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Is Ultegra worth it?

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Is Ultegra worth it?

Old 12-28-21, 12:25 PM
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deacon mark
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Is Ultegra worth it?

I am getting older and I have a 11-28 cassette 11 spd Habby. I have been thinking of going to 11-30 or even 11-32. I can live without them in the flatlands here but sometimes I go to places with hills and it would be nice. I prefer to spin up a hill than stand and grind. So checking I can get a r7000 cassette for like $65 out the door. I finally saw the R8000 in but at a hefty $136. I know it is covid and parts are hard to come by but is it worth it to most of you in cycling land?

I don't wear cassettes out really too much I get 20,000 miles on them so probably for me it is ok but really spending twice as much for Ultegra? Do they shift that much better? The weight reduction is probably nothing.
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Old 12-28-21, 12:57 PM
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Ultegra is about 35g less weight compared to 105 in identical cassette ranges.
If 35g of less weight is worth $70 to you, then buy the Ultegra.

On my 11sp shimano shifting bikes, I currently have cassettes by Sunrace, Microshift, SRAM, Shimano, and some Amazon brand called ZTTY.
Its a cassette to me...I largely dont get worked up about them.

This is 85g heavier than an ultegra r8000 11-32 cassette. It also costs $36. Reviews are mixed, so there clearly is a point at which quality drops.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NYKFCYL/ref=emc_b_5_mob_t
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Old 12-28-21, 12:58 PM
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I dont recall if my cross bike 11-32 is 5800 or r7000 but it got wet and nasty and I couldnt wash it right after a race and it had surface rust. I never get that on my ultegra stuff due to the different material.

Dura ace aint worth it but maybe here ultegra may be.
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Old 12-28-21, 01:10 PM
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I have used Ultegra and 105 cassettes and IMO they are nearly identical.
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Old 12-28-21, 01:13 PM
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I just went through that same decision process....saved the money and got the105 cassette.
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Old 12-28-21, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
So checking I can get a r7000 cassette for like $65 out the door. I finally saw the R8000 in but at a hefty $136.
Huh, are you talking about USD or funny money? You haven't spent much time looking if you're talking USD...

JensonUSA $84.59: https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-CS...SPEED-Cassette
REI $94: https://www.rei.com/product/131423/s...speed-cassette

I have one R7000 cassette that I find noisier than my Ultegra 11-32 and 11-34 cassettes.
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Old 12-28-21, 01:49 PM
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For a groupset, I think Ultegra is an excellent value.

I can't say about the cassette which for me is a high wear item. In your case I might consider the 105.

However, everything I read about the SRAM RED cassettes indicates they are both light and durable.
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Old 12-28-21, 01:51 PM
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Don't over-think it. The R7000 cassette is just fine. In a blind test you wouldn't notice any difference whatsoever.
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Old 12-28-21, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
I am getting older and I have a 11-28 cassette 11 spd Habby. I have been thinking of going to 11-30 or even 11-32. I can live without them in the flatlands here but sometimes I go to places with hills and it would be nice. I prefer to spin up a hill than stand and grind. So checking I can get a r7000 cassette for like $65 out the door. I finally saw the R8000 in but at a hefty $136. I know it is covid and parts are hard to come by but is it worth it to most of you in cycling land?

I don't wear cassettes out really too much I get 20,000 miles on them so probably for me it is ok but really spending twice as much for Ultegra? Do they shift that much better? The weight reduction is probably nothing.
What's the derailleur? short-reach, long reach, mid reach? 11-32 may not fit.
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Old 12-28-21, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Huh, are you talking about USD or funny money? You haven't spent much time looking if you're talking USD...

JensonUSA $84.59: https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-CS...SPEED-Cassette
REI $94: https://www.rei.com/product/131423/s...speed-cassette

I have one R7000 cassette that I find noisier than my Ultegra 11-32 and 11-34 cassettes.
I looked pretty good and the Jenson is back ordered although REI does have the 11-32. That probably will work price ok really. I never back ordered anything either they have it or I don't buy.
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Old 12-28-21, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Huh, are you talking about USD or funny money? You haven't spent much time looking if you're talking USD...

JensonUSA $84.59: https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-CS...SPEED-Cassette
REI $94: https://www.rei.com/product/131423/s...speed-cassette

I have one R7000 cassette that I find noisier than my Ultegra 11-32 and 11-34 cassettes.
the rei link you provided shows as an 11-25 cassette for $87. Different range and cost from your info.
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Old 12-28-21, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
the rei link you provided shows as an 11-25 cassette for $87. Different range and cost from your info.
Not when I posted. You snooze, you lose.


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Old 12-28-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Don't over-think it. The R7000 cassette is just fine. In a blind test you wouldn't notice any difference whatsoever.
But you’d almost certainly crash.
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Old 12-28-21, 03:55 PM
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No I have the long cage I am a decent wretch so know what it needs. I did find one 11-32,
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Old 12-28-21, 04:09 PM
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Id go with the 105. I've never seen Any data suggesting a ultegra cassette is better in any way other than the obvious, - slightly less weight and a nicer build/finish. Performance and longevity is the same I'm sure.

For the price difference you can get a new chain too. You will likely need it moving to a bigger cassette.

Can your derailleur take a big cassette. 32t is pushing it on some SS (short) derailleurs, if that is what you have.
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Old 12-28-21, 04:27 PM
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As others have suggested, for consumables like chains and cassettes, 105 is what you want. For deraileurs and shifters (and maybe cranks) Ultegra is worth the premium purely for fit & finish.
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Old 12-28-21, 05:47 PM
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I've never been able to tell any difference on the bike. With 10 speed I usually got Ultegra because it was maybe $45 vs $30. Now, with Ultegra approaching $100, I'm fine with 105. I once had to buy a Tiagra 12-30 10 speed. Two cogs never were right.
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Old 12-28-21, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
I am getting older and I have a 11-28 cassette 11 spd Habby. I have been thinking of going to 11-30 or even 11-32. I can live without them in the flatlands here but sometimes I go to places with hills and it would be nice. I prefer to spin up a hill than stand and grind. So checking I can get a r7000 cassette for like $65 out the door. I finally saw the R8000 in but at a hefty $136. I know it is covid and parts are hard to come by but is it worth it to most of you in cycling land?

I don't wear cassettes out really too much I get 20,000 miles on them so probably for me it is ok but really spending twice as much for Ultegra? Do they shift that much better? The weight reduction is probably nothing.
I consider cassettes to be wear items, so the decision between a steel Veloce cassette for $45-55 vs a steel/alloy Chorus cassette for $150+ is a no-brainer
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Old 12-28-21, 06:11 PM
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Yes
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Old 12-28-21, 06:30 PM
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Not necessarily.
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Old 12-28-21, 06:44 PM
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105. You would never know the difference apart from having less money in your pocket.
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Old 12-28-21, 07:02 PM
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Only a year ago, 11 speed Ultegra cassettes were available for about $75 while 105 cassettes were about $45. At those prices I went for Ultegra.
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Old 12-28-21, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
No I have the long cage I am a decent wretch so know what it needs. I did find one 11-32,
I'm an indecent wretch, and I usually buy Ultegra. But that's just me.
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Old 12-29-21, 12:23 AM
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Sorry to sort of go off-topic but I will be picking up a 2021 Defy 3 in the new year. It has the Tiagra groupset and I like the idea of one more gear like the 105 etc.
I can’t simply get the shop to install the 11 speed cassette before I pick up the bike can I?
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Old 12-29-21, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Defy Dene View Post
Sorry to sort of go off-topic but I will be picking up a 2021 Defy 3 in the new year. It has the Tiagra groupset and I like the idea of one more gear like the 105 etc.
I can’t simply get the shop to install the 11 speed cassette before I pick up the bike can I?
No.

You can't just pop an 11-speed cassette on the back of a 10-speed groupset unfortunately!
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