Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ultegra SL is Stupid

So Shimano is introducing a lighter, more expensive version of Ultegra called Ultegra SL. It saves almost 100 grams.

First of all, it's enough with the "SL" suffix already. Every wheel, frame, and pedal has a damn "SL" after its name now. I say these companies take a cue from 70s-era Detroit and just put "Ltd" in swoopy script after every product name.

Nextly, the thing I always liked about Ultegra is that it's the blue-collar group. It's always been the cheapest legitimate racing gruppo. Good enough to take the start at a Pro/1/2 race, yet inexpensive enough to slap on that project bike or on your first 'cross frame. Ultegra says, "I don't care about shiny, I don't care about grams, I just care about riding."

That's why pimping up Ultegra is stupid. It's like when people take a perfectly good economy car and then put on wheels that cost three times as much as the vehicle. You go from looking like a sensible, economical person to looking like an idiot.

If you need 100 grams, buy the Ultegra group but swap out the crankset for Dura Ace. You'll net the same weight savings and not look dumb.

24 comments:

j said...

Yikes.

So, will this new Ultegra SL group replce the current (regular) Ultegra group, or is it supposed to be between Ultegra and Dura-Ace?

I really hope it's the latter, as the regular Ultegra group is fine the way it is.

Tarun said...

They should have just knocked weight off of the damn Ultegra group anyway. With Rival, it might be time to be more competitive.

Anonymous said...

Neat-O "ice grey" color and 100 grams aside, it is nice that they're releasing a compact crank with this gruppo. Also, I read somewhere that Ultegra SL will be available in ice grey and the regular silver.

Anonymous said...

I' ve brought my Trek 2000 with a worn ULTEGRA 10 speed components set with the new ULTEGRA SL "ice grey" finish look. Knowing that this weekend I' m goin to use the bike on the Stelvio pass in the Alps, I've opted for the compact crank (50-34 th) with a 12-27 sprockets. I've went to the bike shop with the intention of replacing the shifters levers (which were completely scraped from various bike accidents) and the classic ULTEGRA crankset (52-39)worned off after 2 years of GRANFONDO races, they bloody well asked me for nearly 400 euros for two ULTEGRA shifters and a crankset, with just about 550 euros I'm changing the whole lot (Crank, sprockets, shifters, cable, front and rear derailleur, brakes). With a classic 8 pc. ULTEGRA worth 500 euros and the ULTEGRA SL sold at a price of 550-600 euros I believe it's going to sell out being the DURA-ACE still with a very high price tag with out considering the other brands choices (Campy Chorus and Record or SRAM Force) well over the 1000 euros to get on ya bike a full carb look

Anonymous said...

great point with the economy car comment, you should see what kids at my high school put on their oldsmobiles

Anonymous said...

nextly? pshaw!
remember that sl is 10 speed and 'regular' ultegra is still 9-speed, which i think is a cool way for a company who can do what they want to transition to 10-speed (still allowing 9-speed riders to buy newly developed equipment that looks similar to what they might have).

Anonymous said...

p.s. the implication is that you rill-informed opinion, while still comical, is way off base here.
cheers!

'pegger said...

Hey Hey! Top Ten! I had to dig up three year posts to get it, but I'm finally in!

Anonymous said...

I FEEL SORRY FOR THE "BIKE SNOB" THAT HE FEELS THIS WAY ABOUT THE ULTEGRA GROUP. I,VE BEEN IN MANUFACTURING ALL MY LIFE, AND ONE COMMON THING THA I HAVE FOUND IN MFG. PROCESSES. THERE IS VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCES IN PRODUCT LINE FROM THE CHEAPEST TO THE MOST EXPENSIVE. IT IS AL IN THE END PRODUCT USER. EACH "GROUP" IS MANUFACTURED FOR A CERTIAN SECTOR OF THE BIKING INDUSTRY. TO SAY ANY OF THE GROUPS THAT IS MANUFACTURED BY ANY COMPANY IS "STUPID" IS CHILDISH AND SHOWS IGNORANCE OF THE MANUFACTURING KNOWLEDGE BEHIND EACH PRODUCT. IN OTHER WORDS, EVERY PRODUCT MANUFACTURED DOES HAVE A PLACE IN INDUSTRY, WHETHER ONE THINKS IT IS "STUPID" OR NOT IS "ONES" OPINION!

RIDE ON! AND ENJOY THE GROUP THAT YOU CAN AFFORD!

Anonymous said...

TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK!
Your point is now invalid.

Brian said...

You said:

If you need 100 grams, buy the Ultegra group but swap out the crankset for Dura Ace. You'll net the same weight savings and not look dumb.

This makes no sense. Dura-Ace is more than 2x as expensive. Who cares what you look like? It's how you ride...

Anonymous said...

Check this out: https://www.bikesportmichigan.com/features/dura-ace-ultegra.shtml .

I agree with 'Ride and Enjoy with whatever you can afford and feel good on' (for me the Pinarello Prince of Spain :-) SL or no SL

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