Home Chat General Chat

Upgrading your race bike - Advice

Hi, I have recently taken up triathlon and after trying my first sprint event, bought a road bike. It has a Shimano 105 groupset on, but as it was second-hand, some of the parts are starting to wear (probably due to excessive use). I'd like to upgrade to Shimano Dura-Ace eventually, but need to do that gradually because of the cost.

Can you mix and match Dura-Ace parts with 105 parts? For example, I need to replace my Front Derailler first, as I am currently cycling without being able to change to the smaller front cog. Good for the strength training, but not so good for the larger hills!

Then I want to upgrade from a 9 speed 105 cassette to a 10 speed Dura-Ace, but am not sure if this can be done in stages.

Any advice welcomed. Thanks.


  • AndyAAndyA Posts: 14
    First Q has to be; why DuraAce?. 105 will work just as well and the weight diff wont add up to a post race mars bar!

    Second; Almost everything current shimano is mix and match. By way of example my current race bike shifts smoothly and reliably yet consists of;

    105 Crankset, 105 FC, Ultegra 9spd cassette, Sora RC, DuraAce 9spd bar end shifters, SRAM chain !!

    The original FC and cranks were Sora 8 spd, they worked fine with the 9spd bits, until i had a small 'off' and bent the chainring!

    The only bits that really need to match (in terms of number of speeds) is shifter and cassette.

    Any recent RC will work fine with any block (even on 'off-road' RC; my wife's bike that i've built up for her to try Tri this year has a Deore RC, Sora Crankset, 7spd old style IG block and an SRAM 8 spd chain; again it all works fine.

    Cheapest upgrade step if you really want 10spd is to get a RH 105 shifter, an SRAM 10spd chain and a 10spd cassette. You will need to go Ultegra if you want an 11T inner, otherwise Tiagra or 105 will do the job just fine.

    Don't get caught up in the whole money spending whirlwind that exists in Tri, spend the time doing some hard training if you really want to go faster. Alternatively my recommendation for a cheap upgrade; some top notch race tyres.

    Hope this helps-Andy

  • Matt KMatt K Posts: 16
    If you can afford it a good set of wheels is the best upgrade in terms of speed you can make.

    in particular light rims make the biggest difference, as they are rolling mass so the faster the wheels spin the more sluggish they become, so weight loss is more significant at the rim.

    With a good set of wheels you will feel a lot more difference (especially in acceleration) than if you were to shave off a few grams with Dura Ace kit.

    And as Andy said a good set of light weight tyres will compliment them perfectly.

  • stusystusy Posts: 6
    Thanks very much Andy and Matt for your replies. Very useful to a novice like me. I was originally looking at dura-ace more for reliability and durability, but agree with your feedback. I'll stick with my Shimano 105 parts, train harder and maybe look at a decent set of wheels later in the year. I have some Bontrager ones right now, which seem to do the trick. I think the other big thing is making sure I maintain my bike well. Apparently, the reason why I need to change my front derailler is because it has seized up during all the winter training. I'm doing my next sprint at Tewkesbury in May, so hopefully the training will pay off!
  • AndyAAndyA Posts: 14
    Glad to help; hope tewkesbury goes well for you (if not then you can still blame the bike!)
Sign In or Register to comment.