look at the good non-sponsored racers and most of them are on ultegra/force/rival, which give you much more bang for buck .
but if it's a mtter of aesthetics, well I havent seen the 6800 in person yet, but that DA9000 crank is dead sexy...
I believe I could pick the difference between the two in a blind test. That said, there's not a whole heap in it.
"90% of the performance for 50% of the cost" doesn't sound too far off.
Although the 9000 FD is (functionally) a thing of beauty. 6800's cannot match it.
Used the 7800 from end 2003 till 2009. Used the 6600 for 2 whole years in between for a second bike.
As 'NEW' what's been said above is more or less in the ball park. The differences manifest after about 1 year or maybe 5~10,000km of usage, depending on how hard you ride or how well you maintain the system.
i) The shifting quality of the STI levers is quite evident. Give me a 10 set blind test and I can assure you I can discern the differences with 100% accuracy. The crispness and 'feel' of the DA is obviously on a higher level. But that being said because I had used the 7700 extensively prior to that. My friends who had been exclusively using either 105 or Ultegra previously also could tell the difference but they classed the differences as 'subtle'.
ii)The finishing on the Ultegra derailleurs, cranksets, brakesets and and shifters will start to tarnish after a year or so, even with regular cleaning. The DA ones with normal cleaning and wiping remained pristine.
iii) The shift quality in the Ultegra shifters started to deteriorate once over the 5~10K km mark. The DA one remained perfect for the time of the system I had on my bike, which was almost 6 years. Close to 40,000km.
iv) The Ultegra cassettes were however cheaper and lasted longer. Shifting 'crispness' was marginally different at best but its there. But really very subtle. When you're riding hard and your heart is pounding like mad .... you won't notice it.
So there are differences if you keep the system for longer .. out of the box, not so obvious.
Whether its worth the difference ? Really depends on whether paying that extra is something that doesn't break the bank.
Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Mavic Cosmic SLE 2013
phlip wrote:I am comtemplating about 6800 versus 9000 too. Tinea Pedis, could you please elaborate on how the 9000 FD is funtionally different or better than the 6800 FD? That would be very helpful, thanks.
It's simply smoother. Which I know is a relative thing. If you're coming from Red (any edition) you'll likely find the Ultegra FD is better than that. That said, the 9000 mech is like there is a little man lifting and moving your chain in either direction.
It's easily apparent where the XTR inspiration for it has come in. Does not matter how ham-fisted your shifting is, I think you would struggle to miss a shift with it.
TrekUk wrote:I have used the 6800 and I personally run the 9000, Yes the 6800 groupset is very good performance per pound, but after running 9000 for the life of me cannot ever see myself being able to live with anything less than 9000, aesthetics aside, the ergonomics and performance differences are certainly noticeable.
Where have you been able to ride 6800? They aren't RTM yet in any form that i've seen.
To answer the original question, the difference between 6800 and 9000 is mainly three things: money, vanity and weight. A lot one one, some of the other, and a bit of the last. Money has been discussed, and vanity is up to you. Weight is the big controlling issue here. Ultegra will replace some of the fancy Ti bits with aluminum and steel to save cost. This has negative draw backs (added weight = slower times), but also helps you on the longevity. Ti and Al wear faster that steel. If you ride a lot of miles, you'll have to spend more to replace items. Things like chains are a non-issue, since you should be replacing them regularly, but cassettes do wear, and DA wears faster than Ultegra.
Oh, and Ultegra is perfectly capable of withstanding the abuse that even ProTour teams throw at it. Garmin was using 6700 Di2 on their team bikes for part of the year. They buy some of their equipment (like their components), and had to wait in line, like the rest of us. DA9000 was not available to them until after the Shimano sponsored teams had their fill, so when they ran out of parts, they threw plebian Ultegra on their bikes.
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