Dura Ace 9000 on an entry level bike

kikonameko
kikonameko Posts: 65
edited December 2013 in Road general
Hi, i just want to start a conversation about something ive thought about in the past 2 days. What does most feel about equipping an entry level bike like a Madone 4 or a Giant TCR or TCR advance with a high end groupset like a Dura Ace or Red? i know at first thought this might be insanity but if you already have a bike and still want to keep the frame do you guys think its worth doing? It might not make a lot of sense but a lot of things in the world doesnt as well :) my thinking is that you can always move your groupset to another bike when you think its time to change the frameset. At the moment though you can go ahead and start enjoying the best groupset out there. Does it make sense or is this idea totally out of whack?

thanks

Comments

  • goonz
    goonz Posts: 3,106
    Doesnt make sense to me. I'd get the best frame you can buy for your money and then upgrade the gruppo on that. Frame is more difficult and costly to upgrade later...
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
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  • majormantra
    majormantra Posts: 2,094
    DA is beautiful (I have it) but it's more than twice the price of Ultegra. Had I been starting from scratch without a nice frame, I'd buy a better frame + Ultegra rather than DA.
  • What do you want to achieve by doing that? A better ride? Better shifting? A lighter bike? An extra gear?

    I'm not sure if you're looking at a full groupset replacement - i.e. nearly £2k's worth of kit, or just a few bits and bobs.

    I have an entry level racing frame (Ribble Ultralight Racing) with a 105 groupo. It all works fine for racing and training - there's nothing performance-wise that makes me think I could do with Ultegra or Dura Ace. If I wanted a better/faster ride, new wheels would give me the best return on my investment. If I wanted a lighter bike, there are a few pounds I could lose very cheaply from under my jersey. That would help performance, too.

    You could get a very racy 105-kitted machine for the price of a Dura Ace groupset, and still have change for a decent coffee.
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    I wouldn't exactly call a TCR Advanced an entry-level bike. A Felt F-95 is an entry level bike. Yes, it would be pointless putting DA on a frame of that level, but a TCR Advanced is a very good frame and I would definitely put Dura Ace on one if I could.

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”

    If you love your frame and can’t afford a bike with everything on it; a way to spread the cost is buy the either a frame or groupset and then swap one lot over when you can buy the next stage.

    Big problem is that you’ll end up with loads of spares!

    I bought a carbon frame, and put second hand Ultegra/105 gear on it. Slowly over time this filtered to new Dura Ace/ Ultegra parts.
    Not the most economical way of doing it, but took the pain away of shelling out loads of money in one go (and I slipped it under the wife’s nose).
    The first kit got sold off to offset some of the cost.

    Dura Ace? Love the chainsets (got one) but not so sure about the cost of cassettes, chains and rear mech.
    My last step in my bike evolution will be an Ultegra Di2 with Dura Ace Chainset.

    When you do enough miles on a frame, kind of becomes a part of you. Four bikes of mine in the garage (she has three) and a new MTB next year, breaks my heart thought of selling some of those memories - Priceless
    Chinese All Carbon Hybrid, mixed with overdraft and research.
    Hong Kong Phoey - Quicker than the human eye!

    Not enough: bikes, garage space or time.
  • ps, on a performance issue, got to agree with "halfeatenflapjack", set of wheels make the biggest difference.

    But like I said "One man's meat...........
    Chinese All Carbon Hybrid, mixed with overdraft and research.
    Hong Kong Phoey - Quicker than the human eye!

    Not enough: bikes, garage space or time.
  • I run one bike with dura 9000 one with ultegra tiagra mix, the difference is minor , yes my main bike is lighter and faster but unless your fitness is top level and your not over weight you won't benefit. Lose pounds and save £s or spend lots of £s to save a few pounds
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Plus 1 for giant tcr... Def not entry level imo
  • I generally find that the same people that overstate the importance of components are the ones that aren't up on maintenance. A large factor in tip top performance is tip top maintenance. For smooth shifting however it's hard to beat friction. ;)
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    If you are happy with the frame and it is a good fit and not overly heavy, it doesnt matter if it is 'entry level', then why not go for dura-ace if you are happy to pay for it. It is the best you are going to get for shifting, braking etc.

    P.S. Is a Connondale CAAD10 frameset entry level? I would happily put Dura-ace on this.
  • dwanes wrote:
    If you are happy with the frame and it is a good fit and not overly heavy, it doesnt matter if it is 'entry level', then why not go for dura-ace if you are happy to pay for it. It is the best you are going to get for shifting, braking etc.

    P.S. Is a Connondale CAAD10 frameset entry level? I would happily put Dura-ace on this.

    *Waits for Campag fan reaction*

    The differences are very small. If you've paid for the small performance advantages of great wheels and frame (etc), it makes sense to choose components accordingly. There is a lot more to a high performance frame than 'good fit and not overly heavy' (useful if buying a town bike for mum, though), and putting really high spec components on a lesser frame is a bit pointless; most people are either just not going to appreciate the difference, or they would more appreciate the difference of better upgrades.

    I would love to see the results of a 'blind' test of Ultegra vs Dura Ace (etc), in which several bikes were equipped with various groupsets; all components made aesthetically identical but level of maintenance (minorly) varied. You can put Dura Ace (or similar/equivalent) bitson your Ultegra transmission if you want to anyway; there is only so much variation between derailleurs, cogs and cranks. If you want smooth shifting, maintain your transmission properly and buy quality consumables.
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    Why does Dura-ace exist then? and What more is there to a high performance frame. ie from a CAAD10 to a £5000 carbon frame? Is the £5000 carbon frame really going to make you faster? Really?
  • I bought a TCR Advanced frame and fitted it with SRAM Red. I don't and neither does anyway I know consider it entry level.

    Build whatever you want, but understand what is entry and what is top level.
  • adamfo
    adamfo Posts: 763
    dwanes wrote:

    I would love to see the results of a 'blind' test of Ultegra vs Dura Ace (etc), in which several bikes were equipped with various groupsets; all components made aesthetically identical ....

    Funnily enough a German MTB magazine do exactly that. Bike on roller and rider blindfolded. Very hard to tell the difference between Shimano XT and SLX although if your familiar with the shifters the XT ones are crisper.

    In terms of component finish there is a vast difference between Ultegra and Dura Ace, but only a small weight one. See my photos here:

    viewtopic.php?f=40013&t=12947694
  • Frame, wheels/groupset , finishing kit, is the order you want to prioritise.

    You might think you'll one day you'll transfer a groupset, but by the time you do it will be sh*gged & then you put it on a new frame.
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    I have 105 5700 on my bike, and my dad has Ultegra 6700 on his - I get smoother shifting on mine but his shifting is faster. The lever travel on his is considerably shorter, but harder to 'click'.

    5700, I feel, is the start of the 'good' groupsets - it works perfectly but is perhaps heavier and not as nice-looking as Ultegra/DA. I would only go with Ultegra or Dura Ace if I had upgraded everything else on my bike to the best they could (realistically) be.

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • dwanes wrote:
    Why does Dura-ace exist then? and What more is there to a high performance frame. ie from a CAAD10 to a £5000 carbon frame? Is the £5000 carbon frame really going to make you faster? Really?

    Why does Dura Ace make sense but a high spec frame doesn't? Neither is a miracle cure, and both will provide small performance benefits. A higher spec frame can have enhanced handling, rider position and so on; I'd rather have a great frame with Ultegra than a cheaper one with Dura Ace.
  • gozzy
    gozzy Posts: 640
    dwanes wrote:
    Why does Dura-ace exist then? and What more is there to a high performance frame. ie from a CAAD10 to a £5000 carbon frame? Is the £5000 carbon frame really going to make you faster? Really?

    Pro cycling is mainly why DA exists. Plus, why does anything have a top of the range version? Cos people will buy it.
  • dwanes
    dwanes Posts: 954
    dwanes wrote:
    Why does Dura-ace exist then? and What more is there to a high performance frame. ie from a CAAD10 to a £5000 carbon frame? Is the £5000 carbon frame really going to make you faster? Really?

    Why does Dura Ace make sense but a high spec frame doesn't? Neither is a miracle cure, and both will provide small performance benefits. A higher spec frame can have enhanced handling, rider position and so on; I'd rather have a great frame with Ultegra than a cheaper one with Dura Ace.
    Enhanced handing? rider position? Can you elaborate?
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Gozzy wrote:
    Pro cycling is mainly why DA exists. Plus, why does anything have a top of the range version? Cos people will buy it.
    yer - buy it coz it's more Pro init ... !
  • adamfo
    adamfo Posts: 763
    DA exists because the Japanese revel over micro detailing. I spent six months there on business and anything man made and intricate is appreciated.
  • Will a high end frame or Dura Ace make you faster? YES!, the question is how much faster and if that performance increase is worthwhile vs the cost of buying it. That entirely depends on your individual circumstances.
  • If you are happy with the frame and it is in good condition, put whichever group on that you want if it makes YOU happy. Despite what some may try to tell you, there are no rules....
  • Great discussion and apologies for stating that a TCR Advanced as entry level. I own a Look 566 in my neck of the woods its about the same price as a TCR Advanced however the 566 is the lowest tier carbon bike in the Look website at the moment. Im already running a full Ultegra 6700 setup sans the FD which is a 5700. Its all good and great.. there just this nagging thought in my head whether upgrading the groupo to a Dura Ace would make a whole lot of sense.. aesthetics wise i really dig the DA chainsets and rear mech. The price is border line for the insane but like i mentioned above.. sometimes we just dont factor sense in what we buy. There are certainly days where i think im good with the Ultegra but there are still those days i ask myself whether i should start saving for it. :)
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    kikonameko wrote:
    Great discussion and apologies for stating that a TCR Advanced as entry level. I own a Look 566 in my neck of the woods its about the same price as a TCR Advanced however the 566 is the lowest tier carbon bike in the Look website at the moment. Im already running a full Ultegra 6700 setup sans the FD which is a 5700. Its all good and great.. there just this nagging thought in my head whether upgrading the groupo to a Dura Ace would make a whole lot of sense.. aesthetics wise i really dig the DA chainsets and rear mech. The price is border line for the insane but like i mentioned above.. sometimes we just dont factor sense in what we buy. There are certainly days where i think im good with the Ultegra but there are still those days i ask myself whether i should start saving for it. :)

    I think Ultegra Di2 will bring a much more noticeable difference than DA.

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Much as we all love the kit, the fact is that the performance gains to be had on the stopwatch from upgrading almost anything are pretty minor (with a few exceptions).

    So, if you are looking for a justifying argument for an upgrade then performance is usually near to the bottom of the list.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • dwanes wrote:
    dwanes wrote:
    Why does Dura-ace exist then? and What more is there to a high performance frame. ie from a CAAD10 to a £5000 carbon frame? Is the £5000 carbon frame really going to make you faster? Really?

    Why does Dura Ace make sense but a high spec frame doesn't? Neither is a miracle cure, and both will provide small performance benefits. A higher spec frame can have enhanced handling, rider position and so on; I'd rather have a great frame with Ultegra than a cheaper one with Dura Ace.
    Enhanced handing? rider position? Can you elaborate?

    Higher budget frames can be more customisable to purpose. Higher quality materials can be used. Areas that most need to be stiff can be reinforced whilst marginal weight savings can be made by removing material not needed. On metal bikes, different tubing types can be used for different parts of the bike. And of course, the frame can be bespoke to the rider. I would rather have a bespoke frame with 105 than an off-the-peg with Super Record.
  • mamba80
    mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    i don't think there is too much difference between modern CF frame once you get to stuff like TCR's
    this thing about " buy the best frame etc " came from the days of steel, where there is a vast difference in ride quality and workmanship between the cheap steel tubed frames and Reynolds and Columbus frames.

    DA 9000 is lovely and id rather have that on a TCR adv than 105 on a Tarmac Sworks
  • kikonameko wrote:
    Great discussion and apologies for stating that a TCR Advanced as entry level. I own a Look 566 in my neck of the woods its about the same price as a TCR Advanced however the 566 is the lowest tier carbon bike in the Look website at the moment. Im already running a full Ultegra 6700 setup sans the FD which is a 5700. Its all good and great.. there just this nagging thought in my head whether upgrading the groupo to a Dura Ace would make a whole lot of sense.. aesthetics wise i really dig the DA chainsets and rear mech. The price is border line for the insane but like i mentioned above.. sometimes we just dont factor sense in what we buy. There are certainly days where i think im good with the Ultegra but there are still those days i ask myself whether i should start saving for it. :)


    I have a 566 with sram red "black" which was built up as a demo from the frame. Red is brilliant but I am thinking of upgrading for something more race orientated, lighter and stiffer as I am getting into racing. I will go with red or ultegra di2 as I like the short travel in the shifters and no messing around with trim.

    What do you want to achieve by changing, racing, distance cycling .....?
  • declan1 wrote:
    kikonameko wrote:
    Great discussion and apologies for stating that a TCR Advanced as entry level. I own a Look 566 in my neck of the woods its about the same price as a TCR Advanced however the 566 is the lowest tier carbon bike in the Look website at the moment. Im already running a full Ultegra 6700 setup sans the FD which is a 5700. Its all good and great.. there just this nagging thought in my head whether upgrading the groupo to a Dura Ace would make a whole lot of sense.. aesthetics wise i really dig the DA chainsets and rear mech. The price is border line for the insane but like i mentioned above.. sometimes we just dont factor sense in what we buy. There are certainly days where i think im good with the Ultegra but there are still those days i ask myself whether i should start saving for it. :)

    I think Ultegra Di2 will bring a much more noticeable difference than DA.

    Fitting a 566 with Di2 wont look "clean" in my own opinion.. i thought about that.. and given the choice ill do DA.