105, Ultegra, or Dura Ace with for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Road Bikes' started by Mike1jw, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Mike1jw

    Mike1jw Member

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    If money is no object (which is not the case) are the higher end components worth it for a beginner. Is 105's good enough, with room to grow, for a beginner? If I can afford it, would it be better to get at least the Ultegra 6700 group? And if I could mug somebody for some extra money, would it be worth it for a beginner to get the Dura Ace group.

    Thanks
     
  2. fatandslow

    fatandslow New Member

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    I think the answer depends on the bike. If you are planning on getting a different bike relatively soon, even the lower end components, (Sora, Tiagra ) are ok. In fact I think the biggest difference as you go up Shimano's line of products is in weight and durability. In terms of function, they all work pretty well when in good condition and adjusted properly. Even the 105 group of components is high quality and durable. As for the weight differences, unless you are actually racing (and maybe even then), you'd probably save more weight with a good morning constitutional.

    On the other hand, if you're building up the bike yourself with a bare frame good components can always be kept and transferred to another bike, making their longevity somewhat more valuable. Similarly, if the quality of the rest of the bike is high enough and the design of the bike stays consistent with your needs the same thing applies. Unless you are pretty sure you're going to keep riding, I think you are safer starting at the lower end. For me personally, anything beyond 105 or Ultegra-level components is way too far past the point of diminishing returns to justify the additional expense, and at that level the jump in cost is huge. But then again, for me $ is ALWAYS an object.
     

  3. bantam700

    bantam700 New Member

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    105 is a great group and is more than adequate for a beginner. from what I have heard the ultegra and dura ace will give you slightly smoother shifts but mostly you are paying the extra money for lighter components
     
  4. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    I agree with Bantam about the main difference between Ultegra and DA being a weight advantage. That being said, I also agree with fatandslow about the longevity of the high end. I have a Campy Record component group that has served me well for about 15,000 miles now. I have only had to rebuild one of the shifters (something you can do on Campy but not Shimano). This group is currently on their 3rd frame.
     
  5. Xela

    Xela New Member Tavern Member

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    Also, Mike, keep in mind that over the next few months, shops will start rolling out the 09 stuff to make way for the 2010 models. Plus, as the weather turns cold and people are riding less, shops are more likely to make deals just to move some inventory. It's getting to be a nice time of the year for bike related purchases, and you can usually find some good deals. Just a heads up that a little patience for another month or two might pay-off for you.
     
  6. whyeyebike

    whyeyebike New Member

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    I began on 105's and I still use 105's. They are solid components.
     
  7. clemfan2001

    clemfan2001 Guest

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    If you were to buy a complete group, i'd go with the Ultegra. I have ran those for years and they have yet to bring me any problems. My friend had a set of 105 shifters and I don't know if he has strong fingers or what but he basically warped the shifter peice outward. I've heard of no such case with the Ultegra/Dura Ace set. So, for longivity.... Ultegra.
     
  8. bohunker

    bohunker Guest

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    I suggest you purchase the Dura Ace with a 58cm frame. Ride the bike for a year, decide you really don't want to ride any more and then sell me the bike for a really cheap price, like $500.00. - Just joking

    I recently purchased bikes for my boys with Shimano 2200 / sora. They shift well, but are a little more clunky (shift loud) than my 600 (old ultegra)
    I agree with the above post 105 is a good group and will last you a good number of years, unless you are image aware and want the best just to have the best and have money to burn.

    I am thinking about getting rid of my co-moly frame and go with ti - just switching the componets. Go light weight on the frame rather than than the components. Check out pride bikes.
     
  9. tajcrews

    tajcrews New Member

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    105 is a great component group. It is more than good enough for a beginner. If you have the money i would say upgrade to Ultegra. Dura Ace is very good but the Ultegra group is so close i dont think it is worth the money upgrade unless you want the weight savings. How long do you plan to keep this bike?
     
  10. BigDumbBear

    BigDumbBear New Member

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    I had 105's on my Aloha and I have 105's on the MASI I am picking up this week. Haven't had any issues and my New complete is under 18 pounds. I don't see any reasons to upgrade unless you just feel like it.
     
  11. CycleViking

    CycleViking Member

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    I've used 105 for several years, and have never had trouble with it.
    Unless you count in the occasional snob looking down his nose at someone not using Dura Ace, SRAM Red or Campy Record, that is. But I do not care, though :) I'm happy with 105 no matter what others think about it.

    Maybe the 105 require a more frequent service interval than Ultegra or DA to remain precise, but you can tell when it's time for service by how the components feel and sound. And most good bike shops can do this on short notice without charging a lot for the job. So, not at problem IMO.

    If I were to upgrade anyhow, I'd consider SRAM Force rather than Ultegra. The Force group is deemed a small notch better than Ultegra, is lighter and less expensive. And, many Shimano and SRAM parts are compatible, so I could re-use a lot of my current 105 components.

    But I can't see any really good reasons for me to upgrade from 105
     
  12. antibard

    antibard New Member

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    105 is awesome

    i have a 105 drivetrain from the early 80s on my hack. it was looking fairly well used when i got it and have since ridden about 10000 miles with it. have not had a single problem! i haven't even had to recalibrate the mechs (using friction shifters).

    recently rode brand new 105 and thought it was awesome, would have gone for it on my new bike but got an very special deal on SRAM.
     
  13. chh55

    chh55 Drink plenty of water!!!

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    First.. don't mug anyone! You'll end up in prison and there's no biking goin on there. Second.. depends on what kind of guy you are. If you're the type who, after laying down the bread (honestly obtained through a real taxpaying job) for a 105 gruppo and yet can't stop dreaming about the Dura Ace, then you're better off getting the DA gruppo now. The 105 is perfectly adequate but.... I myself opted for the DA 7800 even though I'm not rich. I found a deal on ebay and went for it and I'm very satisfied. Now if I could only stop dreaming about the new DA gruppo!