Which groupset?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by David12345, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. David12345

    David12345 New Member

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    Hi All

    Does anyone have any opinions on whether it is better to buy a new bike with Ultegra Di2 or Dura Ace mechanical please?

    I know it's personal preference etc but just wanting to get some feedback. I enjoy cycling, cycle twice a week outside (and another 2-3x indoors), do 70-100 mile sportives and like the odd Strava segment challenge. I'm not an elite cyclist but I have the option of two near identical bikes from the same manufacturer where the key difference is the groupset.

    It is actually pretty difficult to get a test ride on bike my way as many local bike shops don't permit test riding due to mechanic's time building and stripping the bikes and having to put the unwanted bike back in stock as used. So I know this is a good idea but again, just wanting opinions at the mo.

    Thanks in advance :)
     


  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I know I'm going to be the odd duck out because everyone is attracted to the newest gee wiz crap as soon as it comes out, i'm not!

    I would go with Ultegra mechanical, it's bulletproof, every once in awhile you do have to replace cables, but it shouldn't be once a year, I've had my cables on my bike since 2013 when I got the bike and their still fine! I do know how to keep in eye on that stuff so I'll be able to tell when the time is right to replace them; I know I'll hear the screams of those who replace theirs every season, and that's fine, but I've doing it the way I been doing it for 45 years and never had a cable break, just a bit of lube on the cable where it goes into the housing and they keep working great for a long time. So for those that will be screaming about Di2 advantage of not having to replace cables every year all I have to say is BS! And another BS call goes out to those that say mechanicals always have to be adjusted, again I got my last new bike in 2013 and so far I have yet to readjust the derailleurs, which is on par with my older SIS and Friction stuff, I never have have to readjust till I put new cables on and after about first 300 miles of putting on new cables it might need minor tweaking after that no more fiddling around with it.

    Di2 systems are not without their issues, the battery only last about 2 to 3 years before needing replacing (which Shimano says is necessary that frequently, and the battery cost $120 or so, a set of Shimano Dura Ace cables around $60 and that's for the good stuff), which is a crappy battery since it may only recharge about 6 to 10 times during that period of time when rechargeable cell phone and tool batteries can go at least 500 times, but that's Shimano for you, and here's more that Shimano doesn't tell people: https://road.cc/content/feature/253498-stuff-they-never-tell-you-about-electronic-shifting Rough roads can cause wires to come undone which is what happened to Thibaut Pinot and Peter Sagan during TDF races, while you don't have to worry about losing a race you do have to worry about how you're going to get home, but I think the new wireless systems will eliminate that problem but turn around and give you another battery to worry about. There has been a lot of issues with the system just quitting, here is what you need to do if it does: https://www.reddit.com/r/bikewrench/comments/4pacpq/di2_stopped_working_completely_in_the_middle_of/ I'm sorry but mechanical systems just don't stop working, and any repair is far simpler than what is explained in that discussion, plus any mechanical repair can be done in the field not likely with electronic. This is a funny video but makes serious points:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9uiFejyTbo
    Another issue:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrkH2bIKrK0


    Of course there are advantages to elect shifting, it does shift precise when it's working as it should. Some say there is an advantage that it can shift many gears at the same time, big deal, SIS and Friction did that for years! Some will say minimal maintenance, that's a tie, well sort of, like I said before a battery cost more than a set of cables, but once the Di2 system is working it's trouble free just as the mechanical system is.

    Look, I like things simple, simpler stuff breaks down less frequently because there is less to go wrong. I also don't like the idea of riding 50 miles from home and having a problem I can't fix on the side of the road, I hate the feeling of having to call my wife to come get me because of some problem. I'm an independent guy, I owned a business in the past and own another one now, I don't like relying on people to do my stuff for me when I should be able to do it myself, and that's the way I am with my wife, I don't treat her like she's my mommy.

    Again let me repeat, this is only my opinion, others will chime in to refute all that I've said and that's fine, I'm not going to refute any of it and cause a big argument here, it's just their opinion, neither are right or wrong, just opinion.

    By the way, I actually prefer Shimano 105 front derailleur and Ultegra rear with 105 brifters, 105 is very rugged and will last a very long time, Ultegra shifts the rear just a tiny bit better, but the rest can be all 105 and you won't tell the difference especially if you use DA cables.
     
  3. phillman5

    phillman5 New Member

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    I am not sure which video is from Cyclintom, but I disagree with the top/longer video. Its been my experience that with a system that is both mechanical and electronic, it is the mechanical part that will wear/break and not the electronic part. I got SRAM eTap, only because that is what came on the Ti bikes from the cheap dealer, spent $3,000 for whole bike. What I like, no shift cables, makes the bike very clean. Each derailed has its own small battery and they are interchangeable. I now just carry an extra battery. As for the wireless shifters, those batteries have lasted three years, and I replaced them just on general principal, not that the led was red. I get more than a month/charge on the main batteries, and I rotate the front/rear/spare, and very nicely the Garmin edge 830 gives me a warning on low derailer battery and tells me what gear I am in so I don't need to look down and back to see, loosing focus on the road ahead. Though I am flabbergasted that when I ride I have 11 batteries on the bike. I've gone down three times, once very hard, derailed hanger bent pretty well, and the detailers show some scrapes, but are still working well.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    cyclintom is an old guy in his 70's suffering from dementia or some such problem which he admitted to some time back here on this forum, so I don't think any of those are his videos. And Cyclintom didn't like CF bikes, nor did he like Chinese made bikes which leaves out the second video.

    I know that electronic shifting is all the rage so I won't go any more into running it down. People like technology and this offers that appeal, so to each their own; like I said before I like thing that are simple. It's sort of like the new Silca pump, it's bluetooth! yes, you can tie the pump to your phone so when you're inflating your tire you can see the PSI being displayed on the phone...and why do I need that when a simple gauge on the pump would have worked the same and cheaper plus I don't have to fetch my phone to see the PSI? if you're going through all that hassle you might as well use a stand alone mechanical psi gauge! I think that pump is a retarded idea, but all the techies will rush out and buy it. I had the same problem with bike computers that showed what gear you were in, like I didn't already know! or don't care because I'm in whatever gear that gives me my proper cadence!

    Some technology is just a waste of money, and some isn't like GPS's that can direct you from address to address with turn by turn instructions, beats a paper map hands down! Though obviously I do know how to use a paper map because I used those for at least 30 years, but prefer the GPS now, though when I'm on the bike touring I still use a paper map because I haven't found a bike specific GPS with address to address and turn by turn stuff that I've liked yet at a price I'm willing to pay, I don't understand why I have to pay at least $350 more for a bike GPS vs one I can buy for the car! Can you say gouging the cycling community?
     
  5. phillman5

    phillman5 New Member

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    1) 1000% agree about the pump with BT. Do you need to have a history of how high a pressure you pumped your tires? That just seems so ludicrous. And more of a pain, and more to go wrong, than a pump with a built in gauge.

    2) I had a bad accident last year, something distracted me, and when I refocused I hit a fairly large object in the middle of the road, it was a winding mountain decent. I occasionally check down to see what gears I am in, mainly to see "Do I have one more", and often I try to push it, "Am I one gear smaller climbing this hill than last time". So having the gears shown on the computer is a little more handy. To each his own on this.

    3) Yes, the Edge 830 is expensive, but I find its 1000% better than the 2015 Honda built in Nav system I am pretty sure I paid much more for.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the ones that come in any car suck, and for around $2,000 for crap? I can't figure out for the life of me why car manufactures can't just contract with Garmin for the GPS aspect of the car computer, then all cars would at least be on the same page in that aspect and everyone would know how to operate it no matter which car they jumped into.
     
  7. phillman5

    phillman5 New Member

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    Evidently Honda has for I think since 2017, definitely 2018. Not only that, those owners get free annual updates for 5 years, but I found a hack to download and install the quarterly updates Garmin puts out for other devices. I take this as a real kick in the teeth by Honda, as I have a 2015, and have had to pay $99 each year for updates. I wouldn't bother with the updates if Honda would release the Apple CarPlay software they tested on early 2015's (installed via a thumb drive), I'd still pay for it bugs and all, and sign a release from harm form. Seems to me, once they gave some owners free updates for five years, they could give all Honda owners free updates for five years. One reason I got a Honda was my older sister is so fond of them, personally, as a company, I think Honda sucks. Maybe the basic car is OK, but there are so many little things they could have done much better. For example, one time you REALLY need the front radar to apply breaks would be in heavy snow. Well the front sensor gets covered with ice, then stops working! They have an ambient temperature sensor, put in a small heater that would turn on when the temperature drops! Lower trim models have an AUX input jack on stereo, not the top of the line Touring trim. Just stuff like that you don't find in reviews. Sorry to get on my soap box, I forgot this a bicycle form, not car forum, oops.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    But if I buy a Garmin car GPS I get free lifetime updates and traffic for life, so Honda puts the Garmin system in but we still have to pay for updates after 5 years? So that's just profit for Honda? Probably.

    I never cared a whole lot about Honda, but I bought a 09 Acura TL because at the time it was the fastest 4 door 6 cylinder car on the market, I still have the car and it runs fine, but now other 4 door cars have come out that are faster. It's like chasing bicycle technology, I can't afford to chase either one! LOL!!
     
  9. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    As Froze stated and I can back up, there is very little difference in feel and function between 105 and Ultegra mechanical groups. The biggest difference I've found is in my caliper brakes and the 105 brakes are actually better than the Ultegra brakes (more solid feeling). Other than that they shift and run so similarly I would know which group I was using if blindfolded (on the trainer, hopefully!).

    That aside, my opinion based on what I've seen on the road is that Ultegra Di2 is a very well de-bugged group and is praised by both competitive cyclists and fred's alike. Do a decent build job (heat shrike tubing at the junctions to vibration-proof and water proof the wiring harness), do a little maintenance and you'll be fine.

    If the system completely fails and is in Crash Mode' it's still just as easy to get home on a single gear and a mechanical system with a broken shift cable.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    But if you broke a cable with a mechanical on a ride and you are riding mountains let's say, you can manually shift the mechanical by stopping the bike and moving the derailleur and chain prior to climbing a grade and move it back when at the top, a bit of a hassle of having to stop and go but it beats being in one gear as you would with the electric system.

    Also it's much easier to diagnose and repair a mechanical system then it is the electrical if either should malfunction.
     
  11. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Crash Mode disengages the drive connecting the servo motor to the parallelogram. You can manipulate and block the parallelogram just as you can with a mechanical system. The one time i snapped a rear cable I just dropped to the 39 ring put the rear in the middle of the cassette...maybe the 17? 19? Made it over a few steep climbs and leg speed on the flats was close enough to cruise home. Sure, I could have stopped and re-geared it three or four times, but like you said, too much of a pain in the ass and easier to just pick up the RPM's on the flats and strain a little harder going up.

    Yeah. a mechanical system is dead nut easy to diagnose and tune. No laptop required. No need to watch flashing lights or press buttons or re-program. Hell, some guys have sold off their 'malfunctioning' shimaNO derailleurs because they weren't smart enough to figure out how to take them back out of Crash Mode!

    I guess the moral is that you have to be smarter than the device you're working on and read all the manuals and instructions. And do a proper assembly job from the start.

    Campy has not released a Chorus EPS 12-speed group, reserving the good stuff for the big spenders. Rather than blow it on a Record EPS 12-speed rig I think the impending shimaNO 12-speed Ultegra Di2 would be my choice. It's all going to be obsolete in 2-3 years anyway. Amiright?
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That's just it, I don't want to be bothered reading a 168 page manual when I have to do is read a one page manual for a mechanical system! I'm sorry I just don't see the point. I know you like the electrical system and that's fine, that's your thing, I don't want to be bothered with it.

    With anything electronic we have watched this stuff become obsolete every 10 years or so, so you're going to buy something then only have to rebuy it in another 10 years or so.
     
  13. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Damn, I thought you died and went to Amish Hell. Good to see you back.
     
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  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    So did Shimano, Campy, and SRAM change how things worked if your electrical system failed? Because for awhile you could not shift the derailleur physically by hand, I read that in various publications back when they first came out.
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Always been that way, Froze.

    This from a 2012 article and Campy's "Ride Home Mode":

    "The flip side is if the battery dies while you’re out riding, you can also manually de-couple the actuator and put it in a good gear to get home. Conveniently, Campy calls this the “Ride Back Home” feature and advises you to charge your battery upon your return."

    https://bikerumor.com/2011/11/08/ca...ectronic-drivetrains-for-record-super-record/

    Pretty much a safety factor to prevent some cases of crash damage. The servo linkage is designed to be disconnected from the drive.

    If the local club Fred's are using Ultegra Di2 without whining...and they whine about everything that doesn't go to to perfection...it must be good stuff.

    I watched the Giro a couple years back and Nibali busted his mechanical Sooper Record right off the bike during an ITT. Anything and everything can happen, regardless of the actuation system involved. But, I take the lesson is proper set up and maintenance is the key to user success.
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    LOL! I'm still in Amish Hell. The County has freshly chip & sealed about 75% of my local riding roads and now every outdoor ride requires at least an 8-10 mile drive to find roads that are not covered in fresh tar / oil and loose pea gravel. To compound matters, the pre-patching along the broken up edges of the roads was 'repaired' with some very soft hot mix asphalt. Then, on those 90 degree days that followed...the damned nags pulling the buggies would come along and leave a double row of hoof-shaped divots that shake the crap out the bike going over them. Yeah...that's the Amish part of the Hell!

    And being that it finally stopped acting like Ohio was located in a rain forest I've been avoiding Zwift like the plague.
     
  17. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    One last thing...both your computer head unit and depending on the app your cell phone will repeatedly let you know that your battery or batteries on your bike's sensors (speed, cadence, heart rate, etc.) and shifting group are getting weak. Garmin and Wahoo both do it.

    Last week my Garmin alerted me my cadence sensor battery was going to die and it did it without the HAL 9000 voice. Replaced it and checked the old battery with my VOM. It was still making 3V DC but at least the pod bay doors were still open.
     
  18. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Could have been from a wheel change and poorly aligned cassette, previous crash damage, getting banged around in the field. I sure couldn't re-tune a rear derailleur at 30 MPH.

    Nibali uses a Campy mechanical system. Here's what he had to say about a similar incident:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nib...dealt-major-blow-in-alpe-di-siusi-time-trial/

    A disappointing day became a disastrous one, however, when Nibali slipped his chain while shifting into the big ring two kilometres from the summit.

    "The chain slipped out, and then the derailleur broke while I was trying to put it back on," Nibali said simply. Nothing to be done.

    Dropped chains. Missed shifts. Bent hangers. All of that was going on in spades long before electricity hit the scene.

    Can we go back to Andy Schleck handing Alberto Contador a Tour De France win with 'Chaingate'? SRAM mechanical system IIRC.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. 62vette

    62vette Well-Known Member

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    Your man that only replaces cables every three years is going to end up with frayed cables and potential shifting issues. I replace all inners at least annually and outers every two to three years.

    I would have to say that 11 speed ultegra mechanical is the most reliable and easy shifting groupset I have used to date.
     
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