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Upgrade from Dura-Ace 7900 to Ultegra 6800?

WOLF79WOLF79 Posts: 2
edited June 2016 in Road buying advice
Hello,

Right now I own a Dura-Ace 7900 (10 speeds) and I'm thinking about switching to the Ultegra 6800 (the Dura-Ace 9000 is way to expensive, maybe Ultegra with Dura-Ace levers...). Apart from the 11 speed... does it worth to spend the money?

Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,725
    Worth it in what sense? Will you get an extra sprocket? Yes. Will it make you faster? No.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Not worth it for the extra gear.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,753
    The last useful upgrade was around 1990, when you could swap your downtube shifters for a pair of STI levers. Since then, very little has changed. As a matter of fact, I found out I have far more gears option with Shimano 9 speed, than I would have with 10 or 11. Unless your DA 7900 is damaged, stick to it... waste of money
  • 0ced00ced0 Posts: 46
    As a matter of fact, I found out I have far more gears option with Shimano 9 speed, than I would have with 10 or 11.

    maybe a little off-topic, if so apologies to the OP, but would you care to elaborate on that ?

    (for full disclosure i have a bike with DA 7900 and don't plan on upgrading any time soon, very happy with it !)
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,753
    0ced0 wrote:
    As a matter of fact, I found out I have far more gears option with Shimano 9 speed, than I would have with 10 or 11.

    maybe a little off-topic, if so apologies to the OP, but would you care to elaborate on that ?

    (for full disclosure i have a bike with DA 7900 and don't plan on upgrading any time soon, very happy with it !)

    With 9 speed you fit an old 9 speed MTB derailleur and you can use cassettes up to 36 T that cost 9-10 pounds each... with 10 speed you can only get to 30 or so and with 11 you can get to 32 T... that is because 9 speed road is cross compatible with MTB 9 speed, while 10 and 11 are not
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    The difference between 7900 and 6800 will be (a) brakes will be better and (b) 11 spd. How much those matter is down to you really, the brake improvement is noticeable but fairly marginal (there wasn't much wrong with 7900!). The 11spd depends how cadence sensitive you are, I like to stay in a narrow band so closer ratios across the same gearing is nice, YMMV
  • 0ced00ced0 Posts: 46
    0ced0 wrote:
    As a matter of fact, I found out I have far more gears option with Shimano 9 speed, than I would have with 10 or 11.

    maybe a little off-topic, if so apologies to the OP, but would you care to elaborate on that ?

    (for full disclosure i have a bike with DA 7900 and don't plan on upgrading any time soon, very happy with it !)

    With 9 speed you fit an old 9 speed MTB derailleur and you can use cassettes up to 36 T that cost 9-10 pounds each... with 10 speed you can only get to 30 or so and with 11 you can get to 32 T... that is because 9 speed road is cross compatible with MTB 9 speed, while 10 and 11 are not

    ok i get that but what on earth are you doing with a 36t ??? going up the zoncolan for breakfat every day ? :lol:
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,753
    0ced0 wrote:
    0ced0 wrote:
    As a matter of fact, I found out I have far more gears option with Shimano 9 speed, than I would have with 10 or 11.

    maybe a little off-topic, if so apologies to the OP, but would you care to elaborate on that ?

    (for full disclosure i have a bike with DA 7900 and don't plan on upgrading any time soon, very happy with it !)

    With 9 speed you fit an old 9 speed MTB derailleur and you can use cassettes up to 36 T that cost 9-10 pounds each... with 10 speed you can only get to 30 or so and with 11 you can get to 32 T... that is because 9 speed road is cross compatible with MTB 9 speed, while 10 and 11 are not

    ok i get that but what on earth are you doing with a 36t ??? going up the zoncolan for breakfat every day ? :lol:

    Hardknott, Wrynose, Honister, Bwlch y Groes, Rosedal Chimney, Asterton Bank, Bushcombe lane, Bealach na ba among others... it's actually quite useful.
    And even in the alps I made good use of it, going up sections at 12% or more that went on for a few Km

    But that is not the point. The point is that the good ole 9 speed gives you more gear options than the 11, so why upgrade? I've been in the loop long enough to have seen how people slated 6600 when the new 6700 came out and then slated 6700 when the new 6800 came out. Guess what? They will slate 6800 when the new 6900 will come out! Having owned bits and bops of 9-10 and 11 speed groupsets from both Shimano and Campagnolo, I can say there is no difference in the way they operate...
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    I'd say as an owner of 11 speed 6800/9000 hybrid gear system, the best thing about it are the brakes. never used 9 speed but I can see why a lot of people use them if you can bolt on a variety of cheap mechs to help with varied terrain.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,753
    philbar72 wrote:
    I'd say as an owner of 11 speed 6800/9000 hybrid gear system, the best thing about it are the brakes. never used 9 speed but I can see why a lot of people use them if you can bolt on a variety of cheap mechs to help with varied terrain.

    One can always upgrade the brakes only, if that's the good bit... any caliper brake will work with any road lever
  • REDUTOPIAREDUTOPIA Posts: 71
    according to me the upgrade is well beacuse you upgrade from 10 to 11s and You will a groupset "new" so you improve the shifting. You will not go faster but but you will improve the pleasure of cycling.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 734
    I suppose the question is what sort of terrain do you ride - is it always consistently flat or hilly?

    On my 6700 I keep an 11-28 cassette for use in the Peak district and use 11-25 in Essex also changing my inner chainring on my compact to a 38 tooth inner ring. The theory is with 11 speed ratios, you can have something like 52-36 and an 11-28 cassette and leave it on wherever you ride, as you'd always have an acceptable spread of gears. I can definitely see the appeal of that.

    However its not hard and considerably cheaper to dial in my bike to wherever I'm riding as I do today. As Ugo points out, the MTB and beginner ranges can give you more extreme ratios eg I know there is a 10 speed Tiagra 12-32 cassette that I would probably use if I did the Fred Whitton.

    Other than that, 10 to 11 speed may require a change of wheels, and your bike will gain a few hundred grams from the Dura Ace to Ultegra conversion (not a major issue but worth pointing out!)
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Upgrade DA to Ultegra :D
  • REDUTOPIAREDUTOPIA Posts: 71
    so that seems a contradiction but really is from Dura-Ace 7900 to Ultegra 6800.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    OP - If you really are after changing your DA for an Ultegra 11Sp I'll snap your hand off for the used DA if its going cheap!!!!
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    WOLF79 wrote:
    Hello,

    Right now I own a Dura-Ace 7900 (10 speeds) and I'm thinking about switching to the Ultegra 6800 (the Dura-Ace 9000 is way to expensive, maybe Ultegra with Dura-Ace levers...). Apart from the 11 speed... does it worth to spend the money?

    Thanks in advance.

    i ve 7900 and my daughter has 6800, i ve also hired 6800 bikes over the last 3 years and apart from a marginal improvement in FD shifting and the smaller hoods on 6800 there is zero difference, well, thats not strictly true, before i fitted 9000 cables, the RD shifting on 6800 was quite a bit better but now there is zero difference.
    I dont notice better braking either.

    If you fit a 12-28 Sram pg1070 cassette, you get the same gear range as well, albeit you lose the 11t but few need one of those?

    DA 9000 looks loads better, so save up :lol:
  • REDUTOPIAREDUTOPIA Posts: 71
    mamba80 wrote:
    WOLF79 wrote:
    Hello,

    Right now I own a Dura-Ace 7900 (10 speeds) and I'm thinking about switching to the Ultegra 6800 (the Dura-Ace 9000 is way to expensive, maybe Ultegra with Dura-Ace levers...). Apart from the 11 speed... does it worth to spend the money?

    Thanks in advance.

    i ve 7900 and my daughter has 6800, i ve also hired 6800 bikes over the last 3 years and apart from a marginal improvement in FD shifting and the smaller hoods on 6800 there is zero difference, well, thats not strictly true, before i fitted 9000 cables, the RD shifting on 6800 was quite a bit better but now there is zero difference.
    I dont notice better braking either.

    If you fit a 12-28 Sram pg1070 cassette, you get the same gear range as well, albeit you lose the 11t but few need one of those?

    DA 9000 looks loads better, so save up :lol:

    so do you think that 6800 not shift better?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,753
    REDUTOPIA wrote:

    so do you think that 6800 not shift better?

    A given length of metal cable pulls a spring loaded parallelogram to move of a given amont sideways... patented in 1950. We have seen 66 years of variations on the theme... how much better can it possible shift, given it is a metal cable, a spring and a parallelogram? You can make them in titanium, carbon composite, aluminum alloy or if you prefer perowskite, dolomite or aerogel if you like... what exactly are you expecting? If you want seemless shifting, you need a clutch mechanism, like cars have... otherwise they all do the same thing in the same way
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    REDUTOPIA wrote:

    so do you think that 6800 not shift better?

    A given length of metal cable pulls a spring loaded parallelogram to move of a given amont sideways... patented in 1950. We have seen 66 years of variations on the theme... how much better can it possible shift, given it is a metal cable, a spring and a parallelogram? You can make them in titanium, carbon composite, aluminum alloy or if you prefer perowskite, dolomite or aerogel if you like... what exactly are you expecting? If you want seemless shifting, you need a clutch mechanism, like cars have... otherwise they all do the same thing in the same way

    As i said the 6800 RD shift was better than the 7900 until i replaced with a polymer coated 9000 cable, whether any new cable would have improved it as much, i dont know or care, we are talking marginal differences here, so, my worn out 6600 set-up still changes pretty good too.

    i just think that swapping out a decent 7900 for 6800 is a waste of money, esp if it is for some tiny gain in shifting.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,753
    mamba80 wrote:
    REDUTOPIA wrote:

    so do you think that 6800 not shift better?

    A given length of metal cable pulls a spring loaded parallelogram to move of a given amont sideways... patented in 1950. We have seen 66 years of variations on the theme... how much better can it possible shift, given it is a metal cable, a spring and a parallelogram? You can make them in titanium, carbon composite, aluminum alloy or if you prefer perowskite, dolomite or aerogel if you like... what exactly are you expecting? If you want seemless shifting, you need a clutch mechanism, like cars have... otherwise they all do the same thing in the same way

    As i said the 6800 RD shift was better than the 7900 until i replaced with a polymer coated 9000 cable, whether any new cable would have improved it as much, i dont know or care, we are talking marginal differences here, so, my worn out 6600 set-up still changes pretty good too.

    i just think that swapping out a decent 7900 for 6800 is a waste of money, esp if it is for some tiny gain in shifting.

    You hit the nail on the head... the only difference between setup A, B, C or X is how much the outer cable compresses (increase smoothness, but decrease accuracy) and how much friction there is between inner and outer cable (decrease smoothness and responsiveness)... so basically get better cables and you get better shifting, whichever setup you've got
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Have never had Ultegra but 7900 to 9000 is a double upgrade IMO, especially if you go to direct mount 9000 brakes.
    An extra sprocket, is an extra sprocket, and there is no denying it makes things smoother.
    The difference between all the new 11 speed Shimano groupsets and their 10 speed predecessors is very noticeable IMO, so its win,win.

    The sprocket thing is still relevant from 7900 to 6800, and its probably at least just as good, but as others have said, its not something I would do as an upgrade, just enjoy it when it happens naturally on a new bike etc.

    If you had reason to have 7900, then you have reason for 9000.
    Just put off a pointless upgrade and save up a bit longer.

    I would rather have an old DA bike than an old bike with new Ultegra on it personally.
  • REDUTOPIAREDUTOPIA Posts: 71
    ok, in my opinion it is a improvement in shifting and a update from 10s to 11s.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    2 main benefits of 6800 over 7900 : better brakes and better front shifting.
    DA is more durable so this may be a factor depending on your mileage. 7900 components fetch good prices on ebay.......
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • alan_shermanalan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    11 speed and new tiagra 10 speed shifters pull more cable than previous groups. More cable pull means less tight tolerances and therefore greater ability of the system to cope with cable stretch or friction in the cable run.
    Not worth replacing a quite functional older group for though.
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 580
    philbar72 wrote:
    I'd say as an owner of 11 speed 6800/9000 hybrid gear system, the best thing about it are the brakes. never used 9 speed but I can see why a lot of people use them if you can bolt on a variety of cheap mechs to help with varied terrain.

    One can always upgrade the brakes only, if that's the good bit... any caliper brake will work with any road lever

    I thought this also but the 6700 calipers description they must be used with 6700 levers. I find this hard to believe as it is just a lever pulling a cable.
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