There are a few reasons why Ultegra is the groupset of choice for many cyclists. Aside from the price, which groupset is better for the racer? Does Ultegra perform better than 105? Let’s consider a few of these factors.
Dura-Ace is the racers’ groupset
The Shimano Dura-Ace groupset is the pinnacle of cycling performance. This groupset was developed by Shimano, a Japanese company that also produces rowing equipment and fishing tackle. Introduced in 1973, the Dura-Ace was the first attempt to create a professional quality road racing groupset.
The Dura-Ace is an excellent groupset for racers, with some fantastic features. It is lightweight and simple to shift, and it has great braking. Unlike other groupsets, it has integrated power meters and is compatible with hydraulic disc brakes.
Shimano’s Dura-Ace groupset features an aluminum spider and hybrid carbon composite construction. It offers smooth shifting, improved pedal efficiency, and a new chainring ratio. The company has championed aluminum more than any other component manufacturer. The company says that they have embraced the benefits of aluminum over other metals and is committed to continuing that practice.
Shimano has three versions of the Dura-Ace groupset: R9100, R9200, and R9100. Both are interchangeable at the part level, though Dura-Ace is made for competition and has stronger components. Ultegra is a more forgiving groupset and is often used by professional cyclists if they are under UCI limits.
Shimano has also increased the number of gear ratios available. The Dura-Ace groupset now has 11-30T cogs, while Ultegra will have 11-28T. These ranges will work on both groups, but the 11-28 will not be available immediately.
Shimano’s entry-level 105 group is ideal for casual and recreational cyclists. The upper half of their catalog contains performance Shimano groups, like the Dura-Ace and Ultegra. The top three models are listed below, but there are plenty of options outside of those three. Alternatively, you may want to go for an older-generation Dura-Ace groupset.
The Shimano Ultegra R9200 groupset weighs 2,507 grams – which makes it the lightest groupset on the market. Compared to EPS, Super Record and Red AXS, the R9200 groupset is 22 grams lighter. The R9200 will cost $14,000 and the Expert will cost $7700.
Dura-Ace and Ultegra are similar in price, but Ultegra is more user-friendly. The Ultegra is easier to use and has an extensive spares directory. But it does not offer the soaring number of gear ratios that Dura-Ace offers.
The Dura-Ace groupset uses higher-quality bearings on the rear derailleurs, which reduces friction on the drivetrain. The lower friction does not affect rider comfort. In addition, the components are finished in “mirror black” – a shiny finish with a subtle sparkle. Although the color is hard to capture in photographs, it looks better in person.
Ultegra is a good alternative to Dura-Ace
Whether you prefer electronic shifting or mechanical shifting, you’ll find Ultegra a suitable alternative to Dura-Ace 105. Unlike Dura-Ace, Ultegra has fewer compromises in its production process, so it’s cheaper to buy. It also uses aluminum, carbon, and titanium, but still provides a high quality ride.
Shimano offers both mechanical and electronic shifters. The latter has fewer features to worry about, such as battery charging, and it can be more responsive when used in humid and muddy conditions. The advantage of using an electronic shifter is that it is 100 grams lighter than mechanical shifters.
Although the 105 and Ultegra both have the same basic functionality, they have differences in design. The Dura-Ace is more complex and has a separate crankset, while Ultegra is easier to maintain. However, the Dura-Ace is easier to clean and does not retain dirt as easily.
While Dura-Ace uses titanium for the largest cogs, Ultegra has aluminum and carbon parts to reduce weight. The Ultegra cassette is also lighter than the 105, as it uses nickel-plated steel parts for the ratchets and ring.
The rear derailleurs are similar, though the Ultegra has a clutch mechanism, which improves chain retention. Both derailleurs are made by Shimano, and are similar in operation. Their main differences are weight, materials, and manufacturing. In some respects, the current Ultegra and 105 groupsets are more refined than their predecessors.
While both groups are good for the road, the Dura-Ace is the best choice overall. The Dura-Ace is more lightweight, but you’ll also have to spend more time machining the frame and applying carbon and titanium to it. This is a huge step forward in bike tech, but it comes at a cost.
Compared to the Dura-Ace 105, the Ultegra is more durable. Dura-Ace is 100 grams lighter, but the Ultegra has 30 grams more. This difference is minimal, but it’s worth noting when choosing between the two.
There are also differences in price. A bike with 105-equipped components will cost more than a bike with an Ultegra group. But it’s still more cost-effective to buy a complete bike rather than an upgrade group later on.
As a road cyclist, you should consider upgrading the components of your bike to increase your performance. Shimano 105 is an excellent groupset, but for those who want more performance, Ultegra is the better choice. Moreover, it’s lighter than the 105, and it can save you hundreds of grams in the long run.
Shimano’s current 105 line is better than Ultegra
The 105 line is Shimano’s entry-level road bike groupset, suitable for casual or recreational cyclists. In the upper half of the Shimano catalog, you’ll find performance groups, such as Ultegra and Dura-Ace. To help you decide, this article compares the three groupsets.
Shimano’s current 105 line represents a compromise between quality and price. Shimano has made a lot of changes to the groupsets, resulting in an improved shifter and brakes. The new Ultegra groupset is lighter than the 105, but it still uses aluminium and steel. The 105 is also more affordable than Ultegra.
The 105 groupset has a unique spider design. Compared to the Dura-ace groupset, it is more durable and lighter. But it’s also harder to clean. In addition, the 105 crankset is more likely to hold on to dirt than Ultegra’s.
Shimano’s latest 105 group has a smaller front derailleur that pivots closer to the rear tire. This can reduce friction caused by wide gravel tires. It also has a wider rear dropout spacing, which allows for disc brakes.
While the Ultegra groupset has more features and is lighter than the 105, the two bikes have similar engineering. The Ultegra groupset also has a slightly larger range of high and low gears. It is a good choice for professionals who want every marginal gain.
The Dura-Ace rear derailleurs feature higher-quality bearings, which decrease friction in the drivetrain. This means less drag, which means less strain on the rider. Furthermore, the Dura-Ace groupset is more aesthetically appealing than the 105 line.
Shimano’s 105 chainsets and Ultegra chainsets use similar materials. However, many rivals have switched to carbon-fibre cranks, while Shimano has stayed with aluminium cranks. This helps to keep the overall weight down while maintaining stiffness.