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Shimano 105 is considered Shimano’s first performance groupset, and for many people it is the best option in combining performance, value and longevity.
Ultegra is next and is very similar to Dura-Ace in terms of performance, though Dura-Ace is lighter. Shimano currently produces Ultegra and Dura-Ace in electronic versions, denoted by Di2, and newer Dura-Ace, Ultegra and 105 models now come with disc brakes.
Disc brake models (R9120, mechanical disc and R9170, di2 disc) have Dura-Ace hydraulics, which use ‘Freeza brake calipers’ to cut down on heat build up.
Upgrades from Shimano Ultegra include lighter shifters, greater heat dissipation on disc brake rotors, and a carbon rear dérailleur cage.
If you’re buying a bike, then, after the frame, the groupset is the second thing that you should look at, and is a key determining factor in working out whether the bike in front of you offers good value for money or not.
Read more: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 vs Ultegra R8000 The rear mech can now cater for cassettes up to 30T, and we even went to 32T (though this isn’t covered under warranty as it’s not officially recommended).The Japanese brand offers a wide range of groupsets – starting with Claris and Sora, which you’ll find on entry level road bikes.Tiagra is the next step up, followed by Shimano 105 which is typically specced on bikes costing upwards of £1000.Disc brake iterations – R8020 (mechanical) and R8070 (di2) – use Ice technologies Freeza properties to reduce heat build up and the shifters are slimmer than former models.Buy now: Shimano Ultegra R8000 at Wiggle from £521 The entry level performance groupset was the last to get an update, but as you’d expect with trickle down technology, Shimano 105 R7000 has received a couple of the luxuries afforded to newer Ultegra.
However, a few of the changes made with the newest creation also make Ultegra a better choice for those looking to tackle gravel and mixed terrain.