Shimano Ultegra VS Dura Ace: Which Groupset Is Better?

Can't decide between Shimano Ultegra R8000 and Shimano Dura Ace R9200? We compared them for you.
John Watson
John Watson
John is an experienced cycling enthusiast and a great asset when it comes to writing skills. He's a Bachelor of Arts and a talented journalist. John is in charge of our blog read more
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Jessica Kingston
Jessica Kingston
Expert Consultant
Jessica is our expert consultant on all things connected to biking - gear, technique, you name it. Being a pro cyclist in the past, she knows exactly how things work in and read more
Last updated: August 25, 2023
Shimano Ultegra R8000
Shimano Dura Ace R9200
Can't decide between Shimano Ultegra R8000 and Shimano Dura Ace R9200? We compared them for you.
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Shimano is one of the best brands in the world, and they’re popular because of their durable and reliable products. They’ve made multiple components and recently developed and released two new groupsets, the Shimano Ultegra and the Shimano Dura Ace.

The Ultegra vs. Dura Ace debate is a tricky one, and it’s hard to tell which is better as they’re both excellent products. Although they have different speeds, weights, and shifter types, both products can be used to maximize performance and efficiency. Keep reading this article to understand more about the two products and their unique features.

Quick Overview Table

Shimano is the world’s best manufacturer of groupsets, and it has gained a large fan base of people loving its products. Due to this, they have dominated the market by producing and selling multiple exciting products, and the addition of these two has increased their value.

When looking at both the Shimano Ultegra and Shimano Dura Ace, you are guaranteed that both products are helpful and offer your vehicle top performance. Although they were released simultaneously, they are two products that offer different things. But as stated previously, it is essential to know the differences between the two before purchasing them, and here is a quick overview showing that.

Shimano Ultegra R8000 Shimano Dura Ace R9200
Speed 11 12
Average weight 220 ( /pc) 242 ( /pc)
Reach adjust Screw Screw
Rear speeds 11 12
Shifter type Dual control lever Wireless

Above is a quick overview of the differences between the speed, weight shifter types, and other factors between the two devices. From the table, it can be seen that the Dura Ace has the edge over the Ultegra in most cases. Now, we shall be touching both the products and their features.

Shimano Ultegra R8000

The Shimano Ultegra R800 is one of the latest additions to the Shimano groupsets family Trusted Source Road Groupsets SHIMANO road bike components respond, backed by a long history of innovative research — from aerodynamics to ergonomics. , and it has been regarded as an outstanding product to use. It can be said to be one of the best versions of the Ultegra groupsets.

If you have experience riding with this component attached to your bike, then you can tell that it can get your wheels working through different terrains and conditions, and you can rely on its durability. Besides having an exciting new design, the Ultegra R800 is a clear upgrade from the previous versions, as multiple small refinements make it amazing to use. There is an improved brake and shifting system, so it makes riding even more comfortable.

The R800 takes a lot from the Dura Ace R9100 series, and something that you should look out for is the inclusion of a disc brake option and a pair of rim brake calipers that have better tire clearance, additional power, and a better feel. It also has smaller hydraulic hoods that help with Di2 Electronic and mechanical shifting.

Through complaints and feedback from the previous Ultegra versions, the Di2 buttons for shifting have been redesigned. It has been replaced with buttons that give a better feel and the addition of full and synchronized shift modes for the shadow rear derailleur; with this, it’s easy to install and reduces the chance of getting damaged during an accident.

The R800 is perfect for riding through smooth surfaces, and equipping it to your road bike is one of the best things you can do. It is also primarily used on cyclocross and gravel bikes. Other features include better electronic shifting control, improved wiring, and an option to customize from a smartphone.

Shimano Dura Ace R9200

The other groupset we shall discuss here is the Shimano Dura Ace R9200, and just like the Ultegra R8000, it’s a fantastic product and one that you should have attached to your bicycle system. It aids bikes that go through hilly roads, and this is because it comes with extra climbing gear. If you’re riding an MTB bike, then having this is perfect for you. In case you’re looking for a quality bike to pair with the Shimano Dura Ace R9200, then you should check out the best mountain bikes.

Compared to previous versions under the Dura Ace Series, the R9200 has new levels of refinement to what was already a fantastic design. Significant updates have been such as brake improvements, a smoother level of shifting, and a better user-friendly system.

People have branded this Dura Ace R9200 as the best groupset to perform well. This is because of the many changes and features. The Dura Ace products are more expensive than the Ultegra, and that’s only understandable as they have excellent characteristics that are not available in the Ultegra. Suppose you’re looking for better gear ratios, then this is the best option.

Shimano Dura Ace vs. Ultegra: The Differences

Both the Dura Ace and the Ultegra are excellent products, and using either of them will give you a boosted performance. But you must know the differences between the two, and when you’re looking at that, you have to view each component. Most of the differences between the two are the materials and parts of the products. Here are some short notes about the differences between the two products.


Shimano Ultegra VS Dura Ace: Which Groupset Is Better?

The first thing you should look out for when distinguishing between the two is the shifting. Changing your gears is very important, and the two are amazing. The Dura Ace R9200 has sharper and more noisy gear shifts, and it can be done with less hand input. It has a short lever that shifts individually, and its sweep-down shift is straightforward.

In the construction of their derailleurs, the Dura Ace shifters weigh 230g, unlike the Ulterga, that’s heavier by almost 65 and weighs 295g. The weights of their shifters are different, but they both use carbon levers.


When looking at the drivetrains Trusted Source Drive train - Energy Education The drive train of a vehicle refers to the group of components that act to deliver power to the driving wheels of a vehicle. between the two, there is a clear difference between them. The Dura Ace recently changed their drivetrains to the 54/40, and this gives a straighter and faster chain line at a faster speed, unlike the Ultegra, which makes use of 53/36 or 50/34, and it’s usually slower and less efficient.


On the cassettes, there is a clear difference between the two of them as you’re getting titanium and steel sprockets and also high-end fiber spiders made from carbon on the Dura Ace, unlike the Ultegra, where you’re only getting sprockets made from steel.


The difference between the two for the brake system is tight. Both calipers for the two groupsets are excellent at decelerating, and braking is convenient when using either. The Ultegra and Dura Ace have good braking systems, but the weight differs depending on which brakes you’re using. But ultimately, the Ultegra has heavier brakes.


Dura Ace uses one rear derailleur option that can accept a cassette of about 11-30T. In contrast, the Ultegra has two derailleur options, the short cage, which can accept cassettes of about 11-30T, and the mid cage derailleurs, which can do 11-34T.

Overall weight

When looking at the overall weight between the two, the Ultegra R8000 weighs 100g more than the Dura Ace R9100. Different factors lead to this difference in weight, for example, there is aluminum in Dura Ace’s front of the derailleur cages, unlike the Ultegra, which uses steel cages.

Which Is Better?

Shimano Ultegra VS Dura Ace: Which Groupset Is Better?

Now that you’ve known the differences between the Dura Ace and the Ultegra, you must know what makes them similar. Although they have their differences, many things still make them more alike.

The significant similarity between the two is that they’re both now electronic and also semi wireless, and this is done with a wireless connection between the levers, derailleurs, and one in-frame battery that powers the derailleurs. The insides of both of them are also the same as they make use of the same electronics shifting speeds, and they both use hyper glide engineering that’s gotten from Shimano’s mountain bike group sets.

The braking system is also the same as both have disc brakes and also rim brakes that both run on Shimano’s server wave technology that allows more progressive braking and leads to a reduced chance of brake rub. One cool thing to look out for on both groupsets is that they both have power meters with the standard 2% accuracy and also a Bluetooth option.

This pretty much sums up all the similarities between the two, and although they have their differences, the similarities between them show that they’re both excellent products. It’s hard to tell which is the better one, but regardless of your option, you are guaranteed maximized performance.

But it would be best if you also looked out for more updates from Shimano. They’re always making new products because they believe in constant innovations and giving their customers to best. They’re seen as one of the best bike brands in the world, and with new and improved products, they’re living up to that reputation.

Final Thoughts

Shimano is one of the best bicycle accessories brands in the world, and they’re popular because they’ve produced many suitable accessories. And the two new Shimano products, the Ultegra and the Dura Ace are two excellent ones that have caught the attention of many bikers worldwide. If you’re looking for ways to get the best out of your bike, then using either one will help.

Now that you’ve made it to the end of this article, you should have more knowledge about the Ultegra vs. Dura Ace differences and be able to pick out which you prefer. The Dura Ace looks like a better option because of its features, but it all depends on your preferences, so the choice is yours.


Road Groupsets
SHIMANO road bike components respond, backed by a long history of innovative research — from aerodynamics to ergonomics.
Drive train - Energy Education
The drive train of a vehicle refers to the group of components that act to deliver power to the driving wheels of a vehicle.
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