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sram red compared to ultegra

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sram red compared to ultegra

Old 04-05-12, 08:23 AM
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mrfizzed
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sram red compared to ultegra

Any thoughts on the two groups? Might be getting a bike and pondering the money difference to go to sram red. have heard some things on my own like....

sram red is definitelly lighter but is not as durable
ultegra takes al lot the durability of the 105 group which supposedly is a staple but is lighter
ultegra is obviously shimano and a lot of people (including my lbs) swear by it because it has "just been around forever"

what are some of your experiences?
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Old 04-05-12, 08:33 AM
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Six of one, half-a-dozen of another as far as I'm concerned. Obviously the technical differences can be found on their respective websites. Just like carbon vs. aluminum vs. titanium, 'durability' is a red herring, they will both break under the right (wrong) conditions.

For me the differences came down to double-tap vs. STI, and the shape of their hoods. I like double-tap more these days than Shimano's separate levers, but Shimano won in the comfort department because of my big hands.

Last edited by MegaTom; 04-05-12 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 04-05-12, 08:52 AM
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hmmm those are things i really did not factor in (hoods etc, i have smaller hands btw). i can say i have NEVER ridden a sram bike and therefore can't compare, but i guess ill be heading to my lbs to test ride a sram double tap bike.
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Old 04-05-12, 08:57 AM
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Don't forget looks ! I'm not ashamed to admit that I can be a little bit vain at times. When I bought my Roubaix, Sram Red looked like a pig dressed in carbon fiber.... If Red [black] or the new 2012 Red were available at the time, I might've been swayed the other way.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:01 AM
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Ultegra is not an expensive 105 . It is a cheaper Dura Ace.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:04 AM
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so than significantly better than my current 105?
Originally Posted by UCIMBZ View Post
Ultegra is not an expensive 105 . It is a cheaper Dura Ace.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mrfizzed View Post
so than significantly better than my current 105?
I ride both. It's not significantly better... just better. At least in practical use. Ultegra is clearly the lighter, 'blingier" of the two, so if that is what you value, then Ultegra is obviously the hands-down winner... but they both shift your gears just fine.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:09 AM
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I have a bike with red and a bike with ultegra. Both do their jobs. It really comes down to preference. After riding both, I greatly prefer the red. I like the double tap, zero loss of the red, and (most importantly) I just feel more comfortable on the red.

I will actually be selling the bike with ultegra on it soon, and building up another bike with red.

See if the shop will let you take both for a ride (or at least put them on the trainer) and just ride them. It won't take long to see which you prefer and are more comfortable with.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:12 AM
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How much lighter are we talking about here? 250 grams?
Unless you are a competitive cyclist actually doing races on hills ... I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:14 AM
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I was a shimano guy for years, until my current sram bike, I like double tap SOOOOO much better. personally, for my needs/desires I'd probably stick with rival and use red shifters then call it a day. but that is not to say ultegra is a bad rig, it shifts great and it well made also Ult Di2 could potentially sway me back to shimano (if I get to a point where I can afford it), but if/when sram gets electronic I would probably stick it out there.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:14 AM
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i guess i am not too much worried about the weight (the components might only be about 250 grams less btw but the frame and wheels are significantly better as well, talking about an sl4 frame tarmac over sl3 and roval fusee wheels over racing fulcrum 4's). but am more concerned about the feel and responsiveness i guess of the sram red, being that i have never ridden a sram bike.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:15 AM
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^I see that a lot on here. I agree in the abstract, but when you have 250 grams for the groupset, x grams for the handle bar, x grams on the seatpost, x grams on the wheels, etc. etc. It starts to add up---and I don't have a support team, so leaving a water bottle at home isn't an option.

Like the old saying "a million here, a million there, after a while you are talking about real money".
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Old 04-05-12, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by AMFJ View Post
I have a bike with red and a bike with ultegra. Both do their jobs. It really comes down to preference. After riding both, I greatly prefer the red. I like the double tap, zero loss of the red, and (most importantly) I just feel more comfortable on the red.

I will actually be selling the bike with ultegra on it soon, and building up another bike with red.

See if the shop will let you take both for a ride (or at least put them on the trainer) and just ride them. It won't take long to see which you prefer and are more comfortable with.
My situation is exactly the same. After riding the Red, I much prefer it now. I'm not sure I will ever go back to Shimano now, although I agree it does its job very well. I'm not sure the Red is that much better, I just like the way the Red works much better.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mrfizzed View Post
so than significantly better than my current 105?
No. Dura Ace is significantly better. Ultegra is just 3/4 of the way to that.
What sets Red apart are the shifters and the rear derailleur. So when people talk about Red being better, that is what they "basically" are talking about.

Last edited by UCIMBZ; 04-05-12 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:24 AM
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its not even a comparison.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by AMFJ View Post
^I see that a lot on here. I agree in the abstract, but when you have 250 grams for the groupset, x grams for the handle bar, x grams on the seatpost, x grams on the wheels, etc. etc. It starts to add up---and I don't have a support team, so leaving a water bottle at home isn't an option.

Like the old saying "a million here, a million there, after a while you are talking about real money".
when I was racing motorcycles there was a saying "its easier to find 100 places to lose a pound than it is to find 1 place to lose 100 ounds."
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Old 04-05-12, 09:40 AM
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spending this much money is a tough decision.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:46 AM
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I have Ultegra installed now. I had SRAM apex before. A lot of people like the double tap shifters, they are nice, they are also quicker to shift down to higher gears than Ultegra, IMO. I think Ultegra shifters and the Ultegra RD does a better job on hills going into lower gears. I feel that shifting into lower gears going up hills with Ultegra is more precise and controlled. I found it harder to shift just one cog up with the double tap system, with the Ultegra shifters it is much more precise.

Also, people with smaller hands seem to like the SRAM shifters.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SER71 View Post
Also, people with smaller hands seem to like the SRAM shifters.
i agree this seems to be the general consensus, but as an fyi, I have pretty large hands, most of my gloves are XL, don't get me wrong, I don't have ham shanks for hands but they are far from being small dainty little things either, on my guitars I like a thicker neck that fills out my hand a bit more, makes it easier to play.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:53 AM
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red vs ultegra isn't really a comparison I would make. red vs dura ace or force vs ultegra, rival vs 105 etc....

in regards to sram shifting vs shimano shifting is is extremely preference based. I love doubletap compared to having 2 levers. I rode 105 for a while and moving to sram felt crisper and more "clicky". I do have big hands so I prefer shimano's slightly larger hoods but I like srams shifting even more than that. If only I could have doubletap built into a more shimano style hood. As far as hoods go, campy takes the cake however.

to answer the original question, imo, red is better. lighter by a lot (250 grams is hard to find on a bike) and quicker shifting (zero loss on the front and rear) make it better in my book. but again, i wouldn't compare the two.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mrfizzed View Post
spending this much money is a tough decision.
Unless you have plans to increase your riding, based on your yearly miles, I'd stick with the Ultegra or may be even 105 or Apex.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:55 AM
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I rode Ultegra for years. My current bike has Rival... I love the double-tap. I would be very hard-pressed to return to Shimano.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:58 AM
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SRAM gets a lot of praise on the forums, but definitely try both.

My wife (who has small hands) likes SRAM. I rode Force for about a year and ended up selling it. I test rode a bike with Ultegra 6700 and it didn't take me long to realize that I had made a mistake in buying the SRAM group.

Performance-wise, I had no complaints about the Force group. It worked great, was easy to tune, and was reliable. However, once I rode 6700, the shifters had me sold. I loved the shape of the hoods, the shape of the brake lever, and the way it all fit into my hand. I now own two bikes with 6700.

Your hands are only one of the 3 contact points on the bike, so they should really like what they are attached to (IMO).

Bob
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Old 04-05-12, 10:03 AM
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thanks....what do you mean by ("zero loss on the front and rear") btw?

Originally Posted by dmcdmc View Post
red vs ultegra isn't really a comparison I would make. red vs dura ace or force vs ultegra, rival vs 105 etc....

in regards to sram shifting vs shimano shifting is is extremely preference based. I love doubletap compared to having 2 levers. I rode 105 for a while and moving to sram felt crisper and more "clicky". I do have big hands so I prefer shimano's slightly larger hoods but I like srams shifting even more than that. If only I could have doubletap built into a more shimano style hood. As far as hoods go, campy takes the cake however.

to answer the original question, imo, red is better. lighter by a lot (250 grams is hard to find on a bike) and quicker shifting (zero loss on the front and rear) make it better in my book. but again, i wouldn't compare the two.
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Old 04-05-12, 10:09 AM
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I like Shimano for two reasons - it fits my hands better and the shifts are quieter and smoother. But you can't go wrong with either. Your best bet is try each for a while and see what you like. But the bottom line is you'll likely not regret either after you have time with your choice.
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