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Shifters - GRX di2 vs Ultegra di2

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Shifters - GRX di2 vs Ultegra di2

Old 08-17-20, 10:55 AM
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Rides4Beer
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Shifters - GRX di2 vs Ultegra di2

Has anyone ridden both? I love the Ultegra di2 shifters, looking to go di2 on the gravel bike and wondering if GRX is really worth the extra expense. I don't need a crankset, so the only real difference, other than a $500 price jump, are the shifters.
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Old 08-17-20, 12:30 PM
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The GRX derallier should have a clutch in it, as opposed to the Ultegra
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Old 08-17-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Has anyone ridden both? I love the Ultegra di2 shifters, looking to go di2 on the gravel bike and wondering if GRX is really worth the extra expense. I don't need a crankset, so the only real difference, other than a $500 price jump, are the shifters.
I am converting my GRX810 to Di2 once my LBS receives the parts that are on back order. Converting to Di2 is more expensive with GRX, but the rear derailleur has a clutch and some of those that have reviewed the GRX brifters have rated them very high in comfort and feel. There are several GRX Di2 reviews on youtube. Since I already have GRX mechanical the conversion for me made sense. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-20, 02:25 PM
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I figure the shifters are the main difference, since you can get the Ultegra RX derailleur with a clutch. But from all the reviews I'm reading/watching on GRX, the shifters are supposed to be really, really good, and probably worth the extra money.
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Old 08-17-20, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
I figure the shifters are the main difference, since you can get the Ultegra RX derailleur with a clutch. But from all the reviews I'm reading/watching on GRX, the shifters are supposed to be really, really good, and probably worth the extra money.
$500 dollars better?
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Old 08-17-20, 05:27 PM
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GRX will have the newer pivot location for the brake lever.
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Old 08-17-20, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
$500 dollars better?
Is that for the whole GRX groupset vs Ultegra?

If so, and if the shifters are the only real advantage, just run an Ultegra groupset with the GRX shifters.
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Old 08-17-20, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Is that for the whole GRX groupset vs Ultegra?

If so, and if the shifters are the only real advantage, just run an Ultegra groupset with the GRX shifters.
For the groupset, roughly. Working with the LBS on an upgrade package, we'll see what the options look like. Several reviews have said that the GRX di2 shifters are the best of any groupset, from any manufacturer. As much as I like the Ultegra di2 shifters, I'm interested to check them out. Wife told me not to compromise, who am I to argue?
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Old 08-17-20, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
For the groupset, roughly. Working with the LBS on an upgrade package, we'll see what the options look like. Several reviews have said that the GRX di2 shifters are the best of any groupset, from any manufacturer. As much as I like the Ultegra di2 shifters, I'm interested to check them out. Wife told me not to compromise, who am I to argue?
Your wife sounds as nice as mine. Congrats.
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Old 08-18-20, 03:35 AM
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The Di2 GRX levers are the only ones that got the higher brake pivot location. That alone may be a good enough reason to spend the extra money.
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Old 08-18-20, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Your wife sounds as nice as mine. Congrats.
She's def a keeper.
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Old 08-18-20, 08:09 PM
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Got to check out some mech GRX shifters today, def a big improvement over 105 shifters, fit and feel is great. Gonna go ahead and go GRX di2 on the new bike, should be here in about a month, can't wait!!
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Old 08-25-20, 07:06 PM
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I have both in Di2, swapped from Ultegra to GRX on my Cutthroat, using XT derailleurs. Braking leverage is vastly improved. Hoods and metal surfaces have more friction. They look better.
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Old 08-26-20, 07:49 AM
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The GRX Di2 ergonomics are nice. But the real value of the GRX are the brakes. Much better than DA or Ultegra. You will be very happy with your decision.
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Old 08-27-20, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
The GRX Di2 ergonomics are nice. But the real value of the GRX are the brakes. Much better than DA or Ultegra. You will be very happy with your decision.
Better is what way? My Ultegra disc brakes have tremendous stopping power, but the modulation could be better. Is that where GRX excels?
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Old 08-27-20, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
The GRX Di2 ergonomics are nice. But the real value of the GRX are the brakes. Much better than DA or Ultegra. You will be very happy with your decision.
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Better is what way? My Ultegra disc brakes have tremendous stopping power, but the modulation could be better. Is that where GRX excels?
From what I've read, the calipers are the same, just rebadged. so the improvement would have to be in the levers/modulation. I've read that 105 and Ultegra calipers are actually the same, 105 is painted and Ultegra is anodized, only difference. I've had zero complaints with 105 or Ultegra disc brakes, both have been fantastic. Really looking forward to the GRX setup, the shifters especially, and also the clutched RD.
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Old 08-27-20, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Better is what way? My Ultegra disc brakes have tremendous stopping power, but the modulation could be better. Is that where GRX excels?
I have a road bike with DA 9120 that has been my own gold standard for drop bar braking. Everything gets compared to them. When I installed the GRX I immediately knew that they were superior in every way.

Full disclosure I have never tried mechanical GRX so this is based on the Di2 version only.

According to what I have read Shimano improved the braking force, modulation, and even made it so the brake pads retract a little further to prevent brake rotor rub. The calipers are the same basic shimano flat mounts as others have said, no big surprises there. The GRX also gets shipped with the new compound L03a brake pads. Put it all together and the GRX braking is amazing. The ergonomics are better, the power is there, and it now has better modulation to control it.

Last edited by Bryan C.; 08-27-20 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 08-27-20, 08:20 AM
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Thanks for the input, Bryan C. and Rides4Beer . I have the GRX cranks and FD on on of my gravel bikes, but this is increasingly looking like a great all-rounder groupset. The 48-31 crankset, paired with an appropriate cassette, is a great option. For me, a 48-11 top gear is enough.
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Old 08-27-20, 11:00 AM
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Just talked to the shop, my bike is in, but it might be a month before they can get the GRX di2 parts, ugh.
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