Shimano Group Sets, What’s the Difference?


David wants to know the difference between the Shimano group sets, 105, Ultegra, Ultegra SL and the top of the range Dura-Ace. We give David the low-down, how it is and what he should spend his money on and why

Photo By: bradleypjohnson

Question: What is the difference between shimano 105, ultegra, ultegra SL and dura ace group sets? Does any last longer than the other for the extra cost? Is it worth paying more for the dura ace than ultegra, etc?

Answer: We could list what alloy bits there are on which parts, or that there is more carbon or titanium, but you could do that yourself by reading the Shimano brochure or their web-site, so instead we will give you our opinion and what use you would put each group set too.

The Shimano 105 Group

Source By: Glory Cycles

The 105 group set is adequate for mostly anything, it’s light and it works very well, functional and looks good, you don’t need much more than that, unless you want to race, then you need something a little lighter and you will have to spend a bit more on the better group sets.

The Shimano 105 group is hard wearing, it should last you a good length of time, it’s good for your training bike or work bike that you want to ride at the weekend or tour with. A good basic group set that won’t let you down.

The Ultegra and Ultegra SL Group

Image source: Morten Liebach

Both groups are for racing or lightweight riding, the top guys might use Shimano Dura-Ace, but if you look at the lower Pro teams and many amateurs, you will see that they mostly use Shimano Ultegra.

The difference between the Ultegra and the Ultegra SL is the ice grey finish and 100 grams lighter, nothing else. If you want to race or enjoy some fast riding then the Shimano group is exactly what you want.

The Dura-Ace Group

The Shimano Dura-Ace group set is the best that the Japanese company makes, and this is the group of choice for most professionals, its light and works like a dream.

This is La Creme de la creme of Shimano equipment and is the best you can get and is comparable to the Campagnolo Record group from the Italians and the Red group from SRAM. If you want and can afford the top of the range bike equipment then it has to be Dura-Ace.

I hope that answers your question or did you want the technical stuff?

Photo creait by: Glory Cycles

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1 Comment

  1. Darrell gibbons

    please help me choose. style of riding 4or5 centuries lots of traing miles 1or2 races a season.

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