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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-17-05, 06:27 PM   #1
kg750
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Shimano 105 VS. Ultegra

I am in the market for a new road bike and I simply cannot afford DurAce components. So I'm looking for a bike in the "middle of the road" catagory. I'm able to get a great deal on a bike with all Ultegra-10 parts, but it is a bit more $ than I had originally planned on spending.....So I was wondering, how much better is the Ultegra-10 parts VS. all 105s? Is it worth the extra beans?

P.S.- I'm not yet into racing, but I might look into trying it in the near future, when I'm in better shape (I don't know if that makes a difference, but I thought I'd throw it out there).

Thanks for taking the time to help me out!
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Old 05-17-05, 06:29 PM   #2
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105 is 9 speed only. Both are quality racing gear. Ultegra is more expensive and slightly better, depending on who you talk to.

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Old 05-17-05, 06:38 PM   #3
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Well from what I have heard, 105 is best value per dollar in the Shimano line. I have 105/Ultegra and I love it. I was actually looking at a Sora bike as my first roadie, even up to Tiagra. The Ultegra shifts as smooth as butter and I see no reason for a beginner (even a beginning racer) to go straight to Dura Ace.

My roadie with 105/Ultegra is as good a bike as I have ever owned or planned on owning. You will be fine with 105 or Ultegra or even a combination of 105 front/Ultegra rear.

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Old 05-17-05, 06:41 PM   #4
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I have trained and raced on both. Ultegra is just a bit better..... but 105 is still very good. The 105's served me well for hard training rides as well as road races, crits, and time trials. The new Ultegra group is a bit lighter and it is 10 speed versus 9. It also seemed a bit more quiet than the 105. Still....if money is your concern...then stick with the 105. You will be just fine with that group. If everything else with your bike(frame, wheels, etc.) is as solid as your 105's then you will be very happy with that bike and you should get many good years out of it.
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Old 05-17-05, 06:42 PM   #5
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is there an advantage to having a 10 speed? i think 9 gears is enough, just wondering what the advantage of one more is...
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Old 05-17-05, 06:56 PM   #6
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is there an advantage to having a 10 speed? i think 9 gears is enough, just wondering what the advantage of one more is...
I'd guess the most noticeable advantage would be when using with a double, particularly a compact double. 10 gears means slightly closer spacing for the same range (e.g. you pick up a 16t cog on a 12-27 cassette), or the ability to pick up a bigger range with the same spacing (11-xx instead of 12-xx).
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Old 05-17-05, 07:09 PM   #7
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The only reason you'd want ultegra is if you like to waste money and/or racing. The only other reason you'd buy ultegra over 105 is if you're a weight weenie. The third reason you'd want to buy ultegra is if you're a poseur.
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Old 05-17-05, 07:11 PM   #8
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105 is more than enough, perfectly fine gruppo
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Old 05-17-05, 07:12 PM   #9
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Never discount the importance of Poseur points. There is no need in the world for me to have Record...but alas, I am a poser of epic proportions..
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Old 05-17-05, 07:14 PM   #10
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just started roadbiking with shimano 105 double. no complains. seems to shift alot better than my mtb with XT group. i have nothing else to compare it to.
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Old 05-17-05, 07:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by operator
The only reason you'd want ultegra is if you like to waste money and/or racing. The only other reason you'd buy ultegra over 105 is if you're a weight weenie. The third reason you'd want to buy ultegra is if you're a poseur.
OR unless you get a really good deal on it
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Old 05-17-05, 07:32 PM   #12
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So how long does it take the features of Dura Ace to filter down through the product line? For example when will 105 feature 10 gears? It seems like if a want of 10 speeds is your reason for upgrading to Ultegra over 105 perhaps you should wait until 105 features 10 speeds. Waiting a little time could save you some money. Or you could wait a little longer until Sora is at the level of the current Dura Ace. At this time the Dura Ace crank arms might have evolved to be more than one piece with some type of suspended pedal system held in place by magnets and then youll have to wait again for sora to catch up.
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Old 05-17-05, 07:40 PM   #13
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If you are strapped for money, go with the 105. The difference in price between 105 and Ultegra can be put to a better use, like better wheels....
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Old 05-17-05, 08:16 PM   #14
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[If you are strapped for money, go with the 105. The difference in price between 105 and Ultegra can be put to a better use, like better wheels....]

Thanks all who weighed in on my question. I appreciate all who took the time. The bike I'm looking at has full Ultegra-10 components with Ritchey WCS Protocol wheels for $1200....and the 105 bike has Shimano WH-R500 wheels for $1000. Does that make any difference?

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Old 05-17-05, 08:18 PM   #15
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1200$ sounds like a damn good price for ultegra 10 gruppo -and- protocol wheels, what kind of frame? The frame should be your first concern.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:20 PM   #16
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I have a ultegra/105 mix on one of my bikes and I still own people.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:22 PM   #17
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I's a Columbus Zonal Butted Multi-Shape Aluminum With Aero section downtube
+ Super High Modulus Carbon Fiber Seatstays with a carbon fork....to quote it exactly. And the rest of the components (stem, post, handle bars) are Ritchey Pro.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:24 PM   #18
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I have 105 flight deck and front derailler, and ultegra rear derailler. 105 is great stuff, and is most definatly race worthy.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:26 PM   #19
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sounds good, see if you can test ride it. for some reason I'm thinking ultegra10 and just the wheels would come to at least 1,000$

personally I would skimp on components and get the better frame.

Lemond offers a steel framed bike with 105 components and an ultegra rear derailleur for $1,200. The components and wheelset are Bontrager.

Jamis and Fuji have some nice steel rigs in your price range.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kg750
I's a Columbus Zonal Butted Multi-Shape Aluminum With Aero section downtube
+ Super High Modulus Carbon Fiber Seatstays with a carbon fork....to quote it exactly. And the rest of the components (stem, post, handle bars) are Ritchey Pro.
It's not the material that matters. It's what you do with it...

Be more concerned with how the frame is put together and how it rides than what it's made out of.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:29 PM   #21
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Actually it's the idenitcal alloy frame that Fuji uses for their "team" line of bikes.
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Old 05-17-05, 08:45 PM   #22
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Motobecane Grand Sprint?
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Old 05-17-05, 09:16 PM   #23
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I have Ultegra 9 because I got a really good deal ($900) on the complete new bike. HHowever, I'm sure I would be just as happy with a 105 group. It just depends on what kind of deal you can get.
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Old 05-17-05, 09:30 PM   #24
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I have 105 on my beater bike. It must be good because I rarely have problems with it, and I beat it into the ground every fall- late spring. I do have Ultegra on my touring bike, and I find it a bit easier and crisper with the shifting.

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Old 05-17-05, 09:39 PM   #25
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The shift effort is a little less on the Ultegra and the detents are not as pronounced. The Ultegra 10 speed has a much different crank design,it's stiffer. They say the 10 speed chains wear out faster. The ultegra parts will have a little bit better bushings and plating etc. The older Shimano web site used to call this all out. I can't find that the last time I looked,maybe it's on line now.
None of these changes are huge if you are not racing or putting 10,000 miles a year on your bike. You may not even be able to tell from riding.
I think a better frame or wheelset is more important than just the difference between these two groups.
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