Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Do I buy the new Ultegra 6700?

I don't like to see myself as one of those people who go around buying everything they put their eyes on. In fact, I am not. Some of the manufacturers of cycling gear could have a hard time paying their bills if they were to rely on my consumer habits.

Don't take me wrong, I do buy stuff when I need to, not because it is the newest thing in the shop. My friend BSNYC wrote:

"...people love stuff that is exciting and new, so in the absence of revolution we've been selling the concept of revolution. For example, we have now figured out how to charge people more than $2,000 for a pair of wheels".

I agree but I don't allow myself to be like that and I don't buy something because it is going to make me 0.03 km/h faster either.

Last time I walked into a shop, one of the mechanics was quick and helpful, telling me to have a look at the new Ultegra groupset (6700). I had already glanced over the one fitted to a sharp looking middle of the range Colnago and I had, also, made my mind on what I thought of it.

The Ultegra 6700

The new group set looked cheap... I mean 'cheaply made"! To be honest, the new STI shifters made of carbon looked good but the rest failed to look robust and durable, or even high performance as Shimano claims.

Perhaps, I failed to move on with times and to appreciate the duetone silver finish and aerodynamic improvements on the new Ultegra parts. The Ultegra group on my bike is over three years old and has done a few miles now. It does has a few scratches and the shifting isn't as crisp as it used to be but it does work, it looks robust and surely will last another year or two.

OK. The new group is 151 grams lighter. Does 151 g really matter? It might for a few but for 99% of us, that can shed those grams in a couple of days before a hilly race or KOM competition, the answer is no.

As I said before, my STI levers are getting a bit sloppy. The kind of sloppiness that I am now used to but perhaps, an investment on new levers could well be on the cards. The new Ultegra carbon levers with internal cable routing might even be a good option.

- And it is only thirteen hundred bucks! He yelled as I was making my way out.

Good old tyres

I have been riding on Michelin Pro2s for a while now, training or racing. They have been reliable and they roll well. And they have also lasted many, many kilometers.

A few weeks ago, returning home from a very long ride, I noticed something odd on one of them. I have seen tyres with a small worn patch or two before but I had never seen a whole tyre worn like this one...

Obviously, I have replaced that tyre but only with another semi-used Pro2 for training. For racing crits I bought a pair of Continental 4000S. I figured I should try something new now and then...

Just glad I made home that day!

For a professional review on Ultegra 6700, click here.


Stu Bell said...

Oh, you definitely "need" it. That 151 less grams will say you like 0.7W up Mt Coot-tha. That's like 3 seconds. How else are you going to save that much time (training doesn't count)?

AMR said...

Hi Stu,
Three seconds on Coot-tha... How many on Mt Hotham ascent?
Maybe I will "need" it then...

Colin said...

I think I have taken your ability to resist buying the latest and greatest to a new level

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