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Retail therapy - ultegra or dura ace, di2??

redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
edited January 2019 in Road buying advice
So, still not going to be riding for some time, and I'm still having some doubts whether I will actually get back on the bike, but in the meantime though I'm window shopping (So to speak, as I'm shopping online :lol: ) and have to admit it is helping and great fun...although seems to cause the occasional Homer Simpson mouth drool. :lol:

Anyway, I know this topic has been done before but thought I would seek some new perspective, especially as both groupset have been out for a while now.

My best bike is kitted out with a mixture of ultegra 6800 and shimano 9000 but I am thinking of upgrading bits, perhaps the whole groupset.
I want to stick with shimano and have toyed with the idea of just replacing 1 component at a time, but getting a whole groupset is so much cheaper.

I was set on ultegra r8000. Read nothing but positive reviews and it seems that you get pretty much dura ace performance at half the cost, for a weight penalty of 500g or so. Well I know that being unable to train for months I will have plenty of 500g to lose so thinking the weight difference between the two is not really that big a deal for me.

However, my left arm is throwing a spanner in the works as I have permanent nerve damage which, although relatively minor, is likely to cause some issues, particularly on longer bike rides. This morning a relative has suggested that I should think seriously about di2 rather than mechanical. Must admit this hadn't been in my thoughts but at this time does make sense.

Ultegra r8000 di2 is 1k-ish for a full groupset, BUT for similar money I can get a dura ace 9150 di2 gear kit. Assuming that the 9150 is compatible with the dura ace 9000 brakeset and chainset I currently have, i'm wondering if that is the way to go?

So I guess I'm asking for opinions between ultegra di2 and dura ace di2. Has anyone used both? Is there any performance difference or is it just weight?
Any negatives I should be aware of?

Oh and if anyone spots any amazing offers I would be really grateful if you could let me know :D

Thanks and (belated) merry Xmas.

Posts

  • really, the main difference is weight, and unless you are going be a pro ultegra would be the kit for you on a cost to value ratio
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    dura ace. no brainer.

    or etap.
    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.
  • johngtijohngti Posts: 2,327
    Watching this thread with interest. I get rotten pins and needles in my hands (had a bike fit, it’s not that) and have started thinking that di2 might be a good option to make gear changes easier as time goes on.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,129
    dura ace.

    I got some Ultegra a year or so ago. its good but not as good. (i last tried ultegra back in 9 speed days and the difference was much more marked. the STI on the ultegra went sloppy very quickly.) This seems a bit better but its stuck on an old frame as a winter bike / turbo bike.

    Its hard not to notice the price difference though. plus pleasure of ownership etc etc
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    Interesting comments. Dura ace di2 seems to be the most popular choice between the two.
    dura ace. no brainer.

    or etap.

    MF, have you used both the ultegra di2 and dura ace? Can you explain why it's a no brainer to go for dura ace?

    Thanks
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Ultegra. Performance difference is minimal. Save the cash and take the bike somewhere nice.
  • akhakh Posts: 186
    redvision wrote:

    Ultegra r8000 di2 is 1k-ish for a full groupset, BUT for similar money I can get a dura ace 9150 di2 gear kit. Assuming that the 9150 is compatible with the dura ace 9000 brakeset and chainset I currently have, i'm wondering if that is the way to go?

    Will work fine, shimano haven't changed the brake cable pull rations in ages. All 11 speed levers and brake are interchangeable from memory. If you want to be sure the Shimano website gives full compatibility charts in the dealer manuals. I'd link it but I'm on a phone and it takes ages. Same for the cranks. The newer 9100/8000/7000 cranks have apparently moved the inner ring inboard by some tiny amount (less than 1mm from memory), but I doubt that makes any difference. I'm currently running R8000 mechanical with an old 5800 crank (so I can keep using aftermarket oval rings that aren't R8000 compatible) and it's fine.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    dura ace.

    I got some Ultegra a year or so ago. its good but not as good. (i last tried ultegra back in 9 speed days and the difference was much more marked. the STI on the ultegra went sloppy very quickly.) This seems a bit better but its stuck on an old frame as a winter bike / turbo bike.

    Its hard not to notice the price difference though. plus pleasure of ownership etc etc

    ciao

    i have on 2 Cervelo S5s - the D/A hoods were nicer, the action crisper, the brakes nicer both in action, modulation and looks, overall better looking, lighter.

    and as you say, the cchet and pleasure of ownership.

    it they are the same or near as dammit the same price the d/a is a no brainer.
    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.
  • chippykchippyk Posts: 529
    I’ve used both and if I were buying, Ultegra every time unless you want to save a few grams.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    dura ace.

    ultegra is jo brand, dura ace is jo guest.
    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.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 228
    Not going to get involved in the Dura Ace / Ultegra tiff but as regards DI2 I fund it great when i was recovering from shoulder surgery and couldn't generate the force to operate a standard gear shift. It meant I could ride a good month before i otherwise would have been able to. It seems trivial but over the course of a ride changing gear mounts up if you are struggling physically.
  • If you can afford it,Dura-ace.
    If you can't Ultegra.
    That is why Shimano have given you two options, it is generally accepted that the differences are minimal, so it all comes down to what you can afford or justify.

    Merlin currently offering the Shift kit at £1099
    https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano-du ... 01034.html
  • If you can still afford to put food on the table afterwards, Dura Ace Di2 all day every day!

    :mrgreen:
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    If you can still afford to put food on the table afterwards, Dura Ace Di2 all day every day!

    :mrgreen:

    I must admit that I am tempted by dura ace but having read through countless articles over the last few days, all seem to suggest that there is absolutely no difference in performance and feel of ultegra di2 compared to dura ace di2. The only difference is weight.

    Not going to rush in to a decision but whilst it is clear from posts that dura ace is the preferred option for most, I'm not particularly concerned by weight savings so am leaning towards ultegra just for the value for money aspect.
  • you won't go wrong with either decision, i just think the weight savings are not worth the financial costs, unless you ride at high level and weight is everything, or you have the cash buring a hole in your pocket
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    The latest generation groupsets have a couple of advantages - the brakes are better and the re-designed rear mech wraps the chain better on the cassette making rear shifting better as well as reducing wear on chain/cassette. I also prefer the shape of the hoods. Not big things but I'd lean towards Ultegra R8xxx over DA 9xxx. Of course DA R91xx would be optimal if cost isn't an issue ;)
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • dura ace.

    ultegra is jo brand, dura ace is jo guest.

    So Dura Ace is cheap filth? You are definitely showing the age of your Razzle stash there!

    Anyway this is going way off topic.......
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    So it's been suggested to me that the cheapest way to buy di2 isn't a lone groupset or individual parts, it's to find a bike with the groupset on it, strip it and then sell off the remaining bits.

    Granted it's more of a faff but I have plenty of time on my hands at the mo :( plus it would be a nice distraction from feeling sorry for myself and eating constantly. :oops:

    So if anyone sees a di2 equipped bike at a bargain price please let me know!
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    Got Ultegra on one bike and Dura Ace on the other.

    Things I notice.

    1) Dura ace seems to be easier to adjust and run, if you set it up correctly, it'll run and run. Ultegra doesn't need constant adjustment, but its not quite as good.
    2) the hoods on dura ace are absolutely brilliant compared to Ultegra.
    3) front shifting is slightly better on Dura ace.
    4) the chainrings on dura ace don't last as long and are bloody expensive to replace.
    5) the front mech on 9100/8000 is fantastic. its so much better than 9000/6800.
    Dura ace looks awesome. Ultegra mirrors this now with the latest version. it does look good.

    if money were no object Dura ace every time. if I were building a winter training rig I'd go 105/Ultegra.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    The latest versions of Di2 operate exactly the same, the hoods look the same, feel the same etc etc. The only difference is weight and cost. Existing brake calipers and cranksets will work fine with Di2 so an Ultegra Di2 upgrade kit of shifters, derailleurs, battery, cables and junction boxes would work fine.

    I went to Di2 for a subclavian occlusion issue meaning my left hand goes numb very quickly with the restricted blood flow and makes front changes difficult. Di2 solved that problem and using synchro shifting made it even better. I could have gone for eTap as a life long SRAM user, but Di2 offers so much more in its operation capabilities.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,816
    philthy3 wrote:
    The latest versions of Di2 operate exactly the same, the hoods look the same, feel the same etc etc. The only difference is weight and cost. Existing brake calipers and cranksets will work fine with Di2 so an Ultegra Di2 upgrade kit of shifters, derailleurs, battery, cables and junction boxes would work fine.

    I went to Di2 for a subclavian occlusion issue meaning my left hand goes numb very quickly with the restricted blood flow and makes front changes difficult. Di2 solved that problem and using synchro shifting made it even better. I could have gone for eTap as a life long SRAM user, but Di2 offers so much more in its operation capabilities.

    Thanks for the comments.
    It's been made very clear to me that when (if) I do get back on the bike (going to be months) I will have trouble with changing gear using my left hand, and it's unlikely physio will be able to improve it given the nerve damage, hence why I'm looking at electronic gearing.

    However, I have realised the replacement training bike im getting isn't di2 compatible so I probably now have to consider etap, which seems a lot more expensive than ultegra and, being a shimano fan, I didn't really want to go with.
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