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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 Giant TCR Comp Team frame (it is great!). My components are not a match for the frame - basically I have Shimano Ultegra (with a Dura-Ace rear derailleur). I've upgraded a few things and am now considering moving up to full Dura-Ace components. Cost would be hefty in the $1,000+ range ... Any perspective on what improvements I would notice? How about weight benefits. Thanks.
 

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This topic has been discussed greatly in the past, you will not notice any great improvement in shifting, but will see a very small weight reduction(not worth mentioning)
My advice would be run your current set-up until it is absolutely necessary to replace a worn out item, and then upgrade that item to dura ace if need be.
good luck,
PHX
 

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if youre passionate about weight loss go DA.

One option to mitigate the damage to your wallet is to buy parts here and there over a year or two. A side benefit of this method is it allows you to "feel" the upgrade of that single component rather than doing it all at once.

jeremy
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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Complete waste of money, IMO. I know people who want to give up their finicky DA for Ultegra or 105.

Save your money. If you want DA, replace the parts that break with DA stuff as they break. But there's no sense in dropping an entire grand on a virtually nonexistent "upgrade."
 

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Why would you think that Ultegra/DA combo is not a match for your frame? Ultegra is an excellent gruppo in it's own right. Most experienced riders I know feel that Ultegra is the equal of DA in everything except weight and "status". In some areas (e.g. cassette), Ultgera is more durable (over DA's titanium cogs). There are many pro's and semi-pro's who use Ultegra on their training bikes and DA (if they can afford it) on their race bikes.
Bottom Line- If you race at the highest levels, the weight savings with DA (a few hundred grams total- excluding your non-DA exotic wheelset) is probably worth it. If the Bling is worth the $$$ (and the risk of being labeled a poser??), then get DA. Otherwise, running Ultegra (or 105 for that matter) will make no substantive difference in your riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to everyone for their advice. I won't jump to DA now, but may consider the replacement as needed approach. I'm not interested in any "bling" factor and I'm not into any real meaningful racing. I'm 59 years old, ride about 5,000 miles a year and have gone from 195 to 175lbs (I'm 6'0" tall) in the five years I've been riding. I love the sport. I just want to have the best bike for me that makes sense with the way that I use it ... without going crazy with the $$$.
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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bikerdoug said:
Thanks to everyone for their advice. I won't jump to DA now, but may consider the replacement as needed approach. I'm not interested in any "bling" factor and I'm not into any real meaningful racing. I'm 59 years old, ride about 5,000 miles a year and have gone from 195 to 175lbs (I'm 6'0" tall) in the five years I've been riding. I love the sport. I just want to have the best bike for me that makes sense with the way that I use it ... without going crazy with the $$$.
I switched the left shifter on my race bike from Ultegra-9 (shifts double or triple) to DA-9 (dedicated double) and think it shifts better, but who knows. It certainly did not change my finishing position in any race. - TF
 

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Do you have 9-speed or 10-speed? If you are going to spend a bunch of money on upgrades get a real upgrade and go 10-speed. If converting from 9 to 10 you'll need to replace the shiifters, cassette and chain simultaneously. Your present derailleurs will work.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Al. I've got a 9 speed with 12-25T. What advantages would a 10 speed give me? What cassette should I get with a ten speed? Should I go with the DA shifters? I have a FSA SLK Compact Crankset, 175mm, 34/50T, that I really like - woould this be a problem if I went to the ten speed?
 

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Beetpull DeLite
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Al1943 said:
If you are going to spend a bunch of money on upgrades get a real upgrade and go 10-speed.
Again, many people don't consider that an updgrade at all. Tons of money for what, one more tooth somewhere in the mix? Ugh.
 

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bikerdoug said:
Thanks, Al. I've got a 9 speed with 12-25T. What advantages would a 10 speed give me? What cassette should I get with a ten speed? Should I go with the DA shifters? I have a FSA SLK Compact Crankset, 175mm, 34/50T, that I really like - woould this be a problem if I went to the ten speed?
The difference between a 9-speed cassette and a 10-speed is an extra cog in the middle right where it can do the most good. The extra cog will eliminate or reduce a ratio gap and allow you to maintain a more efficient cadence. This will be more helpful on group rides where you are matching speeds with others. It can also be a big help when fighting a headwind. Which cassette is best for you depends mostly on where you ride and also on what type of rider you are. With your present gearing if you keep track of which gear combinations you use when tired as well as when you are fresh and while maintaining a good cadence this will be the best indicator of what gearing you need. That won't change when you go to 10, but you will have a better selection to maintain that cadence.

Another consideration is that 9-speed components will gradually become less available.

A compact crankset will work as well with 10 as with 9. How well it works depends on how well it is set up. I don't have a compact but if I ever buy one it will probably have a 36 inner ring instead of the 34. A 50/36 set would have a much smaller ratio jump and I would expect better shifting performance. There would also be less of a tendency for the chain to drag on the side of the big ring when running on the right side of the cassette. This seems to be a problem more common with the 34 due to the bigger difference in ring size. I'm basing this on what I've read in the forums, not on personal experience. If you need a 34 then you need a 34 (or a triple).

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I pay a lot of attention to cadence and keep it in the 80-90rpm range most of the time, except on bigger hills here in eastern PA. I also participate in frequent group rides, and always seem to be fighting a headwind ...The terrain around here is probably best described as moderate - plenty of hills, but not really mountains. On flat centuries (in NJ of course), I ride an average of about 21mph, over the hilly stuff in PA I ride an average of about 17-18mph I plan on paying attention to which gear combinations I use when tired as well as when I'm fresh. I guess my LBS can help me make the selection based on that.

I've never had any of the problems you describe with the 50/34 - guess my LBS did a good job in setting it up!

Thanks Al!
 

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I have the same TCR Comp. Last year I switched to the FSA SLK (53-39). This year I replaced the divetrain with 10 speed Ultegra and Fulcrum Racing 1 wheels and just kept the cranks/bottom bracket. Well worth the switch as I still like the frame. Goy a good deal on the parts and sold the old stuff to defray the costs. Was way cheaper than replacing the bike.
 
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