Ultegra Di2 to Sram Red 2013

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Post Reply
tohd1978
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:18 am

by tohd1978

Currently riding a Tarmac SL4 with Ultegra Di2 and contemplating a switch to the above SRAM.

I'm not a racer and there isn't much hills where I live. But being in this forum, I can't help but be attracted to the substantial weight difference. I have not ridden Sram before but I like to try new products.

Any feedbacks or views on if I should make the switch.

User avatar
Tinea Pedis
Posts: 8445
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:08 am
Location: Geelong
Contact:

by Tinea Pedis

SRAM is lighter.

This is WW.

The hint is in the name :wink:

eric
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Contact:

by eric

I'd try to blag a ride on a Sram bike before you switch. I went from 7800 to 2012 Red and found the shift action disapointing- takes more force and is less precise. I stuck with it and got used to it but I still miss shifts that I would not have missed with 7800.

thisisatest
Shop Owner
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:02 am
Location: NoVA/DC

by thisisatest

i wouldnt do it. di2 works too well. the weight will only affect you when you get on a scale with your bike. it, for all practical purposes, wont slow you down.

User avatar
prendrefeu
Posts: 8609
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:32 pm
Location: Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California
Contact:

by prendrefeu

Go for a test ride with another bike that uses SRAM 2012.
For some of us, weight and tunability matters.
For others, "the latest tech" matters.
For some others, "tradition" matters.

In the end, to each their own.
The hood shapes are different.
There are benefits to electronic, there are downsides.
There are benefits to cable-actuated, there are downsides.

If someone else gives you sh*t about your personal decision, they're most likely quite miserable anyway so just ride away from them.
Exp001 || Other projects in the works.

Tamu8104
Posts: 187
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:45 am
Location: US
Contact:

by Tamu8104

prendrefeu,

That was one of the best responses to the "this group vs that group" discussions I have seen on this forum or others. Well said!!

But it probably should have been "another bike that uses SRAM 2013"???
Gaulzetti Cabron Disc = (weight unknown)
Rock Lobster Team Tig SL Disc = (pending)
Sold: Ridley X-Night Disc = 7.80 kg | Ridley Noah FAST = 6.86 | Ridley Fenix = 6.74 | Raleigh HiLife = 7.46 | Fuji SST = 7.34 | Van Dessel FTB = 7.58

Ozrider
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

by Ozrider

I have just upgraded my SRAM Red on my Parlee Z5 to the 2013 Red. There is a remarkable difference in performance over the old Red.
The first thing I noticed was the quietness, as the old Red always produced some drivetrain noise. The hood shape has changed, and it feels mor comfortable for my large hands.
Shifting is vastly improved. Front shifting is now on a par with Dura Ace. The yaw on the front derailleur eliminates chain rub and shifting front and rear is quicker and more precise. The new brakes are more powerful, with better modulation and feel.

Until 2 years ago I had been a dyed in the wool Shimano user, having progressed from 105 to 600/ Ultegra to Dura Ace over the years, and my steel bike still runs DA 7700 and my training bike runs DA 7800, and in direct comparison riding the bikes back to back, 2013 SRAM Red is the best in terms of all round performance. My 7800 has new chain, cassette, chainring and cables, so it is not as if I am comparing an old worn drivetrain to a new one, as my 7800 has about 500km on it since replacing all the above items.

To top it all off, the new Red is 100g lighter than the old Red, approx 1780g for the BB30 version.
Ultegra (not Di2) is Approx 2440g so the Weight difference is 560 g, and Ultegra Di2 would be even heavier, so if weight saving is your goal, swapping to new Red would save you approx 600g. And being WW's it's all about weight isn't it?

The downside to Red is it is 10 speed, where DA 9000 will be 11, and SRAM Red has silver and red graphics that will not suit all frame colours. The upside of Red is that it is currently the lightest groupset available, shifting is as good as anything else, and lastly, cable operated is a plus or minus dependent on personal preference. As the 2013 Redis still so new, durability is an unknow factor, but my old Redhas done about 20 000 km without any reliability issues.

Hope is helps in your decision making process.
Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
Chase your dreams - it's only impossible until it's done

SpinnerTim
Posts: 170
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:36 am

by SpinnerTim

Ok, so the above is one perspective and worth considering, but comparing a Shimano mech group- 10 years removed - to 2013 Red is somewhat apples to potatoes when contemplating a move from a current Shimano electronic group. Although undoubtedly well-maintained, the 7800 group in question is old tech two generations removed from what both Shimano and SRAM are offering, and that's only considering the mech side of the equation.

First, yeah, I agree with everyone who said "go ride Red." Preferably, bring your Di2 rig and do extended back-to-back rides. If you still don't absolutely have to own Red at that point, don't because you have other options.

Given that the OP expressed no specific dissatisfaction with his current Di2's operation but values weight reduction, I'd suggest that maybe groupset isn't the best upgrade for his build goals. Not only is the difference in mass almost completely imperceptible on the road, there may be other upgrades (e.g., *Nice* wheels and tires, latex tubes, cockpit) that might offer both the weight reduction he seeks and more gratification on the road.

Consider these opportunity costs when making the decision. I'm not sure what wheels you use, but there's an excellent chance that you could obtain a huge upgrade or a procure a new type of wheel (climbing, aero, tubeless, roubaix-style tubular, etc.) to fill out your collection and use on all of your bikes.

Other considerations:

1) Are you comfortable spending more time and money on the bar taping, cable cutting, and derailleur tuning that will become mandatory with this switch? Time wrenching is time spent not riding. This is a big reason I went with Di2.

2) Are you going to install this and maintain it yourself? Experience with the Yaw derailleur's function seems to run the gamut from "no difference" to "revelation," but I've seen skill levels from pro mechanic to amateur express varying levels of frustration setting up the system.

3.) I can't over-emphasize how different Red double-tap and Shimano Di2 shifters feel and function. Along with function tests, this is the #1 reason that a test ride should be your #1 priority if you continue to pursue this option.

4.) Seriously cross-reference the brake function. Even Ultegra-level brakes are reference points for ease of set-up, modulation, and absolute power. Brakes are one area where it never pays to favor weight over function. Red 2013 scraps the dual pivot, bearing-borne brake for a single pivot, cam actuated, bushing mounted brake that (at least on paper) looks a lot like the controversial Zero-G. I'm sure the SRAM setup is less temperamental than the Ciamillo system, but that would be an area of intense interest if were evaluating this new group against Shimano. Having not ridden Red 2013, I know this is one of the first features I will test when I get a chance to ride it.

5.) Please report back and tell us what you think :thumbup: Honest and eloquent real-world ride impressions (and comparisons) of current equipment are worth 1,000 posts of speculation, mine included! It's always good to have real rider impressions for others to reference via search.

Enjoy the test, and do explore the wheel options if build weight is your foremost consideration.

-SpinnerTim

Ozrider
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

by Ozrider

@spinnertim - you make a few valid comments.
When decisding to upgrade to SRAM Red 2013, I went out and test rode Campy Super Record, DA 7900, and 2013 Red.
Part of my decision making process was restricted to mechanical groupsets as my frame is not Di2 compatible, however I have on several occasions ridden Di2 and Ui2.
DA 7800 is considered by many on this forum to be a better shifting group than DA 7900 due to external cable routing having less friction. Yes it is 2 generations old with DA 9000 looming, but it is a groupset I will continue to use on a steel frame due to its aesthetics, and smooth shifting.
I have tried Campy SR, and although offering very positive shifting and excellent weight, the thumb shifter for downshifts just doesn't feel right to me. Another factor is that the 4 sets of wheels I have are all Shimano compatible hubs, so it would take a lot of money to make everything Campy compatible.
The 2013 Red shifts as well as SR or DA, and for a weight weenie is currently the lightest groupset available. The new SRAM Red is a major step up from the previous Red, which was good, but a bit rough in shift action and the Powerdome cassette was noisy in comparison to DA or SR.

My impression of Di2 was very positive, and it does work flawlessly.
Electronic shifting is definitely something I would consider on a future build.
It will definitely be interesting to test DA 9000 and see how it compares.

At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference, and for some ( most on this forum) weight.

I agree that there are many other ways to reduce weight on a bike, but once you have light wheels, bars, stems, seat posts, and a light frame, a 600g difference on a groupset is a fair bit. I suppose the decision come down to whether your goal is to have the lightest bike possible, or a reasonable weight with good performance.
Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
Chase your dreams - it's only impossible until it's done

tohd1978
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:18 am

by tohd1978

Thanks for the all the wonderful replies.

First off I think I need to find a SRAM Red 2013 rig and test ride it. I'm running Ergonova LTD and Zipp SL Stem and my wheelset is Zipp 101s.

Previously I have owned FFWD F6R and F4R DT240s Tubular and also Fulcrum Zero clincher. Ultimately I'm always back to riding my Zipp 101s so I guess at this point my wheelset is fixed. At some point I will love to try the Enve 3.4 clincher but the cost is really putting me off.

One thing that prompted me to think of changing was how smooth that top of line groupset feels. The Ultegra Di2 though shift fine but somehow I always think that the DA or SRAM Red will shift with more finesse.

I will definitely not discount going back to electronic shifting. Especially if I can get a huge discount on the new DA Di2. The weight penalty of Ultegra Di2 is kinda big. I wouldn't be in this dilemma if SRAM 2013 was available when I was building up the bike.

P.s. My kind of riding doesn't even required anything more than Shimano 105 but if it is within the budget, why not :grin:

topflightpro
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:35 am

by topflightpro

I briefly considered Ultegra Di2 before opting for 2013 SRAM.

Here are my reasons:
1. Hood shape - I prefer SRAM.
2. Weight
3. Looks - Ultegra looks kind of cheap to me.
4. Newness - Shimano just came out with DA 9070, 11-speed. That means Ultegra 10-speed could soon be old tech.
5. I think electronic is pretty cool, but I'm ok with mechanical.

gt5504b
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:09 am

by gt5504b

When you do buy the new SRAM, I'll be glad to provide you an address where you can send that old, dilapidated electronic groupset to make sure it is uh... 'disposed of and recycled' in an environmentally friendly way. :)

I'm always happy to do my part!
-c

SpinnerTim
Posts: 170
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:36 am

by SpinnerTim

tohd1978 wrote:First off I think I need to find a SRAM Red 2013 rig and test ride it. I'm running Ergonova LTD and Zipp SL Stem and my wheelset is Zipp 101s.

Previously I have owned FFWD F6R and F4R DT240s Tubular and also Fulcrum Zero clincher. Ultimately I'm always back to riding my Zipp 101s so I guess at this point my wheelset is fixed. At some point I will love to try the Enve 3.4 clincher but the cost is really putting me off.

One thing that prompted me to think of changing was how smooth that top of line groupset feels. The Ultegra Di2 though shift fine but somehow I always think that the DA or SRAM Red will shift with more finesse.


@Oz: good points, definitely agree with you concerning the underwhelming 7900 performance. Realistically, mechanical 7900 seemed like a knee-jerk response from Shimano to offer a counterpoint during a period when SRAM was releasing RED, Campy had 11 speed and SR set for launch, and Di2 was still a ways off. I think the only real purpose of 7900 was the provide a launch platform for Di2. The refinements made to the 7800 lower drivetrain (chain, crank, rings, cassette) were too subtle to be worthwhile to warrant a mechanical group "upgrade" by customers. All of that over-engineering only makes sense in the context of that pencil-snapping Di2 derailleur pair. 9000 has to be the realistic reference point for comparing new RED, and Shimano's roll-out has been too slow to make that easy.

@tohd1978: I can assure you that there is no inherent "finesse" advantage to mechanical over Di2. Nothing is slicker than a properly-installed Di2 front derailleur upshifting with a mere tap, overshifting ever so slightly, and then trimming out the chain rub while you attack on a climb- out of the saddle -in a 53-19.

Top-end groups have luster, and it's possible that a perfectly-insalled 2013 RED or DA9000 could impress on a test ride, but electronic will always execute seamless gear selections, often regardless of how you are riding the bike. If anything, mechanical groups require more *finesse* from YOU, the rider. Dropped chains, chain rub, hard shifts, and degradation of cables/housings are going to happen more often with a mechanical system, period.

You can minimize this by being acutely aware of how and when you request a gear swap, how well you keep the system in tune, and how frequently you refresh your cables. That last one is key, because electrical wires don't degrade like mech cables/housings. After 2,000 miles DI2 will shift like new and any mech group will be far-removed from its peak performance. It's at this point that the difference in performance will be most dramatic, and I'm not sure that even a test ride is going to do justice to this key electronic advantage.

Have you considered just upgrading the bottom end of your drivetrain to DA-7900? Adding the Crank/Rings/Chain/Cassette would be pricey but not outrageous compared to scrapping your Di2 and buying an entire RED group, and it would reduce the weight of your ride. Moreover, it would close whatever shift quality gap exists between your current system and DA7090 Di2, because most of that system's advantage over Ultegra Di2 is in the rigidity of the underlying rotating stock, not the function of the derailleurs. And maybe consider an integrated seatpost battery with in-bike charging capability.

Finally, consider your migration back to those simple but effective ZIPP 101 hoops to be a sign that your true priorities are practicality, versatility, and riding pleasure. That's great to know if you can identify it ahead of time. It suggests that you like stuff that just *works* well - weight, material, and image be darned. That's Di2, and you have it now. If you bought RED and it wasn't a revelation, you might feel the same way as you did with the wheels.

Based on your description of your ride set-up, it seems like there is a lot you can do to reduce weight if this is your upgrade priority, and your budget can accommodate the expense equivalent of a new group. I agree that it's best to ride what you like, not what you need, just make sure you get your money's worth of enjoyment every time.

-SpinnerTim

tohd1978
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:18 am

by tohd1978

To all the guys who replied and esp @SpinnerTim, thanks for the wonderful opinion and suggestion.

I shall save my dough for my next project with DA Di2 then. Cheers!

Bigduke6
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:37 pm

by Bigduke6

I

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post