Which Groupset to choose in today's madness

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
robeambro
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:21 pm

by robeambro

Hi, I apologise if a similar thread exists already, but I think many people nowadays are in a bit of a conundrum regarding groupset choices. And I would like there to be a discussion where one could ask for advice about groupset choice. There's the brake choice, the brand, mechanical or electronic, 11, 12 or potentially soon 13-speed, so much to choose.

As for myself, I have now probably decided what frame I want, I know I want discs, and I have chosen the wheelset as well. I'm asking myself if I'm picking the "right" groupset though.

I would like to have electronic, or to possibly upgrade to electronic later on (but if will cost a lot more to do so, I prefer to pay now and go straight to electronic). I can't afford top of the range, so DA Di2 and the new SRAM 12s are not for me. My budget would hover around an Ultegra Di2, which I mention only since I'm mostly familiar with Shimano pricing.

Here's what I know/don't know.

Shimano - I'm thinking Ultegra Di2 would be the sweet spot in terms of price and functionality. It seems to weigh a bit more vs SRAM at least, but should also be sensibly cheaper. I don't see the point of getting Ultegra mechanical, since I might as well get 105 then.

Campagnolo - I don't really know much about their groupsets, aside from the fact that they are generally more expensive than Shimano and maybe SRAM. I haven't read the best about their 12sp groups, but difficult to know where the truth lies.

SRAM - I know the good old eTap may become more affordable. I don't really care about wireless shifting. I was thinking whether getting Sram Red mechanical (which should be one of the lightest mechanical disc groupsets around) and then upgrading to eTap HRD down the line (when the upgrade will be possibly even cheaper) may make sense. The only issue with SRAM that I know of is that braking may not be on par with Shimano - but to be honest I can't recall whether this applied to rim, disc, or both.

Am I missing some potential contender? Brand allegiance aside, what would be best between the options lined up above?

Stueys
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by Stueys

There isn't really a best to be honest, it depends what ergonomics work for you. Campy tends to be more expensive than the other two, well that was true until Sram released the nuts pricing on their new eTap Red AXS. But performance wise they all perform very well, try to get a feel of the hoods and see what you prefer. The Sram disc hoods are still ugly looking to my eye but some people prefer the bigger size of them.

I run DI2 (9070) on my nice bike and 8070 on my winter bike, both shift just as well as each other. The only real difference between DA and Ultegra is the weight and the look of the components, you don't lose anything in performance.

by Weenie


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FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

I'm in much the same boat as you. As an alternative, you can get DA9100 for about the same price as Ultegra 8070. Yeah, it's still mechanical vs. electronic, but the shifting on 9100 is good, and it will result in a lighter bike. That's how I'm trending, right now.
Madone 9 - https://bit.ly/2Nqedbn
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Crockett - https://bit.ly/2Xem4sk

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bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

I am not sure what the op is even asking.

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FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

I just assumed he was asking what to go with and ran with it.
Madone 9 - https://bit.ly/2Nqedbn
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Crockett - https://bit.ly/2Xem4sk

Madone 5, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

TiCass
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by TiCass

Dura-Ace Mechanical 9100. More affordable, lighter and looks better than Ultegra DI2. Yes, it's mechanical shifting so the front shifting is inferior. But it seems to me that the performance gap as close a little bit with the new 9100 front mech.

I feel we're still a generation away from a good disc brake road groupset. The current offering is insanely expensive, heavy, noisy and require more maintenance than rim brake. There is a lot of room for improvement. I'm passing this generation.

RussellS
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by RussellS

My only contribution is... if you are going for a nice, top end bike, go electronic. Don't F around with this upgrade later BS. Get electronic now. If you are going for a great bike. But even at the middle Ultegra level, still go electronic. One other contribution, if you are going top end, get 12 speed. Campagnolo and SRAM are already 12 speed, at the top end anyway. Shimano will likely be 12 in a year or so.

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FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

RussellS wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:29 pm
If you are going top end, get 12 speed.
I would disagree on this end. First off, 12-speed is extremely expensive, and I only see minimal upside (it's not even lighter than 11-speed). Secondly, when it comes to Shimano, recent experiences would dictate that their initial offering won't be up to snuff. 7900 was arguably a downgrade from 7800 (sure, it had cleaner routing, but the shifting was attrocious compared to the buttery shifting of 7800), and 9000 had its teething issues (shifters breaking cables, cassettes snapping). Even on the mountain bike side, it's been months since XTR M9100 was announced, and we're only now seeing pedals (yes, I know there was a factory fire, but if they're that dependant on one factory, they have some manufacturing issues to address).

Personally, I'm in the market for a nice groupset for a new build, and I'm leaning more toward getting Ultegra Di2 w/ a DA 9100 crank. The weight difference in my case is only 74g, and I can live with that.
Madone 9 - https://bit.ly/2Nqedbn
Emonda SLR - https://bit.ly/2UK5FP8
Crockett - https://bit.ly/2Xem4sk

Madone 5, Cobia. I own a lot of Treks.

robeambro
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by robeambro

Thanks for all the contributions. As expected, loads of different points of view, all valid.. I feel like I’ll feel more confused than before I started this thread! But it’s good.

Some people also suggested DA mech. Which makes sense. However, One of the reasons why I’m hesitant to go for mechanical, is that more and more high-end framesets are becoming electronic-only.
This is why I listed SRAM Red and not DA; the former could be upgraded to electronic shifting for much cheaper than the latter..

dricked
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by dricked

I pieced together a di2 groupset using 9070 shifters, 9100 crankset, 8050 derailleurs. It was the most cost effective way for me to get what I wanted. I do regret not getting the 9100 derailleur a now though while trying to drop weight off the bike.

kwakekeham
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by kwakekeham

I'd give a little thought to the ecosystem and trade offs. Nobody is going to come out and say X is better than Y completely. Like durability tests on chains and cassettes clearly indicate one brand of the big 3, while shift performance another.

AXS is new and not likely to be discounted. It gives a different setup, gone are the traditional chainrings. If you do a Powermeter remember it's disposable but will be idiot proof. Chain rings worn = throw out the powermeter. They have a trade in discount system that bypasses the distribution network. It's also brought in a lot of new standards. XDR limits wheel choice. If you have a trainer this adds more pain in cost assuming you'll even h ave a compatible direct drive trainer. Some won't be. Look in the forums. There are teething issues with Etap. Rear derailleurs dying and battery latches. My experience is, that against all their demos, the push two wireless to shift the front feels slow. The yaw derailleur is annoying to setup, and when it launched there wasn't a stiffener so it could shift on it's mount and lead to poor front performance. It's simple and more intuitive for new people, but also lacks remote control ability (generic) or shimano's proprietary and customizable control buttons. Good customizability on etap and axs. Keep in mind rumourmill is force axs in march.

Shimano electronic is pretty solid. Highest feature set from electronic stand point. Most refined front shifting of all, but that came at an asethetic change too, so no chainring swapping on wear except to a little out of place. The sweet spot is Ultegra DI2 which now has the customizable buttons. It's cheap, lightish, and internally identical to dura-ace without any exception for electronics. The tiny extra mass has no noticable effect on shifting. I've never seen an issue personally but forums indictate battery drain, firmware update problems (seems resolved). Some battery drain seems to be improper stop adjustment on derailleurs, motor keeps pushing and wasting battery. Expect the future to require microspline.

Campagnolo. Agressive priceing recently. I'm biased on this so grain of salt. It's more powerful, longer lasting battery. Harness isn't as customizable, and entering into disc means you're at top top tier in cost. They quietly released generic remote control with the mode buttons but almost nobody knows. The 12sp electronic isn't launched and my experience with mechanical after years of electronic is confusion on FD trim. Felt like an idiot for weeks with grind on the cage every now and then. It's electronic, like shimano auto trims compared to yaw. Frame compatibility is a bit harder due to the lack of customization in the wire harness, and there is not ability to customize the button side of the cockpit. You can adjust the layout of what the levers do, but you can't add sprint or climb shifters.

Troll the forums using search. If cost is an issue, and you want electronic but also disc, the only true option is ultegra R8070 I believe. You can go adventure style drive train with the mid cage for 11-34 with a 46t/32t?? chainring or whatever like a traditiona 53/39 with 11-23. Most versatile and a clutch option also exists. If you have a DD trainer you'll likely have it with a shimano 11 speed cassette or shimano 11speed body.

The one thing, we're at standards divergence time. Disc mounts. BB's. Headsets. Frame mounts for the discs. Cable routing. Freebodies. It's all maddening now and getting worse annually. Hard to know what will win, or if like the BB thing if we just end up with companies trying to solve the creaky mess frame OE's decided would be good. Threaded BB for the win.

Sock3t
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:20 am

by Sock3t

robeambro wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:30 pm


SRAM - I know the good old eTap may become more affordable. I don't really care about wireless shifting. I was thinking whether getting Sram Red mechanical (which should be one of the lightest mechanical disc groupsets around) and then upgrading to eTap HRD down the line (when the upgrade will be possibly even cheaper) may make sense. The only issue with SRAM that I know of is that braking may not be on par with Shimano - but to be honest I can't recall whether this applied to rim, disc, or both.

Am I missing some potential contender? Brand allegiance aside, what would be best between the options lined up above?
Chain drops worry me with etap, and btw, Di2 is lighter than etap even know it has more parts.

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F45
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by F45

Whichever. I'm still on Ultegra 6800 with a Red crank which works great. No desire to change.

AJS914
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by AJS914

Nobody is coming out with 13 speed anytime soon.

What frame? With an aero frame I'd go electronic so you don't have to deal with the cables making all of those bends through the bars and stem. Otherwise, I'd go mechanical. It's way cheaper and I still don't see a need or have a desire to put batteries on my bike.

Personally, I like Campagnolo. It's the only brand that makes me feel a little bike part lust. The best bang for the buck right now is Chorus 11 or Record 11 on sale. 12 speed is coming down in price though. If I were buying a new top shelf Colnago C64 today I'd probably just go all out with 12 speed. That said, I'm building up a 2nd bike (vintage C40) and I've decided to just stay Campagnolo 11 speed across the board on all of my bikes. I have some extra parts and it just makes sense financially. Performance wise, 12 speed doesn't offer me anything.

MyM3Coupe
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by MyM3Coupe

FIJIGabe wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:05 pm
As an alternative, you can get DA9100 for about the same price as Ultegra 8070. Yeah, it's still mechanical vs. electronic, but the shifting on 9100 is good, and it will result in a lighter bike.
I'm building up another bike now. Been on Campy for like 25 years, but I'm going 9100. Rode a friends bike with it; the shifting is crazy light, and the front shifting is sublime. Makes me wonder why once would need/want electronic shifting.

by Weenie


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