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Thread: Ultegra or Force?

  1. #1
    TRuss is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Ultegra or Force?

    This question is not intended to start an argument but simply for those with experience to help me with a decision that I am struggling with. I intend to get a new road bike in 2012. On top of that I am new resident of the rainy and sloppy Pacific Northwest (not trying to argue about that either).

    The reason that I ask is that I continually read that SRAM is less finicky and with the Gore cables and housings also good at dealing with the less than ideal. Seeing the number of cross bikes pro or otherwise with SRAM components seems to lend some truth to this.

    My current bike has 7900 and it is quite exposed and I know Ultegra is the same way. It hasn't really caused any problems but, this next bike will be a more rough and tumble racer ridden hard and put away wet kind of deal. Do you guys think that Force will be better suited to this application...Or am I just over thinking things?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    sam
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    I think you are overthinking it a little, get which ever one you like. I perfer ultegra, I just think it performs better

  3. #3
    adriano's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    try full housing. better yet, try force with full housing.

  4. #4
    sonnybiker is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    go with what you know already.

    i find it very annoying/confusing to switch between sram and shimano, it takes me a few miles to remember how to shift how i want.

  5. #5
    SignatureJustin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Just put a gore kit on ultegra

  6. #6
    Brandon White's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    For what its worth - I deliberated over this for 2 weeks recently as I'm switching from Campy (not worth the cost difference in my opinion at the moment). Haven't ridden SRAM, had Ultegra 9spd 5 years ago, and only ridden 10spd Ultegra on rented bikes. I went with Ultegra based on a short test ride and a recommendation from my LBS Owner/Friend. He says he's replaced far too many SRAM components to recommend SRAM over Shimano at the moment unless there was something specific with SRAM that I wanted.

  7. #7
    RickM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Partially talking out my arse here since I have 0 experience w/ Force beyond watching it in action on others bikes...but IMHO Ultegra remains the leader in the chancerider price/performnace/value/reliability matrix for serious kit when you don't want to drop sick $ just to say you have something snootier.

  8. #8
    Dave Wofford is offline HighWaterDave-VSalonista
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    FWIW, Rival has worked great/held up great on my all rounder that sees a fair amount of dirt roads/trails, rainy days, winter riding for the last 2 1/2 years. (Paul Racers for brakes, all else is Rival)

    Though as stated above, if you got one bike with Shimano certainly seems to make sense and keep things simpler with the same shifting program.

  9. #9
    riceburner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRuss View Post
    This question is not intended to start an argument but simply for those with experience to help me with a decision that I am struggling with. I intend to get a new road bike in 2012. On top of that I am new resident of the rainy and sloppy Pacific Northwest (not trying to argue about that either).

    The reason that I ask is that I continually read that SRAM is less finicky and with the Gore cables and housings also good at dealing with the less than ideal. Seeing the number of cross bikes pro or otherwise with SRAM components seems to lend some truth to this.

    My current bike has 7900 and it is quite exposed and I know Ultegra is the same way. It hasn't really caused any problems but, this next bike will be a more rough and tumble racer ridden hard and put away wet kind of deal. Do you guys think that Force will be better suited to this application...Or am I just over thinking things?

    Thanks guys.
    Will your new road bike be a skinny tubed steel road bike? The Ultegra stuff with the beefy chainrings and industrial coloring looks like azz on skinny tubed steel road frames.

  10. #10
    R.Liverman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    I've got three seasons of cross racing on Rival and three seasons of road racing on Red with few if any problems. I'm sure I could say the same if I was riding 105, Ultegra or Dura Ace, everything at this level is nice. Flip a coin, go with whatever, and enjoy the ride. You can't go wrong.
    There is water at the bottom of the ocean.

  11. #11
    John M is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Welcome to the NW. You are overthinking it. I've been here in Seattle 7 years, and Shimano does fine in the wet. I am pretty much fully Campy now, but among the choices I would go Ultegra just because of prior experience with the stuff.

  12. #12
    DougS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    if either would fit your wallet, go with what hood shape fits your hands

  13. #13
    -Dustin is online now VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    SRAM just straight up, across the board, works better for me and feels better. I like the mechanical, positive feel. Shimano doesn't provide that these days.

    And SRAM has held up better for me.
    And seems to perform more consistently.

  14. #14
    TRuss is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Thanks everyone.

    For those who said that I am overthhinking it I thank you. I could sort of recognize that on my own but, it is always nice to have someone confirm it.

    A lot of other points made a lot of sense too; Staying wtih the familiar shifting of Shimano makes sense. Simply putting the Gore cables and housing on Ultergra (I'm thinking of putting them on my DA bike too) is a simple fix. All are good points to go with/stay with Shimano. Things that confuse the situation are hood shape and shifting feel. I don't really know how SRAM hoods feel aside from just feeling them on stationary bikes, they seem as if they may suit me...I like the feel of my 7900 too. And again I am experienced with that. As noted already I have really no experience on SRAM and cannot say if I prefer their stiffer more mechanical action. I do really like the shifting action on Shimano though. Also my job can be really tough on my hands and I don't really mind easy shifting.

    I do agree that both offer tremendous value with the same mechanical function of higher tiers groups for far lower prices. I do have experience with Ultegra and it feels just as good maybe even a smidge better than my 7900. I have read enough about Force to believe that same holds true in comparison to Red.

    Aesthetically speaking I also agree that all of the Shimano groups are polarizing and very non traditional in styling and don't look too nice on a traditional lugged steel frame, especially a skinny tubed one. As beautiful as skinny tubed steel frames are to look at and ride they arent' really my style. So aesthetically I'm not too worried about going Ultegra...it will probably be the new grey finish as well. If aeshetics were my biggest concern I would go with Athena or ideally Chorus, but that would've opened up a whole new set of questions and concerns which I have already heavily considered. Campagnolo is beautiful!

    I think I am going to go with Ultegra which I was leaning towards to begin with, but all of your input has really helped me. I am so stoked that my wife has okayed the bike and I hope to be making the deposit on my first custom frame very soon.

    Thanks again guys!

  15. #15
    Bssc is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Remember if you ride every day and want peak shifting performance you have to change you cables and housings every three months factor this cost in. ( just the cables once a month with the chain)

  16. #16
    JeffS is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bssc View Post
    Remember if you ride every day and want peak shifting performance you have to change you cables and housings every three months factor this cost in. ( just the cables once a month with the chain)

    Wow. Glad I don't subscribe to this maintenance plan.

  17. #17
    Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    I've owned 7800, 6700, Red, and Rival drivetrain setups this season. I put a lot of mileage on my drivetrain stuff in all conditions and neglect the piss out of it.

    With that in mind, the SRAM bits seem to function better under duress. There's a lot more room for error with things like cable tension/drivetrain wear, I've found. I am a much bigger fan of Shimano "hard" drivetrain parts, like rings/cassettes/chains, however. They seem to shift much better than their SRAM counterparts.

  18. #18
    Michael White is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Yeah, I've got em both . . . I go back and forth. They're both great.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bssc View Post
    Remember if you ride every day and want peak shifting performance you have to change you cables and housings every three months factor this cost in. ( just the cables once a month with the chain)
    Excessive.

  20. #20
    eisoh is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: Ultegra or Force?

    sram hoods feel so much better, i dont like the lump in shimano hoods

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