Groupsets, Is there really that much of a difference?

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Anthony
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Postby Anthony » 21 Mar 2011, 10:35

Hey, still in the process of building a new roadie. Got everything except for the groupset. Is there really much of a difference that you can feel between 105, ultegra? Is it worth paying that bit extra for Dura Ace or Sram Red? Would love to read your opinions.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 21 Mar 2011, 11:25

I'll leave it to the more experienced riders here to comment with real authority, but FWIW I think that in terms of performance and feel in the Shimano world it's worth getting Ultegra over 105, but probably not going to Dura-Ace unless you've got the $$ (BTW, both my road bikes have Ultegra so I've never ridden 105 or Dura Ace!!). At the high end, people seem to suggest that SRAM Red is a better buy than Dura-Ace. Let the games begin!

PeterOS
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Postby PeterOS » 21 Mar 2011, 12:44

To me the only difference is weight, how important is it to you ? the more you pay the less it weighs.

christian
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Postby christian » 21 Mar 2011, 13:06

How much money do you have to play with? With SRAM the difference between Rival and Force is material changes to cut the weight, with Red you get zero travel shifting on the left lever (front derailleur) as well as some more material changes like titanium springs, ceramic bearings and a bit more carbon.

I know there are some material changes with the Shimano groupsets but I don't know what they are exactly. I'm sure someone else can give some information on this.

I've heard that the new Ultegra has some cable drag issues no that they route the shift cables under the bar tape, so I'm guessing 105 has this same issue. There are ways around this, use SRAM gear cable inners as they are slightly narrower then the stock Shimano ones. Or use some high end cables like Gore.

I'm a SRAM user so I'm going to recommend Force it if you can afford it. Red is nice (I have Red levers force everything else) but quite expensive.

One other thing to keep in mind is high end parts tend to wear out faster as they make them lighter. This mainly applies to chains, cassettes and chain rings.

kiwiames
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Postby kiwiames » 21 Mar 2011, 14:23

It all depends on how much $$$$$ you have.

Ive just brought a new road bike - BMC Carbon with Ultegra.

Id been debating groupsets for about a year, but at the end of the day it came down to getting the best possible groupset to match the best possible frame - for my budget. Now Dura Ace and RED would be nice dont get me wrong - but you are paying a premium for them and they do wear out quicker. Its usually better to go a groupset just below the top of the range as most of the time the only difference is weight - and lots of cash.

Everyone will have their own opinion re each of the groupset companys, just get the best you can afford.

Spend the extra money on the wheels!!!!

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 21 Mar 2011, 15:03

Dura-Ace doesn't wear quicker than Ultegra/105! I'm guessing it would be the same for Red compared to Force/Rival. Wear really comes down to your maintenance routine.
Chainrings are prettymuch all going to be alloy, Dura-Ace cassettes get a few extra Ti cogs compared to ultegra, and chains are pretty similar too (really paying for the extra holes to save weight).

With Shimano, i believe it's mainly a weight and aesthetic difference. There could be some refinements in lever feel, but without comparing directly it's hard to know. Sram, as Christian mentioned, has the weight and aesthetic difference, but Red also gets the bonus of zero-loss.

I've only ever ridden Dura-Ace (7700 with some 105/ultegra, 7800, almost 7900) so it's hard for me to compare, but the Ultegra rear derailleur i'm currently using works perfectly.

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fenn_paddler
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Postby fenn_paddler » 21 Mar 2011, 15:29

I do like that people who admit to never having actually tried 105 or dura ace feel qualified to offer an opinion on them!

I recently upgraded from a 105 to an ultegra equipped road bike, so can offer a comparison of those two. I can't discern a difference in shift quality on the rear derailleur. The ultegra front shifts better, however I think that's more to do with the 105 having been a compact crankset.

I suspect ultegra is the sweetspot. Although 105 is absolutely fine, it tends to be looked down upon as a bit of a budget buy. All three groupsets will probably be di2 in a few years, so whatever you buy today will be soon be out of date anyway.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 21 Mar 2011, 15:45

fenn_paddler wrote:I do like that people who admit to never having actually tried 105 or dura ace feel qualified to offer an opinion on them!

I did say FWIW (For What It's Worth) - which may be nothing of course.

Just what I've gleaned from scuttelbutt, cafe conversations, forums and the 'wisdom of the crowds'.

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 21 Mar 2011, 16:11

I've had dura-ace, ultegra, 105 and Tiagra over the years.

Still have dura-ace, 105, Tiagra and Deore (and some Campagnolo). They all work fine, and really, you wouldn't know what it was unless you looked. They've all been very reliable but the secret is to keep your running gear clean and lubricated.

That said, the Dura-Ace is noticeably a bit smoother than the runners-up. 8)

There's no reason you can't mix n match either, picking up a bargain here and there. IMHO the most important choice is your crankset and bearings, cos that's where the main energy transfer occurs, and where the largest components are. Weight savings can be substantial and friction co-efficents tyranical. Put your money here. The rest is all touchy-feely.

Rainbow
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Postby Rainbow » 21 Mar 2011, 17:05

I have had a plethora of groupsets and bits and pieces and still do have, but my favourite to this day is my SRAM Force (and I just so happen to have Red cranks) is just the loveliest, so easy to use and my steel bike is light as a feather!

Like Amy said, get nice wheels.

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 21 Mar 2011, 17:31

Rainbow wrote:and I just so happen to have Red cranks


mmmmm.... red cranks...

kiwiames
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Postby kiwiames » 21 Mar 2011, 18:28

Whatever deal you can get the best on go for that Anthony. They all do the same job. There is no 'best' groupset, its personal preference and how much $$$$ you have. Thats just my two cents worth.

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mikesbytes
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Postby mikesbytes » 21 Mar 2011, 20:37

The bulk of the components will last the life the bike, so what some do is go for a higher end group set and then purchase cheaper consumable components when they need replacing, ie chains, rings, cassettes. For example in Shimano speak, this is buy a Durace group set and replace worn components when the time comes with Ultegra, all dependent on what specials are around at the time of course.

Like everything it boils down to personal choice. I ride whatever is on the bike, however if I was purchasing, I would probably go for the sweet spot, as per Alan's comments.

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 21 Mar 2011, 21:43

mikesbytes wrote:I would probably go for the sweet spot, as per Alan's comments.


Good advice when considering re-sale value also.

Anthony
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Postby Anthony » 22 Mar 2011, 11:54

Awesome, i did buy an ultegra group set from CRC but they stuffed the order up and had stock problems so it got cancelled. I'm thinking along the lines of SRAM Force now, seeing as it's only $200 more than an ultegra groupset on PBK. But Red is tempting. I'm liking sram because of the zero loss and double tap technology.

christian
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Postby christian » 22 Mar 2011, 12:19

Another thing to consider is the shape of the lever hoods, it very much comes down to personal preference. I've ridden SRAM, old Ultegra, even older 105 and RSX (which they longer make). I personally prefer the shape of the SRAM levers.

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simon.sharwood
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Postby simon.sharwood » 22 Mar 2011, 18:31

:wink: My Sora groupset made me the cyclist I am today :wink:

timyone
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Postby timyone » 22 Mar 2011, 19:47

choosing between shimano etc, depends a lot on what else you have, you can share parts between them! but not if you have mixed!

Anthony fam did a few thousand km's on tiagra with me and John, and he didnt notice the difference. Unless your more racey than us you probably dont need the top level of any thing, but if you have a heap of money go for what ever.

(if i knew which anthony you are id be better for advice)

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 22 Mar 2011, 20:21

timyone wrote:(if i knew which anthony you are id be better for advice)


This one
timyone wrote:Anthony fam did a few thousand km's on tiagra


Though he spells his last name differently.

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mikesbytes
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Postby mikesbytes » 22 Mar 2011, 20:35

simon.sharwood wrote::wink: My Sora groupset made me the cyclist I am today :wink:


As to can I say the same about Tiagra, I did around 50,000 on that group set. While I agree that my Ultegra group set is a little better, there isn't a huge difference.

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 22 Mar 2011, 23:40

It's what calibre your guns are.

Anthony
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Postby Anthony » 22 Mar 2011, 23:43

timyone wrote:Anthony fam did a few thousand km's on tiagra with me and John, and he didnt notice the difference. Unless your more racey than us you probably dont need the top level of any thing, but if you have a heap of money go for what ever.

(if i knew which anthony you are id be better for advice)


Yep that's me, Anthony Pham. I think i did between 10 000 - 14 000km in the last year and a half on that tiagra/sora groupset. Only problem is i didn't really take care of it and the shifting got worse over time, could be that i need a new chain though.

timyone
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Postby timyone » 23 Mar 2011, 09:31

lol!!! oops sorry :P

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 23 Mar 2011, 11:35

Anthony wrote:
timyone wrote:could be that i need a new chain though.


You have probably needed a new chain (and cluster) for some time by the sound of it.

rhys
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Postby rhys » 23 Mar 2011, 13:51

I am a bit late to this party, but I'll throw my 2c in anyway.
I've ridden Tiagra, tri-colour 600, 6600 ultegra, 7400 dura-ace, 7600 dura-ace, and for 3 days now I have ridden sram red. As far as I'm concerned, you can't really go wrong with ultegra. It will last forever and if it doesn't, any shop can help you out. I really only notice the crispness of the shifting changing throughout shimano groupsets. It's true also about the hoods, personal preference comes into it. I'm not too fussy when it comes to that, however I think tri-colour 600 have the nicest feeling hoods (still getting used to my sram). Actually, 8 speed tri-colour 600 is probably my favourite groupset of all time.
Bottom line, if you have the money get red/dura ace, if not ultegra or force. (I've had too many coffees today).

othy
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Postby othy » 23 Mar 2011, 14:01

I have tiagra, 105 and da-7900 on my three road bikes. The lower end groupsets work fine, but they're not dura-ace.

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T-Bone
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Postby T-Bone » 23 Mar 2011, 16:54

rhys wrote:7600 dura-ace


I ride that as well, but.... no shifting required.


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