Road Bike Upgrade – Ultegra Di2 or DA 7900?

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  • Road Bike Upgrade – Ultegra Di2 or DA 7900?
  • Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    I will be upgrading the road bike in the near future, changing the shifters, front and rear mechs.

    Both Ultegra Di2 and DA 7900 are within budget, but which would be the best option?

    Anybody tried both?

    bikerbruce
    Member

    If you dont get di2 your rather silly,its better.By along shot,and more future proof… and ergonomically more sound.The comparison between the two is massive.Im selling my Mechnical stuff after the national cyclo cross champs this weekend and then Im going electronic on all road and cross bikes.

    Having run it on my dads cross bikes with no issues all year and me with dura ace 7900 on mine the and my road bikes.

    hope thats useful,let me know if you have any more questions.

    RealMan
    Member

    They’re both really solid group sets – if you’re starting to develop an electric fetish, go Di2. If you’re more interested in stiffness and weight, go DA. Di2 should be more reliable, no need to change cables etc. Although that’s hardly a big job.

    The thing that settled my mind when thinking about this was – if I have a crash, and destroy the rear mech – how much is it going to cost to get the bike running again? What if I’m skint at the time?

    If you’re mechanical you can easily source a 105 mech or something nice and cheap, and the bike’s running again. But with Di2, you need either an ultegra or DA electronic rear mech. Pricey. Same goes with if you have a crash and you destroy a hood. I’d love Di2, but I don’t like the idea of a few breakable parts being so expensive, and restricting you so much in what you can replace them with.

    It is a lovely decision to make though, and you’ll end up with a nice group set whatever. What frame is it going on?

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Ultegra Di2 is nice, but I would probably go for DA7900. The Di2 didn’t feel quite as quick as I thought it would, but the changes are perfect every time and won’t require any maintenance, where as there will be a bit of faffing with the DA stuff, but it (imo) felt faster when changing gears. Main thing is though, does your bike have internal routing for Di2 stuff? Going to be a PITA if not…

    mashiehood
    Member

    I tried Dura Ace 7900 Di2 and SRAM Red, ended up with SRAM red for the reasons mentioned in Realmans and whatnobeer posts. Replacement costs and SRAM red (2012) felt superb.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    The frame does not have internal routing. Other than appearance why would this make a difference?

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    I have 7900 on my best bike and it’s OK but in terms of performance (braking and shifting) isn’t any better than the 5600/6600 mix on my winter bike (in fact I prefer the older style Shimano front shifting as it has trim, although apparently 7900 shouldn’t need trim IME it does and I have to put up with it rattling at one end of the block (whichever way I adjust).
    I’d probably give Ui2 a go now if I had your choice however the mechs are fugly and as others have said the replacement costs if you crash are eye-watering and you really need to factor that in.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Di2 every time. Been a bit underwhelmed with 7900, prefer 7800 in many ways!

    bikerbruce
    Member

    Just dont crash and ride a nicer bike thats my moto!

    Di2 every time. Been a bit underwhelmed with 7900, prefer 7800 in many ways!

    +1

    Ui2 should be upgradable to 11speed if the internet rumours are true, so get that and some 11s shimano wheels for when it inevitably trickles down.

    nikxl
    Member

    Get the ultegra di2 unless you can stretch to DA9000 the 7900 group has never been as good as 7800 was other than aesthetics. New ultegra di2 should be compatible with the dura ace so you can upgrade bits too

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    As an aside, Di2 stands for Digital Integrated Intelligence (IIRC), so it’s Ultegra Di2 or UDi2, not Ui2 as many people call it (not singling out TINAS!).

    Mister P
    Member

    Ui2Ultegra Di2 should be upgradable to 11speed if the internet rumours are true

    Just a firmware update from what I have been lead to believe.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    I was in the same boat, went for DA. Very happy with it, great performance and considerably lighter, which mattered to me.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    I know it’s actually Ultegra Di2 it’s just pointless typing all that when Ui2 is easier and everyone knows what you mean.

    nikxl
    Member

    There is only “current” ultegra di2 it’ll be 2 ish years before they change it

    Rorschach
    Member

    There is only “current” ultegra di2 it’ll be 2 ish years before they change it

    I would’nt be so sure 😉 (and Ultergra/105 mechanical)

    Ultegra Di2 vs DA7900 Mechanical=Di2
    Ultegra Di2 vs DA9000 Mechanical=Da9000 Mechanical (if your wheels will take 11 speed)

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Just to clarify (I’m a 9spd DA owning luddite who is becoming di2 curious so it’s all new to me!), the first lot of DA di2 is not compatible with Ultegra Di2 but the lastest DA di2 is – or have I made that up in my sleep?

    nikxl
    Member

    No original dura ace di2 has different wiring to ultegra and the forthcoming dura ace

    Premier Icon rockfield
    Subscriber

    DI2 sounds great, but its the replacement costs that put me off. A mate of mine has Dura Ace Di2 on his Colnago. the other week another mate accidently ran into the back of him at a junction and it wrote the rear mech off – £439 to replace ! that would be my bike off the road for months whilst i saved up! However if you can afford it, I reckon why not go for it!

    mrblobby
    Member

    I went for Di2. Hardly ever break anything on my road bike and as a bit of a gadget boy it put a smile on my face every time I change gear. I like the trimming front mech a lot.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    So do both mechs on Ultegra Di2 self adjust? Home installation and servicing would be a doddle then?

    nikxl
    Member

    No nothing self adjusts. You set it up with the limit screws put it on a sprocket, micro adjust using the lever until the chain starts rubbing then knock it down 4 and that’s it. Front is done on limit screws as per a mechanical mech

    swisstim
    Member

    As Mashiehood said…SRAM Red…its better than Ultegra Di2 and Dura Ace 7900. If you are set on Shimano…and that’s not wrong, we all have preferences, then DA9000 is soooo much better than 7900 that it makes it look silly….

    But as I have now also said…Red is actually best.

    http://roadcyclinguk.com/news/gear-news/sram-red-long-term-test-three.html

    swisstim, I’d argue against you actually. I have Red and Force on several bikes and would swap them in a heartbeat for Di2. Sram is light but that’s about your lot, it wears out quickly, the shifters break regularly and the jockey wheels seize.

    swisstim
    Member

    Really…that’s interesting, because my impression this winter has been that DA9000 is a little more susceptible to road grit and grime than Red 2012. Are you on the previous versions?

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    There is no way I am putting SRAM on any bike of mine, road or MTB.

    So the initial set up of Ultegra Di2 is similar to a normal groupset but after that it will self trim to keep itself in algnment?

    Premier Icon flange
    Subscriber

    Merlin are doing udi2 for £699 at the moment. Shifters, mechs and all the wiring. I’m VERY tempted

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    “Merlin are doing udi2 for £699 at the moment. Shifters, mechs and all the wiring. I’m VERY tempted “

    I know, I posted a link earlier in the thread.

    nikxl
    Member

    No it doesn’t self trim, it doesn’t go out of alignment though as there’s no cable stretch. If you change wheels you will have to adjust it. Read the tech docs on shimanos website

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    “Read the tech docs on shimanos website”

    I will do as soon as I get home.

    mudshark
    Member

    I just got a new bike and chose U Di2 for it – didn’t have a Dura Ace option though. It is very nice but hard to justify the cost over Ultegra really – if you don’t have to justify that’s fine though!

    As for SRAM Red – I’m sure it’s fine now but I’ve never seen a roadie have to fiddle with a front mech before; last time I rode with my mate he stopped several times on one ride to adjust his front mech and he is a decent mechanic. Seems the cage isn’t very stiff.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    Is confused and tempted by DA 9000 now…….

    Will a 11 speed DA9000 cassette fit my 2012 Mavic Kysrium SL hub?

    Rorschach
    Member

    Yes.You just don’t use the spacer.

    orangeboy
    Member

    This is stw so the answer is a campy group !
    I’ve always been unimpressed with 7900 when I’ve I’ve used it but have never tried the ultegra ui2
    Although the future proofing would suggest its the way forward frame allowing a neat instillation

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    No to Campy as I have never liked the feel of the shifters .

    I think Di2 is out also out as a neat installation on my frame is unlikely.

    So DA 7900 or 9000? Hmmmmmm……….

    Time for bed and some more thinking…….

    Thanks everyone

    aP
    Member

    Well I’m thinking seriously of EPS. Maybe early summer. Much nicer aesthetics than shimano.

    bol
    Member

    Why the aversion to SRAM Pete? Seems odd to write an option off simply because of who it’s made by?

    I’ve just gone through the same decision process and plumped for Red, having never run SRAM on a road bike before. The reasons for the decision were essentially:

    1. Cost: can mix and match groups, so I’ve got full 2013 Red drivetrain (the important bit) with Force shifters and brakes until some fab deal comes up. No real weight or performance penalty. As others have said, its easy to swap cheaper/available bits in and out in emergencies too.

    2. Aesthetics: the new DA9000 Di2 looks nice, but the other generations of electric shifting look like they’ve been made in someone’s shed. The mechs look horrid and there’s a stupid great battery stuck to your down tube.

    3. Weight: Red is lighter than DA7900 and loads lighter than Di2.

    4. Function: The only significant advantage of Di2 as far as I can tell, other than the (albeit attractive) novelty value of pressing a button, is the trimming front mech. The new Red mech does the same job in a much more simple, elegant and lighter way.

    I’m sure I’ll be tempted by electronic shifting one day, but it just doesn’t do it for me yet. DA9000 mechanical is another story, but would currently have cost me about twice as much to buy.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Subscriber

    Bol it’s because of past experiences with their kit and many reports that their road gear is fragile.

    My current Shimano group set has been faultless for almost seven years.

    As to aesthetics, well that’s all down to personal taste.

    bol
    Member

    Fair enough. Nothing better than personal experience. I must admit I’ve been very happy with the three sets of 105 I’ve had.

    Bol, I’d actually argue that the ONLY bit of Red worth having is the shifters, I’ve have Apex, Rival and Force on various bikes and many have expired early. Think I’m on replacement set 4 on my best road bike due to failure. I’d rather have Red shifters and Force or Rival everything else.

    on the flip side the Shimano Dura Ace 7800 shifters on my wifes bike that are 6 years old now are still working like they’ve just come out of the box….

    bol
    Member

    I guess it’s a bit early to tell regarding the new Red group. Hopefully it’ll be reliable. It’s certainly supposed to be stronger. I’ll almost certainly end up with the shifters as I’m a tart, but the Force ones were very cheap as a stopgap. Time will tell.

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