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Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 6:44 am
by shipper
Hi,

I have a dilemma – I have a 2009 Cannondale Synapse which I am very happy with – it’s equipped with predominantly Shimano 105 5600 (apart from an FSA Gossamer crank and Tektro brakes – in which I’m running Koolstops). I have put RS80 wheels on.

I like the frame and there isn’t anything on the market that would be desperate to change to so N+1 isn’t an option. I’m also not interested in waiting for Ultegra 11 speed as I’d like to maintain compatibility with my wifes bike.

Now my problem isn’t anything to do with function – everything works just fine. It’s a bit about the bling factor!

I would like to change the brakes to something more substantial – I have no complaints about the current stopping power but I feel there is more to be had. I’d also like to move to shifters with under the bar tape cables.

I am contemplating 3 scenarios:

1, buy 105 - 5700 brakes and shifters. ($296) – this option would fulfil all my requirements except bling factor!

2, buy Ultegra 6700 brakes and shifters ($429) – this option is my preferred one, except for only an extra $335 I could get an Ultegra crank, BB, cassette, chain and front and rear derailleurs by buying the whole groupset – seems like a bit of a bargain.

3, buy a whole Ultegra 6700 groupset ($764) – see notes on option 2 for reasons.

4, a combination of the above – i.e. 5700 shifters with 6700 brakes.

I’m no racer – not really interested in power meters or anything like that – this isn’t really about going faster. I do like nice stuff though!

Any thoughts?

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:06 am
by rjk
i upgraded my long reach tektro to long reach shimano ultgra's, the stopping power increase was incredible.

Shimano R650 Dual Pivot Brake Caliper

Where i used to try and stop on a descent i always felt as if the tektro were at the limit of there stopping power, once i changed to the shimano, i almost put myself over the bars on the same descent, the shimanos also have greater modulation and feedback, it was an upgrade that made a huge difference in confidence on the bike

i was using the same koolstop salmon pads

if nothing else upgrade the brakes to ultegra, you wont regret it at all

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:08 am
by ohexploitable
mixed groupsets make you look like even more of a cheapskate => less bling

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:19 am
by cyclotaur
Option 1. A favourite 2009 bike is worthy of an upgrade but not spending too much on.

The rest of the bike is fine bike is fine and you'd still have all 105 (except cranks, Cannondale always seem to use FSA) and you get the brake upgrade you are after. If I was buying a full current Ultegra grouppo I build up a new bike. :wink:

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:21 pm
by Ozkaban
Upgrade the groupset to full Ultegra and enjoy. I did it to my bike over time as and when I could. Brakes are better, shifting action is fractionally different, but I wanted ultegra so I bought it.

As for the frame being old, keep the old groupset and put it on it when/if you ever decide to sell and just buy the new frame you want (there's a De Rosa Merak frame calling out to me at the moment!)

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:32 pm
by BrisVegas
Friend of mine has built up a similar vintage Synapse frame over time with some blingy parts and it is a very cool bike now. He found a bunch of stuff cheap, eg. Dura Ace 7800 groupset, carbon FSA cranks, Selle SMP saddle, Open Pro's on DT Swiss hubs, new 3T forks/bars/stem/seatpost, some nice anodized bolts and bottle cages etc.. All up the bike has cost him $1200 ish but it looks a million bucks. Why limit yourself to just fresh 105. You got a good base for a cool bike.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:44 pm
by trailgumby
I'd ditch the FSA cranks. If you ride in the wet at all, their bottom brackets self-destruct due to the abysmal seal design.

Unfortunately, while nominally 24mm, the spindles are a few hundredths of a mm too big to fit in other brand 24mm BBs (eg, Shimano). :x

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:51 pm
by Jesmol
Where can you get a complete ultegra group for $760?

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:03 pm
by shipper
Jesmol wrote:Where can you get a complete ultegra group for $760?


Merlin!

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:32 pm
by macca33
If you love the frame, then by all means upgrade the groupset - all or part is up to you and your budget.

Don't overlook the fact that there are some bargains to be had on Ebay also.

cheers

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:32 pm
by sir_camel
I just picked up this Ultegra 6700 Chainset off Merlin to upgrade my Shimano cranks for $170 shipped including bottom bracket. My whole groupo is 105 except the cranks which are some super basic Shimano cranks. Next on the list are brakes.

http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-shop/r ... inset.html

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:42 pm
by jacks1071
If you want something a little different, checkout Microshift. I've been going to import them officially for some years and began two weeks ago:

Image

http://www.pro-liteoz.com/store/index.p ... ductId=101

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:58 pm
by MichaelB
But don't these have the cables sticking out the side like the 5600 era shifters ?

I thought that this was one of the reasons the OP wanted to change ?

May suit some bikes, but the colour highlights don't float my boat. Reports on WW is that they are not bad, esp given the price.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:11 pm
by jacks1071
MichaelB wrote:But don't these have the cables sticking out the side like the 5600 era shifters ?

I thought that this was one of the reasons the OP wanted to change ?

May suit some bikes, but the colour highlights don't float my boat. Reports on WW is that they are not bad, esp given the price.


They are good period, the price is the kicker.

The cables are extenal, initally this was a concern and it was holding me back however I've since gotten over it. For the weight, performance and appearance nothing comes close in terms of value for money. They come with black cables included which you can barely see. Add to this external cables shift smoother and with less effort, they can also be replaced without re-taping your bars. Internal or external cables, I'm past caring.

They have a more plain looking carbon version called the Arsis which maybe more to your liking? I've got some more of the Arsis ones comming in a few weeks, the first lot sold out before we even got them onto our website. They are only a little more expensive than the WHITE model. The WHITE model also comes in plain white if you don't want the highlights. I LOVE the coloured highlights, they create a really nice opportunity to personalise your build.

Here is a pic:

Image

This is a bike we built up a week or so ago, it came up so nice and right on 6.9kg with Ultegra 6700 crank & brakes and an alloy Bracciano wheelset.

Image

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:05 am
by Duck!
MichaelB wrote:But don't these have the cables sticking out the side like the 5600 era shifters ?

I thought that this was one of the reasons the OP wanted to change ?

The sticky-outy cabled shifters actually perform quite a bit better than the hidden cabled models. Just something to consider.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:15 am
by shipper
yeah I know.....but the hidden ones look so much nicer! (seriously though I don't suppose it could be that much worse or the pro peloton would all be rocking the old style shifters eh?)

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:42 am
by Duck!
Story told by one of the Shimano people when the 7900 Dura Ace came out a few years ago.... When it was being developed hidden cabling was a rider-demanded feature. The techs warned them that it wouldn't be as nice as the 7800 series. Then once development models were being supplied to sponsored teams, and later once the production version was available, feedback was "it doesn't shift as well", to which Shimano allegedly said, "well we told you so, but you told us to make it!"

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:55 am
by jacks1071
shipper wrote:yeah I know.....but the hidden ones look so much nicer! (seriously though I don't suppose it could be that much worse or the pro peloton would all be rocking the old style shifters eh?)


If you ride a bike with Dura-ace 7800 and 7900 you'd understand that the 7800 has smoother shifting with less lever pressure required. Not to say the 7900 doesn't work well.

Just a case of appearance over function :-)

The appearance difference is nothing, I thought it was an issue but after one ride its forgotten. Plus the use of black cables limits their visability a lot whereas the old "grey" shimano ones were more visable.

There is Pro teams riding Microshift, with external cables. 5-hour Energy in USA are on it, Francisco Mancebo had a 2nd place in Tour of California riding Microshift two weeks ago "worthy" of "pro's" if thats what you want to base your purchasing decisions on.

Image

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:37 am
by cyclotaur
Duck! wrote:
MichaelB wrote:But don't these have the cables sticking out the side like the 5600 era shifters ?

I thought that this was one of the reasons the OP wanted to change ?

The sticky-outy cabled shifters actually perform quite a bit better than the hidden cabled models. Just something to consider.

Aesthetics aside, and they are subjective, I agree with this. The shifting on my 10 yo 9-spTiagra equiped roadie is sharper, smoother than on my 2 yo 105 equiped CAADX. Current Tiagra is (functionally) very nice, and probably has some functional design flow-down from 7800 DA by now as well..... ?

Microshift could be better looking I guess, but functionally they seem pretty good by all reports.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:34 pm
by rjk
you could always go ultegra DI2 that way there is no sicking out cable :)

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:10 pm
by jacks1071
rjk wrote:you could always go ultegra DI2 that way there is no sicking out cable :)


True that, no cables gear cables to replace either. Just batteries and electronics to deal with.

Not exactly in the same price bracket though and the Ultegra Di2 isn't exactly light weight in comparison.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:00 pm
by Duck!
cyclotaur wrote:
Duck! wrote:
MichaelB wrote:But don't these have the cables sticking out the side like the 5600 era shifters ?

I thought that this was one of the reasons the OP wanted to change ?

The sticky-outy cabled shifters actually perform quite a bit better than the hidden cabled models. Just something to consider.

Aesthetics aside, and they are subjective, I agree with this. The shifting on my 10 yo 9-spTiagra equiped roadie is sharper, smoother than on my 2 yo 105 equiped CAADX. Current Tiagra is (functionally) very nice, and probably has some functional design flow-down from 7800 DA by now as well..... ?

Current Tiagra shifters are to a large structural extent actually 7800 DA!

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:28 pm
by _mike_
Duck! wrote:
MichaelB wrote:But don't these have the cables sticking out the side like the 5600 era shifters ?

I thought that this was one of the reasons the OP wanted to change ?

The sticky-outy cabled shifters actually perform quite a bit better than the hidden cabled models. Just something to consider.


That and the ease to replace a cable is why I built up my current bike with my ol trusty 5600 shifters on a 6700 groupset. Hidden cable looks the goods though, but glad i'm not the only one who notices the shifting difference.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:23 pm
by march83
microshift: that was a massive thread de-rail, but that stuff looks really nice especially for the price. For my commuter, hidden cables are a must to avoid shadows in my headlights, but on a race bike i would happily run them.

Re: Upgrades 105 to Ultegra

Posted: Fri May 31, 2013 7:59 am
by Ozkaban
rjk wrote:you could always go ultegra DI2 that way there is no sicking out cable :)

...and I hear the shifting action is pretty light too :mrgreen: