Which Groupset?

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  • Hello.
    I'm saving up for a geared Condor... possibly the Squadra and i'm rather clueless in regards to the benefits of particular groupsets. All I hear is cock rubbing, Super Record / Dura Ace chatter, but are they really worth the disparity in price between Ultegra / Centaur Carbon for instance? Also, is SRAM Red highly regarded?

    I'd be interested in knowing your preferences and fyi I commute most days and enjoy longer rides at the weekend, but am in no way a competitive cyclist - just want value for money, a nice gearie and good kit.

    Advice and opinions greatly appreciated. Cheers

    Condor Options (with Squadra frame):
    Tiagra** £1200
    105 £1400
    Ultegra £1650
    Dura Ace £2650

    Veloce** £1350
    Centaur Alloy £1450
    Centaur Carbon £1750
    **Chorus **£2150
    Record £2550
    Super Record £2900

    Rival** £1400
    Red £2650

  • Best vfm at the moment is SRAM Rival imo -cheap as 105, but as light as Ultegra and performance not far off SRAM Red.

    Not all that knowledgeable on Campy personally, but if money was no object, I'd go for either SRAM Force or Dura Ace 7900 (the 09). The Red is just too expensive and not worth it (like Super Record 11)

  • There is usually willy waving alongside the cock rubbing.

    Both Campagnolo and Shimano make very good kit. SRAM are relatively new to the road market and I've not used there kit so can't really comment on them, hopefully someone (thanks TinyExplosions) else will chip in on that. For me, what it boils down to is how you get on with the shape of the gear/brake levers and the action of the shifters. I get on with the Campag ones better so use that. I've owned and used Shimano and the only problem I ever had was with 105 rear mechs failing back in the early 90s. I assume they've fixed that now.

    Given your expected usage then 105 or Veloce would be fine, whilst Ultegra, Centaur or Chorus would give slightly better performance and longevity if you can afford them.

  • Based on the willy-waving principle, you need to ask yourself - how much willy do you want to wave?

    Ultegra's probably gonna be the best way to feel like you've bought the best - except for the one that costs another grand, that is.

  • I read a seriously nerdy study of performance vs weight vs cost for Shimano, Campy and SRAM.

    Campy Centuar won in terms of "bang for your buck" as the americans like to say, Ultegra SL was one of the worst. The top of the range gruppo from each manufacture was unsupprisingly over priced. This was just after the SRAM gruppos came out though so I suspect they are better value now.

    I'd say Ultegra, Force, or Centuar. have a feel of the hoods + decide how much of a positive action you like, to pick the make.

    Shimano = smooth*
    Campy = postive*
    SRAM = inbetween*

    (*i think)

  • i actually prefer a mix of components. somebody in the know recommended the dura-ace shifters over the ultegra as the internals last longer but if you look at the cassette prices/weights then dura-ace is not worth double the price of the ultegra. a front mech is another area that i would happily use a lower range model.

    as for shimano/campag i find the shifting levers in an odd place with campag so for me it's shimano. if you want pimp then the 7800 dura-ace is cheaper than 7900

    condor have some sale bikes in the shop at the moment, may be worth a look.

  • Campa Veloce. Lasts longer than Shimano and looks a lot better. You could go for groupsets like Centaur, but for commuting I wouldn't want any carbonfibre on my bike...

  • ^ Why not? I have very secure storage at both ends

    Thanks for the advice all.
    I'll check out the Sale bikes, MrSmith, but might not be anything my size.

    I like smooth shifting so will probably go with Shimano (Ultegra)...

  • Ultegra is a good bet. I've got 105 on my gearie and have used Centaur a lot. Centaur has a nice feel so I'd say have a look at it when you're getting the bike. Ultegra or Centaur, as said before, are probably the best bet.

    As for Ultegra SL being worst value for money. Isn't that because it's just the same as Ultegra but a little lighter and more expensive. Waste of money I think. I don't even think of it as a groupset.

    It goes 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace for Shimano for me. The other's just aren't worth looking into.

    As for Campag I'd say it goes Veloce, Centaur, Chorus.

  • Campag goes Athena, Daytona, Centaur ;)

  • Mechanics' quote 'Shimano wears out Campagnolo wears in'.

  • watch those carbon bits in 10 years time....

  • Buy last years SRAM Red for £800, Record Race Feel for £800 or DA 7800 for £600 and take it along to Condor and tell them to put it on for you when you buy the rest of the bike.

    All of last years top end groupsets will be better than the second tier groupsets for at least the next 3 years.

  • Nice... Do you have a linky to those deals?

  • Thanking you

  • As for Ultegra SL being worst value for money. Isn't that because it's just the same as Ultegra but a little lighter and more expensive. Waste of money I think. I don't even think of it as a groupset.

    I think the SL had just come out at the time, prices have dropped since. Still doesnt float my boat though

    All I hear is cock rubbing,

    (BTW A Dutch guy informed last night that there is a new word in the Dutch dictionary. Swurving or swurping or something like that (I was a bit pissed). Its the action of striking something with your cock. Makes the English dictionary seem somehow incomplete.)

  • Can't find a link to a Red groupset but they pop up sporadically on eBay, just shop around.

  • Merlin have deals at the moment. never dealt with them myself

  • dura ace floats all of my boats at the same time

  • Fair enough, that centuar looks a bit heavy.

  • Campag goes Athena, Daytona, Centaur ;)

    Daytona and Centaur are the same groupset, Campag renamed Daytona Centaur as they ran into copyright problems using the Daytona name.

  • Go with how the hoods feel in your hands, this is the biggest practical difference between the manufacturers. In terms of "smoothness", the post above referred to the lever action, rather than the ability to shift nicely at the gear end, particularly under load. So, "liking smooth shifting" shouldn't necessarily direct you towards ultegra! In any case, the action of 2009 centaur has been lightened up considerably.

    FWIW, I think Centaur gives outstanding performance for the money, and I'd be inclined to go for the Centaur alloy option if I were in your boots, looking at the prices you quote. I'd say centaur is easily on par with ultegra (having used both), if not better in some respects, so pocket the £200 difference between them! Otherwise, SRAM rival is meant to be good too, and probably gets the VFM prize, but I've never personally tried it, neither have any of my regular cycling buddies used it.

  • I haven't used a full Dura-Ace or Record groupset, I've had Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, Mirage, Veloce, Daytona and Chorus (with very nice FRM chainset and brakes) on various bikes. I found that Campag shifting felt more precise when properly set up, but was far less tolerant of less than spot set-up.

    I found I preferred the thicker hoods of Shimano shifters, Campag shifters just give you less to hold onto when riding on the hoods, but very much prefer the separate thumb shift and paddle of Campag, I on more than one occasion have hit the wrong paddle using Shimano, shifting down instead of up, or vice versa, but maybe I'm just too uncoordinated. Interestingly I found Campag's Mirage shifters just as functional and precise as Chorus shifters, the Chorus was more pleasurable to use, because it felt better made, but it didn't function any better, although the Mirage shifters used to rattle most irritatingly if you were riding on a poor road surface. So I totally see the point in buying a better groupset, but in my experience you get better finish and lighter weight, but not necessarily better functioning.

    Two years ago I built up my current road bike around a SRAM Force groupset and it’s been a complete revelation. Really comfortable and chunky hoods on the shifters and incredibly accurate and intuitive shifting. I was really worried that the short/long throw shifting with the single lever might prove to be inaccurate/ messy, but it’s been completely the opposite, spot on accurate and totally intuitive. As you can see I’ve become a convert, but what I’m getting at is I think it’s really all about personal preference. Before deciding on whether to go with Shimano, Campagnolo or SRAM try all three systems and see which YOU prefer, then, once you’ve decided which system you prefer, decide which groupset within the system gives your preferred compromise of cost/weight/finish. I don’t think you can easily compare say Shimano Dura-Ace and SRAM Red, I’d go for SRAM Red without batting an eyelid, but that’s because I prefer SRAM shifting, don’t care if the Dura-Ace is lighter/has stiffer cranks/better breaking because you can tune this by using other manufacturers components, e.g. I use Zero Gravity –Ve G brakes. That’s my take on this.

  • Campag goes Athena, Daytona, Centaur ;)

    Daytona and Centaur are the same groupset, Campag renamed Daytona Centaur as they ran into copyright problems using the Daytona name.

    If we're stating the obvious:

    A wink emoticon - ;) - indicates that the writer of the post is joking in some way.

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Which Groupset?

Posted by Avatar for braker @braker