USA people - Where can I get the best deal on New Ultegra equipped Road bike?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
joejack951
Posts: 628
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: Wilmington, DE

by joejack951

2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
No, it's just Shimano being cheap and trying to get away with increasing margins under the radar. It's aluminum and carbon on DA and old ultegra. It's plastic on R8000. It's just a downgrade because they can get away with it. If it were an upgrade, it would be on DA, but it isn't. Aluminum/CF construction was on last generation, there's really no excuse for it to be downgraded on R8000, well except margins of course.
Ignoring how well the material performs, would you prefer Shimano be profitable and stay in business or something else? Personally, so long as the 'down-grade' doesn't make for an unusable component, and I've seen no indication of that so far, I'm happy that Shimano cut their costs on the assembly. Lower costs mean they make more and/or I pay less than I otherwise would for a component. How is that a bad thing?
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
Plastic is fine on lever bodies because there's so much excess material used just to get a form factor that's comfortable to hold and lever bodies require relatively complex shapes. The form factor of road levers requires material used in excess of structural requirements or weight optimization. If you made those out of aluminum, you'd wouldn't be able to optimize for weight because you would need to maintain a minimum wall thickness , interfaces for moving parts to mate with, and a form factor with enough volume and a comfortable shape.
So you agree that plastic is the optimum material (balancing cost, weight, and strength) to use for the lever bodies. How do you know that it's wrong for the derailleur link?
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
ST-4700 were considerably heavier than ST-7700 just because aluminum could not be optimized for weight in that application.
You'll need to elaborate here for me.
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
If you want to see Shimano's work using injection molded plastics to optimize weight and cost when there's no ergonomic considerations involved, take a look at their cracking DA cassettes. Take a look at Walmart bikes and the "MTB" levers with plastic clamps are awful because of flex. Tektro road style knockoffs are fine simply because the design mandates that much more plastic being used.
How about SPD-SL cleats and cleat retention clips on the pedals? Derailleur pulleys?

by Weenie


2lo8
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:32 am

by 2lo8

joejack951 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:26 pm
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
No, it's just Shimano being cheap and trying to get away with increasing margins under the radar. It's aluminum and carbon on DA and old ultegra. It's plastic on R8000. It's just a downgrade because they can get away with it. If it were an upgrade, it would be on DA, but it isn't. Aluminum/CF construction was on last generation, there's really no excuse for it to be downgraded on R8000, well except margins of course.
Ignoring how well the material performs, would you prefer Shimano be profitable and stay in business or something else? Personally, so long as the 'down-grade' doesn't make for an unusable component, and I've seen no indication of that so far, I'm happy that Shimano cut their costs on the assembly. Lower costs mean they make more and/or I pay less than I otherwise would for a component. How is that a bad thing?
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
Plastic is fine on lever bodies because there's so much excess material used just to get a form factor that's comfortable to hold and lever bodies require relatively complex shapes. The form factor of road levers requires material used in excess of structural requirements or weight optimization. If you made those out of aluminum, you'd wouldn't be able to optimize for weight because you would need to maintain a minimum wall thickness , interfaces for moving parts to mate with, and a form factor with enough volume and a comfortable shape.
So you agree that plastic is the optimum material (balancing cost, weight, and strength) to use for the lever bodies. How do you know that it's wrong for the derailleur link?
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
ST-4700 were considerably heavier than ST-7700 just because aluminum could not be optimized for weight in that application.
You'll need to elaborate here for me.
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:51 am
If you want to see Shimano's work using injection molded plastics to optimize weight and cost when there's no ergonomic considerations involved, take a look at their cracking DA cassettes. Take a look at Walmart bikes and the "MTB" levers with plastic clamps are awful because of flex. Tektro road style knockoffs are fine simply because the design mandates that much more plastic being used.
How about SPD-SL cleats and cleat retention clips on the pedals? Derailleur pulleys?
You're treating this sort of like a gotcha, I've written on this subject before and it's not like my opinion has changed any. If you're happy to buy a "premium" product range that has been downgraded, and previously snubbed lower "usable" shimano components, I don't know what to say. You are the model consumer brand fanboy caring more about the corporate bottom line than what you actually get out of the deal. I like compeitive markets when they incease consumer value. I don't care a bit about corporate profits (excepting the investment portfolio) and that's their problem. Shimano has different tiers to meet different pricepoints, so no it's not simply an issue of usability and price. There are plenty of other Shimano products that are usable at lower price points. That's not why people buy Ultegra. What you should be expecting at each tier is a steady stream of upgrades like what has been happening basically since Shimano has been in the bussiness of making groupsets.

How do I know it's not the right material for derailers? Well, it's suitable in the sense that a Simplex Prestige was suitable when new, or Tourney through Sora are usable. At least with Sora I'm saving a signifigant amount of money, or when it comes to SRAM plastic, weight. It's obviously not the ideal material if it's not on DA. Aluminum links have literally been the defining feature of Ultegra since first gen. They were able to do it fine on every previous gen, so why do you suddenly care about corporate profits now? How do you even expect savings to trickle down to you if you aren't even an educated consumer? Did you pay signifigantly less for R8000? This was all done under the radar to pad their bottom line, not provide you with more value. If plastic was ideal, then it would be on DA. There's nothing about DA that makes it require aluminum but Ultegra plastic. Which is obvious because aluminum is stronger than plastic. It's really that simple. Ultegra is not supposed to be the groupset where Shimano cuts corners and cheaps out.

I already explained why plastic is a suitable material for lever bodies. It's because road lever bodies require an excess of material just for the form factor. The parts you mention are all parts where the form factor dominates, which is where low density plastic works fine since they can't be optimized to use aluminum's higher strength to weight ratio. Jockey pulleys require very little strength because they only deal with the slack side of the chain, but they still need to have teeth with the proper form to interface with the chain. These teeth have to match the structural load bearing steel/aluminum/titanium teeth of the cassette/chainring. Shimano was hardly a pioneer in the use of plastic here. Cleats are an ergonomic concern. Single sided SPDs are actually very light such as the ones made by XPEDO and some of the early Shimano road pedals were that design. They're also hard to use, if you don't have recessed shoes they're hard to walk in, and the platform area is very small. Shimano was hardly a pioneer in the use of plastic here either considering SPD-SL is based off of LOOK. Fun fact, Shimano liscened the LOOK design until they could make their own knockoff design.

The ST-4700 is a typo, it's supposed to be ST-7400, first gen DA STIs which had aluminum lever bodies.

Did you buy a R8000 bike not knowing this or something? You seem to be trying to rationalize what is just an obvious attempt by Shimano to cheap out and pad profits and hoping the consumer doesn't notice.
[6.6kg of no carbon fiber]
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Your one-stop source for information and reviews on cheap eBay bike junk.

joejack951
Posts: 628
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: Wilmington, DE

by joejack951

2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:18 pm
You're treating this sort of like a gotcha, I've written on this subject before and it's not like my opinion has changed any. If you're happy to buy a "premium" product range that has been downgraded, and previously snubbed lower "usable" shimano components, I don't know what to say. You are the model consumer brand fanboy caring more about the corporate bottom line than what you actually get out of the deal. I like compeitive markets when they incease consumer value. I don't care a bit about corporate profits (excepting the investment portfolio) and that's their problem. Shimano has different tiers to meet different pricepoints, so no it's not simply an issue of usability and price. There are plenty of other Shimano products that are usable at lower price points. That's not why people buy Ultegra. What you should be expecting at each tier is a steady stream of upgrades like what has been happening basically since Shimano has been in the bussiness of making groupsets.
People expect precision, lightweight, and longevity out of Ultegra. With R8000 being so new how can you possibly say it isn't delivering all three? It sure sounds like it is delivering the first two based on reviews.

You can read into my 'caring about corporate bottom line' all you want. Fact is, if Shimano went under the entire cycling world would suffer. If they can cost cut their products and still deliver a proper product (neglecting irrational expectations like how a certain piece must be made from a specific material), then that's great for everyone.
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:18 pm
How do I know it's not the right material for derailers? Well, it's suitable in the sense that a Simplex Prestige was suitable when new, or Tourney through Sora are usable. At least with Sora I'm saving a signifigant amount of money, or when it comes to SRAM plastic, weight. It's obviously not the ideal material if it's not on DA. Aluminum links have literally been the defining feature of Ultegra since first gen. They were able to do it fine on every previous gen, so why do you suddenly care about corporate profits now? How do you even expect savings to trickle down to you if you aren't even an educated consumer? Did you pay signifigantly less for R8000? This was all done under the radar to pad their bottom line, not provide you with more value. If plastic was ideal, then it would be on DA. There's nothing about DA that makes it require aluminum but Ultegra plastic. Which is obvious because aluminum is stronger than plastic. It's really that simple. Ultegra is not supposed to be the groupset where Shimano cuts corners and cheaps out.
Ultegra is not DA. Simple as that. Ultegra is the groupset that is supposed to sit in between 105 and DA, in weight, cost, and precision. Does it not still do that? Plastic is lighter than aluminum so how do you know that Shimano didn't shift unnecessary weight from one component to another, less durable component to make an overall better product? You just sound irrationally offended that 'plastic' was used on Ultegra, as if all plastic is the same.
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:18 pm
I already explained why plastic is a suitable material for lever bodies. It's because road lever bodies require an excess of material just for the form factor. The parts you mention are all parts where the form factor dominates, which is where low density plastic works fine since they can't be optimized to use aluminum's higher strength to weight ratio. Jockey pulleys require very little strength because they only deal with the slack side of the chain, but they still need to have teeth with the proper form to interface with the chain. These teeth have to match the structural load bearing steel/aluminum/titanium teeth of the cassette/chainring. Shimano was hardly a pioneer in the use of plastic here. Cleats are an ergonomic concern. Single sided SPDs are actually very light such as the ones made by XPEDO and some of the early Shimano road pedals were that design. They're also hard to use, if you don't have recessed shoes they're hard to walk in, and the platform area is very small. Shimano was hardly a pioneer in the use of plastic here either considering SPD-SL is based off of LOOK. Fun fact, Shimano liscened the LOOK design until they could make their own knockoff design.
Plastic (in general) is lighter than aluminum so you can say 'form factor' as the reason for just about anything. Regardless of why plastic was chosen, Shimano has incorporated plastic elsewhere successfully. Until R8000 RDs start failing, you don't have a point other than irrational fear of plastic. You so quickly say that plastic SPD-SL cleats are an ergonomic concern or that pulleys are plastic due to form factor ignoring all of the benefits using plastic offers: overmolded rubber feet, low friction, conformance to shoe soles, corrosion resistance, precision right out of the mold, etc.

I have a pair of those early Shimano pedals (came on a bike I bought used so I've never actually used them).
2lo8 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:18 pm
Did you buy a R8000 bike not knowing this or something? You seem to be trying to rationalize what is just an obvious attempt by Shimano to cheap out and pad profits and hoping the consumer doesn't notice.
The newest Ultegra I own is 6600 so no. I'm merely pointing out your irrational objection to the use of plastic by Shimano. If it turns out that the R8000 RD starts failing prematurely, I'll eat my words. But my guess is it will be fine and over time you may even find some plastic show up on Dura Ace where it will be heralded as a major step forward given the weight savings.

2lo8
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:32 am

by 2lo8

Hey man, if you want to believe that plastic in Ultegra is the difference between Shimano going under or not, you're free to have that opinion. I really rather doubt it. I can tell you, a direct comparison between a brand new shadow RD and a 10 year old lightly used one, the brand new one has more slop, so yes, the new ones are in fact going down in quality and have less precision. You're getting less carried over from DA and not even getting the same materials and previous gen in addition to Shadow being an inherently simpler design. But I guess if it's between that and Shimano going under...

It's like you're intentionally misconstruing things. Aluminum is denser than plastic. Aluminum has a higher strength to weight ratio than plastic. It's not a difficult concept to understand. No, it's not just saying "form factor" to anything. If a part must take a specific shape, and the volume can not be further reduced, then the plastic will be lighter if the strength with either material is in excess of what's needed. If a part has flexibility in the form it can take, but needs to be built up to meet certain structural strength and/or stiffness requirements, aluminum is going to be lighter. It's not hard to understand unless you have an irrational penchant for plastic.

I'm not denying that plastic has applications. I never said it didn't. Other companies have certainly used it in ways Shimano copied and didn't screw up like their DA cassettes. (LOOK has already been mentioned, Campy did their integrated shifters in plastic first). The nonstructural PTFE cable liners are great. However, it's not like Shimano's other attempts at recent cost cutting other than plastic are faring well either. Just look at the reliability of their glued cranks. This is just one more thing in the trend of Shimano's build quality dropping, hidden only behind new engineering. But I mean, Shimano would go under otherwise right? The safety of cycling world is literally under threat.
[6.6kg of no carbon fiber]
[2lo8.wordpress.com]
Your one-stop source for information and reviews on cheap eBay bike junk.

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