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105 vs Ultegra cranks worth $10 difference?

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105 vs Ultegra cranks worth $10 difference?

Old 03-14-06, 08:43 AM
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mattface
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105 vs Ultegra cranks worth $10 difference?

I'm planning on upgrading the cranks on m cross bike which I use mostly as a heavy duty road bike. It's currently got ca. 1997 Coda MTB Triple, and I'd like to replace it with a newish road double. I'm looking at 105s as they look nice and the price is good on them. Then I notice the Ultegras are only $10 more. I'm thinking it might be worth the extra ten bucks, but although I know Ultegra is the next model up, I don't know what the functional difference is between them. A few Grams I assume, but then does less material mean a less stiff crank? I guess I'm asking what makes the Ultegra cranks worth more than the 105. I can decide for myself wether I care.
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Old 03-14-06, 08:48 AM
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Ultegra is a tiny bit lighter and that's about it. Functionally there isn't much of a difference.

Quality-wise, 105 and Ultegra are both excellent cranks, however, so you really can't go wrong with either. I'd just fork over the $10 and get the Ultegra since the difference is so small.
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Old 03-14-06, 08:57 AM
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Ultegras have a cool 'sculpted' look to them, a much improvement in style over the old Ultegras, or the current 105's
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Old 03-14-06, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Albany-12303
Ultegras have a cool 'sculpted' look to them, a much improvement in style over the old Ultegras, or the current 105's
Actually I recently saw new 105s with that same cool sculpted look, but I was talking about the older style Ultegras. Those are the ones I can find for $80
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Old 03-14-06, 09:25 AM
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For only 10 bucks,go Ultegra if for nothing else but the cool factor.
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Old 03-14-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by shokhead
For only 10 bucks,go Ultegra if for nothing else but the cool factor.
Ditto
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Old 03-14-06, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mattface
Actually I recently saw new 105s with that same cool sculpted look, but I was talking about the older style Ultegras. Those are the ones I can find for $80

Oh - I did not know that the new 105's had the upgraded styling. The Ultegras that you are looking at may be much lighter than the 105's ('hollow-tech'), unless that technology has also filtered down to the 105's that you are looking at.
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Old 03-14-06, 09:40 AM
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Which Ultegra and which 105 crank:
1. Both newer versions (forged w/hollowtechII BB?),
2. Old Ultegra (Octalink) vs new 105?
3. Both older Octalink?

In order:
1. for 10 bucks at this level its a toss up. Take the Ultegra (personal preference)
2. New 105. External bearing BBs are a technological advancement over the splined Octalink BBs (personal preference)
3. If the $10 means the difference between eating or not eating I say save the $10 (actually in that case I say forget the crank and keep riding what you have until it physically stops working). Else step up to the Ultegras.
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Old 03-14-06, 10:03 AM
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I can't believe this thread was made because of $10.
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Old 03-14-06, 10:09 AM
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For $10 I'd get the Ultegra cranks.
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Old 03-14-06, 10:10 AM
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I don't know about the latest models, but in the past, Ultegra came in 5 or 6 crank arm sizes, while 105 only came in 3 sizes. Other than that, the difference between similar models (9 speed vs. 9 speed etc) is mostly cosmetic.
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Old 03-14-06, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by $0.00/Gal
I can't believe this thread was made because of $10.
Just think what it cost the US economy in "lost time"
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Old 03-14-06, 11:15 AM
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I think it depends which 105 and ultegra cranksets you're talking about - I would prefer the new 105's FC-5600 hollowtech crankset with external BB over an Ultegra 6500 crankset and octalink bottom bracket.



For upgrading old bikes, or building new, last month I saw JensonUSA (or maybe it was Nashbar) clearing out Ultegra 6500 cranks for $49.95. They also had 105 octalink BBs for $22.
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Old 03-14-06, 11:31 AM
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The Ultegra crank is also stiffer and stronger than the 105, especically after the re-design this past year.
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Old 03-14-06, 12:00 PM
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Actually, the only cycling activity more important than "upgrading" is riding.
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Old 03-14-06, 01:50 PM
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Just for the record yes I am a cheap bastard it comes from being broke all the time. I was debating wether to buy a $70 crank or an $80 crank. (Both the the older hollowtech/Octalink variety). This would be a good upgrade for the 10 year old Coda mtb cranks, and would leave the codas to replace the 20 year old cranks on my MTB.

Yes $10 does make a difference to me. I've gone without lunch recently for the lack of $3 in my pocket. The main reason I'm considering the upgrade is because my MTB is in need of new cranks, and I'd rather spend the money on my road bike.

As I stated in the beginning I don't really need any help deciding wether to spend the extra $10, but I wanted to know what the practical differences between the Ultegra FC-6500, and the 105 FC-5502 might be. True $10 isn't a lot, but is it worth it to shave 2 grams of a 20 pound bike? or to have someone go "Wow you've got Ultegra on your Fujidale!" I'll make the judgement, just wondering stiffer? Lighter? Higher manufacturing tolerances? Blinger? Will the hot biker babes turn up their nose at 105, but hop in the sack for Ultegra? <--cause that's be worth ten bucks right there!

Here's the Fujidale in question FWIW
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Old 03-14-06, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
Just for the record yes I am a cheap bastard it comes from being broke all the time. I was debating wether to buy a $70 crank or an $80 crank. (Both the the older hollowtech/Octalink variety). This would be a good upgrade for the 10 year old Coda mtb cranks, and would leave the codas to replace the 20 year old cranks on my MTB.

Yes $10 does make a difference to me. I've gone without lunch recently for the lack of $3 in my pocket. The main reason I'm considering the upgrade is because my MTB is in need of new cranks, and I'd rather spend the money on my road bike.

As I stated in the beginning I don't really need any help deciding wether to spend the extra $10, but I wanted to know what the practical differences between the Ultegra FC-6500, and the 105 FC-5502 might be. True $10 isn't a lot, but is it worth it to shave 2 grams of a 20 pound bike? or to have someone go "Wow you've got Ultegra on your Fujidale!" I'll make the judgement, just wondering stiffer? Lighter? Higher manufacturing tolerances? Blinger? Will the hot biker babes turn up their nose at 105, but hop in the sack for Ultegra? <--cause that's be worth ten bucks right there!

Here's the Fujidale in question FWIW
You just answered your own question and yes, we have a winner.
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Old 03-14-06, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DigitalRJH
The Ultegra crank is also stiffer and stronger than the 105, especically after the re-design this past year.
If you're comparing 10 speed Ultegra to 9 speed 105, the price difference is a lot more than $10. The stiffness difference should go away if you compare similar products. A new version of 105 is supposed to be coming out soon as well.
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Old 03-14-06, 02:55 PM
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I have a 105 crank, but for $10 more I wish I would have seen an Ultegra! The crank arms between the 9 speed models seem more or less identical to me. The chain rings on the Ultegras, however, seem much more substantial. I think you may get a better service life out of them, but that is just a guess.
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Old 03-14-06, 03:11 PM
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Please also tell me where you are shopping! Those prices are great. You should check that the spacing when you make the swap, if I am understanding you correctly. MTB crank and a road crank spacing is often very different. Make sure it is comparable with your FD. I love upgrading one bike and hand-me-downing the replaced gear to another bike! It helps with the self justification process and is practical.
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Old 03-14-06, 03:47 PM
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Dayum, if $10 is that significant to you, you should be worrying more about buying things that are required for you to live rather than on a new crank.

Save your money for a rainy day, because you never know when you're going to need it for something that really matters - like when you get sick and need medical care, and end up racking up a bunch of bills.
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Old 03-14-06, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by la_raza
Dayum, if $10 is that significant to you, you should be worrying more about buying things that are required for you to live rather than on a new crank.

Save your money for a rainy day, because you never know when you're going to need it for something that really matters - like when you get sick and need medical care, and end up racking up a bunch of bills.
I spend $70 on cranks so I don't have to spend $800 on CV joints, and $30 a week on gas. Fortunately I have good health insurance through work, because my son's wheelchair cost 10 times more than all my bikes combined. Not that I have to justify my expenditures to you or anybody else that matter.
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Old 03-14-06, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
I spend $70 on cranks so I don't have to spend $800 on CV joints, and $30 a week on gas. Fortunately I have good health insurance through work, because my son's wheelchair cost 10 times more than all my bikes combined. Not that I have to justify my expenditures to you or anybody else that matter.
Nobody's asking you to justify your expenditures, hothead.

You wanted opinions and recommendations and you got them. Then you go and mention how $10 makes or breaks the bank for you at times, so what the hell are we supposed to say? Don't expect all of the opinions here to gel with yours, so if you can't take the heat from other peoples' opinions don't ask for them. And I still stand by my opinion - if not having $3 one day means you don't eat, you have serious financial issues. Does anybody here disagree?

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Old 03-14-06, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by la_raza
Nobody's asking you to justify your expenditures, hothead.

You wanted opinions and recommendations and you got them. Then you go and mention how $10 makes or breaks the bank for you at times, so what the hell are we supposed to say? Don't expect all of the opinions here to gel with yours, so if you can't take the heat from other peoples' opinions don't ask for them. And I still stand by my opinion - if not having $3 one day means you don't eat, you have serious financial issues. Does anybody here disagree?
hat was NOT a hot headed response. This is:

You don't have to tell me I have serious financial issues, I'm well aware of that, and I tried to make it clear I wasn't asking for financial advice, ONLY the practical differences between ultegra, and 105, so I could judge for myself wether it was worth $10. Nobody who reads these boards wants to hear about my family's financial issues or medical issues, and I avoid talking about them, but when someone belittles me for worrying about $10 like :

[QUOTE=$0.00/Gal]I can't believe this thread was made because of $10.

or judging me for my priorities like you did when you said:

Originally Posted by la_raza
Dayum, if $10 is that significant to you, you should be worrying more about buying things that are required for you to live rather than on a new crank.
I get a bit defensive. You don't know or care about my financial issues, and I didn't ask your opinion about it. I asked for opinions on cranks, not for financial advice. So considering you are so fond of offering advice that is not asked for I will offer you a little advice of my own. Piss of and mind your own business.
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Old 03-14-06, 04:50 PM
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Thanks to all those (the majority of you) who answered my question without worrying about why I care about $10. In spite of a few obnoxious people, this thread was quite helpful to me especially since I was able to find Ultegra cranks for the same price as the 105s.
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