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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Dura Ace or Ultegra? Mid-Life Crisis?

    My current ride has Ultegra 9 speed on it, which has been perfectly functional. Recently, I've come across a 'never been used' 9 speed Dura Ace group. I'm so tempted to buy it, given it's about half of what it should cost. However, I've been looking at motorcycles again and am begining to suspect that I may be looking at the Dura Ace stuff for the wrong reasons. Is there a significant enough performance difference to justify the investment, or am I seeking the "top of the line" for some other reason? Help. I can't seem to make a decision on this one!
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  2. #2
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Never used Dura Ace, but a friend of mine has it on one of his bikes and says the difference is subtle but noticable--just a sweet little extra dab of precision. I'd say you're seeking "top of the line" because you'd like to have the experience of riding "top of the line." Nothing wrong with that.

    One way I justify my purchases to my wife and myself is to point out that it could be much worse. I'm not, for example, collecting yachts, airplanes, or blondes.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  3. #3
    Pat
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    Well, there is a justifiable performance improvement for Dura Ace over Ultegra or 105. The gruppo weighs less than the other two and if you are doing a mountain stage on the Tour de France, it will give you a bit more than a 1% improvement on the climbs. Now for me, a 1% improvement in my climbing is not really a big deal. So I am not willing to spend $$$ to go for the Dura Ace gruppo. I have never ridden Dura Ace. I have ridden Ultegra and 105. Ultegra may have a slightly smoother performance than 105 but if I did not know what I was riding, I rather doubt that I could spot the enhancement. I rather suspect the bigger deal is having the Dura Ace stuff to impress one's friends.

  4. #4
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I'm making the switch and am doing it "piece meal". I bought a used bike that was full Dura Ace and changed some components (cranks and rear derailleur). I'm in the process of swapping out the Ultegra stuff to the Dura Ace that came off the other bike. Blackberry summed it up well-overall the differences are subtle. If you have the dollars and want to upgrade your ride I think it's reasonable.........but that is just me.

    The biggest difference I've noticed are the Dura Ace brakes over Ultegra. It could be my cables or difference in bikes but the Dura Ace sure seems to be a more positive braking system than the Ultegra. I even changed the pads in the Ultegra to see if that would help but the Dura Ace is better hands down. This is even using the same set of wheels. I'm now wrestling with whether to go with Zero Gravity brakes for my lightweight bike and move the Dura Ace to the bike with the Ultegra brakes.......

  5. #5
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    I've ridden Ultegra a couple of times, and my current bike has Dura-Ace. Dura-Ace is lighter (though overall a small fraction of your bike weight). The fit and finish of the components is a little better if you appreciate fine engineering. And the feel is different and, for many, more pleasant.

    I doubt that any of these things, either individually or as a whole, would be worth the money to most people. Ultegra makes for a very nice ride. What does make DA worth the money for some people is knowing that you've got the very best Shimano groupset on your bike. As with many things when you get to high-end bikes and components, it often comes down to the intangibles.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    .... However, I've been looking at motorcycles again and am begining to suspect that I may be looking at the Dura Ace stuff for the wrong reasons......
    I don't get the motorcycle reference. Just curious because I, too, am a motorcyclist and just wondering what the connection was.


    bruce19

  7. #7
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19
    I don't get the motorcycle reference. Just curious because I, too, am a motorcyclist and just wondering what the connection was.


    bruce19
    I sold all my motorcycles about 15 years ago. I promised my wife I wouldn't get another one until the kids were through college. Well, the youngest is headed off to college this year, and I've been sneaking looks at the new Victory motorcycles. My family say's motorcycles are my mid-life crisis desire. I suspect they are correct. I know I can't do what I want to do with motorcycles, yet still get the urge. The reason I got rid of them 15 years ago was to stay alive. I could never see the sense in owning something that will go 100+ mph unless you make it go 100+ mph. As I've gotten older, the desire to go fast has not changed. My reflexes, however, have slowed considerably.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  8. #8
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Dura-Ace. This winter, I upgraded from Ultegra to DA and the difference was noticable. I also recently upgraded Linda's Ruby to DA a couple months ago, and she's loving the difference between the DA and the 105 that came on the bike. If you do your shopping, the difference in price isn't as dramatic as it looks on the surface.

    Steve

  9. #9
    Semper Fidelis
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    I believe the biggest difference that can be noticed is the shifting is somewhat more precise, quicker, cleaner.
    Both of my bikes have dura/ace if I was to do anything different, everything would be ultegra , except the sti shifters, and rear der, those would be dura/ace
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  10. #10
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    What is the diff between really, really great and really, really, really great?

  11. #11
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Veloce vs. Record? My mid-range Veloce ergo shifters working with a 105 rd cobbled together with a JTek Shiftmate is working flawlessly. Shifts out of the saddle and under load very quickly and positively. Would Record make me happier? Maybe. For worthy, substantive reasons? Well, again, maybe. Chances are I will never own a Record (or D/A) bike. Perhaps ignorance is bliss. I am quite happy, everything works and, so far, doesn't leave me muttering profanities while my chain skips and my friends accelerate away.

    Value is in the hand of the beholder. Having said that, I would probably spring for Chorus next time just because............................... beats me. Human nature.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  12. #12
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    I sold all my motorcycles about 15 years ago. I promised my wife I wouldn't get another one until the kids were through college. Well, the youngest is headed off to college this year, and I've been sneaking looks at the new Victory motorcycles. My family say's motorcycles are my mid-life crisis desire. I suspect they are correct. I know I can't do what I want to do with motorcycles, yet still get the urge. The reason I got rid of them 15 years ago was to stay alive. I could never see the sense in owning something that will go 100+ mph unless you make it go 100+ mph. As I've gotten older, the desire to go fast has not changed. My reflexes, however, have slowed considerably.
    I am with you 100% on all of the above. I rode sport and touring motorcycles (BMW mostly) for over 35 years, and just gave it up two years ago, for most of the same reasons -- too many incompetent, inattentive drivers out there, and my reflexes and sensory perceptions are not as quick as they used to be. I felt that I was losing the "situational awareness" that had kept me safe and injury-free over many 1000s of highway miles.

    So now how can I justify going from trail bicycles back onto the road on a bike? If anything, I felt safer on my motorcycle -- better dressed and I never had to worry about anyone passing me. If I gave up motorcycling for safety reasons, what am I doing out there now on a bicycle? Hmmm...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG
    I am with you 100% on all of the above. I rode sport and touring motorcycles (BMW mostly) for over 35 years, and just gave it up two years ago, for most of the same reasons -- too many incompetent, inattentive drivers out there, and my reflexes and sensory perceptions are not as quick as they used to be. I felt that I was losing the "situational awareness" that had kept me safe and injury-free over many 1000s of highway miles.

    So now how can I justify going from trail bicycles back onto the road on a bike? If anything, I felt safer on my motorcycle -- better dressed and I never had to worry about anyone passing me. If I gave up motorcycling for safety reasons, what am I doing out there now on a bicycle? Hmmm...
    For me, the difference between being on a road bicycle vs a motorcycle is that I am out of the general flow of traffic on a bike, going slower which allows more reaction time when a motorist pulls out in front of you, and probably most important, I select routes to ride based on road conditions and traffic, not as a route to get somewhere specific. If it is a busy or dangerous road, I don't ride it. On a motorcycle, I probably would have.

  14. #14
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    You can't take it with you. Get the good stuff.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sco++
    You can't take it with you. Get the good stuff.
    +1

  16. #16
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You can't take it with you. Get the good stuff.
    You can't?

    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-17-06 at 07:48 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Actually, I don't plan on taking a good bike with me.....my understanding is that we'll be issued, not 70 virgins, but a carbon or titanium frame (excepting John E., who gets timeless Reynolds 531) with our choice of D/A or Record. Previously unridden of course.

    If possible, I would like to take my favorite Regal saddle. Just have to see.

    BTW, I wonder if BF50 will finally be getting together up there.....no doubt at PastorBob's. I expect Gary Diego will not be numbered among us.

    Glad they won't be letting any of those 'bent people in.
    Last edited by CrossChain; 07-17-06 at 08:56 PM.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    BTW, I wonder if BF50 will finally be getting together up there.....no doubt at PastorBob's. I expect Gary Diego will not be numbered among us.
    I only wonder if WEBB / Padre Diego will be serving as GATEKEEPER !!!
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  19. #19
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    What is the diff between really, really great and really, really, really great?
    Bragging rights

    Steve

  20. #20
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie
    +1
    +2

    Oh, and did I mention that chicks love Dura-Ace? Nothing like a sweaty man in spandex talking about his quality hardware.

    Steve

  21. #21
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    I expect Gary Diego will not be numbered among us.
    I think any of us will be lucky to sneak in the side door.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  22. #22
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Dura-Ace...quickest way to get your bike stolen...

  23. #23
    Banned. Gary Diego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossChain
    I expect Gary Diego will not be numbered among us.
    Yo! The name's Gary Diego, not Gary Diablo!

  24. #24
    Je pose, donc je suis. gcl8a's Avatar
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    The correct answer is Dura Ace...10 spd.

    Seriously. If you're thinking of upgrading from Ultegra 9 to DA 9 because you want the 'best', it won't be long until you crave that 10 speed gruppo in the window. I can see it now:

    "Honey, but I need 10 gears."

    "OK, but only Ultegra."

    "Thanks, sweetie."

    ...10 months later...

    "Ooh, look at that 10 speed Dura Ace gruppo."

    Cut the middle-man and just do it (although, in all honesty, I think you should stick with Ultegra 9 and satisfy (or at least feed) your mid-life crisis with a bike trip to France).

  25. #25
    Banned. Webb Diego's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    I only wonder if WEBB / Padre Diego will be serving as GATEKEEPER !!!
    Son, the only thing I'm the gatekeeper of is your safety every night when you go to bed and dream about the traffic statutes you and your "bi" cycling buddies plan to break while out riding the next day. But I'm a cop, and cops do what they're paid to do...which is uphold the law for every citizen, even if they aren't honest, decent, God-fearing, white male Republicans who would rather be non-smoking Communists than give up their American automobiles. That's something you and your kind are a far cry from understanding, Mr. Woody, but that won't stop me from standing century at your door, even if I know what's going on inside would make me puke from here to next Thursday.
    Last edited by Webb Diego; 07-18-06 at 03:41 AM.

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