Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots of threads and opinions on Ultegra SL vs. Dura-ace and the new Madonne's. I'm down to buying the 5.2 or 5.5 and the difference in price is basically $600.

Anyone out there that went with Ultegra SL and wishes they had spent the extra cash?

Seem like all comments I've read minimize the value and suggest to go with Ultegra SL and spend more cash on wheels if you've got it.

I'm really on the fence guys so any comments w/b great. Aside from this issue, can't wait to get the bike
 

· Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PJ - thanks for the note.

Did you go with the stock wheels? I was kinda thinking about swapping those out, but seems unless I went with a carbon clincher, doesn't look like there's any better option for the money.

Do you have an opinion on the stock saddle...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I was in the same position as you looking at the Madone 5.2 and 5.5. For me the price difference was not the deciding factor. I like the 5.2 because the new Ultegra SL really closes the gap between DA and Ultegra, but I also thought about how cool it would be to have a DA bike. I ended up going with the 5.2 because DA 7900 is coming out and even though the DA 7800 is still a nice grupo I know it will be "outdated" next year and no longer be the top of the line. I agree that Ultegra vs. Dura Ace would be a tougher decision but the new Ultegra SL is only about 200g which could easily be achieved through a nicer wheel set. The race lites are good, especially with the DT swiss hubs but $600 would be better spent towards some new Fulcrum or Mavic wheels.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
I'd definitely spend the $$ on wheels instead--or look at the SRAM Force model instead. At least with Force you get lighter weight and features more similar to 2009 Dura Ace.

In either case, the wheels are a better way to spend the $600--and hopefully they'll give you another $300-400 credit for the Lites on the 5.2.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Ultegra SL

I've been really happy with the Ultegra SL, the brakes in particular. Bear in mind that I've never ridden a bike with DA but I do agree with others that, in this case, you're just as well to save some money for something else like wheels. I think the 5.5 also comes stock with a Bonty crank and not the DA - I'm not sure what the cost difference would be to exchange.

I've been reasonably pleased with the stock wheels. I have had to tighten the rear hub a couple of times, however. It's only about a five minute job, but it's a little annoying to develop play like that for someone who is as gentle on equipment and as much of a lightweight as I am. I am seriously considering having some custom wheels built, but I'll definitely keep the RL's as spares/training wheels.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
If money weren't a concern, I would say go with the DA, it is just better than either Ultegra or Ultegra SL. The 7800 brakes alone are the best on the road. Is it $600 better? Only you can answer that, but I would tend to say, probably not. I will tell you that DA is more durable than the other Shimano offerings, and is like the Trek Madone (OCLV) line, in that it's manufacturing process is different from the rest of the stuff the company makes. Also the finish of DA is jewel like and does not get beat up like Ultegra and less.

That being said, unless you are pushing the envelope, or don't plan on keeping the group more than a few years, go with the Ultegra SL. The Ultegra stuff is top of the line and performance wise, other than the brakes, you will not notice a difference. I am not saying the Ultegra brakes are not good, they are indeed fantastic, and suitable for high performance riding, I am just saying that the DA brakes have that shade more intangible especially under severe conditions...I have ridden both extensively.

As far as wheels go: why the heck would you want an all carbon clincher? Expensive and toast after your first pothole or railroad crossing. If you are looking for a deep cross section wheel, there are plenty of sub 1800gram aluminum clinchers with carbon "fairings" that are bomb proof.

HTH
zac
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I went with the DA on the 5.5 for a few reasons, first I've always wanted a DA bike, second I like the paint scheme more on the 5.5, lastly the difference was less than $600 - more like $300 or so.

Are you basing the $600 difference on the msrp listed on Trek's website, or were you quoted that difference at your LBS? My 5.5 with Keo Carbon pedals was about $400 less than msrp.

Either way you go, you can't lose. Both bikes are awesome.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
zac said:
why the heck would you want an all carbon clincher? Expensive and toast after your first pothole or railroad crossing.
Not so with regard to OCLV carbon clinchers. Those rims are stronger than any of the aluminum rims in their road line.

Any impact that would damage the OCLV carbon would also damage virtually any aluminum rim on the market.

I've taken a ballpeen hammer to samples. It easily crushed aluminum, and it bounced right off of OCLV. I even felt the inside, looking for delamination or damage that's not immediately apparent, and found no evidence whatsoever.

You just can't generalize carbon, zac. Carbon components can look identical from the outside and perform (and fail) in completely different ways.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,346 Posts
WhiskeyNovember said:
Not so with regard to OCLV carbon clinchers. Those rims are stronger than any of the aluminum rims in their road line.

Any impact that would damage the OCLV carbon would also damage virtually any aluminum rim on the market.

I've taken a ballpeen hammer to samples. It easily crushed aluminum, and it bounced right off of OCLV. I even felt the inside, looking for delamination or damage that's not immediately apparent, and found no evidence whatsoever.

You just can't generalize carbon, zac. Carbon components can look identical from the outside and perform (and fail) in completely different ways.

That's good to know WN, but I am referring to the "lower end" Carbons that many recreational riders seek out cause they can't stomach the high price tags of a "real" set of carbon wheels. I would hardly throw a set of OCLV XXX lites in that catagory. Ney, a set of Lews or Reynolds or Mavic's either.

High end carbon wheels are still very expensive and high end carbon clinchers are really very expensive. I don't think the OP was referring to this kind of wheel, but maybe I am wrong. I don't know about you, but I generally don't like to use a high zoot wheel for an everyday application, especially when there are wheels just as strong for much less $$$.

Heck an XXX Lite in clincher is incredibly strong, but they are also north of $2k - and not really what the OP is talking about if he is in the 600-1000 range. Likewise the Aeolus. The only "cheap" one is an aluminum rim with carbon fairing (the 5.0 AC) The rest of them are well north of $2k.

I have seen and heard about too many a Carbon Clincher biting it over obstacles that a good aluminum rim will usually handle without fail.

I recently had the pleasure of watching a mechanic at my LBS take a shop hammer to the rear triangle of an OCLV 110 frame. I was impressed. I thought he was going to break an ankle when he started jumping up and down on it too. Barely even a scratch to the frame.

I am rambling; but we agree. OCLV is amazing stuff, I think people get the impression that it is fragile, but for the applications that it is used in by Trek. Hell my next set of wheels will probably be a set of the Aeolus 5.0s. But I think I would get them in tubies.

zac
 

· You got any chocolate?
Joined
·
94 Posts
Zac,

Thanks for sharing the mechanic story. It further builds my confidence in these frames. Once in a while I hit a pothole that I am sure just cracked my frame. But no damage to my bike whatsoever. Gotta love it!

To the OP,

If DA is important enough to you, then spring the extra bucks. If not, the Ultegra SL will serve you just fine. DA 7800 will probably be dropping in price significantly once DA 7900 hits the market.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I appreciate all the input.

It's really not so much about the cash as the value. With DA changing this year, my thought is to go Ultegra SL since its' soooo close in weight AND less expensive, then use whatever cash difference for wheels. Either way I'm targetting around $4000 total.

The 5.2 I ordered today (can't wait) was at $3,299, including swapping out for the longer seat cap and a longer stem. I know I'll like the Ultegra SL as I'm coming from a 5 + year old Shimano 105 gruppo on a Trek 2000.

So as for wheels, if I went with a carbon clincher, the LBS is suggesting Reynolds Attack or Assault - easily will absorb and go over the extra I would've paid for the 5.5 w/DA, and from what I've read, $'s in these wheels would vastly improve the ride over putting the $'s into the 5.5. True? Votes please.

Lastly, I asked my LBS about going from the Bontrager Race Lite to Bontrager Race X Lite and he thought that would not be a material difference - cost would be about $400 more and I'd only save 125 grams - a non-event.

Not having ridden the Reynolds, I don't have a basis for comparison so what I might do is ask them to let me test ride both the stock wheels and the Reynolds before finalizing.
 

· S-Works Tarmac SL3
Joined
·
827 Posts
I believe the Reynolds Attack and Assault are good wheels but, I believe the Race-XXX-Lite are even better wheels. Since your dealer is a Trek dealer, perhaps you can drive a bargain on a pair of Race-XXX's. My second choice would be the new Shimano 7850-24CL wheels that are just starting to ship. Heck, they might even be my first choice.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
May I make a suggestion? Take delivery of your new 5.2 - congrats and good luck - and ride it for 500, 1000 miles. Then see if you need to make any upgrades. Chances are you won't. You are going to love this bike as is. You would be hard pressed to find a better bike for the dollar.

Also, you never made it clear that you were coming out of an older Trek, aluminum if I'm correct, with 105s. Your new 5.2 will be so vastly superior that I highly doubt you will need to make any changes. As I like to say, ride it and enjoy it, don't worry about what you MIGHT need to upgrade. Its unbelievable, just enjoy it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
08Madone5.2 - as you can prob. tell, I've put LOTS of thought into this and am thinking at this point your advise is solid.

I did test ride a 5.1 for about 75 miles (3 rides) last weekend prior to placing my order for the 5.2, and think you are right on track. That bike was great! The 5.2 will be even better - this forum has been helpful to hash over ideas and get opinions and coming from someone who's got the bike already, helps. Thanks again

Time to ride....
 

· Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One more thing 08Madonne - did you keep the white bar tape? If so, how does it wear? I would think it might get dirty looking after a few hundred miles and sweat?

If not, actually I like the look.

I've got a Fizik Arione saddle that I was going to put on for mile #1, but the credit for the stock seat was so small that I'm going to take it for initial rides and see if I like it better. What seat are you riding? The stock one?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
I did keep the white bar tape. After 1000 miles since Jan, the tape is starting to get a little dirty, but for some reason, it looks better - its taking on a hue somewhat darker than the white but lighter than the frame so it looks pretty cool. The tape itself is holding up well so I'm leaving it for now.

As for the seat, mine is the stock seat, and I like it a lot. I've had no problems with it whatsoever. Thats just me though - seats are a very subjective thing.

The greatest piece of advice I can impart to you is to make sure the seat cap bolts are torqued to factory specs. If you do that you should have no slippage at all. I set my seat level and took a permanent marker and marked the seat mast just below the clamp. If the line disappears, I know my cap slipped on the mast but I have yet to have this problem. Ask your dealer to put a little Loctite carbon on carbon stuff when he adjusts your seat. This also helps to prevent any slippage of the cap on the mast.

As I said before, the bike is awesome - the Swiss Army knife of bikes - does everything well.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I've also kept the white bar tape and it's definitely showing some discoloration after a thousand miles or so. I wouldn't mind it if I hadn't recently changed saddles (which of course is a very clean white, for now), but oh well. I thought the stock seat was okay but that there was probably something out there that would work significantly better for me.

I've actually pondered what it would look like to go with red tape and red striped tires along with a a little red on a white seat. I did a rough photo edit awhile back to get an idea of what it might look like and... well, I haven't made the change yet, but I'm still thinking about it (especially since I'm still evaluating my new saddle). :)

Also agreed with 08Madone5.2 on the seat bolt torque issue.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top