Going from a triple to a compact double: Ultregra 6800 vs Dura Ace 9000 cassette compatability

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by bvslc, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. bvslc

    bvslc New Member

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    I am in the process of buying a new bicycle and need advice regarding choosing a group set.
    I live in a region where I really appreciate my current triple that I have had for ~ the past 10 yrs. --I do lots of climbing plus my knees are approaching 50 yrs old. I train and ride for local long distance rides that are 50-100 miles- almost all have significant climbs. I know most everything new now comes with compact doubles. I am concerned that these will no longer approach the "low gears" that this gal is used to on my triple to huck it up these mountains.
    I am planning to get either a Trek Domane or a Specialized Ruby- both women specific designs.
    My component choices are Ultegra 6800 or Dura Ace 9000 and they both come with an 11-28 cassette. Would I be able to change the cassette on either of these to give myself some lower gears (11-32?) I've always dreamed of getting Dura Ace 9000 b/c of how light, smooth and reliable, but not sure that is possible.
    Any advice will be appreciated.
     
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  2. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Many consider Ultegra to be more reliable than Dura-Ace, at only a very, very slight weight penalty, and a significant cost savings. I have an Ultegra 6700 setup, with a 52-39-30 in front and an 11-28 rear. I don't use the 30-28 combo very often anymore, only when I encounter a long, steep hill a few days into a tour (actually, I rarely use the 30 ring anymore, for that matter, I try not to go below 39-21 unless I absolutely have to). But my knees are only approaching 40 in a few weeks.
     
  3. steve

    steve Administrator
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    I don't recall ever seeing anyone say it's more reliable. Anytime i'm parting with my own money, I always for the ultegra/105 part over dura-ace.
     
  4. new_rider

    new_rider New Member

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    How many people.
     
  5. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Ultegra more reliable that Dura Ace? Since when? I buy Dura Ace because it is utterly reliable and is somewhat more serviceable than Ultegra. Ok, I admit - just like magpies, I prefer shiny things and stuff with bearing and not washers...

    Like Contador, I embrace the smaller gear to get up the steep grades. I used to use 39x23 on grades steeper than 25% but I now realize that I'd be faster on a much smaller gear. If Bertie needs a 34x32 to get up grades like that at speed, who am I to argue?

    On mountain rides I take 34x32 as insurance and often I need it, especially after a number of hours at altitude.
     
  6. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    My bad. I meant to say "durable", but again, the difference is small, if any. The price difference is not small. One website I just looked at had Ultegra cassettes for $85-92, while the Dura-Ace are $260-280. For something that will wear out in a few thousand miles, that's a pretty big difference.
     
  7. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The cassettes are more durable but that's about it - but that's due to the materials used and the target audience for each group. Dura Ace is aimed at Pro level riders who want the best performance and get their stuff free. Compared to the alloy freewheels of yesteryear - Regina and Campag spring to mind - those wouldn't even last a month on a Pro riders bike... Ultegra is good stuff and cassettes are changed easily. If you're wearing out a Dura Ace cassette in a few thousand miles you're doing something wrong somewhere....
     
  8. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    The rear deraileur is the limiter. A 30 will fit. I don't know about a 32. We all mix and match cassettes. The Tiagra level comes in a 12-30.

    If you can use an 11, you don't need a 32.
     
  9. bvslc

    bvslc New Member

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    That is very helpful information. I really just want the highest quality real derailleur that I can have yet be able to change the cassette to make easier for me for climbing --- sounds like its ultegra. Thank you.
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    OR, perhaps you should consider an XT or SLX rear derailleur.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how well an XT or XTR rear mech would work with Dura Ace 11 speed. Theory says it should work... The 9 speed XTR I sometimes use for mountainous rides works as good as the Dura Ace 7900 that's used most of the time... There's no amount of reasonable persuasion that'll let the 7900 work with a 32. To the original poster - what gradients are you looking to climb? 10%, 20%?
     
  12. bvslc

    bvslc New Member

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    In my easiest gear grades are 10-15% mostly. I am pretty sure I can't do 20%. Reminder: I am 50, female and have been riding about 6 yrs now...also, I'm not a natural athlete. I did a ride this weekend with a ~5 mile climb with steady 8-15% grades for five miles on a loaner bike with an 11/28 compact--- but I barely made it to the top. I like my knees and hope to keep them a while longer.
     
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