or Connect
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Equipment › 105 vs. Ultegra
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

105 vs. Ultegra

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm new to this forum and to (serious) cycling and I had a couple questions.

I'm looking for a comfortable roadbike to take on 20ish km treks to work and longer adventures on the weekend. I was looking at the Specialized Roubaix series...specifically the Elite.

First, my LBS says that the Elite is made in only a 58cm or 62cm size whereas a 60cm is what would fit me best. Now I'm not about to drop $2k on something that doesn't fit, but before leaving dissapointed the salesrep said the regular Roubaix 27 (contrary to the info on the Specialized site) is available in a 60cm and is $2100 as opposed to the $2600 quote for the Elite (all prices in Canadian dollars).

The main difference, as far as I can tell, is the colour (not an issue), Shimano 105 vs. Ultegra component group, and Alex-ALX290 vs. Shimano R-540 wheel set. Same frame, composite fork, seatstays and seatpost etc. etc.

How big a difference will an eager novice see between the two bikes? Any and all comments, including answers to questions I maybe should be asking, are welcome.

I've been doing searches etc. on various topics here, bringing me to my current decision, but I'm still not very familiar with this sites working so if htis post belongs in a different forum, please feel free to move it and I'm sure I'll find it in a search.
post #2 of 18

Re: 105 vs. Ultegra

I've found there is a difference in the noise level, smoothness of gear changing and the feel of the shifters.

But your question is will this make a difference to an enthusiastic novice. Probably not. If you are new to cycling (first bike?) you'll almost certainly find heaps of other stuff to spend your money on such as: lights, pumps, spare tubes, spare tyres, under saddle bag, tools, repair kits, more tools. lube, degreaser, tool kits, bike repair stand, bike rack - home, bike rack - car, gloves, jerseys, bike shorts, helmets, shoes, pedals [may not come with your new bike], race DVDs [2003 Tour de France is great], bike repair manuals, magazines, rudy Project or Oakley sunnies, Heart Rate Monitor, locks, bike computer... the list is endless.

The Roubaix is a great bike... ask if you can take them for a ride and see if feel the difference and wether that difference is worth the extra $$$s.

Also, shop around a bit. Just because the 60cm in not available at one store it doesn't mean it can't be found elsewere.

Another tip. Ask about specials and last years models. I got the bike of my dreams $500 cheaper because it was a 2003 model not 2004. There were minor upgrades but they were certainly not that important. The bike store even swapped the metal seat post for a carbon one like the 2004 version of the bike for no extra.

But, the most important thing is what feels best for you. If you plan to cycle a lot the extra $$$s will not seem so much over the next 3-5 years. If the Ultegra seems right... get it

My 2.5¢.
post #3 of 18

Re: Re: 105 vs. Ultegra

Quote:
Originally posted by Dominic Sansom


Also, shop around a bit. Just because the 60cm in not available at one store it doesn't mean it can't be found elsewere.



My 2.5¢.
There is no 60. Sizes 58 and 62 listed for that model.Others only go up to 58.
post #4 of 18

Re: Re: Re: 105 vs. Ultegra

Quote:
Originally posted by boudreaux
There is no 60. Sizes 58 and 62 listed for that model.Others only go up to 58.
Silly me... as soon as I pressed the "submit reply" I thought I should have checked before saying that. There is quite a big difference in geometry between the 58 and 60.

Another option is The Allez Elite (60 available) and it'a fair bit cheaper (mostly 105).

A really great deal is the Felt F45 Ultegra/Dura Ace, Carbon seat stay, forks and crank, Mavic Ksyrium wheels, Sella Italia saddle, but is a little more $$$s
post #5 of 18
Have a look at Lemond Tourmalet. 105 groupset and ultegra rear der where it counts. I have owned one for a few months and am very happy.
post #6 of 18
First off, I'm a new roadie, so I'm not that senstive to component differences. However, I can tell the differences from the Sora's on my Giant. (Sora's crap.)

I demo'ed a 2004 Trek 2200 and a 2004 Klein Aura X. The klein has more 105 components than the trek. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference from a component standpoint. The differences I noticed were more due to the frame geometry.
post #7 of 18
All I can add is that Ultegra is going 10spd at the end of the year with the same look as DA.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by jimmy kazimmy
Have a look at Lemond Tourmalet. 105 groupset and ultegra rear der where it counts. I have owned one for a few months and am very happy.
Where it counts is the brake shift levers not the derailleur. A lot of companies (see cannondale) like to up the rear derailleur by one level. This is a cheap upgrade and they can then list the bike as a 105/ultegra spec or up until this years compatability issues an ultegra/da. If they were to do that with the shifters it would actually cost much more but it would give the upgrade at the weakest part and the one with the most noticable difference.
post #9 of 18
I have a Trek with 105s and I put together a frame (same bike Sean Kelly rode in the Tour a few years back) and I installed Ultegra on it. The differance was the price and the look. Ultegra is polished and the 105 is painted. One is just a smooth as the other. At least I can't tell the differance in perfomance.
post #10 of 18
I'd agree with concord.... it would take a really good cyclist to get 100% performance out of a 105 drivetrain. Unless you're Lance Armstrong, 105 stuff is way good enough for a weekend warror.

I have a family that builds racing bikes... light frames, light hand build wheels, carbon parts with mostly 105 derailers (sometimes even clunkier frount derailers) Why? Becuase DA stuff costs big $$$ and they buy used 105 stuff cheap. It's better to race a bike with a carbon fork, stem, seatpost, good race wheels, ect and a well tuned 105 drivetrain than a heavier bike with an Ultegra or DA drivetrain. It's also way, way cheaper
post #11 of 18
i'm also looking at putting together a 105 drivetrain for a new bike. what i am looking for is a smooth system but also a durable one (weight is not that important to me as opposed to components holding up for a reasonable time). it seems to me--and i should say i have only bike shop experience with the components in question--that the differences are negligible, and as long as the drivetrain is put together as a system (thanks for the interchangability, shimano...ha!) everything will work fine. any thoughts on this?
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally posted by Koeppster81
i'm also looking at putting together a 105 drivetrain for a new bike. what i am looking for is a smooth system but also a durable one (weight is not that important to me as opposed to components holding up for a reasonable time). it seems to me--and i should say i have only bike shop experience with the components in question--that the differences are negligible, and as long as the drivetrain is put together as a system (thanks for the interchangability, shimano...ha!) everything will work fine. any thoughts on this?


Two words.... downtube shifters. The're cheap. easy to hook up and don't fail often. My guess is that a good steel frame with 105 stuff -- wheels, drivetrain, ect.. with downtube shifters might be the longest lasting road bike money can buy.
post #13 of 18

Re: 105 vs. Ultegra

I ride two bikes -- a Trek 2300 with a full Ultegra component package and a Bianchi Pista (fixie) with a Tiagra brake on the front. I love both bikes for completely different reasons. Riding the fixie has made me a better rider (improved technique, awareness, etc.) and is the most fun I have ever had on the bike.

The Trek is a great ride, and the Ultegra group is really nice. That said, for the cost, you could just as easily go with the 105 group. For the kind of riding that you're talking about, you could go with a 105 group and not even know the difference. Unless you're seriously anal about your shifting, or you're really a serious rider with something at stake (in addition to your pride), I wouldn't spend the extra cash on the Ultegra group. (I got my bike on the cheap because it was a year old floor model going on big-time discount when I found it).

I'm helping a friend look for an entry-level road bike and have been suggesting to him all along that he focus on a frame that he likes. He's using the bike for a short commute and for slightly longer weekend rides -- for that, I told him, focus on the frame. Get something that's good quality, and later on, after you've had it for a while, you can always upgrade the component group (mix and match, if you like) to whatever tune your budget dictates.

You can't go wrong riding to work though. My commute has been heaven (even in sh_t weather) since I ditched the car. The first time you ride past a block-long stand of idling cars at an intersection, you'll understand, too.

Cheers!
post #14 of 18
I've had Ultegra and 105 components through the years. And my impression is that there is little operational benefit to the Ultegras besides look and finish. I would not hestitate to buy another bike with 105 to save some bucks and spend my money on upgrading other things and accessories.

105 has always been the entry point for "race quality" components from Shimano. It basically shares the racing features of their other components at less cost and look, but is just as capable of serious use.
post #15 of 18
As someone else mentioned, you might want to give the Allez line a try. The Allez Comp has a Pave seatpost (with the Zertz elastomer insert) and a Body Geometry saddle, which for me have been *VERY* comfortable. The seat post flex is quite visible and it really takes the edge off of a rough road. Basically, you are trading the carbon seat stays of the Roubaix for a substantial component and wheelset upgrade, and coming away saving a few hundred dollars to boot. No one has mentioned this yet, but Alex wheels tend to get not-so-great reviews on http://www.roadbikereview.com, (I have no experience with them myself, so they may be just fine) whereas the Mavic Ksyrium Equipe seems to be a solid wheelset. On the Allez Comp that I bought this spring, I traded out the Equipes for the Ksyrium Elites and still kept the price at about $1,900. I am thrilled with the Elites.

Don't get me wrong, the Roubaix is a great bike, I took it for a test ride and it seems to have a very comfy ride, but if the sizing isn't working for you, you might consider the allez as a good alternative.

Keep in mind that if you get a bike that fits you well, it is hard to go wrong in the $1,500 - $2,000 price range. The product quality and features available at this price point is simply amazing to me!

Good luck!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling Equipment
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Equipment › 105 vs. Ultegra