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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at two entry level road bikes - I want to leave the other details out just to focus on this component question. (rest assured that I'm assessing the other stuff: ride feel/personal fit, frame quality, etc)

Both are new bikes, one is a current 2008 model and the other is a 2005. The older bike has the full Ultegra drivetrain, the new bike has the 105 group. My understanding is the 105 group was significantly upgraded in the past year or two with the 10 speed set-up.

I'm uncertain how to consider this difference between the bikes. No significant difference? Big improvement to have the older Ultegra parts?

Thoughts? Thanks much - it's appreciated!
 

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Since you didn't mention whether the Ultegra bike is 10 speed (though I assume it is)


ultegra 10 speed > 105 10 speed always
ultegra 9 speed < 105 10 speed IMO

of course, you also have to factor in price
 

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Agree with SleeveleSS.

Ultegra10s>105 10s>>Ultegra 9s
The most recent crop of 10s Shimano gear is a BIG step up from previous generation. IMHO- the difference in function between current 105 & Ultegra is slight, although some Ultegra bits should last longer (e.g. bearings vs bushing on STI shifters). Ultegra stuff is higher bling (nicer finishes, better "name"), but 105 certainly gets the job done well too.

FWIW- I have Ult 10 & Ult 9 on 2 of my bikes, and the difference in shift quality is obvious (even with new chain & cassette on the Ult 9s).
 

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I've had Ultegra 9 and Ultegra 10 on my first two bikes. I've got a Campy Record bike I'm trying to sell now, but man is it nice. Campy is just so smooth comparatively in the shifting department. Sometimes I didn't think it was shifting when I first got it. Ultegra was a great value group when I purchased both bikes, but it is soon to be replaced by Rival as the value leader. '09 Rival is going to be VERY hard to beat in the value department, especially considering it's lighter than current Dura-Ace.
 

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Oh, I forgot to mention this. When 105 transistioned to 10 speed, it really moved up in the world. Now its almost as nice as Ultegra, just a bit heavier. Oldteen was right about the substantive differences between Ultegra 10 and 105 10.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, SleeveleSS and Oldteen. This is helpful.

You're right - the 2005 Ultegra is 10 speed as well. So it seems the older Ultegra parts are a factor slightly in favor of that bike. But with the recent upgrade to the 105 group, it's not a strong reason against the newer bike.

If anyone is curious, the older bike is a 2005 Felt F60 and the other is a 2008 Jamis Ventura Race. Because of the deal offered on the older bike, they actually cost essentially the same ($70 difference).

Specs on the Felt:
http://www.feltracing.com/05/2005_bikes/2005_f60.html

Specs on the Jamis:
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/08_bikes/08venturarace.html#

I know this is the components category - so I'm not asking for bike advice. Just thought if anyone read this and was curious, I should go ahead and share the bikes.

thanks again for the advice - I'll check again later to see if anyone else has thoughts.
 

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Only thought I have is the conventional frame vs. the compact. I totally dislike the compact frame design. Just a personal preference.
 

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Is the Ultegra (or 105) 10-speed rear derailer significantly better than the Ultegra 9-speed rear derailer, or is the difference all in chain/cassettes/shifters? I'm planning on upgrading my mostly-105 9-speed, but I'd intended to keep the Ultegra 9-speed rear derailer.
 
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