Dura ace mechanical?

With components being very hard to find and really no end in site I am considering building up a Tarmac SL7 with a brand new dura ace disc groupset that’s available to me. I’d love to have di2 but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find it. Is it worth putting this group on or should I just be patient and wait for a di2 group to become available?

For mechanical I don’t see a reason to run above 105 especially if you’re wanting Di2 in the future, 105 shifts and works perfectly and it would let you enjoy the frame while you wait on part availability


I can’t read your financial tea leaves, but if I had high end frameset, it would bother the heck out of me hanging on a hook, I’d build it up now, with a torn down 9 Spd group and eBay the missing shifter. I don’t see a reason to “just be patient.”

Here are my assumptions and the following thoughts: If you have an SL7, frameset, I’m guessing its not your only bike, so you can still ride. This gives you the option to be more patient.

How many of the parts from your other bike(s) can swap over cleanly (is that the DA mechanical disc or hydro disco group you have available?, wheelset(s) compatible? Does the current bike have the same routing and cable/hose runs? Do you have your intended cockpit ready to throw on already? Or are those parts you might be waiting for, too?

For me, I’m really an 105/Rival (and if lucky) Ultregra/Force level guy, but if the funds had fewer competing interests, I’d certainly not hesitate to go up… alas, three kids in the USA mean lots of college savings etc… I haven’t actually priced build kits since this time last year, let alone had any good experience with estimated wait times vs reality…

Long story short, I’d build the thing up if I could and ride it. If you get the itch and “lose” money because a Di2 group shows up on your doorstep sooner rather than later, I’d probably chalk that up as the cost of running nice shit. The DA mechanical will still have some value, just obviously not the same as NIB.

#itsabikerideit is pretty much my motto, even when riding clapped out rentals. There are way more expensive hobbies in the world so the “loss” on selling a used group in 3 months or whatever means more to some than it does to others.

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Isn’t the SL7 frame electronic-groupset-only??

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DA Mechanical is fantastic.

I still run Ultegra mechanical on my gravel bike and love it. Honestly, I prefer mechanical to electronic shifting. More tactile.

IMO, the major downside is that the brake hoods are a bit bigger than a Di2 equivalent. Still comfortable as hell, but definitely bigger.


I wouldn’t run mech if the SL7 is heavily integrated. It’s just way too much faf and it affects shifting performance for mech as cable has to bend too many times. DA Mech would be perfect on a traditional bike, a high end steel build or something like that…

You might be able to get some used Di2 or Etap groupsets on Ebay, though it may be for the same price as new.

DA mechanical is great, and gives you the option to upgrade to Di2 in the future if you wish/can find the parts.

UDi2 would be my choice, but it’s not an easy groupset to find at the moment.

I have merely talked about the prospect of selling mine - which is 12 months old - and have been offered 4/5 RRP for it by the LBS, as they cannot get it.

Can’t speak about the routing of an SL7, but I ran mech Dura Ace for a long time on my Supersix with internal routing. It was sweet as a nut, to the extent that when I eventually took it apart I discovered the derailleur hanger was bent, and it had carried on shifting beautifully. Don’t know another groupset that manages that :sweat_smile: Having said that, I agree with above comments that 105 is so good now it’s hard to justify. Comes down to if you want to be a little ‘extra’ and appreciate a bit of mechanical beauty. Don’t buy it for performance.

On availability, I would guess it’s going to be a wait for anything decent at this point.

Personally I think that on an existing setup upgrading mechanical to electronic makes not really sense. At least I came to that conclusion when I looked into it. You have to replace both shifters, both derailleurs and recable everything plus install the battery. That leaves you basically with the crank and the brakes of the existing setup. And for the crank it doesn’t really matter if it was DA or a third party to start with. Having said that, nowadays you might be able to sell your used parts for a good price, when I looked into that times were different…

The standard Di2 upgrade kits were always about 65-70% of the price of the full groupset. So yes, it is/was more expensive than just going Di2 straight away, but not massively, and it was always a good option for people who first thought they didn’t want it, but then changed their mind, or who first couldn’t afford it, but then saved or similar. For those people it made/makes sense. If (if) you can get the parts, then now it arguably makes even more sense, as while you would have always got something for your used shifters and mechs, you’ll now get very good money.

Well, depends on how you define massively. I find paying 65-70% extra is quite a bit. Plus 2 times the labour (either in a shop or your time) and the time invested to sell the used parts. But totally agree that nowadays with high prices in the used market you get good money back for the used parts. Personally I’d rather wait 2-3 years, enjoy the mechanical for the time being and upgrade to the next gen electronic with the next bike.

And in the case of OP. I wouldn’t count on a high resale value of 11-speed mechanical DA in a couple of months… people who are willing to pay the extra for DA most likely want the latest generation.

I did, and would always choose Ultegra Di2 over DA Mechanical. Having smooth, fast, repeatable shifting each and every time regardless of riding conditions, with no need to ever worry about barrel adjustment for cable stretch and gritty housings to maintain is worth the slight weight penalty.

Not to mention that consumables for Ultegra (cassette, chainrings) are all considerably cheaper than DA. I only run a DA chain because it’s $50 vs $40 for Ultegra, but with cassettes you’re looking at 2-3x more money for DA and several stronger climbers I know say those DA cogs are softer and shorter wearing than Ultegra.


I think we’re talking slightly at cross purposes; the Di2 upgrade kit is/was about 2/3 of the price of the full Di2 groupset.

So before Covid, in the UK, a full Ultegra disc groupset would have cost you about £900, a full UDi2 about £1800. If you bought Ultegra then upgraded, your spend would have been (very roughly) £900+£1300, so about £2200. Factor in probably about £100-150 labour if you’re getting a shop to do it, the increase was probably about 25%-30% over just getting Di2 in the first place. So not insignificant, but not 65-70% more expensive.

This is all academic, though, as I think Di2 parts are very hard to get at the moment, and given that mech DA and UDi2 have always been very similar money, I’d always choose UDi2.

I convinced myself that I needed Di2 on my new bike, so I built my new bike up last year with Ultegra Di2, and I love it. But I do now go back to my older bike (SWorks SL6 Tarmac) with full mechanical Dura Ace, and man, it is so smooth and sweet. Looking back on it, I would probably not go Di2 and instead get the Dura Ace group if shifting performance is all that matters.

A big caveat is the shifter shape. My new bike is hydraulic disc, old bike is rim brake. IMHO Di2 is almost worth it to avoid the massive shifters with the hydraulic disc shifters. The Di2 allows them to be much more comfortable and normally shaped. Otherwise you end up with a couple of baseball bats hanging off the front of your handlebars.