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105 vs Ultegra: big difference in quality?

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105 vs Ultegra: big difference in quality?

Old 04-27-12, 06:14 PM
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AddictedToMusic
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105 vs Ultegra: big difference in quality?

I have read quite some info about the difference between 105 and Ultegra on quite a few review sites and blogs. While some says that they are almost the same except the weights difference.I found quite a few people saying that 105 is the cheap version of Ultegra, best value, yet the quality is low and not suitable for racing, due to the low quality of manufacturing of the 105.

My questions is: how much better is Ultegra compare to 105? is it worth the $$$ to upgrade from 105 to Ultegra?
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Old 04-27-12, 06:30 PM
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105- Perfectly functional and the beginning of the groupo's you'll see "serious" cyclist using.
Ultegra- A little lighter, but, noticably smoother in some concerns. Specifically shifting. I believe the tolerances are just a bit tighter than on 105. Slight improvemet in finish quality. More money, but, as it only part of the cost of a bike, in addition to wheels, contact points, etc. not that much.
Dura Ace- Signifacant weight savings. BUT, at the cost of durability and considerable cost.

How much better? That's pretty subjective.
Is it worth upgrading? If you're buying a new bike or build kit, possibly, depending on your appreciation for the small differences between the two. If you already have 105 on you bike and your thinking of replacing it with Ultegra, probably not worth the cost. 105 is absolutely adequate stuff and I would be surprised if you went to a Crit race and didn't see some pretty fast riders using 105 on bikes that have considerably greater chance of getting crashed and who use Ultegra or DA on their road racing bikes.
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Old 04-27-12, 06:43 PM
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I have the previous version of 105 (5600) on one bike and the latest Ultegra (6700) group on another bike, and I don't believe the difference in performance is as great as the difference in price. I guess Ultegra is lighter but never weighed the parts separately. Personally, if you want to save money and don't care about weight, get 105. If you have the money to blow and care about the weight and/or bling factor, get Ultegra or better yet Dura-Ace if you want to spend more. IMHO...
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Old 04-27-12, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic View Post
I have read quite some info about the difference between 105 and Ultegra on quite a few review sites and blogs. While some says that they are almost the same except the weights difference.I found quite a few people saying that 105 is the cheap version of Ultegra, best value, yet the quality is low and not suitable for racing, due to the low quality of manufacturing of the 105.

My questions is: how much better is Ultegra compare to 105? is it worth the $$$ to upgrade from 105 to Ultegra?
First of all, 105 is sufficient for whatever you want to do. Having said that, Ultegra, I believe, is where the most value is at in the Shimano line for a serious road enthusiast.

Actually, Ultegra qualifies more as the cheap version of Dura-Ace, as opposed to 105 being a cheap version of Ultegra. All Dura-Ace has over Ultegra, in my view, is a superior finish and lighter weight.

Would I upgrade a 105 bike to an Ultegra? That is a loaded question. If I have the funds, like the frame and plan on keeping it for a while, then I'll do it in a heartbeat.

Ultegra, perfectly adjusted, is good stuff. And the components last much longer than Dura-Ace (under same conditions of use) due to the slightly heavier alloys used.
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Old 04-27-12, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic View Post
I have read quite some info about the difference between 105 and Ultegra on quite a few review sites and blogs. While some says that they are almost the same except the weights difference.I found quite a few people saying that 105 is the cheap version of Ultegra, best value, yet the quality is low and not suitable for racing, due to the low quality of manufacturing of the 105.

My questions is: how much better is Ultegra compare to 105? is it worth the $$$ to upgrade from 105 to Ultegra?
Shimano 105 is the most widely accepted bicycle drive train that has ever existed.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic View Post
I found quite a few people saying that 105 is the cheap version of Ultegra, best value, yet the quality is low and not suitable for racing, due to the low quality of manufacturing of the 105.
You are the first person I have ever seen write any of that. Never heard 105 called cheap, low quality, not suitable for racing, or improperly manufactured. I have seen many people say the jump from Sora to 105 is a vastly bigger upgrade than the jump from 105 to Dura-Ace.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
You are the first person I have ever seen write any of that. Never heard 105 called cheap, low quality, not suitable for racing, or improperly manufactured. I have seen many people say the jump from Sora to 105 is a vastly bigger upgrade than the jump from 105 to Dura-Ace.
I would agree with the bolded part 100%.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic View Post
is it worth the $$$ to upgrade from 105 to Ultegra?
What do you mean?
Do you want to ditch a perfectly good 105 group set and replace with Ultegra? Those dollars are probably better spent elsewhere.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:42 PM
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Everything I've read in reviews says that Ultegra is an upgrade due to weight savings and construction materials, but the technology is basically the same. When I was upgrading my bike I was going to go with 105, but found Ultegra front and rear deraileurs (on line) for almost the same price as 105. The shifters were almost $100 dollar difference though, so I went with 105 shifters. Everything woks together great.
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Old 04-27-12, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic View Post
...

My questions is: how much better is Ultegra compare to 105? is it worth the $$$ to upgrade from 105 to Ultegra?
1) Anything can be raced. If you ride and race a lot, you get tired of shtty components pretty quickly.

2) Yes there is a significant difference in quality of certain components. Especially shifters and chainrings.

Only you can decide if the benefits are worth the cost. Some racers are on 105 stuff, but most find a way, through pure sacrifice, debt, or creative use of ebay and craigs list, to come up with at least Ultegra level stuff on their bike. In my opinion, Ultegra is the sweet spot in the Shimano lineup. Huge price difference between Ultegra and DA for a few grams saved here and there. Not a gigantic leap between 105 and Ultegra price wise, so most racers find a way to bridge the gap. That said, nobody trashes other peoples' bikes at a race, other than to look askance if you are riding a setup that shouts "sketchy rider".
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Old 04-27-12, 07:56 PM
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I have Ultegra 6700 on my bike; my wife has 105 5700 on hers. They are practically indistinguishable to me - if anything, the 105 feels slightly more precise and less "slippery". I can't IMAGINE upgrading a perfectly functional 105 set for Ultegra, even if cost were no object. If you're starting a high-dollar build from scratch, and weight is of critical importance, maybe the Ultegra makes perfect sense. I won't try to place a value on bling-factor...
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Old 04-27-12, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by alden View Post
Everything I've read in reviews says that Ultegra is an upgrade due to weight savings and construction materials, but the technology is basically the same. When I was upgrading my bike I was going to go with 105, but found Ultegra front and rear deraileurs (on line) for almost the same price as 105. The shifters were almost $100 dollar difference though, so I went with 105 shifters. Everything woks together great.
I would have gone the other way around. The Ultegra shifters are well worth the extra $. Derailleurs (especially rear derailleur) not so much.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:04 PM
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i disagree with the suggestion that DA's durability is compromised in favor of weight savings.

i am a SRAM guy, but DA is nothing if not durable.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverStretch View Post
I have Ultegra 6700 on my bike; my wife has 105 5700 on hers. They are practically indistinguishable to me - if anything, the 105 feels slightly more precise and less "slippery". I can't IMAGINE upgrading a perfectly functional 105 set for Ultegra, even if cost were no object. If you're starting a high-dollar build from scratch, and weight is of critical importance, maybe the Ultegra makes perfect sense. I won't try to place a value on bling-factor...
I like my 105 better than the Ultergra
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Old 04-27-12, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by badhat View Post
i disagree with the suggestion that DA's durability is compromised in favor of weight savings.

i am a SRAM guy, but DA is nothing if not durable.
I imagine some of this is a response to my post. I don't mean to imply that DA durability is not up to snuff. I have had Dura-Ace 7800 (which I consider to be the best Shimano road group of all time) and I currently have Ultegra 10-Speed, and I can tell you that the Ultegra is gonna last much longer than my 7800 did with the same kind and duration of usage.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
What do you mean?
Do you want to ditch a perfectly good 105 group set and replace with Ultegra? Those dollars are probably better spent elsewhere.
On hookers? I agree.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:22 PM
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I have both. I can't tell the difference. The 105 gruppo is a BEST BUY.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:26 PM
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I'm a bit biased and sentimental. I've been buying Ultegra in various incarnations since it was called 600 and I've never had a problem with any part, ever. Perhaps I could save a few bucks by going with 105, but I see no reason to mess with success. For the amount of time I spend on a bike each year, the cost per mile is pretty fantastically low anyway.
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Old 04-27-12, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
I'm a bit biased and sentimental. I've been buying Ultegra in various incarnations since it was called 600 and I've never had a problem with any part, ever. Perhaps I could save a few bucks by going with 105, but I see no reason to mess with success. For the amount of time I spend on a bike each year, the cost per mile is pretty fantastically low anyway.
Good point!
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Old 04-27-12, 10:21 PM
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There is not much doubt I'm going to assemble my own bike sooner or later. Percentage wise, how much more expensive is Ultegra over 105. I'm quite sure I will build with 105, I am a practicle man but I like a 12-30 cassette.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:50 PM
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From my experiences; I find 105 to be just as durable as Ultegra, but not as smooth. Ultegra just has less of a 'click' when shifting (especially down to faster gearing on the cassette). I don't think there's a weight difference that's significant enough to matter for anyone on this forum. The difference would be less than we could loose ourselves by riding more.

If you were to race, I think Ultegra would be worth the cost because of this shifting advantage. You wouldn't have that part of a second without your energy getting to your wheel when you're cranking on it so hard.
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Old 04-27-12, 11:26 PM
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105 is durable but to me Ultegra feels a bit smoother.

I usually buy 105 and wait for a great deal on Ultegra to swap over.
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Old 04-27-12, 11:37 PM
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I've been buying Ultegra in various incarnations since it was called 600 and I've never had a problem with any part, ever. Perhaps I could save a few bucks by going with 105, but I see no reason to mess with success. For the amount of time I spend on a bike each year, the cost per mile is pretty fantastically low anyway.
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Old 04-27-12, 11:53 PM
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need to upgrade your ultegra??? SHIMANO ISNT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN!
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Old 04-28-12, 05:18 AM
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I have a 6600 bike and a 5700 bike.

The shifters on 6600 have a much silkier feel compared to 5700. The shifting is at tad more precise as well. That said, I race with both and haven't had a problem.
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