How much of a difference is going from shimano claris to ultegra gear set?

OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
There's road bikes and there's ugly road bikes. Most modern ones with disc brakes and those horrible tumour shaped brifters fall into the latter category. There's probably only two things that @vickster and I would ever both agree on - and that is that matt black bikes look dull and boring and Shimano hydraulic brifters are really pig ugly.
You're barking up the wrong tree anyway if you think buying a much more expensive bike is going to make any meaningful difference to how fast you can go. It really isn't; any such gains are going to be tiny. and will get lost in the normal variables of air density and wind direction on any given ride.
I don't know what the difference is between how they look. What does my trek al2 domane have? Excuse my ignorance.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
When do you think that will happen? I'm dreading that day. I have the tools incase it happens with me when I go on my bike but if it happened - I don't know if i could do it. I've watched all the YouTube videos and know the theory but don't have the practice.
Impossible to say, just keep an eye on the tyres for wear.
Just practice changing the inner tube at home, maybe at the time when you’re beating yourself up about proscratinating, use that time for something useful
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I don't want an expensive bike to be faster. I want a more enjoyable ride. A more smooth ride. And because why not?
There's little relationship between how much bikes cost and how comfortable they are. High end models don't have the monopoly on good geometry and suitable sizing. One of the most cpmfortable bikes I ride was also one of the cheapest when it was new. I have a less comfortable one that would have cost five times as much as the cheap one, because it was designed more for performance. If I applied your logic, the most expensive bike would have the smoothest ride, but it doesn't.
There is some relationship between price and mechanical refinement and weight, but you have to spend a lot more money over and above a basic spec bike to get any tangible improvement in either. A lot of the extra price goes into increased profit margins for the makers and retailers not significantly better engineering. You only have to look at the normal level of end of season discounting to appreciate how big the mark ups are on the higher end models. Even at the discounted prices, no-one is going to be selling bikes at a loss. You don't see the same degree of discounting at the low end of the market, because the margins are thinner to begin with.
 
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OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
There's little relationship between how much bikes cost and how comfortable they are. High end models don't have the monopoly on good geometry and suitable sizing. One of the most cpmfortable bikes I ride was also one of the cheapest when it was new. I have a less comfortable one that would have cost five times as much as the cheap one, because it was designed more for performance. If I applied your logic, the most expensive bike would have the smoothest ride, but it doesn't.
There is some relationship between price and mechanical refinement and weight, but you have to spend a lot more money over and above a basic spec bike to get any tangible improvement in either. A lot of the extra price goes into increased profit margins for the makers and retailers not significantly better engineering. You only have to look at the normal level of end of season discounting to appreciate how big the mark ups are on the higher end models. Even at the discounted prices, no-one is going to be selling bikes at a loss. You don't see the same degree of discounting at the low end of the market, because the margins are thinner to begin with.
It's like my Mum put you up to this to deter me from getting a new bike :tongue: So what's a good reason to get a 3k bike? Or even a 1.5k bike?
 

MrGrumpy

Huge Member
Location
Fly Fifer
Upgrade them to what? How much of a difference would it make? And what's the cost? My current bontrager tyres have been serving me well - 1000s of km and no puncture (hope I don't jinx myself here).
I’m not talking about tyres only here, the actual wheels do make a difference. Rotating weight matters ! However for your average joe , no need to spend a lot. Nice set of handbuilt wheels coming in at £300 or so will serve you well compared to manufacturer supplied. Better still see what can be had second hand. Anyway it’s all about what you wish or want to spend.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
It's like my Mum put you up to this to deter me from getting a new bike :tongue: So what's a good reason to get a 3k bike? Or even a 1.5k bike?
Because you think youll look tough to your chums down the club, but in reality they wont give a sheet.

Skippy is quite right, beyond a certain point there is a cliff edge of diminishing returns, if any, and price is no guarantee of how a bike will feel to you. My relatively cheap Felt blew me away for and feel and Ive ridden 8 grand bikes that didn't come close to having the same synergy (christ, im starting to sound like an HR rep).

Buy what you want, because you want to - just dont be naive enough to think more money and/or the latest fashionable technology automatically means a better experience.
 
OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
Because you think youll look tough to your chums down the club, but in reality they wont give a sheet.

Skippy is quite right, beyond a certain point there is a cliff edge of diminishing returns, if any, and price is no guarantee of how a bike will feel to you. My relatively cheap Felt blew me away for and feel and Ive ridden 8 grand bikes that didn't come close to having the same synergy (christ, im starting to sound like an HR rep).

Buy what you want, because you want to - just dont be naive enough to think more money and/or the latest fashionable technology automatically means a better experience.
I don't care what the people in the cycle club think, I want a new bike for me. I'm not aiming for a 10k bike, just something a bit better than my current. I'm not buying a new bike for at least a year.
 

DRM

Veteran
Location
West Yorks
Well I've just got back in from a 31 miler on my Verenti Technique, it's on 9 speed Sora, the shifters change smoothly, it's not overly heavy &
the colour is fantastic, I've upgraded a few bits, some used Shimano R501 wheels, saddle & better brakes/blocks, I've also fitted some Schwalbe G-One speed tyres 700x30, that were in the garage, it's no slower over the same route than my carbon Giant Defy, the bike cost £350 in the end of season sale from Wiggle, so price has no real bearing on performance.
https://www.wiggle.co.uk/verenti-technique-sora-2016
 

MrGrumpy

Huge Member
Location
Fly Fifer
Tend to find the more spendy groupset in my view last longer , the springs and pivot points are of better quality alloy material. Don’t rust or look tatty. However that’s assuming you look after them . However all that comes at a price!
As others have said shimano 105 is the sweet spot. Not sure what srams is , Rival ? As for a lighter bike in general, you will notice the lightness and stiffness accelerating or climbing hills etc.
For the luddites on here they wouldn’t notice or care , for the rest of us who appreciate and notice these small differences it’s welcome. Just remember everything is built to a price even the relatively expensive bikes.
Could I justify spending £5k on a bike , yep ! Would it make me faster , nope . Your a long time dead, no pockets in a shroud , don’t want to be the richest and in the cemetery etc. Some folk spend that sort of money on fags and drink !!
:laugh:
 

DCBassman

Going up hills, very slowly...
To illustrate how little difference these things really make, my road bike has flat bars and MTB gears at the back, 9-speed Alivio with a 12-36 cassette. There's no easy way to go fast around here, it's too lumpy. And to top it off, the smoothest deraillurs I've owned are the two Altus ones that were/are fitted to my old Trek MTB. One of my most distinct memories of doing London to Brighton in 2016 was being surrounded by grinding gear changes on fancy road bikes. The well-lubricated 7-speed Altus on the Trek was silent and flawless all day.
 

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
Location
Somerset
Maybe contentious, but I have a strong sense that the shifters and cables have a bigger influence on gear change quality than the derailleur itself.

Derailleurs are all simple pantographs with simple idler wheels, but there is lots of potential for friction and mechanical clumsiness in cables and shifters.

I have recently put new cables, carefully lubricated and with smooth curves on my tourer. Combined with friction bar end shifters the shift quality now matches my 105 bike, despite having a lowly Acera derailleur.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
It's like my Mum put you up to this to deter me from getting a new bike :tongue: So what's a good reason to get a 3k bike? Or even a 1.5k bike?
There are plenty of reasons why one might buy a £3k bike. The number one is sheer pleasure and there is no better reason for buying one.

It's important to understand you will reach a point where a better bike will allow you to ride or perform better. Basically what happens is your abilities are restricted by the bike. In my opinion those who don't agree are flat out wrong. BUT there is no point in using an expensive bike which offers improved performance unless you're pushing yourself in terms of fitness and strength.

You may have missed this earlier. A woman I ride with recently bought the top of the range Trek Emonda. She and I were about equal as climbers. Overnight she began to smash me by 30-60 seconds or more - this is on serious climbs, cat 3 or 4, UK top 💯 s. She's hammering others in the club. We all knew this would happen as everyone could see her potential. The only variable which changed was her bike.

This lady's ability has long been obvious and the Trek has unleashed the potential. No matter how much I spent I'll never get close to her again. Which is fantastic to see.

Quality wheels and tyres will also improve performance and ride. After a quality frame it's the best investment you can make.

I've experienced this myself on my own bikes. On today's ride of 56 miles on my Dolan we only averaged 14.5mph, on my summer bike, Cervelo C3, for the same effort it would have been 16 and if we pushed ourselves 17.5mph.

It must be said winter conditions impact averages etc.
 
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OP
oreo_muncher

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
There are plenty of reasons why one might buy a £3k bike. The number one is sheer pleasure and there is no better reason for buying one.

It's important to understand you will reach a point where a better bike will allow you to ride or perform better. Basically what happens is your abilities are restricted by the bike. In my opinion those who don't agree are flat out wrong. BUT there is no point in using an expensive bike which offers improved performance unless you're pushing yourself in terms of fitness and strength.

You may have missed this earlier. A woman I ride with recently bought the top of the range Trek Emonda. She and I were about equal as climbers. Overnight she began to smash me by 30-60 seconds or more - this is on serious climbs, cat 3 or 4, UK top 💯 s. She's hammering others in the club. We all knew this would happen as everyone could see her potential. The only variable which changed was her bike.

This lady's ability has long been obvious and the Trek has unleashed the potential. No matter how much I spent I'll never get close to her again. Which is fantastic to see.

Quality wheels and tyres will also improve performance and ride. After a quality frame it's the best investment you can make.

I've experienced this myself on my own bikes. On today's ride of 56 miles on my Dolan we only averaged 14.5mph, on my summer bike, Cervelo C3, for the same effort it would have been 16 and if we pushed ourselves 17.5mph.

It must also be said winter conditions for also impact averages etc.
Yes I have read your story about the female climber :smile: I don't think I'm at a point yet where my bike limits me. I don't cycle as much as i did before, probably losing my abilities now.
 
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