Shimano Ultegra 6500 Groupos

Ultegra 6500

The Shimano 6500 component Series.

User Reviews (82)

Showing 1-10 of 82  
otherself   Recreational Rider [Feb 05, 2010]
Strength:

• Slick, quiet, stiff, light, durable, looks good on a steel frame (the current crop of 10 speed looks oversized and doesn't compliment the slim lines of a steel frame in my opinion; I think it's one of the nicest looking groupsets ever).

• Still plenty of 9 speed components available; chains and cassettes can be had very cheaply.

* Some manufacturers (Microshift & Sunrace) still make 9 speed Shimano STI compatible units as of 2010, so it's not the end of the world. I'm quite pleased with my Microshift SB-R109 units; they are probably 105-level quality, but do just fine.

Weakness:

Uninstalling octalink cranks and BB gives me the willies from past experiences of stripping threads on an MTB Deore LX crankset circa 2003. You have to be very careful not to over tighten the crank bolts, and be sure to use a high quality crank puller tool.

Replacement Ultegra 9 speed jockey wheels becoming obsolete or hard to find, the same for 9 speed road chainrings as they are now being slowly phased out by 10/11 speed systems, though I think 9 speed chains on 10 speed rings work fine... or so I'm told.

I can only comment on the Ultegra 6500 crankset, bb, front and rear mechs, which I've had for about 4 years (the crankset a few months - I got it very cheaply NOS).

Firstly, I notice a slight difference in stiffness over my Shimano 600 (6400) cranks and BBUN72 square taper BB. There's also a weight saving of 40g or so for 6500 crankset & octalink BB combined. There is less lateral pull on the rear mechs jockey wheels over the lower Tiagra 9 speed rear mech I had been using. The 9 speed Ultegra cassettes are awesome - can be had cheaply too. I even bought another for my mountain bike. The front mech is light and has an effortless feel to it. Well, I just don't see the point of moving up to 10 speeds quite just yet, I'd rather save me money. The latest Ultegra 6700 (2010) groupset is one ugly MF in my opinion! If i do upgrade, well, it'll be Campy Centaur for me. O.K the Hollowtech 2 technology is a lot easier to install and uninstall compared to Octalink, but I'm not so sure on the stiffness advantage - I can't really tell much difference, its rather minimal. I weight 75kg if it means anything. Maybe on my MTB bike it's more noticeable over uneven terrain when frame flex is tested. In any event, the current Dura Ace track groupset (2010) still utilizes the Octalink BB design, so It can't be that bad or outdated can it?

Similar Products Used: Road: Shimano 600 6400 cranks (1992) w/BBN72 square taper BB. Shimano Tiagra 9 speed (2004) w/Hollowtech 2 compact cranks (2007). MTB: Deore LX Octalink (2003), Deore LX Hollowtech 2 (2006)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Michael   Road Racer [Oct 25, 2009]
Strength:

The precise shifting and controlled braking are the best features of this grouppy.

Weakness:

The chain wears quickly and the 12/25 wasn't a climbing rig but the bang for the buck is AWESOME.

I have ridden 2500 km's on my 10 speed TCR A1 and have found the ultegra never misses a beat. The shifting is precise and the brakes are easily controlled on the descents. I had to change the rear cassette from 12/25 to 12/27 but that was for ease on climbs.

Similar Products Used: 105 9 speed rubbish.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Zachariah   Recreational Rider [Aug 26, 2009]
Strength:

Weight, finish, price, precision and reliability. Considered "Dura Ace 2.0"

Weakness:

No longer produced(since 2007). Replacement shifter hoods and caps are harder and harder to come by.

This is the review for the original Shimano Ultegra 6500 9-speed STI groupset...as this review is intended. However, instead of getting the Ultegra 39/53 FC-6500 Octalink BB crankset- I opted for the more "modern" Hollowtech II type FC-R700 34/50 compact cranks...which is still considered an Ultegra level part. And, all I can say is WOW!!!

Each turn of the cranks is met with a massive surge of forward motion. No pedal stroke is wasted with these stiff cranks. Combined with the new, wider Ultegra PD-6620G SPD-SL pedals, you get instant and linear power transfer, unlike many other clipless pedals that have way too much power-robbing float.

The shifters are simply precise, distinct and never skips. The brakes stop as well as their Dura Ace counterpart...all without the high price. Both front(braze-on) and rear(short cage) derailleurs engage their cogs/chainrings even well BEFORE your finger leaves the shifter paddles!!!

With the comparable Dura Ace 7700 9-speed group...all you are getting is an average weight reduction differential of between 40-80 grams, per component. Paying many hundreds MORE for this is simply not worth it. Ultegra 6500 is just as durable, reliable, even race-able and a much BETTER VALUE for any rider who is not paid to ride.

In conclusion, if you feel no need for the added weight of 10-speeds, then the Shimano Ultegra 6500 9-speed gruppo is more than good enough to justify riding for many miles to come.

Similar Products Used: Shimano Sora/Tiagra/105
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Poppadaddio   Road Racer [Dec 17, 2007]
Strength:

Strengths:
Works flawlessly.
Interchangeability: I switched out my crank and bottom bracket for a DA 180mm (the 180 doesn’t come in Ultegra). Cassettes, chains, brake pads, etc. are all interchangeable with DA and the newer 105.

Weakness:

I’m trying to think of one …
OK how about this: some times the rear doesn’t downshift (to the larger sprocket) instantly when you are in the middle of the cassette, and it takes two clicks on the shifter instead of one. Maybe I could try to adjust it, or lube the cable or something. Naaah, couldn’t be my fault.

I can’t imagine why I would need to upgrade to Dura-Ace.
The bike is now 2 years old with about 8,000 miles on it. I had the cables replaced after about 3k and intend to have that done again this winter.
I run a 12-27 cassette for street/road/training and the 11-23 and the Shimano WH-550 wheels that came with the bike for races.
The heart of the system is the shifters and they work nicely. I suppose the derailers are heavier than DA. Brakes work fine. Replace the pads when they get noisy. Grit picked up when it’s wet makes the brakes wear fast.
I’ve probably changed the chain a lot more than I ever needed to, generally at a bout 2,000 miles. The Park Chain gage said so, not because I noticed any problems. Better than breaking a chain out in the middle of nowhere. I can’t understand how people have problems with Shimano chains. I don’t try to take them off and clean them, just wash, wipe, and re-oil from time to time.
If you carefully follow the Shimano instructions you can adjust the rear derailer to be nearly silent, and I like that.
I’m a total Shimano fan. About the only thing I don’t like are the nipples being on the wrong ends of the spokes on the wheels. I chose an Ultegra rear hub for my custom, heavy-duty road training wheel.

Similar Products Used: Shimano Sora Group
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kristian   Road Racer [Mar 30, 2007]
Strength:

Just look at the summary. You'll see.

Weakness:

Almost a pound heavier than the Campi Record, but I dont fell the weight difference. Besides, so what?? I'm a 115 pound rider! Im already light! I dont need to spend big $$ to give my bike a diet! Ain't I already about 20-70 pounds lighter than many cyclists?

This review is for the Ultegra 6600 (10-speed). So far its awesome! Shifts real quick when upshifting, even quicker in downshifting! Click, blink, and bam! You're in the next gear! Almost 100% power goes to the rear wheel, since the crankset is one of the stiffest cranksets in the world today, even compared to carbon ones! Brake power is so good, I was going 40+kph, and pressing on the brakes with force (not too much or the wheels will lock) and in less than 3 second, I'm going 0 kph. The Ultegra simply can't be matched!

Similar Products Used: Dura-ace 7800 series, 105 5600 series
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ivan   Commuter [Feb 14, 2007]
Strength:

value, bang for the buck

Weakness:

chain is a wuss

Ultegra ive riddin the 600 6,7,8, speed gruppos i now ride a 10 ultegra the difference is in braking, shifting is more quiet on the older models the speed in shifting i dont notice a difference but in down shifting of course the 10 is quicker. and the sti levers are a nicer design though i agree with the fact you need a shorter stem the levers are a lil long. its a good quality group but the chain needs to be always clean and after 500 - 700 miles you got to change it out they get loose, a good preventive measure is to never dry lube it. for the money ultegra is great.

Similar Products Used: suntour sprint,shimano sante, 600ex ultegra 600 7 and 8 speed and 105 7 and 8 speed.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tifighter   Recreational Rider [Sep 16, 2006]
Strength:

Blink your eye and your front just shifted
Excellent braking performance
BB adds stiffness to any frame
10 speeds tightens up gear ratios

Weakness:

On my group, the big ring recall
Reduced chain life, tricky to install
BB seems to be prone to ticking

This is a review of the new Ultegra 10 speed group. I had my Litespeed built with the group when it first hit the market. There is a marked difference in performance when comparing it to the previous 9 speed Ultegra group. The front shifts like lightening. The brakes are more powerful and have better modulation. While the external BB stiffens the bottom bracket area, it is prone to annoying ticking sounds. Ti frames have the reputation of ticking in the BB if you don't prep them properly. I own 3, 2 with the new group, 1 with 9 speed. Only the 9 speed doesn't tick. I suppose the extra cog on the rear is useful. My real riding began when 6 speed freewheels were the stuff. Once I got up to 8 then 9 speeds I was satisfied, so the 10 doesn't do much for me. It does tighten up the gear ratios nicely. The real problem in the system is the ultra narrow 10 spd chain. Once you hit 500 miles, even with good maintenance, they stretch and get sloppy. With all the ultra endurance riding I do, I find myself replacing chains quite frequently. If you replace your own chains like I do, remember to be careful - they are trickier than 9's. Another drawback which Shimano resolved was faulty big chain rings. I snapped a tooth after 200 miles on mine. The shop told me they were recalled. I just built my new bike with Ultegra 10, and this hasn't happened. The easily worn chain situation hasn't changed. Overall, the group is much better than the 9 speed. You may as well make the change with the purchase of your next machine. I'm finding that it is more difficult to get replacement parts for the 9 as the sales of those parts are slowly being phased out.

Similar Products Used: Have always used Shimano, 6 speeds all the way up to 10
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
edward   Road Racer [Aug 01, 2006]
Strength:

Best group for the price. The new 105 may give the Ultegra a run for the money.

Weakness:

The hoods a little longer than I would like. I actually had to shorten my stem to make the shifters comfortable, although they feel great in the drops.

I just had a custom steel bike built, and wanted to upgrade to a full Ultegra group. My last bike (Trek 1500) was a mix of Ultegra 6500, 105, and no name brakes. For a first bike the 105 was good and I was expecting quite a bit of difference with the new 6600 Ultegra.

I noticed a huge difference in two areas; shifting and braking.

The indexing on the Ultegra 10 speed is a bit different on my front derailleur (I have a triple), from the 105. It took about 3 rides to get used to it.

The braking power is about 200% better than my old set up. I don’t know if it was because of the old brakes (no name, stock) or the shifters, but I have no problems stopping.

I rode a friends Dura-Ace group and couldn’t notice any significant functional difference. Dura Ace does look very cool.

When building up my bike, I had the opportunity to try out several Campy groups. I actually really like how they shifted and if it weren’t for the thumb lever, I probably would have gone with the Campy. I guess I am just used to the Shimano (for now).

Overall I am very happy with this set up.

Similar Products Used: 105, Test rode Dura Ace and Campy.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
melville9683   Road Racer [Jun 17, 2006]
Strength:

Everything except levers.
Durability of chains, cassettes and chain rings

Weakness:

STI levers, specifically right hand side.
durability of chains if u have a problem with changing chains at every 3,350 km.

This if a review for the new ten speed ultegra. Ive put 22,000km into the groupset so I've got a fair idea of how it goes. The shifting and braking are extremely good. The shifting is very easy to adjust, even whilst riding by using the cable twisty thing, and it results in very sharp and reliable performance. The crankset and bottom bracket are extremely stiff and are very durable. The front mech is still working as if it was new, however the rear is probably a bit more sloppy. Chain replacements are needed around every 3,350 km. This is alot less than the old nine speed, however if the chains are replaced when they are needed to then the chainrings and cassette will last along time. I am yet to replace my chain rings and my current cassette has done 17,000km. The weakest link of the groupset are teh STI levers. My brother, who has put the his ultegra ten speed through 25'000km is on his 4th right hand lever. Each has been replaced by shimano so I guess its not to bad. But it is annoying when they always have to get replaced. Im on my 2nd lever. They are not very durable. When they fail the shifting just doesnot work and from what ive been told, some parts inside are made out of a dodgy plastic so they are not very strong. Hopefully shimano will fix this up. However, the way to go is to get the groupset new from a local shop which has a good relationship with shimano and simply put the groupset through a lot of kilometers during the two year warranty so that it will get replaced if it break down. I would not ride the levers without a warrantee. Everything else is fine to get for cheap over ebay, but the levers are abit to risky. One more thing, replacement chains, cassettes and chain rings for ultegra are considerably cheaper than DA, centaur and chorus so if your budget aint huge, then it is a very handy groupset.

Similar Products Used: nine speed DA
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
acid_rider   Recreational Rider [Jun 08, 2006]
Strength:

It works, so far ~5000km and no problems

Weakness:

the hoods are a bit short for my hands else I would rate it 5 stars.

This is 12-25 39/53 10-speed Ultegra review.

Who needs Dura-Ace? Not me.

Similar Products Used: Sora (just works but not recommended), Dura-Ace-10 (better than Ultegra-10 but otherwise largely a waste of money for 95% of road riders).
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 82  

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