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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a specialized 2005 tarmac comp about 7 months ago. I am very pleased with the bike. I want to upgrade the drive train to Dura Ace over time. The bike has Ultegra flight deck and rear Derailleur. The brakes and front derailleur are 105. I am considering swapping out the front derailleur from 105 to Dura Ace as my first step. My question is will I see a change in shifting performance with just changing out the derailleur and leaving all the other parts as is? I don't need a whole groupo at once. Thank you in advance.
 

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franklin said:
I purchased a specialized 2005 tarmac comp about 7 months ago. I am very pleased with the bike. I want to upgrade the drive train to Dura Ace over time. The bike has Ultegra flight deck and rear Derailleur. The brakes and front derailleur are 105. I am considering swapping out the front derailleur from 105 to Dura Ace as my first step. My question is will I see a change in shifting performance with just changing out the derailleur and leaving all the other parts as is? I don't need a whole groupo at once. Thank you in advance.
FD change won't matter at all. Even the weight change is miniscule. For that particular part, the only thing helped is bling factor. Over time, the DA might hold up better, but it's not likely you'll find the end of the service life of either one.

RD is more likely to show a difference, but even there I doubt you could tell blindfolded.

Changing the brifters would make the most noticable difference IMO. But in most ways, this will be a 'bling' upgrade rather than a real, meaningful functional difference. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
follow up

Thank you for the input. I guess the only reason to change it would be to be building block to moving toward a higher end groupo in the future, not for immediate performance. Is there any part of the drive train to upgrade first to make the largest performance increase in shifting. Thanks again.
 

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You have a nine speed system so you will want to change everything over to 10 speed which can be quite costly. Go to www.parktool.com and read up on how to adjust your front derailleur. My front derailleur came from the factory mounted too high. I lowered it to the correct height and man what an unbelievable difference. If the gap between the derailleur and large chainring is more than a penny your front shifting performance will be quite poor indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
9 speed

I find that upshifting to the large ring in front takes a hard push on the lever. I know that I am moving to higher ring so it should take more pressure but it seems to be a little excessive. The shfting also does not pop into the gear cleanly. I have to hold the lever over and continue to push until I feel it in the right spot. The rear gears work great. I just tap the lever and it pops into the right great going up and down the grears. I want the front derailleur to be more precise in the shfiting.

Mine is a 9 speed. I asked a bike mechanic at my local shop and he said that I couldn't slowly convert to a 10 speed system. He said I would have to change it all at once. I am not so displeased with the shifting that I want to drop over a thousand on new groupo.
 

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I think your mechanic is trying to sell you a new group. Almost all the parts in Shimano's 9 and 10 speed range are interchangable. The new 10 speed shifters will shift either 9 or 10 speeds. The front and rear derailleurs will also shift either 9 or 10.

If you choose to upgrade to 10 speed, all you'd need is a cassette, chain and shifters.
The rest of your 9 speed parts will work
 

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Dave Hickey said:
I think your mechanic is trying to sell you a new group. Almost all the parts in Shimano's 9 and 10 speed range are interchangable. The new 10 speed shifters will shift either 9 or 10 speeds. The front and rear derailleurs will also shift either 9 or 10.

If you choose to upgrade to 10 speed, all you'd need is a cassette, chain and shifters.
The rest of your 9 speed parts will work
I've been wondering about that...

10s would be nice.

the funny thing is, I keep shifting like I did when I only had 7 gears in the back! ie: shift down 2 cogs/tiime when JRA 'cause that's the way I got used to it feeling when I started riding 'back when.' When hammering/racing it IS nice to have those 1-tooth gaps tho!

M
 

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I think that 105 equipment is underrated. I've gotten a ton of cheerful miles out of mine, and I've begun swapping out the parts that wear out with Ultegra and DA parts. I still have the original 105 crank and derailleurs (although the front rings have been changed out with Ultegras - my 105 rings had worn to the point that they looked like triangles! -- oops!).

The only major difference I've noticed is in the rear DA cassette, which was quieter and smoother when shifting, but wore out faster than the original 105. Granted, I ride harder now than when I first started, so that could be a factor.

Frankly, a good set of rims is probably the single-most noticeable performance improvement one can make on a bike.
 

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I havent ridden anything but dura ace since 2000, but when I made the switch from ultegra to d/a, I found the biggest change in performance was the shifters-- again this was a long time ago, but it was like night and day.
I dont know much about the new ultegra or 105 stuff, I now use d/a 10 speed, but I did a slow changeover from 9 to 10-- my crankset is still 9sp, as I use a 94mm spider- everything else is 10 speed now, but there were no issues in changing slowly.
Sometimes I wish I'd stuck w/ the 9 speed- it was a lot less finicky!
 

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Sao said:
I think that 105 equipment is underrated. I've gotten a ton of cheerful miles out of mine, and I've begun swapping out the parts that wear out with Ultegra and DA parts. I still have the original 105 crank and derailleurs (although the front rings have been changed out with Ultegras - my 105 rings had worn to the point that they looked like triangles! -- oops!).

The only major difference I've noticed is in the rear DA cassette, which was quieter and smoother when shifting, but wore out faster than the original 105. Granted, I ride harder now than when I first started, so that could be a factor.

Frankly, a good set of rims is probably the single-most noticeable performance improvement one can make on a bike.

Ditto what Sao says. I had 105 on my first road bike and put many thousands of miles on them with no issues. If your really looking for a "noticable" upgrade, consider wheels if you haven't upgraded those. I strong/light pair of wheels will be noticed. Good luck.
 

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Shifters...

Dave Hickey said:
I think your mechanic is trying to sell you a new group. Almost all the parts in Shimano's 9 and 10 speed range are interchangable. The new 10 speed shifters will shift either 9 or 10 speeds. The front and rear derailleurs will also shift either 9 or 10.

If you choose to upgrade to 10 speed, all you'd need is a cassette, chain and shifters.
The rest of your 9 speed parts will work

The 10 speed shifters won't work with the 9-speed cassette. Other than that, the parts are interchangeable....

Even the new 105 shifts pretty crisply and it gets a little better as you go up, but for the money, get better wheels.....

Flash
 

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I wonder if it works better with Dura-Ace then Ultegra? Shouldn't seem so, but then again the Dura-Ace is supposed to be a little more "accurate".

Is there any way to measure the amount of movement of a derailleur when it is being shifted? I'd like to see how the different mount points affect the movement....

Flash
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for all the great input. I am not sure if maybe my expectations are wrong for the front derailleur. The rear just seems to shift more cleanly and fall into gear. The front seems to have to be pushed into just the right spot. It could be that the front just doesn't shift as precisely when going into a larger gear.

I have seen several replies concerning upgraging the wheel set. When I was researching the 2005 tarmac comp the wheel set was the only thing that the reviews spoke poorly about. I read many reports that said buy the bike and change the wheels. I have not ridden a road bike since my 1984 Sears best 10 speed so I do not know the feel to know if the wheel set needs improvement. The bike has A class EXA AlX330. I am assuming that it could use an upgrade. Can anyone recommond a wheel set that would give an upgrade in performance for a reasonable price. I ride about 200 miles a month in florida on fairly good roads. I ride for fitness and the occasional chariety ride but I do like to push myself.
 

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franklin said:
Rounder,

Can you tell me more about the penny test for the front derailleur? What position does it need to be in and where should I test for the gap? Thanks.
Derail your chain. Shift into the big ring (yes, a dry shift, hence the chain thing). Try to put a penny in between the gap you see when you look at it from the side, it should either not fit or be tight. Put the chain back on. Shift up to the big ring. Set the limit screw so that the outside plate is just off of the chain (.5-1 mm). Shift to the small ring. set the limit screw so that the inside plate is just off of the chain (.5-1 mm). Shifting should improve.
 

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Two

things, number one, the FD will never shift as crisply as the RD. You are asking it to make not a 1-3 tooth jump as the rear is, but a 14-16 tooth jump. It's never going to function the same. number two, IMHO-ultegra-worthless, the new 10spd 105 weighs the same, and functions the same.....why would you buy it then. Dura Ace-better than 105 with nominal weight savings and slightly better performance...but a MUCH steeper price tag. For me, racing cat 5's and doing long group rides...it's not worth it. I have 105 on both of my bikes and I love it. The only thing I have, is a DA RD on my road bike-it was a gift. It does shift SLIGHTLY better than the 105. If you are thinking of upgrades, start with your wheels though.
 
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