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Carbon 105 vs Alu Ultegra

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Carbon 105 vs Alu Ultegra

Old 03-12-19, 01:15 PM
  #1  
sw20
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Carbon 105 vs Alu Ultegra

Hi All,
I have finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a new bike and have now narrowed it down to 2!

This
https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/road/en...ce-cf-7-0.html
and this
https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/road/en...ce-al-8-0.html

question is... how much difference would I notice between a carbon and aluminium frame and how much would I notice between a 105 and Ultegra groupset?
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Old 03-12-19, 01:45 PM
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The carbon vs. aluminium frame will likely be more noticeable than Ultegra vs. 105. If it were disc brakes, I would go for Ultegra (bigger pads, more ergo shifters), but for rim brakes, I am not clear that there is any noticeable advantage.

At my size (which would be Canyon "small"), Al (not Alu) frames tend to be rather harsh and unpleasant.
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Old 03-12-19, 04:02 PM
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I'd take the carbon frame over the Ultegra groupset - difference b/w 105 and Ultegra is minimal nowadays.

cheers
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Old 03-12-19, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by macca33 View Post
I'd take the carbon frame over the Ultegra groupset - difference b/w 105 and Ultegra is minimal nowadays.

cheers
That's true but I'd also say difference between carbon and aluminum is minimal nowadays. I would say it would come down to weight but the carbon/105 is 8 kg and alum/ultegra is 8.1kg so barely any difference. Price is pretty similar. I would go with the carbon because the aluminum frame has some fat welds which I don't find aesthetically pleasing
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Old 03-12-19, 04:17 PM
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From what I have seen the alloy canyons look very pedestrian. Im sure they ride fine, but man, get a file and clean up the welds.
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Old 03-12-19, 04:34 PM
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I'd only go for the Ultegra if I could pony up the extra cash for di2. Otherwise I'm very happy with the 105 5800 I have on two bikes.

Never had the manual Ultegra, so maybe a side by side comparison might notice some smoothness in the Ultegra without di2. But whether it's worth it is really subjective as the 105 shifts plenty fast and very reliably for me.

Now di2 changes the picture quite a bit. You can select the next highest or lowest ratio gear without even having to know what gear your are currently in. Or so I've been told......

And that is something that will make Ultegra worth the extra cost once I'm ready to spend that much.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-12-19 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 03-12-19, 04:40 PM
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CF with 105 for sure. They both come with Mavic Aksiums, which are basically throwaway wheels-- something like 1,900g for the set. You could take a full pound off of that bike for a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 03-12-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
From what I have seen the alloy canyons look very pedestrian. Im sure they ride fine, but man, get a file and clean up the welds.
Exactly. I have heard there aluminum frames are pretty good but those welds. I have a newer Fuji Roubaix and they manage to smooth out the welds so that it almost looks like carbon
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Old 03-12-19, 06:20 PM
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I'd personally go for carbon in this case, I think. I'm my experience the ride has been a little better. Also in my experience, carbon tripods make sharper photographs than metal ones, for the same reason. The last aluminum bike I had was a harsh ride, and this was many years ago so may have improved ... but I won't buy another aluminum bike.

The difference between 105 and Ultegra isn't very large these days. I agree with the comment that Die would change the story here.
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Old 03-12-19, 06:58 PM
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Another vote for carbon & 105.
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Old 03-12-19, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'd personally go for carbon in this case, I think. I'm my experience the ride has been a little better. Also in my experience, carbon tripods make sharper photographs than metal ones, for the same reason. The last aluminum bike I had was a harsh ride, and this was many years ago so may have improved ... but I won't buy another aluminum bike.

The difference between 105 and Ultegra isn't very large these days. I agree with the comment that Die would change the story here.
I have a current generation Fuji Roubaix which is like a poor man's CAAD. It looks like a carbon bike with flat black paint job, smooth welds and fat, tapered hydroformed tubes. With full carbon fork and 700x28 rubber I can't really tell the difference in road feel between that and the Giant TCR Advanced I used to own or my china Workswell Cervelo clone. Aluminum has come a long way. I was actually reading a review on a new DB Hananjo aluminum that comes with a full aluminum fork which the reviewer said is lighter then the carbon fork and no noticeable difference in comfort...but that does have like 700x45 tires I think
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Old 03-12-19, 07:19 PM
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Carbon and 105. 105 vs. Altegra is minimal difference anymore. Both work awesome. You can always someday upgrade the group and that is probably easier than upgrading a frame to carbon.

I am sure the carbon and alum are both really nice rides but still rather have a better frame with good group than a good but not carbon frame for a marginally better groupset……..from what I read I bet you will like either one though.
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Old 03-12-19, 11:04 PM
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The Al frame appears to have a longer head tube across all sizes, which might be something to factor into your decision as well.
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Old 03-13-19, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
The Al frame appears to have a longer head tube across all sizes, which might be something to factor into your decision as well.
Yeah, this. If the bikes have different geometries, that is going to matter more than the gruppo or the frame material. Give them both nice long test rides and see which is better suited to your riding style.

Also, the 5800 105 group set is really sweet. You won't spend much time wishing you had a better derailleur - trust us on that one.
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Old 03-13-19, 12:50 AM
  #15  
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I've been riding 105 for ten years. I've been riding aluminum for longer, but my road frame is aluminum. I'm satisfied with both. If I were shopping for a new bike, I'd probably end up with a carbon fiber bike outfitted with 105 components, mostly because I'm of the impression ride quality can be a little more forgiving. This could be particularly advantageous on longer rides. That said, in-season I put enough miles on my aluminum frame Synapse that I know it is a pretty nice feel even on rides over 50 miles. The longest I've done on it was about 100, and the fact the frame is aluminum had little to do with how I feel after that long of a ride.

You're not forever married to all the components of your groupset. I've replaced my RD with a newer 105 RD. My cassette has been replaced a couple times, and I've got an Ultegra 10-sp cassette on order right now. I'd say the components you're least likely to swap out in the future will be your shifters and your crankset. ...at least that's the case for me. The rest of the stuff is not very expensive to swap, and you can mix and match between Ultegra and 105 pretty easily in most cases. One is less likely to swap a frame, though. 105 is good enough quality that I'd purchase the better frame and the 105 group set.

Last edited by daoswald; 03-13-19 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 03-13-19, 02:45 AM
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Thanks for the replies, I was edging towards the carbon but wasn't sure how much difference there was between the 105 and Ultegra groupsets.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
CF with 105 for sure. They both come with Mavic Aksiums, which are basically throwaway wheels-- something like 1,900g for the set. You could take a full pound off of that bike for a couple hundred bucks.
Can you recommend some good wheelsets that won't break the bank?

Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Yeah, this. If the bikes have different geometries, that is going to matter more than the gruppo or the frame material. Give them both nice long test rides and see which is better suited to your riding style.

​​​​
Also, the 5800 105 group set is really sweet. You won't spend much time wishing you had a better derailleur - trust us on that one.
Unfortunately test rides are out of the question as Canyon are direct mail order only but willing to take the risk based on reviews and spec for the price.
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Old 03-13-19, 06:19 AM
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+1 for CF and 105. In addition to the reasons mentioned above, CF is easier and economically feasible to repair in the event of non-catastrophic damage.
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Old 03-15-19, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sw20 View Post
Thanks for the replies, I was edging towards the carbon but wasn't sure how much difference there was between the 105 and Ultegra groupsets.



Can you recommend some good wheelsets that won't break the bank?



Unfortunately test rides are out of the question as Canyon are direct mail order only but willing to take the risk based on reviews and spec for the price.
They have a showroom now in San Diego, if you fancy a 12 hour flight. Surely they must have one somewhere on the other side of the planet.
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Old 03-16-19, 03:45 AM
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nope, they have a service centre about 10 miles away but no showroom! just missed out on a canyon test day event!
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Old 03-18-19, 08:01 AM
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You can upgrade the parts, canít upgrade the frame

I will leave it at that with my point in the title. I bought an aluminum Ultegra bike and could have bought a carbon 105 bike. I think Iím having carbon envy now and you can slowly upgrade the parts once they wear.
To each their own, but if you can ride them both get whatever feels better to you.
i have 105 on my cross bike and I canít tell the difference between the 105 5800 vs. The Ultegra 6800, except maybe a little in the braking power.
either way, youíll have fun riding it and thatís what matters.
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Old 03-18-19, 08:47 AM
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Carbon every time.

105 and Ultegra: nobody can tell the difference in a blindfolded test. The only difference is weight, and the carbon frame is likely lighter than the alloy frame anyway.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:19 AM
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If this is your first ďrealĒ bike the wheels wonít affect you at all. Many folks will claim the wheels that come with most prebuilt bikes like these are garbage but truth be told youíd have to be a bit more experience to notice a huge difference between those and a high dollar model/brand.

So with that said, I echo the sentiment of everyone else, get the CF frame with the 105 groupo. I have 105ís (three different incarnations) on three bikes and they all shift smooth and accurate every time. Any issues Iíve had were remedied 100% with a tune up (or in one case swapping some non Shimano parts for genuine Shimano).

Ride the bike for a while before you even consider getting new wheels or youíll spend half the cost of the bike on a new set of wheels that may not really be all that noticeable to you.

This is all of course my humble opinion and not meant to negate anyone elses personal experiences.
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Old 03-22-19, 12:43 PM
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I have ridden a very nice Bianchi CF and I have a nice Masi AL. If it were my choice I would go with the AL and a better group. I did not like the hollow thunk of the CF frame. As it is, my go to bike is a GURU Sidero (steel) w/ SRAM Red. The most important factor is how it feels to you. Since I'm a recreational rider, getting up a mile long climb 30 seconds quicker or slower is not a big concern for me.
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Old 03-22-19, 01:06 PM
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Recently went through similar analysis with a family member and ended up deciding on carbon plus tiagra instead of aluminum and 105.
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Old 03-22-19, 01:10 PM
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buy the best frame you can afford. components can be upgraded (if you desire)
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