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Shimano 105 vs Ultegra

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Shimano 105 vs Ultegra

Old 04-19-06, 04:34 PM
  #1  
Ami K
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Shimano 105 vs Ultegra

I am planning on upgrading from my Aluminum to an all Carbon Fiber bike.
I plan to spend about $3500-$4000.
I have noticed that the difference in price between a full set of Shimano 105 and Ultegra can be few hundreds $$.
one thing I am considering is buying a higher level frame and install on it the 105 components in order to stay within my budget. I am just doing recreational riding (~3500 miles a year), with no races, so weight is not much of an issue for me.
Would like to hear your opinions about the difference between the two components sets, mainly with regards to ease of use maintenance and durability.
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Old 04-19-06, 04:36 PM
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Well, in my personal opinion there isn't that much of a difference. I haven't felt too much of a performance difference from the 105 to Ultegra jump, and 105 is definitely one of the best values out there. I'd say go for the 105 if it means you can get a nicer frame.
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Old 04-19-06, 05:22 PM
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105 kthx. The only differnece is less durability and weight savings compared to ultegra.
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Old 04-19-06, 07:25 PM
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I have a bike with 105 levers and another with Ultegra. The Ultegra is definitely smoother and crisper in shifting. Then again, they're also newer. A lot of Shimano's technology get passed down. This year's 105 is probably a lot like last year or the last series of Ultegras.
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Old 04-19-06, 08:08 PM
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The Ultegra shifts much better and crisper especially under load.
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Old 04-19-06, 08:16 PM
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Why not look into a Pedal Force frame since it is all carbon and not spend tons for just the brand name? Then you can equip it with ultegra, dura ace, record, or chorus, or a mix thereof. Just my opinion but I was in your shoes, and Im glad I went with ultegra.
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Old 04-19-06, 09:38 PM
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you could build (or have built) a pedal force qs2 carbon frame with full ultegra for about half the amount you have budgeted...
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Old 04-19-06, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by the beef
Well, in my personal opinion there isn't that much of a difference. I haven't felt too much of a performance difference from the 105 to Ultegra jump, and 105 is definitely one of the best values out there. I'd say go for the 105 if it means you can get a nicer frame.
+1
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Old 04-19-06, 09:59 PM
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When I was racing, I had the general rule that 105 was the minimum standard for me. My mother and brother both rode on 105 for years and had no problems. I was on Ultegra and dad on Dura Ace, and we never noticed much of a difference on each other's bikes. All of them lasted for years, too. So I'd stick with 105 as it will be just fine for recreational riding. Of course, I am a recent Campy convert (Veloce) but you asked about Shimano.
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Old 04-19-06, 10:46 PM
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I guess I should have added this to my previous post but it all depends on what your intent with the bike is. Are you going to be a rec rider, weekend warrior, competitive rec rider, potential racer, etc? I plan on racing a lot. I went with ultegra for that added insurance of being lighter and more reliable/durable in the long run. Also, even though I ride ultegra, I am a big fan of campy stuff. The main reason I went with ultegra over say centaur or chorus was that the bike I got was an incredible deal I couldn't pass up and it had ultegra. I wish there was a compromise between the two as I love the feel of the longer shift levers and the feel of the hoods on shimano stuff but I like the thumb button shifting and the ability to dumb a whole cassette in the rear of campy. Either way (despite what some say) they are both great. IMO, for rec riding, veloce is the best deal out there (even more so than the new 10spd 105). Before you decide on a groupset, decide your purpose for this bike. If you want more help on the subject, do a search of my username and you will find a thread similar to this one that has a whole debate on this issue. It was really helpful to me. That being said, have fun deciding!
~Nick
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Old 04-19-06, 10:47 PM
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why did you convert to Campy, and what was your experience after the change over?
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Old 04-19-06, 10:59 PM
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$3500-4000 for a 105 bike???? For that budget, you should definitely be thinking Ultegra or Dura-Ace.

My GF recently bought a brand new Trek Madone 5.2 w/full carbon and full Ultegra for less than $3000.

With your budget, don't listen to the "105 is just as good" crowd...get the Ultegra (at least).

Last edited by SSP; 04-19-06 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 04-19-06, 11:12 PM
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You can buy a full carbon Cannondale Synapse with Ultegra for $3500. That's the way to go, get the Ultegra. I like SSP's tip on the Trek too, at $3000 you'll have extra money for accessories, shoes, computer, pedals etc.
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Old 04-19-06, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ami K
why did you convert to Campy, and what was your experience after the change over?
When I was racing, I stuck to Shimano because my family used it, so we could swap parts easily. My teammate rode Campy and always told me how much better it was, so now that I'm the only one in my family still riding, I got my all Italian bike I've always wanted. Really, though, the Veloce doesn't seem much different from the Ultegra I used to ride. It took me a few weeks to get used to the thumb shifter, but that's instinctual now. I think it just comes down to the name for me. One note is that I'm having a crappy time finding a deal on a rear hub to build my new wheel set (and buying a Shimano hub and conversion cassette will cost about the same), but aside from that I like the Campy stuff I'm on.
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Old 04-19-06, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SSP
$3500-4000 for a 105 bike???? For that budget, you should definitely be thinking Ultegra or Dura-Ace.

My GF recently bought a brand new Trek Madone 5.2 w/full carbon and full Ultegra for less than $3000.

With your budget, don't listen to the "105 is just as good" crowd...get the Ultegra (at least).
Maybe it's just the teacher salary mentality, but I think lower the budget and save some cash instead. But if he really wants to spend $4000 on a bike, I would agree that Dura Ace is attainable.
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Old 04-20-06, 12:32 AM
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it is possible that he is pringing for expensive wheels, hence the need to cut costs on the groupset in order to stay within budget.

For a regular bike though (no fancy wheels), this price point should allow you Ultegra at the very least.
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Old 04-20-06, 12:55 AM
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If you plan to race, I would still consider jumping one step above veloce and going w/ centaur and one step above 105 and going with ultegra, but that is me. It just seems to me that with a budget that high it is easily attainable. Hell, once Im done, I will have a full ultegra bike that weighs 17.3lbs with my heavy cheapo FSA training wheels and prob about 16.5 with my race wheels. That is plenty light and I will spend under 2000$ for the whole setup. If I go with a Pedal Force frame and swap the parts over, then I could probably break 16lbs with full race setup. One thing to remember is that I think it is BS for people to say campy is better than shimano or vice versa...they are both great, just get whichever you like best. And it is easy to get used to both campy and shimano. My coach/advisor has 4 bikes that he rides regularily....2 with record and 2 with dura ace. He rides dura ace for his races and record on his training bikes. It is all personal preference...you will be happy either way!
~Nick
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Old 04-20-06, 01:10 AM
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I think his name is Ami, so she is spending $4000. I would actually go with a Ti frame made by Merlin or Serotta and go Campy or, at the least, Shimano Ultegra 10spd.
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Old 04-20-06, 01:27 AM
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If you plan on buying a frame and then buying the components seperately because you think it will save you money do the math first. Most of the time you'll get a lot more for your money if you buy a complete bike than building one up. I looked into it once and was going to drop down from Duraace components to Ultegra and it wasn't even close. I could have bought the bike at full retail and it still would have been cheaper than buying a bike piece by piece. And the BS puts it together for you and deals with any early maintenance.
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