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Scott in Maryland
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi from Maryland.

Does anyone have experience with the ice grey anodized finish on the new Shimano Ultegra SL group? It looks a lot darker than the anodize on DA. Is it durable or does it wear down to bright aluminum quickly? I'm not too picky about cosmetics and understand normal wear and tear, but I had a question about this before I buy. Anybody have some normal mechanical time on an SL group who can comment? Thanks.
 

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I have 2000 miles on my 5.2 with the Ultegra SL. The only scratch I have is on my rear derailleur and thats from setting it into a trainer when I first got it. In the last week, I also got a scratch one of the cranks, I think my cleat did that while I was clicking in to the pedal.
It has not faded whatsoever, so I'd say it is a very durable finish. More importantly, the performance of the SL group is flawless!!!
 

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Scott in Maryland
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update - I went with the Ultegra SL compact crank, brakes and derailler upgrade on my Tarmac, and am pleased with the fit, function performance and aesthetics of the ice grey anodize finish. After about 500 miles, the durability of the finish is, as usual with Shimano, quite rugged and reliable. I have photos of the bike and the group on the Specialized forum.
 

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Throw a chain to the outside and admire the results on the crank arm. The finish is very susceptible to nicks and scratches. Much more so than Dura Ace. 500 miles really isn't near enough to make a claim about the ruggedness of a component's finish. 12,000 miles on my Dura Ace stuff and it still all looks brand new. The Ultegra (non-ice finish) components are severely pitted/oxidized. The Ultegra SL crank is the newest component on that bike, and the finish is pretty beat up at 1000 miles. I suspect in another 10,000 miles it will look pretty sad.
 

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Dr_John said:
Throw a chain to the outside and admire the results on the crank arm.
Adjust your FD correctly and that won't happen.

Dr_John said:
The finish is very susceptible to nicks and scratches. Much more so than Dura Ace. 500 miles really isn't near enough to make a claim about the ruggedness of a component's finish. 12,000 miles on my Dura Ace stuff and it still all looks brand new. The Ultegra (non-ice finish) components are severely pitted/oxidized. The Ultegra SL crank is the newest component on that bike, and the finish is pretty beat up at 1000 miles. I suspect in another 10,000 miles it will look pretty sad.
Any anodized finished can be scratched and when it does, you will see the Al underneath. It will be more obvious with a darker colored finish.

Why is you crank beat up?
I'm not sure how you go about beating up a crank, but the only parts that show wear on my bikes are the pedals and chainrings. But then I don't lean it on things, drop it or throw in in the back of trucks or whatever. It is always well respected.
 

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Dr_John said:
Throw a chain to the outside and admire the results on the crank arm. The finish is very susceptible to nicks and scratches. Much more so than Dura Ace. 500 miles really isn't near enough to make a claim about the ruggedness of a component's finish. 12,000 miles on my Dura Ace stuff and it still all looks brand new. The Ultegra (non-ice finish) components are severely pitted/oxidized. The Ultegra SL crank is the newest component on that bike, and the finish is pretty beat up at 1000 miles. I suspect in another 10,000 miles it will look pretty sad.
Thank god you have the Dura Ace so you don't notice all the scratches after throwing your chain for 12,000 miles! You might avoid that problem if your derailleur was adjusted properly. I have yet in 10+ years of riding thrown a chain over the large ring.
 

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Adjust your FD correctly and that won't happen.
You might avoid that problem if your derailleur was adjusted properly.
Yeah, got it. Adjust the front derailleur. Thanks.

I have yet in 10+ years of riding thrown a chain over the large ring.
Congratulations. It's happened to me exactly one time in 20,000+ miles and was a real surprise. I clearly should have included a :) after my statement.

Thank god you have the Dura Ace so you don't notice all the scratches after throwing your chain for 12,000 miles!
Read the whole post smart-ass. Here, let me help:
12,000 miles on my Dura Ace stuff and it still all looks brand new. The Ultegra (non-ice finish) components are severely pitted/oxidized.
Sorry this wasn't clear enough for you. The OP asked about the durability of the Ultegra SL finish. My experience in general with Ultegra stuff is that the finish is significantly less durable than Dura Ace stuff that sees the same roads. And as Android points out, the results will be more obvious with the darker finish.

Why is you crank beat up?
No idea. Lots of obvious nicks. I guess I ride a lot of miles on some pretty rough/dirty/sandy roads and crap from the front tire/other riders flies up and hits them. My rear brake caliper is essentially sand-blasted (can't imagine what Ultegra SL would look like), and what's bizarre is the striping on the underside of my stem has also been worn away too.
 
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