Shimano 105 / Ultegra

I’m after some opinions on these 2 groupsets.

I currently use the latest 105 on my roadie, and have been looking to upgrade, maybe to Ultegra.
The group is in great condition, so I’m really only entertaining the idea now, thus after some opinions.

Would a step up to Ultegra be worthwhile/justified?, or is it better to stay with the 105 until it dies?

I’m thinking this because I could sell the 105 while still in great condition rather than grind it to death and then upgrade.

Also, is the Ultegra such an increase over 105 that it’s even worth it? And should I forget it and just get Dura Ace (not really an option at double the price of Ultegra)

I won’t be racing on this bike, but I do over 1000km a month if that helps.

Sorry about the noobish questions…

105 is the best value Shimano group IMHO. Most of the parts are the same or very similar to Ultegra, just with different finishes and slight weight differences. The exception is when a new feature from DA has trickled down to Ultegra, but not yet 105, i.e. hidden gear cables for example.

Much bigger differences dropping to Tiagra/Sora/2200.

I’d keep using your current group and replace stuff once it wears out / breaks. Your $/km cost will be better this way than selling used 105 and buying new Ultegra.

^so, there’s no drama if say I need to replace a rear derailleur with Ultegra or Dura Ace? As long as it’s Shimano?

prolly true, but Ultegra is a great groupset.

I sold my 9 speed Ultegra a while ago and as I was cleaning/polishing it for packing I really did think it was well forged jewellery. 10k on it and it just works and works.

Having said that, not much wrong with 105 but an apparent propensity for LH 10sp shitters to err shit themselves

cross matching across the Shimano range is totally cool. 10sp with 10sp, 9sp with 9sp, and to a certain extent, 10sp with 9sp (ie cranksets, some rear derailleurs). Keep it same-same and you’ll be apples

nope, mix and match at will. you could even throw in some SRAM, which i’d recommend doing with your levers.

Blakey is on the money. 105 absolute value for money at the moment.

I have been told this by others as well. re:sram levers

IMO, yes. The 6700/6750 crank is awesome having a ‘hollowgram’ outer chainring- this is probably the best part of the Ultegra/DA groupset. Best front shifting I’ve ever experienced. The 105 crank is good too, but you don’t get the fancy outer chainring.

The differences between 105 and Ultegra are much greater than between Dura Ace and Ultegra. The best thing about DA 7900 is the fact you don’t have to trim when in the big chainring. This is actually really nice. Most of the other components are functionally identical to Ultegra.

I would definitely spend a bit extra and get Ultegra. The fit and finish is just better, bit more polished. There is also a better grey finish than the original silver (which is actually silvery-green in the flesh).

The one big tech difference is the really stiff hollow chainrings that 6700 uses (and DA 7900), which is part of the reason why upshifts from small to BIG ring are so good. The rest is just lighter and different/better finish than 105 really.

No. Sram levers have to be matched to Sram mechs. The cable pull is different. Cassette spacing and spline is the same, so you can keep your wheels and just change the mechs & levers.

With few exceptions (usually 1st gen DA and the latest DA), a 7-10sp Shimano mech of any group will index perfectly with 7, 8, 9 or 10sp Shimano shifters of any group. You won’t fit a 6sp chain through a 7sp mech etc, but a 10sp chain works with a 9sp mech.

In the 8sp era, DA and Ultegra (600) were functionally near identical, for recent 10sp, it shifted to Ultegra & 105. I haven’t used enough 9sp to comment.

i’ve got ultegra on my roady, and i’ve ridden 105 on other bikes and i can’t tell the difference. it’s probably slightly lighter and has better bearings, but i don’t think it would be worth the upgrade.

Thanks for all the responses guys, really appreciated.
Gives me some thinking to do at the least.

I do agree that Ultegra looks waay sexier than the black 105 I’m using.

Also with the exception of the new Dyna-Sys 10-speed MTB stuff I think. Why didn’t Shimano just make it the same as their road stuff??

No. Hurley is currently rocking a DA front mech to SRAM levers. He is the mix n match king.

Front doesn’t matter, I’m referring to indexing rear shifting. Does he have a SRAM or non SRAM rear mech?

Yes at some technical and probably barely measurable level, Ultegra is “better” than 105. But you won’t notice the difference. Ultegra won’t make you any faster or fitter or better than 105 will. You won’t notice the weight difference on the bike.

People buy Ultegra because:

  • other people think it’s better than 105
  • they can afford it
  • it looks nicer

If you’re happy with the price, get Ultegra. If value is more important, get 105 and put money into good wheels.

Either way, you’ll get a very well performing groupset.

ride your roadie regularly through a melbourne winter and you will find upgrades coming soon enough :wink:

i agree with blakey et al… start the slow upgrade path picking away at what you need (or appears for cheap on the forums).

horatio drank the shimano koolaid a while ago :wink:

extra money spent on good wheels will give you a bigger benefit over the better groupset.

not sure. knowing le man, probably campy, just to throw us further.

i have no regrets about putting the campy chain on my mostly-SRAM groupset. it freaking rules.

Older stuff Ultegra was the minimum to run, now that all the good tech bits have trickled down to 105 it’s great value. With that being said, I don’t own a bike with 105 on it, and if I was buying today, a bike would have to have a minimum of Ultegra or Rival on it, no technical reason, just my comfort level. If you shop around hard enough usually you can find a deal on an Ultegra set for the price of the average online 105 set.