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Old 04-22-08, 05:36 AM   #1
datlas
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Upgrade: 6 to 8? or 10?

Hi gang,

This is a repost below from a post I made in "road," I never got any feedback from anyone who has personally used BOTH D-A 8 speed and ultegra 10 speed. I figure I might find a more receptive audience here. The consensus from the few responses I got was that ultegra 10 is "probably" better than D-A 8. Original post:

Maybe a silly question, but I am hoping to get some reasonable feedback on this (I know, it's BF but hope springs eternal).

I am contemplating an upgrade of my current drivetrain (1980's Dura-Ace 6 speed) to one of the following:

A. Dura-Ace 8 speed (why? because it's compatible with most of my drivetrain including the RD)

or

B. Ultegra 10 speed (why? because its cheaper and I can just get a new RD with the savings).

Anyway, I am wondering how the performance/quality/durability of these 2 drivetrains compare. I know about the so-called "trickle-down" effect, so I suspect that they are comparable. I would especially appreciate hearing from riders who have used BOTH D-A 8 speed and ultegra 10 speed drivetrains.

Doug
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Old 04-22-08, 05:42 AM   #2
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I don't know about the performance differences. The 10 speed chain is thinner and I would stick with 8 gears if this is an issue. I don't know of anyone with a 10 speed, but have heard rumors of poor life.

Joe
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Old 04-22-08, 07:35 AM   #3
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If you do have anything that needs replacement, the 10 speed gear is going to be way easier to find over the next few years. It seems like there's a good chance that we stick with the basic ten speed hardware for a while...

I mention this only because I already have a growingly hard time finding parts for 9 speed Shimano, and it's not getting easier...
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Old 04-22-08, 08:28 AM   #4
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... I mention this only because I already have a growingly hard time finding parts for 9 speed Shimano, and it's not getting easier ...
Rapid obsolescence has long been a hallmark of Shimano.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:43 AM   #5
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I'd go with the Ultegra 10 speed. As much as I like vintage stuff, time marches on and after 15 years the modern Ultegra gear is likely to work better and be easier to maintain in the future than the old 8 speed stuff. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:57 AM   #6
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Shimano took what they knew from the DA 8-speed levers and have now integrated that into all but their lowest-end components, so if you're asking about performance benefits, there really is none. Plainly put, there's no way that 15-year-old DA is going to perform better than today's Ultegra. Also, as others have pointed out, 8-speed components are getting increasingly difficult to replace, which is the reason why I finally let go on my old 8-speed Giant a month ago. Frankly, unless you're restoring a "vintage" STI bike (not sure that one could be vintage, just yet), I don't see any reason to use an older, obsolete system like DA 8.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:20 AM   #7
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Another vote for 10s Ultegra... While I enjoy riding vintage, there is no substitute for my 10 speed campagnolo centaur when I really want to ride. I don't have to give it a second thought, it perfroms beautifully.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:21 AM   #8
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I thought about this for a little while. I had 7 speed Shimano 600/105/Dura Ace STI group on my Merckx and wanted to do an upgrade to 9/10 speed. I just wanted to replace the brifters, rear derailleur, chain, and the wheels, but ended up finding a slightly used 9 speed Ultegra group that had everything but the chain, cassette, and the wheelset. 8 speed stuff can be hard to find, but it is easy to find 9 speed stuff with roadies wanting the latest and greatest and upgrading to 10 speed. You should be able to find some 9 speed 105 or better Shimano parts at reasonable prices. It is finished and its maiden voyage should be later today (pics coming too I promise).
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Old 04-22-08, 10:43 AM   #9
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Thanks for the input. I do suspect the ultegra 10 is the way to go. The main drawback is more parts to buy. Not sure if my DA-7400 crank/chainrings will be compatible, for example, with ultegra-10, while they certainly will work with 8 speed Dura-Ace.
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Old 04-22-08, 07:06 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I do suspect the ultegra 10 is the way to go. The main drawback is more parts to buy. Not sure if my DA-7400 crank/chainrings will be compatible, for example, with ultegra-10, while they certainly will work with 8 speed Dura-Ace.
Your chainrings may be too thick and/or too far apart for a 10-speed chain.
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Old 04-22-08, 07:25 PM   #11
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I agree with John E. Modern 10-sp require proprietary chainrings, chains and cassettes.

I actually have both 1991 DA 8 sp and my newest bike has Ultegra 10-spd (2006).
While I do like the extra choices in gears of the 10 spd, the DA STI (levers were installed in 1992) works MUCH better than the new Ultegra. Shifts are crisper and the DA levers are better machined.

I have a 10 yr supply of DA 8 spd parts as I have been buying up cassettes and chains at my local Westminster MD swap meet. I don't have a spare 8spd RD hmmmmm.
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Old 04-23-08, 08:58 AM   #12
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OK, it seems the ultegra 10 is leading, but the above post gives me pause...still thinking.

Next question....If I upgrade to 10 speed Ultegra....could I put modern (10 speed) FRONT chainrings on my DA 7400 crankset?? Will this work? Please tell me I can get by with this....or do I have to shell out for a crankset too?? And what about the FD??I wish I could even keep my current chainrings as they are not all that worn, and my FD too.

If the answer is that to do 10 speed I have to get new crankset (and thus, of course BB) and FD. then the cost overrun will likely force me to choose 8 speed, for which I would only need to get brifters/cassette/chain (which, judging by eBay would only be a couple of hundred bucks).

Any probable or definite answers appreciated!

Doug

Last edited by datlas; 04-23-08 at 09:53 AM.
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