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I'm looking at a Specialized Roubaix Expert Compact. Should I get the Ultregra or Rival? They are the same price. I've been out of touch with biking for the last 20yrs and am now getting back into it for fitness and fun. Not looking to race. Thanks all.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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Ultegra = proven reliability, Rival = not quite there yet.
 

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Burn baby, burn.
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You wont get any proper answers here.
People, like me who have SRAM tend to love it, everyone else who has something else will howl it down (particularly Peanut Butter Breath who seems to know everything negative about this stuff and nothing positive to say about anything made by SRAM).
 

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It's really just a matter of personal preference...take them both for a ride and see which you like best.

I have Ultegra on one of my road bikes and Rival on my Cross bike and honestly, they both work well, just differently.

IMO....

  • Ultegra is smoother, lighter shifting and aftermarket parts use Shimano as their base for all parts so finding cranks, wheels, brakes, etc. that work well with Ultegra is easy.
  • Rival is a bit more mechanical, a little heavier shifting but every bit as crisp and a bit lighter as a gruppo.

The difference really comes down to the way the two shift and the feel of the hoods (the rest is pretty much equal). Some people prefer the feel of the Rival hoods over Ultegra...I actualy prefer Ultegra's due to the big bulge up front on the Ultegra hoods because I use those a lot on my bikes. I can't do the same with my Rival hoods.

For the most part though...they are equal...just different. Pick the one you like best!
 

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Actually, I shouldn't slam Rival components. I've been a die hard Shimano man and I find the functionality of Sram awkward (probably because I don't use it often). I know a few riders who have Rival on their bikes and they are 50/50 on how they feel about it.
 

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Wookies got it in my opinion. I'm a SRAM convert. Tried Force and never looked back after trying both Shimano (as high up the ladder as Ultegra with some DA mixed in) and Campi. I'll soon be building my third SRAM road group centered bike with mostly Rival and some of the Red stuff to take advantage of some of the newer technology. It is personal preference. After being on the SRAM stuff for awhile, I found the Shimano to be awkward.
 

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This is for Ultegra SL vs. Rival but still a good read. Sram has a longer throw, and solid engagement. Shimano's shifting is lighter and more precise. Rival is lighter than Ultegra. Sram crank's can't compete with Shimano's. Hood shapes are different. You really need to ride them they are so different.

My last bike was Ultegra, and my new bike is Rival. I would take either.
 

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Rival Group Experience

I bought the Rival Group in 1996 and have used it for two full race seasons. I am still using the original two 11-26 cassettes! I change out chains on a regular basis.
Everything has worked great, and the hoods are MUCH more comfortable for my large hands than the DA 9 spd I used for many years.
For teh money, I feel the Rival group is a great buy!

One issue I had was the 1090 chain Loved to jump forward under load in the 11T cog. I think it was the Powerlink on the chain. It clicked everytime it went though the pulleys, and I swapped out 3 new chains with NO improvement. It even almost crashed me a few times. Very unnerving. So during the Wisconson GRABWARR Tour last year I has a worn chain and Wheel and Sprocket (great guys) suggested a Connex/Wippermann chain. So I tried it, and WOW what a BUTTER feeling chain!!! No problems whatsoever, and the tolerances were so much tighter than the SRAM new chains. Smooooth sounding! I am an old MTB racer, and I have used SRAM.SACHS back in the old MTB racing days on my shimano, and ever since. I think their manufacturing (outsourced?) has gone downhill.
I run Connex on all my bikes now, as they wear out there SRAM chains. Connex has my vote, and the base models aren't too expensive. Around $50 for the 10-spd road chain, Shimano type.

Other than that, think of SRAM as one big lever, and assuring "clunk, clunk..."
10-Spd Ultegra as two levers, and a tiny "click click"
Everyone has an opinion on whats better. I like the SRAM better.
Keifer
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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kashmore said:
I bought the Rival Group in 1996 and have used it for two full race seasons. I am still using the original two 11-26 cassettes! I change out chains on a regular basis.
Everything has worked great, and the hoods are MUCH more comfortable for my large hands than the DA 9 spd I used for many years.
For teh money, I feel the Rival group is a great buy!

One issue I had was the 1090 chain Loved to jump forward under load in the 11T cog. I think it was the Powerlink on the chain. It clicked everytime it went though the pulleys, and I swapped out 3 new chains with NO improvement. It even almost crashed me a few times. Very unnerving. So during the Wisconson GRABWARR Tour last year I has a worn chain and Wheel and Sprocket (great guys) suggested a Connex/Wippermann chain. So I tried it, and WOW what a BUTTER feeling chain!!! No problems whatsoever, and the tolerances were so much tighter than the SRAM new chains. Smooooth sounding! I am an old MTB racer, and I have used SRAM.SACHS back in the old MTB racing days on my shimano, and ever since. I think their manufacturing (outsourced?) has gone downhill.
I run Connex on all my bikes now, as they wear out there SRAM chains. Connex has my vote, and the base models aren't too expensive. Around $50 for the 10-spd road chain, Shimano type.

Other than that, think of SRAM as one big lever, and assuring "clunk, clunk..."
10-Spd Ultegra as two levers, and a tiny "click click"
Everyone has an opinion on whats better. I like the SRAM better.
Keifer
:confused:
 

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Anti-Hero
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Wookiebiker said:
It's really just a matter of personal preference...take them both for a ride and see which you like best.

I have Ultegra on one of my road bikes and Rival on my Cross bike and honestly, they both work well, just differently.

IMO....

  • Ultegra is smoother, lighter shifting and aftermarket parts use Shimano as their base for all parts so finding cranks, wheels, brakes, etc. that work well with Ultegra is easy.
  • Rival is a bit more mechanical, a little heavier shifting but every bit as crisp and a bit lighter as a gruppo.

The difference really comes down to the way the two shift and the feel of the hoods (the rest is pretty much equal). Some people prefer the feel of the Rival hoods over Ultegra...I actualy prefer Ultegra's due to the big bulge up front on the Ultegra hoods because I use those a lot on my bikes. I can't do the same with my Rival hoods.

For the most part though...they are equal...just different. Pick the one you like best!
:thumbsup:

I like SRAM, but, yeah, try them both & see which one you like better.
 

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ironmandreamer
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I have and wouldn't recommend Ultegra SL. It works well, no great; it does everything it should. The new grey Ultegra SL finish however is poor and I'd never buy a non silver (for want of a better or more correct term) groupset again.

I have a Felt B12 Tri Bike and upgraded the cranks, BB and chain to complete a full Ultegra SL drivetrain as the bike came standard with Ultegra SL derailleurs and cassette (Durace bar-end shifters). I am fussy, real fussy, and look after all my gear and the cranks already have significant marks and scratches after just 1000km+ and the bike has not been dropped or in an accident.

I wish I'd changed the deuraillers for the standard original silver Ultegra and gone that way......
 

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Unfortunately, 09 Rival will probably be way better than the current rival, including the carbon fiber blevers. That said, they'll probably wait to release it until they get down to a certain stock level.
I'd love a new cannondale supersix with bb30compact and 09 rival. But the ultegrasl super6 i just rode was exceptional. Shimano has come a long way in the past few years. It works extremely well. To me, the only beef I have with Rival is that the calipers look kinda chinsey.
 

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i have SRAM shifters and Shimano Crank.

The Shimano Compact cannot be beat, I think they perfected it.
SRAM shifters are more mechanical, take more effort, longer shifter throw.

I have experience a bit more mis-shifts in the rear, i think it was my part. Adjusting can be a bit tricky, but can be done with some tweaking of tension.

Trick with the SRAM is that you need more tension than usual, therefore the aluminum cable housing end stops may work better.
 
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