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Groupset tiers a scam?

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Groupset tiers a scam?

Old 09-10-19, 07:06 PM
  #1  
Dean V
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Groupset tiers a scam?

I guess calling in a "marketing strategy" would be a more diplomatic thing to call it.
But I just can't see the difference in value or cost of production between say a 105 and Dura Ace groupset.
Sure when you start using Ti (cassettes) or carbon it will cost more to produce, but overall with modern machinery and production methods I can't really see much of a difference.
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Old 09-10-19, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
I guess calling in a "marketing strategy" would be a more diplomatic thing to call it.
But I just can't see the difference in value or cost of production between say a 105 and Dura Ace groupset.
Sure when you start using Ti (cassettes) or carbon it will cost more to produce, but overall with modern machinery and production methods I can't really see much of a difference.
Sounds like a business opportunity for you to jump in there, shake up the scammin' status quo and make a mint by providing DA-level goodness at 105 prices. Chop chop!
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Old 09-10-19, 07:20 PM
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You've been here for 10 years and this is what you come up with? When you reach a certain price point, high end bikes are luxury items meaning price is somewhat irrelevant. And those that can, gladly pay to save a few ounces.
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Old 09-10-19, 07:22 PM
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Don't know about Shimano, but there's a huge difference between a Sram Rival and Red cassette. Rival has individual cogs while Red is machined from one piece.
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Old 09-10-19, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
I guess calling in a "marketing strategy" would be a more diplomatic thing to call it.
But I just can't see the difference in value or cost of production between say a 105 and Dura Ace groupset.
Sure when you start using Ti (cassettes) or carbon it will cost more to produce, but overall with modern machinery and production methods I can't really see much of a difference.
Are you aware of the differences in the individual components? Some are similar, others are not as simple as that. The jump between 105 and ultegra is the big one, for example the RD uses cartridge bearing pulleys vs shaft bearings, 2 piece glued hollow chainrings vs machined 1 piece, stainless spindles on the pedals, materials for the levers etc?
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Old 09-10-19, 09:01 PM
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Aside from the materials and processes involved, the top-tier groups pay for most of the R&D that trickles down to the lower groups, I'd imagine. Early adopter tax.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
I guess calling in a "marketing strategy" would be a more diplomatic thing to call it.
But I just can't see the difference in value or cost of production between say a 105 and Dura Ace groupset.
Sure when you start using Ti (cassettes) or carbon it will cost more to produce, but overall with modern machinery and production methods I can't really see much of a difference.
Even if the production costs of 105 and DA are the same, the difference in weight and for a long time tech, allows DA to command a higher price.

I'll let you in on a general business secrect- price is not tied to cost.
Some products are high volume low margin. Some products are low volume high margin. The rest are somewhere between.

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Old 09-11-19, 04:00 AM
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Marginal gains.
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Addiction is all about class.
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Old 09-11-19, 04:57 AM
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105 doesn't have near the longevity of Ultegra.
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Old 09-11-19, 05:34 AM
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Porsche v. Toyota
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Old 09-11-19, 06:04 AM
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Most likely technology that is different. You also pay for the R&D when it comes to high-end products, which is normal.

These are 2 completely different products that are intended for two completely different categories of buyers. They should not be compared. The Porsche VS Toyota call says it all.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Aside from the materials and processes involved, the top-tier groups pay for most of the R&D that trickles down to the lower groups, I'd imagine. Early adopter tax.
This ^^^^^^ literally what I was going to say.
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Old 09-11-19, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
105 doesn't have near the longevity of Ultegra.
I own and have ridden 105 from the early 90s, early 00s, late 00s, and mid-late 10s.
I also own and have ridden Ultegra from the late 90s when it was 600tricolor, early 90s when it was 600Ultegra, late 90s when it was 9sp, and current late 10s.

I cant figure how either is more or less durable than the other. Both seem to work perfectly fine in all iterations thru the years. The 105 certainly seems to have the longevity of Ultegra, and even if it isnt exactly the same, it lasts as long as many riders will ever want(the life of their bike).

The internet is full of examples of people using 105 for decades without issue.
The internet is also full of examples of people needing to change their Ultegra earlier than they expect.



Not sure how you collect all that and determine that 105 doesnt have the longevity of Ultegra.
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Old 09-11-19, 07:08 AM
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Often many of the fasteners and other steel parts have better plating that keeps rust away longer.
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Old 09-11-19, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I own and have ridden 105 from the early 90s, early 00s, late 00s, and mid-late 10s.
I also own and have ridden Ultegra from the late 90s when it was 600tricolor, early 90s when it was 600Ultegra, late 90s when it was 9sp, and current late 10s.

I cant figure how either is more or less durable than the other. Both seem to work perfectly fine in all iterations thru the years. The 105 certainly seems to have the longevity of Ultegra, and even if it isnt exactly the same, it lasts as long as many riders will ever want(the life of their bike).

The internet is full of examples of people using 105 for decades without issue.
The internet is also full of examples of people needing to change their Ultegra earlier than they expect.



Not sure how you collect all that and determine that 105 doesnt have the longevity of Ultegra.
Yep, and all of these owners are certainly not using and maintaining their bikes the same way. Too many factors that can influence the longevity / reliability / etc.
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Old 09-11-19, 07:51 AM
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Everything is a scam.

A dry aged steak at McKendrick's Steak House vs a chain steakhouse.

A Lexus F Sport vs a Toyota Camry.

The service I give my customers is a scam. Any computer tech is just as good as I am and will probably charge you one fifth the price.


-Tim-
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Old 09-11-19, 09:33 AM
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I own 105 5800 & Ultegra R8000 - shifting at the rear is difficult to tell the difference, but the front shifting is noticeably better with Ultegra. This could mean the difference between catching the wheel in front and getting dropped in a race after a climb in the little ring, so I pay the premium for Ultegra (hard to justify DA for now, but I'm also not getting paid to win races). It's all relative, and I wouldn't say that it's a scam. Difference between Ultegra and DA (R8000 & R9100), though, is much smaller than that between 105 and Ultegra, as Shimano described themselves.

If for your purposes 105 is sufficient, and I would wager that for the majority of cyclists it definitely is, buy 105 and remain happy, and let others buy DA. I personally love when older, richer people buy DA because as others mentioned, that pays for R&D so that the high end tech from 3-4 years ago trickles down to Ultegra/105 level.
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Old 09-11-19, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
I own 105 5800 & Ultegra R8000 - shifting at the rear is difficult to tell the difference, but the front shifting is noticeably better with Ultegra. This could mean the difference between catching the wheel in front and getting dropped in a race after a climb in the little ring, so I pay the premium for Ultegra (hard to justify DA for now, but I'm also not getting paid to win races). It's all relative, and I wouldn't say that it's a scam. Difference between Ultegra and DA (R8000 & R9100), though, is much smaller than that between 105 and Ultegra, as Shimano described themselves.

If for your purposes 105 is sufficient, and I would wager that for the majority of cyclists it definitely is, buy 105 and remain happy, and let others buy DA. I personally love when older, richer people buy DA because as others mentioned, that pays for R&D so that the high end tech from 3-4 years ago trickles down to Ultegra/105 level.
The front shifting is faster because the 2 piece chainring has additional ramps on the backside. It's the 1 piece between the two groupsets that makes the biggest performance difference
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Old 09-11-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post

If for your purposes 105 is sufficient, and I would wager that for the majority of cyclists it definitely is, buy 105 and remain happy, and let others buy DA. I personally love when older, richer people buy DA because as others mentioned, that pays for R&D so that the high end tech from 3-4 years ago trickles down to Ultegra/105 level.
That's not how it works.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:14 AM
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Do a web search for Global Cycling Network and watch their video on 105 vs Dura Ace. I think you will be surprised.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
That's not how it works.
You'll have a hard time convincing me that the 2x+ price difference between Ultegra and DA is purely down to manufacturing methods and materials. There's going to be a lot of markup to make up for the reduced volume.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
You'll have a hard time convincing me that the 2x+ price difference between Ultegra and DA is purely down to manufacturing methods and materials. There's going to be a lot of markup to make up for the reduced volume.
That's not at all what I'm saying.

I'm saying that the money for R & D comes from the sales of all Shimano cycling products, not just Dura Ace.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:36 AM
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Sometimes certain Dura Ace parts - the 7700 bottom bracket and the PD-9000 and PD-9100 pedals come to mind - these parts are actually rebuildable. I personally value this option and will pay a little more for it. I have found that rebuildable Shimano parts can be adjusted really well and I feel that the time spent to rebuild them is worth it.

Often on rides I will hear the derailleur pulleys of 105 and Ultegra rear derailleurs squealing. The sealed pulleys on Dura Ace go silently for long periods of time. The 105 and Ultegra ones could be given a tiny bit of grease on the bushing which would quiet them for quite a long time, but a lot of riders are not enthusiastic about maintaining every little part of the bike.

I have heard that 105 and Ultegra pedals have cartridge bearings where you replace them as assemblies when they go bad. I'm using the Dura Ace PD-9000's and I did develop a creak in one of them when the factory grease sort of leached out of them. The rebuild process was not bad, it was relaxing in a way and I felt more confident about them after they were rebuilt. I was surprised though that many of the small parts are made from lightweight aluminum.

I also value the higher quality aluminum polish and exotic fasteners that are used on the Dura Ace components. I am not a racer, just a collector/rider who loves to tinker. With all the chatter on GCN YouTube about the classic silver components. I'm honestly surprised that Shimano hasn't resurrected the classic 7700/7800 look components to today's standards. People could easily apply clear "Crankskins" or similar "helicopter tape" to keep that pristine look as long as possible.

Last edited by masi61; 09-11-19 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
That's not at all what I'm saying.

I'm saying that the money for R & D comes from the sales of all Shimano cycling products, not just Dura Ace.
That's a fair point, but I'd be curious to see where these companies' largest profit margin comes from, whether the high frequency, low margin lower groupsets or low frequency, high margin higher groupsets. I forget that Shimano also makes much more than just bike components, like fishing equipment, etc.
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Old 09-11-19, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Psychocycles View Post
That's a fair point, but I'd be curious to see where these companies' largest profit margin comes from, whether the high frequency, low margin lower groupsets or low frequency, high margin higher groupsets. I forget that Shimano also makes much more than just bike components, like fishing equipment, etc.
At the retail level, the profit margin is much smaller on high-end bikes and components.
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