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Upgrading from 105 groupset

CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
edited January 2009 in Road beginners
Posted this in Commuting where I live, but thought it might get a response here...

Any views on replacing a Shimano 105 groupset with something a bit better? Pricing up replacement chains / rings / cassette the other day on Wiggle etc the option of upgrading the groupset now rather than going down the new bike route later this year started to appeal enormously. The bike is a Scott S20 (2006 model) with 105 double ring set on xx5600 components. It’s done about 4000 miles in that time, and needs a new drive train now anyway. Here it is.

I haven’t yet seen a new bike that I'd like enough to replace the S20, and when it comes down to it, putting Shimano Ultegra, Dura Ace or Campag bits on it would be nice step up. As a ride it’s great now, but you know when you just want that bit more…?

The easiest option is to go and buy the most expensive groupset up to about £1k, but experiences from you lot would be a better and more helpful guide.

And wheels. The Shimano R550 wheels are ok but are out of true and never stay in true for long these days since my big tumble, and probably wouldn’t do the rest of the bike justice if it were running Campag or whatever bits & bobs.

Main use is weekend recreational rides & 20 mile commute over fairly flat ground 2 – 3 times a week. Gearing is currently 39/50 + 12-25 cassette; I’d prefer a higher top so 11-25 and/or 52 front ring would be nicer, but views welcome.

Campag, or Shimano, or AN Other? Which will give me the more enjoyable riding experience? And what wheels would complement it? Let’s have an arbitrary overall budget of about £1200 or so and see what comes up.

Plan B (formerly Plan A) was to blow around £2k +/- a bit on a new bike. Might still do that.


Feel free to abuse this plan, or to point out that the S20 is a heap of tat that’s likely to fall apart before Easter. New bike more than welcome. :)


  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    I doubt you'd find much difference between 105 and Ultegra. If I were in your shoes, I'd replace only what needs replacing, with either 105 or Ultegra and spend the rest on a decent set of wheels.

    Either that, or buy a new bike, if the money's burning a hole in your pocket :wink:
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    change to campag might be a nice change for you - you'd need to change wheels though so the cost would mount up - although it sounds like you aren't too happy with your current wheels anyway.

    with regard to campag groupset - the centaur group is roughly equiv to ultegra and the previous generation of centaur can be had fairly cheaply - probably around £400 for the full group - add a set of wheels in for around £300 and you have a fairly decent change wirh nice wheels for £700ish

    the other option - as kind of mentioned above - is to just change the parts that need replacing and look to change the shifters to Dura-ace which will change the 'shift feeling' the most - the rest of your money can be spent on real good wheels which will make a noticeable difference over the R550's it has now!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Yeah - only change what you need to and ultegra is good value - cheaper than DA and should last you longer than 105 if you look after it.

    Dont change to Campag as you'd need to swap too many things over.
  • BigStu2BigStu2 Posts: 794
    Check out the Raceface crankset at wiggle, I just ordered a set, brilliant value and excelent reviews.
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    whats wrong with what you have ?

    My plan is to upgrade by 105 stuff to Dura Ace as bits wear out. My bikes done 4K and the only thing that was worn out was the chain which got replaced for a Dura Ace one.

    In your shoes I'd be diong the same and then just concentrating on upgrading your wheels, but but IMHO the WH550 are a good wheel and you'll need to spend a reasonable sum on an upgrade before you'll feel any noticeable difference.

    IIRC theres not a huge difference between 105 & Ultegra so you might not notice much of a difference if you do upgrade down that route.
  • thexvwthexvw Posts: 135
    I have bikes with 105 and Ultegra, I can hardly tell the difference between them. Replace the parts that are worn, especially since the recent price hike!
  • I have been riding 08 SRAM Rival for a few hundred miles now and have to say it is quite excellent. I understand the 09 Rival groupset is even better, with refinements from RED trickling down to Rival such as carbon brake levers, etc. Check out the latest user reviews. Bear in mind also that it is way way lighter than its nearest competition from Shim and Camp and is even lighter than higher priced groupsets from Japan and Italy. I think the levers and hoods beat 105s into a cocked hat and the concealed cables are sweet. Worth considering, I think. Lance is rarely wrong after all. You could get an 09 Rival GS and a pair of SRAM race wheels for around £1k!
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