Ultegra or Dura Ace

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jrstevens, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    Due to finances I have the dilemma of either getting a frame built up with Dura Ace (full except FSA SLK Mega Exo cranks) or moving up 1 notch to a better frame but with full Ultegra. I'm interested in knowing what you all would opt for. A nicer frame with Ultegra or a slightly lesser frame with Dura Ace? To give you an idea the frames are $900 USD and 1200 USD respectively. Thanks in advance.

    JS
     
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  2. padawan

    padawan New Member

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    Spend the money on the better frame (assuming that you've tried it, you like it and it fits!) before you spend the money on top end components. You can always upgrade later.

    From what I've seen, the price difference between Ultegra and Dura-Ace has been closing.

    Another option is to go with Dura-Ace derailleurs with an Ultegra cassette (and keep your FSA crank - IMHO the SLK MegaEXO is a great crank). I've seen quite a few bikes being spec'd this way now to keep cost down but still provide the shifting quality of a Dura-Ace derailleur.

    (e.g. Cervelo - http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx)

    As far as I know, the only real difference between the cassettes is weight. I think many pros train with an Ultegra cassette because it's a little more durable (they log a lot of miles!) and switch to the Dura-Ace for racing.

    One other consideration - if you can find a bike you like factory spec'd - it will almost always be cheaper than buying a frame and building up a bike! The only people that I know that go the build route are super picky or have money to burn (not me)!

    My $0.02
     
  3. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    Since this is a special buildkit offer through my team the only modifications I can make are to the wheelset and saddle else I'd go the route your suggesting. To go with the better frame and Dura-Ace would break the bank.

    JS
     
  4. ghsmith54

    ghsmith54 New Member

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    This is as close to a no brainer as you can get. Go with the better frame. I've 4 bikes equipped as follows: 1 Dura-Ace 9, 1 Ultegra 9, 1 Dura-Ace 10, 1 Ultegra 10. The difference in weight is imperceptible (if you're this sensitive, only fill your water bottles 7/8 full) and there is a *slight* and I do mean slight difference in shifting performance. I do run Ultegra cassettes on all the bikes for durability 'tho I have used Dura-Ace cassettes in the past.

    Hope this helps,

    Greg
     
  5. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Bang for the buck: better frame. The price difference versus improvement between Ultegra and Dura Ace means you only pay for bling factor going Dura Ace. Ultegra works great, plain and simple and besides, components wear out, a frame can last for years and be upgraded. Go with the better frame.
     
  6. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    What are the two frames in question? If they are very close, I'd opt for the DA stuff (upgrading components can get very expensive). If the difference in the frames is significant, I'd go for the Ultegra stuff.
     
  7. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    As PeterF asks, what are the frames? More expensive frame doesn't necessarily mean better quality. See, for example, the thread on carbon seat stays. They are often on more expensive bikes, but nothing but marketing BS.

    Good luck!
     
  8. jakefm

    jakefm New Member

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    Def go with eh Ultegra, I got a full Ultegrea groupo on sale instead of 105 and was very happy and have never really noticed a feal diff between ultegra and DA, at least on test rides. DA is too ritch for my blood
     
  9. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    You made my point better than I did. A buddy of mine (Cat 3 Racer) bought a bike 4 years ago. He had a somewhat limited budget, but wanted good components. He purchased a CAAD 5 frame and built it with Dura Ace. He has raced and trained 3 full seasons on this bike and he has never once had a mechanical issue during a race or hard training session (except for a broken cleat on his pedals..non-Dura Ace) and he only replaces the chain and cassette when they're worn out. The CAAD 5 has been bombproof as well and he doesn't care if he could have saved a few ounces with a CAAD 7 frame and a full carbon fork. He's a big guy who climbs everything but the steepest walls in his 53t chainring. He doesn't care how much his bike weighs as long as nothing breaks during a sprint or climb. Dura Ace is a real workhorse group.
     
  10. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    The two frames are both Ti but the better one is supposedly stiffer albeit with a slight weight penalty due to the larger tubing used to make it stiffer. Not sure at my 140 lbs (and dropping) if the stiffer frame will make much of a difference to me. I do race mostly crits but I'm thinking this bike will be dedicated for long training rides and the few road races I do over my full Alu bike which will be reserved for crits. Again the price difference between the frames is 300 bones and 50 grams in favor of the cheaper frame. Any other thoughts?

    JS
     
  11. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

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    For me, I don't race, so ultegra does me just fine. As a result, I'd go with the better frame with the ultegra, and then if you decide later that you really want that DA RD, then you can upgrade it and you still have the better frame.
     
  12. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    If the cost difference is important, you could go with the cheaper frame and Ultegra, and keep the savings in your pocket. DA is fine, but so is Ultegra for a good deal less money. When you're on the start line, no one, including you, is going to notice.
     
  13. shokhead

    shokhead New Member

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    Easy,Frame
     
  14. road demon

    road demon New Member

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    Don't bother with low to mid level Ti. get new aluminium or aluminium w/ carbon rear something to attenuate the road shock.

    Sure the Ti will be more comfortable, but you get much more bang for you buck with Al.

    get a caad8 cannondale with full ultergra for 1700 retail

    or some felt bike with dura-ace

    I agree with jstrsteveens: the dura-ace stuff will far outlast the ultergra stuff, plus the dura-ace holds it resale value. I rather have a mid-level frame with dura-ace than great frame with ultergra.
     
  15. shokhead

    shokhead New Member

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    I'm not sure DA outlasts Ultegra and as long as it fits,i'd take a Ti frame over Alum anyday. You said Ti would be more comfortable but more bang for your buck with Alum. So you go for bang for your buck over being comfortable?
     
  16. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    I agree that it depends on your definition of "bang". If weight is the only thing you care about you can go lighter for the money with aluminum, but that doesn't always mean better. As for durability, there shouldn't be much difference between DA and Ultegra if they're set up and maintained properly. That is aside from the DA titanium cogs wearing out more quickly.
     
  17. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    I've yet to meet someone with an Alu/carbon seat stay bike who's been happy with it. they all say go full Alu or full Carbon; mixing the two in that fashion just hasn't worked out for them.

    JS
     
  18. jrstevens

    jrstevens New Member

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    Just a thought: why do titanium cogs wear out faster than Alu cogs when Titanium frames last longer than Alu frames?
     
  19. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Who said anything about aluminum cogs?
     
  20. shokhead

    shokhead New Member

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    OK then,carbon cogs.
     
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