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Upgrading wife's bike from 105 to Dura-Ace 7900

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Upgrading wife's bike from 105 to Dura-Ace 7900

Old 07-09-13, 12:03 PM
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Mansram01
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Upgrading wife's bike from 105 to Dura-Ace 7900

Okay, so here's the story. My wife bought her bike back in 2008 and it came with a 105 compliment minus the FSA Vero chain ring. She didn't ride as much as I was hoping she would. Five years later, she has decided to start riding more often and even joined a local bike club. I've already gave her my previous wheelset as an upgrade and that has already made a difference.

I want to upgrade her bike from 105 (5600) to DA 7900 group. I already have the front and rear derailleur on order and I am looking at replacing the crankset. My question is, can I replace all of the following above and leave the original 105 shifters for the time being. I am concerned that there may be incompatibilities but I'm not finding anything at this point at least up to 7800 but I would rather ask the experts here. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 07-09-13, 12:45 PM
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Go in for the full Di2.. then the lever throw to shift is, like .. nothing. (As I read)

It would make more difference with smaller hands.
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Old 07-09-13, 01:00 PM
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Stuff is functionally the same, just lighter. You can buy more speed for less money elsewhere. If you're thinking reward/motivation - buy her some really nice cycling clothes or upgrade helmet and shoes.
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Old 07-09-13, 01:43 PM
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If you have fun doing it go ahead, but in my book making sure fit and comfort is as good as possible trumps equipment upgrades.
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Old 07-09-13, 01:49 PM
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Thanks guys for the other recommendations (?) I was able to fine a chart from Shimano on Dura Ace compatibility aka interchangeability.
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Old 07-09-13, 01:57 PM
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The only thing is the dura ace brakes might not work as well with 105 shifters.

Honestly though, I'd just leave it alone and just make sure the bike is tuned up well. The 105 stuff works just as well as the dura ace stuff (used them both along with all sorts of other stuff) and your wife probably doesn't care as much as you do. Save the money and later just get a whole new bike. A lot of people don't even like the 7900 shifting that much anyway.

I mean right now you can find some crazy deals on slightly used di2 bikes and those actually work better.
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Old 07-09-13, 02:21 PM
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to shorten the reach to the Brake levers for smaller hands Shimano supplies plastic wedges to reduce that reach.

lever just doesn't open as far.. on return.

Cane Creek is not a Brifter, but they have a whole different recurve to the lever to make the reach better ..

IDK if Retro-shift /Tektro Levers with their shifter on the front, setup have a short reach brake lever to suit.
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Old 07-09-13, 02:37 PM
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Why bother with this upgrade? The only difference is weight. As others have said, functionally it will be identical. Upgrading to Dura Ace really only makes sense if she is trying to win big races by tenths of a second or less.
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Old 07-09-13, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Why bother with this upgrade? The only difference is weight. As others have said, functionally it will be identical. Upgrading to Dura Ace really only makes sense if she is trying to win big races by tenths of a second or less.
I'm taking this on as a project. I've sold off some older stuff I had sitting around and wanted to do something nice for her. There are features that DA has that 105 doesn't like adjusting the shift levers. This is important to her since her fingers are rather short. The 105's require that you physically place a shim to shorten the length. Not exactly a custom setting, right?

Why when I ask a simple compatibility question, I get recommendations on getting a new helmet, clothing, shoes, a fitting, etc. (btw she's fine in that department). I thought that posting in Bicycle Mechanics wouldn't warrant the same response I would get in the 41. I understand the financial considerations but that's not the issue here. Strictly mechanics here, gents.

Makes no difference now. I'm waiting on my DA 7900 shifters to arrive. I did like the idea of getting her Di2 but that's a little more than I can spend at the moment. But I like it a lot. Thank you, all!
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Old 07-09-13, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mansram01 View Post
I'm taking this on as a project. I've sold off some older stuff I had sitting around and wanted to do something nice for her. There are features that DA has that 105 doesn't like adjusting the shift levers. This is important to her since her fingers are rather short. The 105's require that you physically place a shim to shorten the length. Not exactly a custom setting, right?

Why when I ask a simple compatibility question, I get recommendations on getting a new helmet, clothing, shoes, a fitting, etc. (btw she's fine in that department). I thought that posting in Bicycle Mechanics wouldn't warrant the same response I would get in the 41. I understand the financial considerations but that's not the issue here. Strictly mechanics here, gents.

Makes no difference now. I'm waiting on my DA 7900 shifters to arrive. I did like the idea of getting her Di2 but that's a little more than I can spend at the moment. But I like it a lot. Thank you, all!
I look at upgrades as function over form for the most part. For financial reasons, I do generally recommend not upgrading from a similar series to a better series just for the sake of upgrading. To me, Dura Ace is eye candy and can be somewhat more delicate than a good solid series like 105. I believe that in particular, Dura Ace cassettes don't last as long as a 105 cassette.

A lot of the mechanics here are more practical as you found out like me. We don't bother upgrading for fun when it won't really benefit.

That is why you got the responses that you got. 41 would probably tell you the opposite, "Dura Ace or go home". I see no benefit myself in upgrading any of my 105 equipped bikes to Dura Ace because it won't affect how my bike rides/shifts/brakes. Functionally the parts are pretty much identical.

Now you mentioned that the Dura Ace shifters do have a feature not available in the 105 series, if that really is the case, then that does make sense to upgrade to if that feature is needed and it sounds like it is in your situation.

In the end, 105 and Dura Ace are all pretty much compatible back and forth. You can generally swap out a 105 rear derailleur or front derailleur and replace with a Dura Ace with no ill effects. All the cable pulls and ratios are pretty much identical for the modern stuff. The 8 speed Dura Ace is a bit different but a non-issue here.
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Old 07-09-13, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TheReal Houdini View Post
Stuff is functionally the same, just lighter. You can buy more speed for less money elsewhere. If you're thinking reward/motivation - buy her some really nice cycling clothes or upgrade helmet and shoes.
+1

Other than the psychological effect, there will be little or no noticeable improvement with derailleur upgrades (unless replacing a worn or sloppy part).

Since you already have the parts on order, you might as well use them, and the levers will be compatible so no issue there.

However, before putting more dough into this, ask her what she wants or can use. Or take the money you might sink into hardware to finance a nice wekend trip to a great cycling destination.
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Old 07-10-13, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
+1

Other than the psychological effect, there will be little or no noticeable improvement with derailleur upgrades (unless replacing a worn or sloppy part).

Since you already have the parts on order, you might as well use them, and the levers will be compatible so no issue there.

However, before putting more dough into this, ask her what she wants or can use. Or take the money you might sink into hardware to finance a nice wekend trip to a great cycling destination.
or donate in her name to a nice cycling non-profit!
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Old 07-10-13, 07:29 AM
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Don't skimp on the cables, 10s Shimano needs quite nice ones.
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Old 07-11-13, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
+1

Other than the psychological effect, there will be little or no noticeable improvement with derailleur upgrades (unless replacing a worn or sloppy part).

Since you already have the parts on order, you might as well use them, and the levers will be compatible so no issue there.

However, before putting more dough into this, ask her what she wants or can use. Or take the money you might sink into hardware to finance a nice wekend trip to a great cycling destination.
Not putting more dough into this project. She'll be fine with these upgrades. I didn't have to shell out much since I sold a bunch of older stuff I had laying around. So this also cleared my garage too. Yes, we're already planning a "domestic" cycling destination this year. Looking forward to that. Now I'm going to have a sale on 105 parts soon.
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