105 or ultegra or Di2

by Dr Livingstone   April 23, 2012  

Hi, I'm interested in a new sportive bike - I've read all the stuff on bike radar etc but they never cover my specific question. I have small hands and find that the current pattern with 105 etc make the brakes a bit "wooden". I have tried Campagnolo Veloce with its single shift blade and found that better. So is Ultegra better than 105 and is Di2 better than those given that there are no mechanical gear linkages?

Thanks

9 user comments

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What about SRAM?

posted by pjay [229 posts]
23rd April 2012 - 17:45

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good question. This will be my first drop bar bike in 35 years so I'm interested in all opinions

posted by Dr Livingstone [23 posts]
23rd April 2012 - 17:55

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Ultegra Di2 has a significantly narrower hood profile than the mechanical systems, so might suit your smaller hands...

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7501 posts]
23rd April 2012 - 18:34

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I am just pleased I am not the only one with a dilemma!

I hope you sort it. What bike are you getting?

posted by Super Domestique [1653 posts]
23rd April 2012 - 18:41

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not really sure, love the Roubaix but anything under £2500 is 105 or Tiagra and they don't do a Campag or Sram. If I go Ribble Gran Fondo I can have Sram, Shimano or Campag but they don't list Di2 as an option. reasonably priced Di2 - Cube agree but probably to race geometry for me - I prefer a taller headtube

posted by Dr Livingstone [23 posts]
23rd April 2012 - 18:49

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Are, yes, the joy of weighing up one bike v another. Something I know very well.

There are still some deals about on 2011 Roubaix models iirc. Might be worth looking in to.

posted by Super Domestique [1653 posts]
23rd April 2012 - 19:20

1 Like

Super Domestique wrote:
Are, yes, the joy of weighing up one bike v another. Something I know very well.

There are still some deals about on 2011 Roubaix models iirc. Might be worth looking in to.

Just buy the frame and the groupset seperately - I did this and by careful shopping saved about £1,300 over shop floor price and it's hellva fun building it up. I have learn't so much about frames, groupsets and accesories during the 2 months of searching, it also gave me something to so during rainly lunch breaks.

Also by putting it all together myself (except installing the BB30 BB) I have learnt all about maintining my bike in workshop condition for free and also seem to have ammassed a whole new load of tools (mostly second hand of eBay at a 1/4 of the price). Plus I get exactly what I wanted - not what was forced on me. In the end I went for mostly Sram force with some Sram Red bits.

posted by jonomc4 [26 posts]
26th April 2012 - 22:38

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Reviewers have their own experience, opinions and imagined audience so a pinch of salt is recommended (though fair play to the road.cc reviewers, they try to put themselves in the prospective owner's cleats).

I would recommend you try Di2 and SRAM double-tap before you do anything. I had a play with Di2 in my LBS and found it effortless on a turbo-mounted bike but, as was pointed out, it might be a very different scenario out on the road. I also wondered how well it would work wearing full-finger gloves, as the two paddles would be difficult to distinguish through the fabric.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2054 posts]
27th April 2012 - 18:23

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I've been riding an Ultegra Di2 bike for about 6 weeks now, with a lot of time in full-fingered gloves (winter is coming, Down Under), and even two pairs semi-regularly. No problems at all with the gloves & the Di2 shift buttons.

I upgraded from 105. The electronic shifting is brilliant - much better than I expected. Haven't charged the battery yet, and it's showing about 50% charge as of this afternoon. And such smoooooth shifting. Lovely stuff.

posted by guyvb [11 posts]
28th April 2012 - 8:07

1 Like