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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building an Airborne Manhattan Project and I am trying to decide between Ultegra and Centaur. I haven't ridden either much and have no preference between the two. My main concern in between quality and durability. I don't want a noisy drivetrain and I want the shifting quality to be like a fine swiss watch. I also don't want to have to replace it in 3 years or to have to constantly make adjustments. If my budget wasn't a concern I would build either Dura Ace or Chorus. The wheelset I am using is Bontrager Race lites.

- Roy.
 

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Mad Clown said:
I am building an Airborne Manhattan Project and I am trying to decide between Ultegra and Centaur. I haven't ridden either much and have no preference between the two. My main concern in between quality and durability. I don't want a noisy drivetrain and I want the shifting quality to be like a fine swiss watch. I also don't want to have to replace it in 3 years or to have to constantly make adjustments. If my budget wasn't a concern I would build either Dura Ace or Chorus. The wheelset I am using is Bontrager Race lites.

- Roy.
My advice is to look at the shifters/brake levers. They operate a little differently and their porportions are a little different. Pick the ones that you think you'll like better and get the rest of the stuff to match. I'm not sure about the Campy cassette/Bontrager Racelite interface, so I'd be for checking that out before you make a decision. Campy/Shimano feuders aside, there are plenty of people riding both who are perfectly well satisfied.
 

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Centaur

I've ridden with both. As far as noise, your choice is the rattle of Ultegra shifters or the relatively loud clicking in the rear Centaur hub as you coast. Quality and durability or about the same, with a slight advantage to the Centaur. Centaur has more of a Swiss watch feel to it. It just feels more precise. Because of that, Centaur may require more frequent adjustments. I think the extra give (slop) of Ultegra allows it to require less adjustments. As for longevity, I'd go with Centaur. More metal and less plastic. Ultegra-9 will likely follow Dura-Ace-10 in a year or two. Shimano has a way of making old systems obsolete. Campy tends to make things more compatible from model to model.
 

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Me too!... somewhat

I am going to be building a Zep with Chorus soon! I ride Ultegra and also campy mirage mixed with some Shimano stuff. What I can tell you is that if you want Swiss watch.. definitely go with Campy like the other guy said. If you want Casio, then go with Shimano. No offence as I think Casios are great watches too. The feel of Campy is more precise but in terms of performance I would still rate Ultegra over Centaur. I think Ultegras are closer to Chorus, but a little lower.

Ultegra I think is a little lighter than Centaur, I personally would just bite the bullet and go with Chorus, the difference in weight, reliability and durability is too great I think. However, seeing that you are on a budget, I recommend that you either just change the shifters and rear D for Chorus (if you are ordering from Airborne as a complete bike). That way your bike will feel like a Chorus run machine without adding too much. Then make it up somewhere else like perhaps a cheaper stem+bar combo. However, if you are more concerned with weight, then go with Ultegra instead of Centaur.

Or you could always go with a Zep instead of MP because they are essentially the same except for the carbon stays which I think are market hype anyways.

I would recommend another pair of wheels but then you probably have them from another bike or have a good deal or really really like them.

regards,
Sean
 

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Can't comment on Ultegra but Centaur is great kit. I've got two 10 speed groupsets on the go at the moment, one on my 631 steel frame (which I used on Land's End to John O'Groats - 875 miles in eight-and-a-half days) and one on my Trek 1200. I stripped the Tiagra stuff off the Trek and sold it on, not very cost effective but when your heart tells you to do it then go for it.

With Centaur I always upgrade to Chorus BB and chainset as I'm used to the narrower Q factor. I've also got hand-built wheels using Centaur hubs and also Mavic Cosmos and Ksyrium Elite wheels and can't notice any difference to be honest, except that the Elites have that Mach 2 look even when parked up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone

I want to thank everyone for their comments on Centaur vrs Ultegra. I have deciced to bite the bullet and get the Chorus group.

Thanks everyone,

Roy.
 
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