thanks for the help, be sure to be as sarcastic as possible with your criticism!
    Hope this has enlightened you a little.

  3. #3
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    Buying used shifters can be a crap shoot...

  4. #4
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    As a for what it is worth:

    You say this is your second road bike, so you may have an idea of whether you would appreciate having 10 speeds vs 8. With 10, you can get smaller gaps between cogs, so you can more easily optimize cadence, if you like to optimize cadence. If you rarely shift, or don't mind the current gaps in your 8 speed, then it is probably not worth it.

    Since this is entirely subjective, I notice the difference between 8 speed and 9 or 10 speed, but don't notice the difference between 9 and 10, if that makes sense. So 9 is my minimum, and actually preferred setup. But again, totally subjective.

    Isn't Claris a fairly new product, like just in the last year? If you don't mind the cog increments, but don't like the shifting or braking action, just install new good quality cables. I just built a bike with a new Sora group, took time and effort with good cables, and the bike works flawlessly.

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    Thanks for the responses!

    Yes I do believe Claris is new. It replaced the 2300 group from what I read. I will probably hold off and ride what I have until it starts to fail then look into upgrading. I do shift quite a bit and try to keep a steady cadence so having more gears was what I was looking for. Shifting and braking feels fine to me. It is slow on a few gears but that is more than likely just an adjustment issue.

    What is the benefit of upgrading the cables?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comeandtakeit View Post
    What is the benefit of upgrading the cables?
    good quality cables in good condition
    are necessary to get good shifting

    shift cables specifically
    need housing that resists compression as cable tension changes
    because one mm of change in length of housing
    will result in a significant movement at the derailleur
    and shifting will not be precise

    i would go as far as to say
    with new shimano parts
    that the cables are more important
    than the components themselves
    when trying to get it set up perfectly

  7. #7
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    i would go as far as to say
    with new shimano parts
    that the cables are more important
    than the components themselves
    when trying to get it set up perfectly
    This matches my experience, granted I have a sample size of 1. My new Sora shifts as well as my 2012 Centaur when just cruising down the road. Under load, they are absolutely different, but for general knock around, I have no problem recommending Sora to folks.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by comeandtakeit View Post
    New to cycling and this forum. I just bought a CAAD 8 Claris (8 spd) as my second road bike. Two questions -

    1. Is it worth it to upgrade from Claris to a used Ultegra group being relatively new to cycling? Has about 2-3k miles on the used group

    2. Do I have to replace the crankset as well? The person is selling cassette, shifters, front and rear derailleur, and brakes.

    Thanks for the help, be sure to be as sarcastic as possible with your criticism!
    The Ultegra is my preferred road group, but I can't recommend going out and buying a used partial group when the Claris is working well. It is, right?

    There are 8S cassette options, both Shimano and SRAM, that you can use to tailor your bike for a specific route's terrain. I use a 13T-23T 8S cassette for most conditions on my crit bike, for an example.

    Brad

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Toyota to Lexus, Honda To Accura .. same thing..

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    Quote Originally Posted by e_guevara View Post
    Also, Ultegra is 10-speed
    Depending on the year Ultegra could be 9 (6500) 10 (6600/6700) or 11 (6800) speed, what the OP has been is looking at is key, given the 2-3K on the used group, no reason to believe it couldn't be the 11 speed, as that has been around long enough to have that sort of distance on it, even for a lightly used groupset.

    For upgrading from Claris, if the bike has Claris, that would indicate that it's a lower end bike, with the associated frame (the CAAD 8 frame actually look pretty nice), wheels and other components, just sticking a higher end groupset won't make anything else any better. Claris is a new product for 2014, and although low end, is one of the nicest looking entry level groupsets Shimano has put out, would keep it as is, and look to upgrade to a better bike once the CAAD 8 is worn out, rather than changing what is a good groupset to one which may have compatibly issues.

  11. #11
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    Depending on the year Ultegra could be 9 (6500) 10 (6600/6700) or 11 (6800) speed....
    True. IMO, I think this upgrade would definitely be worthwhile if it's 6700 or 6800 Ultegra. 6700 is one of my favorite groups, and 6800, honestly, is even better.

  12. #12
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    Claris group works great from what I can tell, but I'm not all that savvy so anything to me is great.

    From what I read the CAAD8 frame is one of the few entry level frames that is actually worth upgrading with better components, but I can understand someone's reservations with making any sort of investment on what is clearly an "entry level" bike. Either way, I am not expert, which is why I ask.

    The Ultegra set was a mix of 6600 and 6700.

  13. #13
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comeandtakeit View Post
    The Ultegra set was a mix of 6600 and 6700.
    What are the shifters?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    What are the shifters?
    6700, everything else is 6600

  15. #15
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    IMO, there's nothing "entry-level" with the CAAD8 - it's a good frame, and better than most entry-level frames from other manufacturers.

    Quote Originally Posted by comeandtakeit View Post
    The Ultegra set was a mix of 6600 and 6700.
    I was right about the Ultegra being 10s.

  16. #16
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    I have a Quintana Roo, that, except for the tires, every single part is used. I have a combination of Dura-Ace and Ultega, 9-speed with a triple chain ring. I couldn't be happier. I didn't have any trouble sitting it up and I'm not a very experienced mechanic.

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