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Ultegta...what's the crack?

nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 865
edited May 2012 in Road buying advice
Just been out for my first proper ride on my Spesh Roubaix Comp with Ultegra spec. I have Ultegra on my Bianchi (winter trainer/commute bike) & find that the gear changes are very often clunky, slow & just not very smooth which i find incredibly irritating. I now find myself with the same issue on my new Spesh i am really disappointed. The shifts up are really bad but the shifts down are ok i guess but it's when you are climbing you want the shifts up to be reliable & they just not. It's hardly a fit & forget, more like fit & frustrate! Ultegra is meamt to be Shimanos secondary groupset but this just doesn't seem right. I run an entire Dura Ace setup on my Planet X Nanolight & can honestly say that i've not had one bad shift in nearly a year of riding it! What i mean is that the difference is massive & i cannot fathom if it just needs adjusting or that's just 'how it is'! I adjusted the Bianchi til the cows came home but still never quite achieved what i l'd call totally smooth shifting. This just doesn't seem right. Has anyine else experienced this or have any advice?



  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    I've got Ultegra on my Trek; the shifting is faultless.

    At the moment (I've had a few glasses of red so I'm not exactly thinking about it a lot :lol: ) the only thing that comes to mind is either cabel routing along your bars, or alignment of the rear mech hanger. Are these good ?

    That said, what about the adjustment screw that adjusts how close the top jockey wheel is to the sprockets ? if it's not as close as you can get it with out interference, you can suffer from sluggish or inaccurate shifts.

    Something to think about............
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
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  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,992
    Cable routing/ setup sounds sh!te.

    Very little difference from ultegra to da in shifting normally.
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I changed from ultegra to DA shifters and they are just that noticably bit nicer. (older, 9 speed).

    for 10 speed, even my mates old, never services 105 shifts flawlessly. Check out the cables, perhaps get some of those super glidy outers.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,518
    For me the new isn't a patch on the old for smoothness and quality of changing.
    I stripped and sold 2 bikes this winter, one with 6500, the other with 6600, both were faultless the 6500 had never missed a beat in years(Why did i sell them then? God knows, maybe new equipment for a new bike).
    I've got 6700 on a new build and it just isn't as smooth as the older stuff, the difference to my other bike which has Dura-ace 7800 is yet again a big step, maybe it needs time to bed in but i doubt it, personally i think that it has something to do with the new cable routing.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    I read this thread 'cos I was drawn in by the title, thinking that there was some stress problem with Ultegra components. :D

    What's the crack?

    I think you meant...What's the craic?

    I realise the origin of 'craic' is from the English word 'crack' and means banter/news and as such can have the same meaning

    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • porker33porker33 Posts: 636
    I wasn't over impressed with my 6700 compared to my used 6600....I assumed the chain and cogs had to wear in.....then I bought a 5700 105 equipped 2011 bike...The 105 was smoother out of the box......This told me I had to spend a while setting up my Ultegra....I spent an hour or so, on and off the bike and it is now spot on.....Sometimes you have to ride other bikes for compariosn, I never realised I had a slight problem before that was easily resolved.
  • nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 865
    thanks guys, i kind of suspected some slight adjustment might be the case, i did put my wheels from the PX on it which has the DA cassette on with same teeth ratio, but i guess some slight tinkering will do the trick.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    if you have a cassette thats been running with a different chain, it may have worn differently, and potentially need adjusting to get the other chain to run smoothly on it. Theres also a chance the cassette itself is not quite aligned correctly for that bike.

    How old are the cables on these bikes? It might not be cable routing but simply old stretched cables - that can make a huge difference to to crispness of the shifting.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    I love 6600 cassettes as the shift is smooth and faultless(not tried 6700 yet) only problem is they are getting rarer to find in popular sizes. 5700 not too bad either so I agree with others it's got to be something else like cabling.
  • flasherflasher Posts: 1,734
    FWIW my 6700 shifts perfectly, sounds like a setup issue.
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,331
    I've recently changed from 105 5600 to Dura ace 7900

    This should be a big step up right! :?:

    Well I have to say I am completely underwhelmed! OK so you press the button and the gear shifts, I can't complain about that but everything now feels a little detached and clunky. My old 5600 was silky smooth and quiet. The only improvement I have noticed is the front mech, this is much easier and shifts up the the big ring perfectly where as the old 105 was a bit of a mission. Not liking the hood shape either but I am going to give it some time to see if I grow to like it.
  • nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 865
    the roubaix is brand new, so shouldn't be a cabling problem, maybe need to tinker with rear wheel & cassette.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Flasher wrote:
    FWIW my 6700 shifts perfectly, sounds like a setup issue.

  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I run Dura-Ace 7800 10 speed on my road bike and 9 speed 105 (5600 or 5500?) on my tourer, both are triples. I find very little difference between them, if anything the front shifts better on 105!

    With the current 10 speed groups the gear cables go under the bar tape so they have a more contrived path. I'd not be surprised if that made cable routing very important indeed. About to buy a Roubaix with Ultegra myself so we'll see....

    Which frame do you have? The SL3 Roubaix has internal gear cable routing, the other have external. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • nunowoolmeznunowoolmez Posts: 865
    I have the Comp version, pretty much all i could afford, but still thought it was a lot of bike for the money. The Covent Garden concept store were really good & threw in some nice carbon Keo's for me, aswell as putting on a better stem free of charge & putting on a zertz carbon seatpost for half it's price. The Comp does also have internal routing. I have just just given my PX Nanolight a quick blast & i have to say the ride is far more enyoyable & probably better on the climb & especially on the acceleration & downhill. The Roubaix is also significantly heavier, which is a concern.
    My rationale for buying was for events like the Fred & The Dragon & a trip into the Alps i have booked this summer, i am beginning to wonder if i have made a huge mistake. Yes the Roubaix is awesome on uneven, bad roads, & over potholes, but this is not the point for me. The Roubaix is meant to be a comfier ride with it's very forgiving frame design & i thought this would be ideal for the Alps, the Fred & The Dragon at al. So then why do i feel better on my Nanolight which is a much more Tarmac esque frame?
  • CRAIGO5000CRAIGO5000 Posts: 697
    Is the RD B-Screw set correctly to Shimano specification?

    My recently bought Ribble was delivered with the upper jockey teeth to cassette set approx 25mm apart!? Sram spec is a min distance of 6mm. I adjusted the B-Screw to spec and after re-indexing, the gear change is now instant, precise, reliable and super smooth.

    I'd certainly find out the Shimano spec and check it before re-routing all your cabling!
    Ribble Stealth/SRAM Force
    2007 Specialized Allez (Double) FCN - 3
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Well I got my Roubaix SL3 Expert with Ultegra the other week and have done a few rides now. I actually wanted the Dura-Ace version but it was out of stock and replaced with SRAM Red.

    I totally agree with the OPs comments. Going to a higher gear is fine but the other way is horrid. Mine has Jagwire barrel adjusters in front of the head tube and I'm always fiddling with them to try and get the rear mech to index properly. My older Dura-Ace 7800 groupo on my Cannondale is much smoother (and looks a lot nicer).

    Hopefully it'll bed in and maybe it's due to the internal cable routing, but so far I'm not impressed with Ultegra. Rest of the bike is great, like being on a magic carpet and very efficient. The body geometry saddle is superb as are the oversize bars. The DT-Axis 3.0 wheels were almost 500g heavier than my Pro-Lite Braccianos which is poor for a 3k bike but they are well made so good training wheels.

    I wanted all my bikes to shift the same way which is why I didn't get SRAM Red, might have been the wrong choice. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    the roubaix is brand new, so shouldn't be a cabling problem, maybe need to tinker with rear wheel & cassette.

    WHY ? its a brand new bike, poss costing you well over £2k - take it back and get them - to fix it... its the obvious course of action! once you dxxk about with it, the shop could charge you and say you messed it up :(

    7900/6700 will shift perfectly - i race and train with both and they r both faultless - if a little more clunky than the previous generations - which i happen to like :) 7800/6600 are so silky smooth you never know if they ve changed or not !!!
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Are you running 6700 with internal or external cable routing? Methinks that might be the difference. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • Ringo 68Ringo 68 Posts: 441
    I have 6700 on my Cube with internal cableing and find that the upshift can be a bit 'clunky'. Downshift is nice and smooth though.
    I find that my Sram Apex Boardman shifts smoother than the Ultegra Cube :?: :?:
    Cube Agree GTC Pro
    Boardman Comp
    Carrera Subway Hybrid
  • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    I reckon 105 is the better of the two when you consider £:performance. My Ultegra is set up perfectly, everything is new, can I tell you there's a noticeable improvement in shifting over a well set up 105 - no!

    I do prefer the ergonomics and aesthetics of Ultegra but in terms of performance, the brakes are the only component that I think "those are better than 105's".

    Given the choice again, i'd spec 105 and go for DA wheels with the money saved.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I have 9 speed 105 on my tourer and it shifts almost as well at Dura-Ace 7800. I think the cable internal cable routing is the problem on my new Ultegra. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 26,243
    Got to be honest, Sounds like some of you guys need to do a bit of cleaning/maintenance. None of these sound like problems that could nt be fixed by 5 mins with some Muc Off and some lube and a bit of bolt twiddling - especially yours unix nerd, new cables always stretch and bed in, either take it back to the shop or just set it up properly again.

    No gear system will work without a bit of care (no matter what the campag fanbois spout)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
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