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The weather IS rough right now...I've done more posting this week than in a year!

I've had 105, ultegra, dura ace and some cheap stuff (tiagra, sora). 105 is as low as I will go. It works well and you can race it at the lower levels. Ultegra seemed like a big jump in quality to me, especially the shifters and cranks. Dura Ace didn't seem all that different, way lighter, but performance wise it was like ultegra, the RD might be a little better.

My cross bike is mostly 105 and some FSA stuff. My road racer is mostly ultegra with a Dura Ace RD, and 105 cassette and brakes.
 

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I don't see any difference. My '07 F85 used to have Shimano 105 with Ultegra rear derailleur. Now it's full Ultegra drivetrain and to be honest, I don't feel any difference. It's just now I can say I have Ultegra. Nothing special. However, there is a big difference between Ultegra in Dura Ace- even if most people will tell you otherwise. Performance wise, they are the similar. However, Dura Ace will win in longevity. Dura Ace is for the long haul and honestly it is worth the extra money if you plan to keep your bike for 15+ years. Ultegra is basically a lighterweight, better polished 105- like it has been since it was called Shimano 600.
 

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My cross bike has a105 rear and I can't tell the difference in performance between it and my Ultegra road bike. Granted, I ride my road bike quite a bit more so wear and tear may have something to do with it.

Dura Ace is lighter, but think it's a waste given how much more $$ it costs. I will go with DA if I'm getting a deal, but I'm fine with Ultegra.
 

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road bike resurrector
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105 to Dura-Ace are pretty much the same, the higher you go the more you pay for less weight. Obviously you can't get 105 10-speed shifters (I may be wrong on that, correct me if I am)

My Ciocc has a mix of 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace. I have Ultegra STI shifters, which are awesome by the way, Dura-Ace 7701 chain and 7700 9-speed cassette, old-school 105 rear derailleur (it works until I get DA front and rear) and I'm happy with the setup. It's rock solid and I can beat the tar out of it and know it can take it. I used ot have an HG70 9-speed rear cassette and I can feel the difference in how the bike rides between the HG70 and Dura-Ace. The DA is lighter and shifts are a little quicker.

I will mention I have a Sora crank that isn't too bad, like the 105 it works it's just a brick. It flexes a little bit on wide-open sprints, I can feel it losing power through my legs. Once you upgrade past the 105 you're just paying more money for lighter components, quality is the same (excellent btw) just more $$$$ = less weight
 

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haole from the mainland
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j-dogg said:
105 to Dura-Ace are pretty much the same, the higher you go the more you pay for less weight. Obviously you can't get 105 10-speed shifters (I may be wrong on that, correct me if I am)
105 has been 10 speed for several years.
 

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What bits are you considering? Some of the prices on that auction site, the margin between 105 and Ultegra isn't that big so upping a few % to get Ultegra isn't wallet breaking. Both 105 and Ultegra sell well on the secondary market-that auction site. Either will be good.
 

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Jenson had an Ultegra triple Hollowtech II on special for $160. New stock. I grabbed it. Moral to the story: Shop around and look. There are real bargains out there sometimes.
 

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From 105-Ultegra-DA you gain lightness and some longevity (except for the Ti cogs on the DA cassette which wear faster than steel on 105/Ult). In shifters & derailleurs you get more bearings (vs bushings) as you move up the line. I own all 3 & IMHO I can tell no difference between them when near new (& properly adjusted). Ride 10k typical mi & the DA will likely be beggin' for more, Ultegra will have loosened a bit, and the 105 will be showin' its age (though most ave riders will never wear it out completely).

On a new bike a 105 grouppo is fine for all but top racing (weight). The $$ to jump to Ultegra may or may not be worth it depending on the make. OTOH- Ultegra parts (shifters, derailleurs, etc.) generally are best value (only slighty more $ than 105).
As Kuma601 said: Either will be good.
 

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Kuma601 said:
What bits are you considering? Some of the prices on that auction site, the margin between 105 and Ultegra isn't that big so upping a few % to get Ultegra isn't wallet breaking. Both 105 and Ultegra sell well on the secondary market-that auction site. Either will be good.
What auction site?
 

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terbennett said:
I don't feel any difference. It's just now I can say I have Ultegra.
~3 years ago when I was shopping for my first "real" roadbike in 30 years I asked my LBS guy what the difference between Ultegra and 105 was.

He said "Ultegra is well respected in the cycling community; 105 is respected in the cycling community."
 

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zigurate said:
What auction site?
eBay
These are what I've picked-up:
Brake caliper set $67 new with shipping.
RD $40 new and one lightly used with a few scratches $25.
FD $22 new with shipping
6500 crankset $50 new and took the rings off.
DA octalink BB new $45 (Which I didn't need but bought because of the 6500 crankset.)

Ultegra 6603 (triple) brifters are $150 from Nashbar

Some good deals if you are patient and keep an eye out. Getting into season prices begin to rise.
 

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Question for you guys....I have my first new road bike in over 20 years and it came with Shimano Tiagra shifters, front/rear derailleurs and cassette. I didn't have the option to upgrade to Ultrega, but have found a great deal on an upgrade to 105 shifters and RD. My question, am I going to have to replace my FD, Chain and cassette to 105 as well? Can I mix the Ultegra bits and pieces with the 105 and Tiagra if I can't afford to do it all at once? I'd like to at least get the sifters and RD since it feels they feel sticky and not as responsive as I'd like...Any ideas guys.
 

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magumbo32 said:
Question for you guys....I have my first new road bike in over 20 years and it came with Shimano Tiagra shifters, front/rear derailleurs and cassette. I didn't have the option to upgrade to Ultrega, but have found a great deal on an upgrade to 105 shifters and RD. My question, am I going to have to replace my FD, Chain and cassette to 105 as well? Can I mix the Ultegra bits and pieces with the 105 and Tiagra if I can't afford to do it all at once? I'd like to at least get the sifters and RD since it feels they feel sticky and not as responsive as I'd like...Any ideas guys.
I don't think it'll be a problem. I had a 9 speed Ultegra gruppo with Tiagra shifters. Worked just fine.
 

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that ain't chamois cream
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One way to get a good deal on shifters is to get a triple front set even if you have double. It will work perfectly with double if you set it up right (do a search, you'll see what I mean).
 

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magumbo32 said:
Question for you guys....I have my first new road bike in over 20 years and it came with Shimano Tiagra shifters, front/rear derailleurs and cassette. I didn't have the option to upgrade to Ultrega, but have found a great deal on an upgrade to 105 shifters and RD. My question, am I going to have to replace my FD, Chain and cassette to 105 as well? Can I mix the Ultegra bits and pieces with the 105 and Tiagra if I can't afford to do it all at once? I'd like to at least get the sifters and RD since it feels they feel sticky and not as responsive as I'd like...Any ideas guys.
not really, your bike should be 8 speed with sora/tiagra mix. 105, unless you have found an old set, will be 9 speed or 10 speed. they will not work together. if you go to the 9 speed stuff you will then need the cassette and chain. as the 9 speed chain is narrower. and that also means the f derailure will need to get swapped too.once you get past the 9 speed stuff and go 10 speed you will also need to swap the crankset and f derailure again because the chain is even narrower.
 

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It's a Triple with Sora/Tiarga mix.

Thanks for the heads up. I have a Triple set up now with a 9-speed cassette in the back. At this point I haven't upgraded the system yet. But am looking at Ultegra brakes and shifters that are for a triple and 9/10 speed compat. I have taken a look at the chain and it's a Shimano HG, I am sure that it's for the Sora/Tiarga mix.

So I am going to have to get a new RD and cassette as well as new FD and chain to make this all smooth and work well? Can I at least mix 105 and Ulterga? I was thinking of going to a 105 cassette and RD, then do a Ulterga FD. Would this work? Just want to make sure my bits and pieces all play nice and are responsive.

I stepped up to the new road bike, after riding a commuter/straight bar with a SRAM set up for several years. but I haven't wrenched much in several years...just basic mantainence and small upgrades....
 

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FYI - DA 7800 rear derailleur on sale at Performance bike for $100, Ultegra RD is 89.00.
 
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