Are you about to choose (or perhaps build) a new bike? Are you trying to decide between Shimano 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000? Read on…
Both the Shimano 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000 groupsets have been around for a while now. They both have received fantastic reviews for performance & value, from our customers and in the broader cycling media. So with a price difference between 105 and Ultegra (caliper brake, mechanical) of around £350, which groupset is right for you?
So, comparing like for like components, the weight difference between 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000 groupset is around 174 grams – similar to swapping regular butyl inner tubes to fancy lightweight ones ( – 55 grams each, two on your bike and a spare in your back pocket). So surely everybody should choose R7000 and buy 3 Continental Supersonic inner tubes? Well it’s not quite that simple.
|Component||R7000 weight grams||R8000 weight grams|
|Dual Control Levers||500||438|
|Front Deraileur (braze on)||95||92|
|Rear Deraileur (short cage)||225||200|
|Dual Pivot Brakes||379||360|
Groupset performance is much more than just about weight. More expensive components are manufactured using higher quality materials. For example, the R8000 dual control main levers are reinforced with carbon fibre, whereas the R7000 ones are reinforced with glass fibre. There are some more durable coatings too, which should make some R8000 components last longer, particularly when you factor in more demanding weather conditions and the odd mishap. The crank arms are slightly ‘beefier’ on the R8000 compared to the R7000, but I am not convinced it’s noticable when riding.
We are all basically simple creatures attracted by nice shiny looking things. With the R8000 shiny grey finish, it is just looks a little more ‘premium’ and slightly nicer to look at, compared to the more textured darker finish of the R7000. That said, the darker R7000 could look better on the right frameset…
Both groupsets offer an extremely similar (if not identical) feel in terms of shifting and braking. They are both much more responsive with ‘snappier’ gear changes and feature improved ergonomics in the dual control levers, when compared to the previous 6800 and 5800 groupset versions.
Aside from other factors, choosing between 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000 should probably just come down to what type of rider you are;
If you are a more serious racer, or ride with very competitive mates or enjoy racking up huge mileage totals, then Ultegra could well be the better choice, because all things being equal, it should last longer, survive more ‘wear and tear’ and is that little bit lighter.
If you are a regular weekend bike rider or racer on a budget, who enjoys decent 11 speed performance when you are out on a ride, then 105 could be a better choice.
When it comes to 105 versus Ultegra, there isn’t really a right or wrong answer, they are both exceptional groupsets. Whether you choose the 105 R7000 or Ultegra R8000, you will be riding a groupset which is light-years ahead of 105 and Ultegra of 10 years ago, and should provide many thousands of miles of trouble free bike riding. You won’t be disappointed with either.