Should you get Shimano Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 gear for your bike? You tell us.

One question we hear again and again is ‘Why should I spend the extra and get Di2?’. Let’s face it we all want it but can we justify the extra price? Often we just want someone to tell us ‘Go ahead and buy it you won’t regret it’.

So what is so good about it? Rather than tech geeks or press releases on the products we would like to hear from the average age grouper who has purchased Di2 and can tell their triathlon peers why they should spend the extra $$. Use the comment section below to add feedback on your own experiences with the Di2.

Is Di2 like flying first class? Once you have done it you can’t go back. If you are riding a time trial bike the first and most obvious positive is that you can change gears when you are not down on your TT bars. This means when you are climbing or out training in a pack you can easily and safely change gears without reaching out to the end of your TT bars.  Secondly the Di2 shifts quicker and more precisely than normal mechanical shifting. Of course there are always exceptions to the rules and we accept that.

The other question is whether or not the extra cost of the Dura-Ace version over the Ultegra is worth it.

Let’s hear what you think.


Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

  • KP

    I let go of the cash. Even in this economy I thought long and hard about it and decided to go for it. I just built a new Tri bike and put Dura-Ace Di2. I’m an age grouper and I wanted something that woud last a few years. I also waited to see how the Di2 would stand up to a few seasons before I brought it. I came off SRAM Red which started to have issues after about 6,000 km for me in Thailand. The roads can be brutal on equipment and your body here so I build a bike arond the Di2 but I went with Rotor Bottom Bracket, the BB30 ceramic and the 3D TT crank with Q-Rings. Like you said, it’s great being able to shift in both positions. It’s super smooth and fast (which you’d expect for the money). In my opinion, for what it’s worth, go try it, you’ll love it and YES it’s like flying First Class (not that I get to do that often), hard to go back to Coach. If you are a ‘weight junkie’ then go for Dura-Ace but Ultegra is good too. I was told there was no TT shifters for Ultegra so I went with DA.

  • Nicole Ward

    I am sponsored by Shimano and this is my third season riding with Dura Ace Di2 (very lucky). I now have Dura Ace Di2 on my road bike as well as the TT bike and it’s definitely a case of once you go to Di2 that there is no turning back- EVER!

    For time trialling Di2 is amazing, and I believe the benefits are greater for the TT bike over the road bike. It shifts like a dream and you don’t lose momentum, particularly when climbing in the aero bars, when you need to change gear. It is also a lot safer if you were to ride in a group to be able to change gears more efficiently when sitting up.

    For both road and Tri the front derailleur is miles ahead of mechanical shifting, you can shift under load and it also auto trims so there is no chain rub. The rear derailleur shifts perfectly every time, once it is set you don’t have to worry about chain stretch. For the female riders, who have smaller hands Di2 is much easier and quicker to shift, so a there is a definite benefit there for the ladies too.

    When Ultegra was released it was such a good product and priced so well that the only real difference of Dura Ace was TT shifters. Shimano are releasing a new 11 speed Dura Ace Di2 which you can expect to take it to the next level.

  • AV

    Hey Guys,
    I have it on my Slice and CAAD 10. It is fantastic. Especially on the Slice when riding rolling hills. I’ve had it for nearly 12 months, and don’t have a bad thing to say about it. Well worth the $$.

  • JvV

    I recently bought a road bike with Ultegra Di2. Ever since I’ve been looking at websites of people who converted their normal Ultegra TT bikes to Di2 bikes… Too bad that there’s no Ultegra Di2 for TTs yet, but once there is I would seriously consider upgrading!

  • Karl Hayes

    JvV, have heard that the new SW-R671 satellite shifters for the aero extensions should be here around October.

  • Ian

    I have DA Di2 my racing bike and I can’t imagine ever going back to mech shifters. The TT question, however, is a little different. While the difference between mechanical and electronic brake lever shifters is significant (faster, more precise, efficient) it is less so with the bar end shifters. The movement is less and so the advantage over mech shifters is reduced. The real advantage is the ability to have shifting buttons in more than one position.