Shimano Dura-Ace 7800

Was Dura Ace 7800 the pinnacle of Shimano’s road groupset offerings?

I’ve just built up a lovely 1996 Cougar (Terry Dolan) frame with 7800 and I love it.

The shifting is so smooth and light and the silver finish is just the way I think a groupset should look. The cranks are a simple looking work of art in comparison to the modern equivalents.

It’s a shame about the external gear cable routing and the hood shape doesn’t really match well with modern bar shapes, but hey-ho, you can’t get everything right. Not bad for a groupset that debuted 15 years ago.

I’ll post some photos the next time I get the bike out in the daylight…



The 7800 was a fantastic group set, functionality was excellent and the aesthetic was beautiful. The fact that it’s replacement, the 7900 group, was so terrible may also be a reason people are so fond of the 7800 group set (myself included).

The 9000 group is great though and was a huge leap forward in performance over the 7900. I reckon it could be the best they have produced. The R9100 is good but wasn’t a giant leap forward in my opinion.


Agreed on all counts @racewheels - 7800 is divine, 7900 is the groupset that must not be named, and 9000 was a paradigm shift (no pun intended) that particularly brought mechanical front derailleurs to whole new level. :kissing_heart::gear:


Ah, bike nerds just like me! I love it! Please post photos of the Cougar when you get a chance! :heart_eyes:

DA 7800 is my favorite grouppo ever. The shifting was surperb and I am still running the pedals years later.

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I used a 7800 SS rear mech on my downhill MTB for over 4 years, and it worked like a dream. Shifted better than any Shimano or SRAM MTB offering and lasted forever.

I only moved away from 7800 (to 6800) when I started to need compact cranks, and DA7800 didn’t have compact (only a triple).

There was a non-series compact crankset introduced in 2006, the FC-R700, which, I think, became the Ultegra 6650 crankset a year or so later. It came with the Dura Ace style chainrings rather than Ultegra style so would have looked the part even without Dura Ace written of the arms.

Those were the days…


The 7800 crankset has not aged well, it just looks like this Tiagra crank to me:

7900 was even worse of course. The 7700 crank is beautiful, as is 9000.

Obviously I disagree with that - the 7800 crank is much more refined than the Tiagra one to my mind.

What I would agree with is that the 7700 crank was the best looking one of all, especially for skinny tubed steel bikes.

Just a shame it’s an Octolink BB with the bolt on the drive side.



Here it is in the glorious East Lothian sunshine:


Pretty happy with the build so far. Better wheels will be coming for the summer although the £120 B’Twin wheels aren’t too bad and the stickers came off no bother.

First priority is a better seat post though, so that I can get my saddle perfectly level. After that it may be genuine 7800 chainrings.


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Here’s what it looked like in it’s original paint job as a singlespeed.


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