First Look, Shimano Ultegra Carbon Pedals

Seemingly without a whole lot of fanfare, Shimano’s newest SPD-SL pedal is about to make its debut. By now, most people are aware that there is a carbon version of the Ultegra 6700 pedal that’s been in the works, yet there hasn’t been much press – possibly because it’s tough to beat on price when compared to Dura Ace.

It’s light, it’s wide, and it’s carbon for a whole lot less.

See how the DA stacks up after the break!

I think it’s safe to say that Shimano has taken the concept of trickle down engineering to heart. Lately it’s been the new XT kit borrowing heavily from XTR, then it was Ultegra Di2′s improved wiring setting it apart from Dura Ace Di2, and now, the Carbon Ultegra 6700-c certainly resembles it’s Dura Ace sibling.

On the weight side, there is only a surprisingly low 10 gram difference between the two for a complete pair. Some of that weight difference is likely from the bearing systems, although the 6700-c pedal now has all metal hardware for the bearings rather than plastic. The Ultegra model does lack the billet aluminum sleeve that is bonded to the pedal exterior of the Dura Ace model and the triple bearing set up, so it’s likely that the DA pedal will still spin better, for longer.

Visually the pedals are quite different and I was told this was due to the Ultegra being molded from short-fiber carbon as opposed the the Dura Ace’s long-fiber carbon body. Theoretically, this should make the Dura Ace pedal stronger, but how much so is anyone’s guess.

The only other real difference between the two is that the Dura Ace pedal supposedly has a slightly narrower Q-factor than the Ultegra. Stacked side by side it was really hard to tell, but I’ll take the Shimano Rep’s word for it.

While the Dura Ace pedal is still technically superior, the new Ultegra 6700-c boasts a lot of features for the price. At a retail of $299 for the Carbon Utegras, I have a feeling the Ultegras might just give the Dura Ace pedals a run for their money.

Comments

Steve - 08/19/11 - 10:18am

I’ve been wondering why anyone bothers with Dura Aca any longer. It is all so good now.

Robin - 08/19/11 - 10:39am

Personal preference. That’s why people still buy Dura Ace…or Super Record….or Red. There is no fixed criteria for what is good enough or what people should want or buy. It’s better that way for the market and product development.

Michael - 08/19/11 - 12:19pm

@Steve

Two words:

BLING FACTOR.

Paul - 08/19/11 - 9:26pm

Dura Ace and Ultregra share many attributes, choosing between the two would be based on the mileage you want to get out of the components. Both will work similarly when they’re new, it’s after 10K miles of hard riding when your Ultegra’s performance will begin to degrade, with Dura Ace it’s hardly broken a sweat. It’s like a cat 2 rider in a Pro 1, 2 race, he’s feeling pretty tough up until the big guns decide it’s time to put in their effort.

The Rude Awakener - 08/19/11 - 11:55pm

Paul makes a good point. BUT, and your experience may differ, most dudes I know who own top tier groups (Record, SR, Red, DA) are the ones who “upgrade” their sets after 1-2 years of use while the guys on 105 and Ultegra use their sets for 5 years or more.

Robert - 08/22/11 - 12:06pm

It’s funny how people get wrapped up in “upgrade-itis” when if you think about it, who wouldn’t have killed to have today’s 105 20 years ago? Today’s Ultegra is better than Dura Ace 2 or 3 years ago. When put in that perspective, it’s hard to think of paying twice as much for a similar pedal, unless you can tell the difference between three bearings versus two.

Alex - 08/27/11 - 5:41pm

I disagree with Paul on that durability comment. I have been finding with my customers that the top end stuff is wearing out faster. We have one particular riding group with a fairly even split of Ult and Dura riders. I am seeing new Chains and Cssts on the Dura guys more often than the Ult riders. They are riding in the same group, same miles, same rides.

Robert makes a good point, but that speaks to the cyclist themselves. Those who are buying the top tier stuff have subscribed to the Pay to Play book. They are upgrading because they can, and they know they might lose a dollar in the process. Whereas the 105 crew typically aren’t the most avid cyclists on the road, and are buying more in the bargain book.

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