Author Topic: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters  (Read 6758 times)

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  • Guest
Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« on: June 02, 2012, 09:42:34 pm »
I'm bulding up a new "Salslynskey" Vaya Ti frame for loaded touring and am planning on running a Shimano XT770 SGS rear derailleur on a 10 speed cassette with an XT770 24,32,42 crankset. I wanted a choice of integrated cable shifters, unlike the old style looped cables in the handlebar bag space,  from Shimano for a triple for real touring gears, hence the 10 speed. I don't think I'm into the 2x10 thing like a SRAM setup for the real heavy touring. I have my Lynskey cross bike for that if I go lightweight touring on 2x9 setup like below.

So it's either 105 or Ultegra shifters. I have all Dura Ace on my cross (9 speed) and road bikes (10 speed) so I like the longevity of the top groupos but I'm questioning the use of the Ultegra 6703 with CARBON levers. I like the idea of ALUMINUM levers like the 105 5703 shifters use on my touring bike for the inevitable falls and bangs. I also like the idea of better build quality and longevity on the internals of the Ultegra. Weight means little in this case.

Any input or experience that you can use to shed some light on the subject?

« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 10:33:09 pm by TrustAllisOK »

Offline csykes

Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 10:26:26 pm »
For your purpose I would go with the 105; it is very good quality at a lower price.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 08:50:48 am »
Personally I am not convinced that there is any increased durability when stepping up from 105 or Ultegra.  Smoothness maybe, better finish yes, durability probably not.

Personally I like Tiagra 9 speed brifters just fine.  As far as their "old style looped cables in the in the handlebar bag space"...  While I prefer the routing along the bar, I have never found it a big issue, I just push them to the sides of the bag.

Given your choices I buy the 105 to save a few bucks, but the carbon in the Ultegras wouldn't worry me a bit.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 04:16:46 pm »
I have Shimano 5703 shifters on the touring bike.  Aluminum STI levers shift my 44-33-20 triple just fine.  11-32 ten speed cassette.  I have carbon Shimano 7970 shifters on my carbon racing type bike.  Crashed on it this morning.  No harm done to the shifters.  Rubber hoods got a few extra scrapes.  I'd say carbon shifters are tough enough.  I'd probably give the edge to aluminum STI levers but...
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 11:54:19 am by RussSeaton »

Offline DaveB

Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 08:43:40 am »
I expect the material the levers are made of is a complete non-issue.  both aluminum and carbon are plenty strong enough to tolerate whatever you plan to do with them.  Campy and Shimano successfully use carbon levers on their top groups and racers crash far more often then you should.


  • Guest
Re: Ultegra (Carbon) vs. 105 (Aluminum) Shifters
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 11:17:45 am »
Thanks guys for your input. I know we racers crash on carbon levers all the time but typically that would be a longer slide-type crash with less weight behind it and the pros replace them after a crash as cheap insurance. A loaded touring bike fall would have mass behind it and most likely be a highly leveraged (no pun intended) tip-over fall while parked.

All things considered, I changed my mind and ordered the carbon Ultegra levers and the rest of my build kit yesterday. This particular bike will not be used in 3rd world countries and I could always get levers overnighted on the remote chance I ever have an issue on a trip.

Thanks again for your time and advice.