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105 v Ultegra...

alpineaddictalpineaddict Posts: 247
edited July 2015 in Workshop
I own a Kuota Kharma, several yrs old now, and it still has the stock groupset that it came with (Shimano 105 - 50-34 front and 11-28 rear). Ever since I've had the bike there has always been an issue (very small one) with the gear changing, in that it never seemed as smooth, and swift as I would have liked it... Yet I have put up with it...

Recently I've noticed it continually getting worse, and despite my best efforts at correcting the shifting, and taking it to the LBS for a gear tune up, it still seems sluggish in the change...

This has been accentuated by a recent trip to Majorca where I hired a bike with a Shimano Ultregra groupset on... The shifting was seamless, quiet and instant... As opposed to my often clunky and lagging gear changing...

So, my question is, is my sluggish gear changing just that the 105, although good, is an entry level groupset, and it will always be like that, and the Ultegra is really decent step up in smoothness, or is that that despite the LBS having a go, I've never had it all set up just right, and the upgrade is not worth it...?

Thx in advance folks

Posts

  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    The latter.
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    On Strava.{/url}
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Assuming you mean 5700? Yeah it's junk. You don't even need Ultegra. Get 5800 assuming your wheels will do 11 speed.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    The former - IMHO Ultegra is far better than 105, but other people would disagree (and others would agree).

    If you do a quick search on here ref 105 vs Ultegra you'll find millions of threads and opinions - this one is down to a matter of personal opinion I'm afraid.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Zerotails99Zerotails99 Posts: 127
    A huge difference between the 10 and 11 speed.

    Not much difference between the 5800 and 6800. The ultegra feels and looks better but the shifting is 99.9999% identical.

    But ultimately, proper set up is the most important.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    A huge difference between the 10 and 11 speed.

    Not much difference between the 5800 and 6800. The ultegra feels and looks better but the shifting is 99.9999% identical.

    But ultimately, proper set up is the most important.

    Carbon levers on the 6800 shifters compared to metal on 5800. I think that's about it?
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    6800 Ultegra saves a small amount of weight on every component compared to 5800 105. The biggest weight savings are in the shifters with the carbon levers and chainset with the hollow outer ring.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    What version of 105 have you got, most of the comments here are on new ult vs new. 105. I suspect from the OP opening sentence his 105 is a much older version maybe 5600. In which case a jump to 11 speed 105 or 11 speed ultegra will both be a big upgrade.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
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    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    6800 Ultegra saves a small amount of weight on every component compared to 5800 105. The biggest weight savings are in the shifters with the carbon levers and chainset with the hollow outer ring.

    There's also different bearings, springs, etc etc - Cyclist magazine a couple of months ago did a big spread on all the differences.

    I think that lever and hoods are also different shapes as well.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • alpineaddictalpineaddict Posts: 247
    edited July 2015
    Hi guys... thx for feedback... I should have posted more, so apologies... Having looked on the inside of the rear derailleur. I have the 105 RD 5700... with 10 speed

    Hope this helps the debate :)
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    6800 Ultegra saves a small amount of weight on every component compared to 5800 105. The biggest weight savings are in the shifters with the carbon levers and chainset with the hollow outer ring.

    There's also different bearings, springs, etc etc - Cyclist magazine a couple of months ago did a big spread on all the differences.

    I think that lever and hoods are also different shapes as well.

    Don't start.... :wink:
  • mikeneticmikenetic Posts: 486
    Hi guys... thx for feedback... I should have posted more, so apologies... Having looked on the inside of the rear derailleur. I have the 105 RD 5700... with 10 speed

    Hope this helps the debate :)

    The difference between the 5700 series and 5800/6800 is night and day. 5700 can work alright, but it can be a pig to set up, especially if you have internal routing on the gear cables.
  • RiggaRigga Posts: 939
    Hi guys... thx for feedback... I should have posted more, so apologies... Having looked on the inside of the rear derailleur. I have the 105 RD 5700... with 10 speed

    Hope this helps the debate :)

    The difference between the 5700 series and 5800/6800 is night and day. 5700 can work alright, but it can be a pig to set up, especially if you have internal routing on the gear cables.

    I have 10 speed 105 on my cube with internal gear cable routing and it's been an absolute pain! I've put an ultegra chain and cassette on but to no avail, next step is new gear cable!
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    Hi guys... thx for feedback... I should have posted more, so apologies... Having looked on the inside of the rear derailleur. I have the 105 RD 5700... with 10 speed

    Hope this helps the debate :)

    The difference between the 5700 series and 5800/6800 is night and day. 5700 can work alright, but it can be a pig to set up, especially if you have internal routing on the gear cables.

    I have 10 speed 105 on my cube with internal gear cable routing and it's been an absolute pain! I've put an ultegra chain and cassette on but to no avail, next step is new gear cable!

    Make sure you get the newer polymer coated cables and SP41 outers. They make a big difference.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,452
    My 105 5700 Fd and STi,s linked to a Ultegra Rd using 11 to 28 rear cassette with triple chainset works almost as smoothly as a full 11spd Ultegra on a bike I recently rode on a test ride. Would I pay the extra between 105 & Ultegra after my test ride, probably not. If 105 10spd is set up properly the only real difference should be the weight.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 9,159
    Sluggish shifting might be improved with a new rear derailleur. I've had that issue on and older 105 setup. Much less so on current ultegra.

    Another option I recently read about would be to put a spacer between the hanger and the derailleur, so that the spring is more stretched out and the whole system is at a slightly higher tension.
  • alpineaddictalpineaddict Posts: 247
    Thx folks... The thing Ive always been told is that 105 will always be 'kinda' sluggish due to the rear derailleur's limited ability.. So maybe just a new rear would help...

    Like I said this has all been prompted by me riding a bike with an Ultegra groups and also noticing that they are selling at half price now (Just over £400, guessing they're shifting this model before an upgrade perhaps).

    The additional weight issue, is not an issue for me... I am not into racing and am just a casual rider who enjoys getting out on the bike... I am more wanting (not needing) a smooth, crisp change in my gearing... If I can achieve that with my 105 still in play the great (however, Ive not achieved this so far in the few years Ive one the bike), If it can't be done then happy to upgrade to a better setup... Which my limited knowledge tells me is the Ultegra???

    Thx again all
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    "Ive always been told is that 105 will always be 'kinda' sluggish due to the rear derailleur's limited ability"

    That's just not true. The mech just does whatever the shifter tells it to via the cable.
    The 105 5700 rear mech I've just fitted to my otherwise 5600 bike is shifting crisply and accurately.

    Where 5700 suffers is the increased cable drag from the under bar tape routing. You can improve it by recabling using new SP41 outers with the ends cut flush and square*, and the newer polymer coated inners as used on the 5800 / 6800 etc series.

    If you were to change the entire groupset the move from 5700 to 5800 is apparently dramatic, especially front shifting. Many argue that cosmetic appearances aside, if you're not chasing the last few grams of weight saving there's little point in choosing Ultegra over 105 now.

    * I thought my cable cutters were doing a good job, but I just discovered how incredibly neatly you can finish the cut outers using a Dremel with a grinding wheel. Very satisfying!
  • ... I am more wanting (not needing) a smooth, crisp change in my gearing... If it can't be done then happy to upgrade to a better setup... Which my limited knowledge tells me is the Ultegra???

    Your knowledge is indeed limited young padawan - what you are seeking will come to you from Force; leave the dark side and enter the double tap world.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    "Ive always been told is that 105 will always be 'kinda' sluggish due to the rear derailleur's limited ability"

    That's just not true. The mech just does whatever the shifter tells it to via the cable.
    The 105 5700 rear mech I've just fitted to my otherwise 5600 bike is shifting crisply and accurately.

    Where 5700 suffers is the increased cable drag from the under bar tape routing. You can improve it by recabling using new SP41 outers with the ends cut flush and square*, and the newer polymer coated inners as used on the 5800 / 6800 etc series.

    If you were to change the entire groupset the move from 5700 to 5800 is apparently dramatic, especially front shifting. Many argue that cosmetic appearances aside, if you're not chasing the last few grams of weight saving there's little point in choosing Ultegra over 105 now.

    * I thought my cable cutters were doing a good job, but I just discovered how incredibly neatly you can finish the cut outers using a Dremel with a grinding wheel. Very satisfying!

    This^. Absolutely nothing wrong with 5700 RD or 10sp 105. How may other groupsets have you ridden to compare it to? I've the 5800 11sp - the front mech is a right pain to set up, what with it's special tool to make sure you get the cable angle right, and the rear indexing is so particular it's a censored to get it quiet. But it works fine, as does the 5700.
  • alpineaddictalpineaddict Posts: 247
    "Ive always been told is that 105 will always be 'kinda' sluggish due to the rear derailleur's limited ability"

    That's just not true. The mech just does whatever the shifter tells it to via the cable.
    The 105 5700 rear mech I've just fitted to my otherwise 5600 bike is shifting crisply and accurately.

    Where 5700 suffers is the increased cable drag from the under bar tape routing. You can improve it by recabling using new SP41 outers with the ends cut flush and square*, and the newer polymer coated inners as used on the 5800 / 6800 etc series.

    If you were to change the entire groupset the move from 5700 to 5800 is apparently dramatic, especially front shifting. Many argue that cosmetic appearances aside, if you're not chasing the last few grams of weight saving there's little point in choosing Ultegra over 105 now.

    * I thought my cable cutters were doing a good job, but I just discovered how incredibly neatly you can finish the cut outers using a Dremel with a grinding wheel. Very satisfying!

    This^. Absolutely nothing wrong with 5700 RD or 10sp 105. How may other groupsets have you ridden to compare it to? I've the 5800 11sp - the front mech is a right pain to set up, what with it's special tool to make sure you get the cable angle right, and the rear indexing is so particular it's a censored to get it quiet. But it works fine, as does the 5700.

    Just the Ultegra whilst on holiday, as mentioned above... Thx for the advice mate... Appreciate it...
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    So, my question is, is my sluggish gear changing just that the 105, although good, is an entry level groupset, and it will always be like that, and the Ultegra is really decent step up in smoothness, or is that that despite the LBS having a go, I've never had it all set up just right, and the upgrade is not worth it...?

    Thx in advance folks

    Wait, 105 an entry level groupset? Pros race on Ultegra, so how does one tier down = entry level? Are there only entry level and pro level groupsets? Is that it?
    Claris & Sora could be described as entry level. Tiagra and 105 as mid range, certainly not entry level.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,452
    I still use 2300 7 speed sti thumb shifters on my winter bike, still changes gear just as crisply as my 105 / ultegra mix just not as many gears to go through. Still do several thousands of miles on it every year, currently lent to a friend doing triathlons.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • alpineaddictalpineaddict Posts: 247
    So, my question is, is my sluggish gear changing just that the 105, although good, is an entry level groupset, and it will always be like that, and the Ultegra is really decent step up in smoothness, or is that that despite the LBS having a go, I've never had it all set up just right, and the upgrade is not worth it...?

    Thx in advance folks

    Wait, 105 an entry level groupset? Pros race on Ultegra, so how does one tier down = entry level? Are there only entry level and pro level groupsets? Is that it?
    Claris & Sora could be described as entry level. Tiagra and 105 as mid range, certainly not entry level.

    You're probably very right... I did say my knowledge is poor when it comes to the actual mechanics of bikes... I ride a fair bit... mess around with some stuff but largely depend on the lbs to service and do other things for me... I am now wanting to increase my knowledge of the mechanics... The term 'entry level' was wrong, I was meaning more that it was the 'stock' groupset that I still have on the bike...

    Anyhow, regardless of terminology, the question still remains as to whether or not it is worth the upgrade to an 'Ultegra' groupset or not... The majority seem to think not, and just get the 105 working right...
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Depends what you mean by Pro level, as if you're talking proper full time professional they race on Dura-Ace (and other groupset equivalents), I can't see any pro team using Ultegra. But of course Ultegra is great for racing if you have to pay for equipment out of your own pocket, then paying for Dura Ace would be a bit silly.

    I would put it like this:
    Dura Ace: Pro
    Ultegra: Everything other than pro level
    105: Mid level, suitable for everyone, even for racing
    Tiagra: Still very good, good enough for most of us if we're honest with ourselves
    Sora: Step up from entry level, good enough for most
    Claris: Entry level.
  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 7,189
    I upgraded to 105 from Tiagra and the difference is noticable, especially the braking.

    One downside is it needs a hefty push to get into the big ring now. It is getting easier with time though so I suspece a strong spring rather than dodgy cable routing because thats pretty smooth when I've released everything to check it.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • gozzygozzy Posts: 640
    Depends what you mean by Pro level, as if you're talking proper full time professional they race on Dura-Ace (and other groupset equivalents), I can't see any pro team using Ultegra. But of course Ultegra is great for racing if you have to pay for equipment out of your own pocket, then paying for Dura Ace would be a bit silly.

    Aye ok, maybe not World Tour level, but I'm confident I've seen pics of sub world tour level bikes with Ultegra on them. I'm afraid I can't quite be arsed to search where I've seen it unfortunately
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    Some pro teams use 6870 rear mechs, as it's available in a medium cage to allow them to run 32t rear cassettes for the really brutal stages.
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Sounds like you bike just needed indexing properly & the cables tightened up. :roll:

    Or 5800 is 100% better as in goes up to 11.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xgx4k83zzc
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    ... I am more wanting (not needing) a smooth, crisp change in my gearing... If it can't be done then happy to upgrade to a better setup... Which my limited knowledge tells me is the Ultegra???

    Your knowledge is indeed limited young padawan - what you are seeking will come to you from Force; leave the dark side and enter the double tap world.


    Absolutely 100% - I have 105, Ultegra, Dura Ace, Rival and Red on different bikes and SRAM is crisper, quicker, nicer to use, nicer to look at, lighter and all round makes your ride better.

    But that's just me.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
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