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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 09-23-11, 10:12 AM   #1
will dehne
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Ultegra vs Dura Ace

I am sure this was asked before but my search was not successful.

My Stevens Cyclocross bike came with a Ultegra 10 speed 12-27 cassette. It was time to replace it but was told Ultegra stopped making 12-27. The LBS offered a deal for a Dura Ace 12-27 and I took it.
I think I noticed a much smoother shifting experience and smoother rolling action.
I do not want to kid myselves because of the of higher cost of those DA for my Madone road bike. The smoothness would be worth it but the weight savings not.

Any help is appreciated.
Oh, BTW, I bike a lot long distance and relatively fast. Over 10,000 miles / year.
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Old 09-23-11, 11:17 AM   #2
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might just be that the parts are new... fresh and clean.
like changing guitar strings..
then I Stopped thinking the sound sucked..
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Old 09-23-11, 02:31 PM   #3
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Better shifting I might believe (though I'm skeptical). Smoother spinning? I don't think you could convince me of that.

I've got a couple of Ultegra 6600 cassettes because I got a good deal on them when I made the jump to 10-speed. I'm about to purchase a Tiagra cassette. I'm not expecting to notice a difference. If I do, I'll report back.
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Old 09-23-11, 04:38 PM   #4
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New information!
The LBS informed me that Dura Ace changed to Titanium and consequently raised the price to $286 for a 10 speed 12-27 cassette.
I am wearing out 3 or more cassettes per year and that will be too much money.
A Ultegra 10 speed 12-25 is about $100.

Perhaps the DA is smoother or whatever but that price differential is a bit much.
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Old 09-23-11, 04:48 PM   #5
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0n-line the Ultegra is 'bout half that
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Old 09-23-11, 05:04 PM   #6
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Only 4 of the cogs are titanium, IIRC. You can get 6 of the Tiagra cassettes for that price.
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Old 09-23-11, 05:31 PM   #7
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0n-line the Ultegra is 'bout half that
Yeah, I need to get going on that but the LBS does my bike maintenance. As you see for a high price.
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Old 09-23-11, 05:36 PM   #8
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Only 4 of the cogs are titanium, IIRC. You can get 6 of the Tiagra cassettes for that price.
Thanks for the tip but I do not know what I am giving up if I go Tiagra?
My LBS offered Ultegra and Shimano 105.
Please help.
I need to get the tools and learn to change cassettes and chains. It is getting a bit much per year. Trouble is that I will have to become more proficient with derailleur adjustments. That is my problem but it is an issue for me.
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Old 09-23-11, 06:20 PM   #9
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In theory the higher end models shift better, and they are definitely marginally lighter. I don't know how tangible the difference is. Seven of the cogs are riveted together on the Tiagra cassette, compared to three on the Ultegra and 105. That makes the cassette a lot harder to clean (when removed) and heavier, but it also makes it easier to install.

See these links for details:

Tiagra: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830750217.pdf
105: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830703168.pdf
Ultegra: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830745164.pdf

I'm very curious what you're doing to go through three cassettes a year. I'm guessing they salt/sand the roads in winter in your area. Otherwise, it seems really excessive. I ride ~4000 miles a year, about half of that in the rain, and I have yet to toss a cassette because I thought it was worn out. Maybe I'm being too lax.
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Old 09-24-11, 09:08 AM   #10
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.................................................................................................... .................................................................................................... ...........................................................
I'm very curious what you're doing to go through three cassettes a year. I'm guessing they salt/sand the roads in winter in your area. Otherwise, it seems really excessive. I ride ~4000 miles a year, about half of that in the rain, and I have yet to toss a cassette because I thought it was worn out. Maybe I'm being too lax.
Andy
I do all my biking on bumpy limestone in Wisconsin from April to November. Typical roundtrip 50 miles / day but also centuries.
Limestone dust gets into everything and I had chain failures at inconvienient times. I do clean and lubricate often but as I said........
I now replace chain and cassette every 3K as a preventive measure on the CX Stevens bike.
The other 4 months are with the Madone in Florida on pavement. That is much less of a problem but I do bike a lot there. Almost every day 70 miles. That adds up fast.
BTW, I am retired and this is how I try to stay fit for as long as possible.
While I bike a lot, more than most, I have resisted to become a bike mechanic. It is not someting I like to do.
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Old 09-25-11, 12:06 AM   #11
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I think that for anyone who is not racing Cat 1 or 2, 105 is more than adequate. Of course I roll up to the line at Cat 4 crits and 10 guys have carbon wheels. So maybe my opinion is slightly outside of the mainstream.
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Old 09-26-11, 06:28 AM   #12
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They both function fine. I guess Shimano would want you to think that.......but its all perception. My ultegra cassette will last longer though because it does not have the ti cogs
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Old 09-26-11, 06:30 AM   #13
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I think that for anyone who is not racing Cat 1 or 2, 105 is more than adequate. Of course I roll up to the line at Cat 4 crits and 10 guys have carbon wheels. So maybe my opinion is slightly outside of the mainstream.
Then no one would actually buy nice bike stuff. A vast majority of Cat. 1,2 riders are on team bikes that are put together by sponsors. The bike industry would collapse and therefore....ANARCHY!
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Old 09-26-11, 01:35 PM   #14
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I found out over time that nice bikes provide "Fahrvergnuegen". My Madone and the Stevens Team CF CX are wonderful bikes. The difference between Bontrager wheels and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels is noticeable. The difference between higher quality tires is noticeable.
A good saddle makes some difference and so does a good free hub. Ceramic bearings are sooth. CF frame is great.
I purchase a bike and use it for many years (10 or more). Therefore the initial cost is not a prime concern. Maintenance is a bit more of a concern. Insufficient maintenance has cost me grief.

I thank all of you for your thoughts and comments. I will get more busy with bike maintenance and try better stuff. I do my exercise run in Florida for 70 miles / day on a trail with good pavement. I can afford to test the various components and let you know if there is a measurable difference. I put Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels on my Madone because of such testing. The Bontrager wheels are mushy in comparison. Very noticeable on acceleration. I will test cassettes. The DA shifts better that I am sure of but that is all at this time.
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Old 09-26-11, 09:27 PM   #15
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NB: you will cry less, when you break 105 stuff..

if you finish a lap down, is it your skill, fitness , or..

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-27-11 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 09-26-11, 09:31 PM   #16
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Agonizing over 105 vs Ultegra vs Dura-Ace won't make you any faster, happier, or sleep better at night.

Buy what you can afford. If you really lust after those Dura-Ace shifters, go for it, but don't pretend it will add anything to your riding/racing experience.
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