Emonda SL5 105 5800 vs Emonda SL6 Ultegra 6800
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  1. #1
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    Emonda SL5 105 5800 vs Emonda SL6 Ultegra 6800

    Hey guys, so I'm going to be trading my bike up from a fondo endurance style, and I'm pretty settled on the Emonda SL series. However, I am torn between the two models and groupsets

    SL6 has a 6800 Ultegra group
    SL5 has a 5800 105 group

    I know the differences between the two groups have diminished significantly with this latest generation from Shimano, aside from a pound of weight or so (or not even a pound).

    My LBS is kind enough to make me a decent tradein offer on my bike, but there is still a fair difference in cost between the SL5 and SL6, $400 to be exact. Color wise, I DO like the SL6 yellow, but the SL5 white wouldn't put me off either.

    So, for $400, is it worth making the jump to 6800 Ultegra from 5800 105? I rode a 5800 105 equipped S5, and I'd say the shifting felt SLIGHTLY smoother on the Ultegra, more-so going to the big ring up front. Rear shifting on both was nice, and I like the 3 gear downshift feature on the Ultegra, though I did not test if the 105 had that as well or not.

    I know some might say the $400 is best spent on a new wheelset, but I already have a set of Boyd Altamonts w/25c tires that I'll be bringing over after they get converted to 11 speed.

    What would you guys do?
    2016 TREK Emonda SL6: Boyd Altamont/Conti GP4000S ii
    2015 TREK FUEL EX9 29": where stock doesn't = suck

  2. #2
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    Look at all the specs. The difference between 105 bike and Ultegra bikes is almost always more than the difference between 105 and Ultegra. I'm not familiar with these particular models but would be willing to bet they definitely have different wheels and probably stuff like seat, seat post, bars is also different. Also check if 105 and Ultegra means for the full group. Cheaper cranks and brakes are often slipped in.

    not that that answers your question but just to point out that extra money is about more than just a group set (almost always).

  3. #3
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Look at all the specs. The difference between 105 bike and Ultegra bikes is almost always more than the difference between 105 and Ultegra. I'm not familiar with these particular models but would be willing to bet they definitely have different wheels and probably stuff like seat, seat post, bars is also different. Also check if 105 and Ultegra means for the full group. Cheaper cranks and brakes are often slipped in.
    That's what I thought as well. But a quick check of the specs and they're all identical. Groups are full group, even the chain and cassette match the groups. Only difference is the handlebar. Bontrager Race, VR-C vs. Bontrager Race Lite, VR. Not sure what one is vs. the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleanneon98 View Post
    What would you guys do?
    For $400, me personally I'd go with Ultegra. But my finances aren't yours. Only you can determine if $400 is worth it.
    If I couldn't afford the $400 though, I'd have no qualms going with the 105.
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    Interesting. Good on Trek for not subbing in cheaper stuff on what they call a 105 or Ultegra bike.

    Anyway, I'd probably spring for the Ultegra. Another option would be to buy Ultegra yourself for $489 from Ribble and either eBay the 105 for a small profit or keep it hanging around for spare incase something goes on the Ultegra. That's kind of a useless idea if you don't have the aptitude to change a groupset or know someone who'd do if for free though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    That's what I thought as well. But a quick check of the specs and they're all identical. Groups are full group, even the chain and cassette match the groups. Only difference is the handlebar. Bontrager Race, VR-C vs. Bontrager Race Lite, VR. Not sure what one is vs. the other.


    For $400, me personally I'd go with Ultegra. But my finances aren't yours. Only you can determine if $400 is worth it.
    If I couldn't afford the $400 though, I'd have no qualms going with the 105.
    VR is variable radius
    VR-C is the same but compact
    Geo chart shows reach being the same with both bars. Maybe they dont include hoods

    No specs listed on site tho, sad

    To make things more complex, Emonda SL8 Dura Ace is around $400 more than Ultegra, or $800 more than 105. So many choice
    Last edited by Cleanneon98; 07-27-2016 at 10:57 AM.
    2016 TREK Emonda SL6: Boyd Altamont/Conti GP4000S ii
    2015 TREK FUEL EX9 29": where stock doesn't = suck

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    To make things more complex, Emonda SL8 Dura Ace is around $400 more than Ultegra, or $800 more than 105. So many choice[/QUOTE]

    For an extra $400, I'd get the SL8. Totally unnecessary, but a relatively small price to pay for the bling and the weight savings. I think the seat might also be different on the SL8.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by alerapro View Post
    To make things more complex, Emonda SL8 Dura Ace is around $400 more than Ultegra, or $800 more than 105. So many choice
    For an extra $400, I'd get the SL8. Totally unnecessary, but a relatively small price to pay for the bling and the weight savings. I think the seat might also be different on the SL8.[/QUOTE]
    Possiby, though I hear of issues with cassettes, don't really want to pay more to hav problms. Going to roll the dice and wait for SL6 to go on sale and hope they have my size. If not, then I'd be happy with the SL5, or wait for next years SL6.

    If TREK drops SL6 by what I expect, it will be less than a current SL5
    2016 TREK Emonda SL6: Boyd Altamont/Conti GP4000S ii
    2015 TREK FUEL EX9 29": where stock doesn't = suck

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    Possiby, though I hear of issues with cassettes, don't really want to pay more to hav problms. Going to roll the dice and wait for SL6 to go on sale and hope they have my size. If not, then I'd be happy with the SL5, or wait for next years SL6.

    If TREK drops SL6 by what I expect, it will be less than a current SL5[/QUOTE]

    Take care of the drivetrain, and the DA cassette will be fine. Keep the drivetrain reasonably clean and replace the chain regularly. Most gripes are about the $$$ it takes to replace the cassette. You should get 20k+ miles from the cassette and if it happens to wear, just get an Ultegra and accept the 50g or so weight penalty.

    BTW, the $400 jump from Ultegra to DA is also worth it....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleanneon98 View Post
    For an extra $400, I'd get the SL8. Totally unnecessary, but a relatively small price to pay for the bling and the weight savings. I think the seat might also be different on the SL8.

    Possiby, though I hear of issues with cassettes, don't really want to pay more to hav problms. Going to roll the dice and wait for SL6 to go on sale and hope they have my size. If not, then I'd be happy with the SL5, or wait for next years SL6.

    If TREK drops SL6 by what I expect, it will be less than a current SL5

    It it were me, I'd spend the extra $400 and go with the Ultegra 6800. I wouldn't spend $800 more for the Dura-Ace. When it comes to groupos, it's a law of diminishing returns as you go up the ladder. I too am concerned about the fact that the Dura-Ace groupo has a Ti cassette which will wear out faster.

    You also say you like the color of the Ultegra version better and that does account for something. In the end, buy the bike that will make you the happiest.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    It it were me, I'd spend the extra $400 and go with the Ultegra 6800. I wouldn't spend $800 more for the Dura-Ace.
    Same here, Ultegra 6800 is definitely worth the extra $400 but of course that depends if you can afford to spend the extra cash.

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    I'll go in another direction as the others. I'd keep the $400 and get 105. Besides a little weight, I find the performance exactly the same. Take the extra $400 and get nicer tires, a cycling kit, or save it towards a nice cycling vacation!

    You can also get a better pair of wheels like the Flo 30s for about $450. That'll make you faster than components!
    Last edited by Tri Slow Poke; 07-28-2016 at 02:23 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Slow Poke View Post
    I'll go in another direction as the others. I'd keep the $400 and get 105. Besides a little weight, I find the performance exactly the same. Take the extra $400 and get nicer tires, a cycling kit, or save it towards a nice cycling vacation!

    You can also get a better pair of wheels like the Flo 30s for about $450. That'll make you faster than components!

    None of these things will make you noticeably faster - no, not even the wheels. The only real advantage is more bling and more enthusiasm about your bike which will make you want to ride more. So indirectly, you will be faster and stronger because you will ride more, not because your bike is lighter. The Ultegra may possibly shift a little smoother than the 105 - with an emphasis on "may possibly".

    In the end, buy the bike you like better.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  13. #13
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    If you are already considering the Ultegra because you can afford it and the DA is only $400 more, I would just go all the way. You won't really have anything to think about upgrading in the future. You may doubt your financial decision but you won't doubt anything on the bike.

    That said, same generation Ultegra and 5800 are going to work just as well.

  14. #14
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    I went with the SL6 and don't have any regrets, even the saddle feels decent out of the box. The ride quality is simply fantastic, with the 23c R2 tires that came on it it was better than the old bike on the 25c Contis. Then I swapped them out for a spare set of 23c GP4000S2 that I had and WOW, the ride is MUCH improved even over stock. Can’t wait to get my Boyd wheels converted to 11 speed and then run a 25c on the bike. I compared a 23c on a 622x17 rim and a 25c on a 622x18.5 rim and the difference isn’t so much the width but the overall volume is so much better I am expecting a really great ride. I’m also able to get the bars low and stay flatter compared to before because the frame is a better size for me, so the slight aero advantage is nice too. It climbs well, it descends well, it rides well…I don’t know what this bike really excels at yet since I haven’t put many miles on yet but I feel like it will do everything great.

    Of course today TREK finally published the price drop for it since the new model is coming out, but the drop was only $200, and considering I got the bike and color I wanted without worrying about it being out of stock was worth it. That and the shop traded me out of my old bike for very decent money, and when I called around no other shops were willing to trade a bike in.

    2016 TREK Emonda SL6: Boyd Altamont/Conti GP4000S ii
    2015 TREK FUEL EX9 29": where stock doesn't = suck

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleanneon98 View Post
    I went with the SL6 and don't have any regrets, even the saddle feels decent out of the box. The ride quality is simply fantastic, with the 23c R2 tires that came on it it was better than the old bike on the 25c Contis. Then I swapped them out for a spare set of 23c GP4000S2 that I had and WOW, the ride is MUCH improved even over stock. Can’t wait to get my Boyd wheels converted to 11 speed and then run a 25c on the bike. I compared a 23c on a 622x17 rim and a 25c on a 622x18.5 rim and the difference isn’t so much the width but the overall volume is so much better I am expecting a really great ride. I’m also able to get the bars low and stay flatter compared to before because the frame is a better size for me, so the slight aero advantage is nice too. It climbs well, it descends well, it rides well…I don’t know what this bike really excels at yet since I haven’t put many miles on yet but I feel like it will do everything great.

    Of course today TREK finally published the price drop for it since the new model is coming out, but the drop was only $200, and considering I got the bike and color I wanted without worrying about it being out of stock was worth it. That and the shop traded me out of my old bike for very decent money, and when I called around no other shops were willing to trade a bike in.
    Congrats on the new bike! Enjoy, and ride a lot!
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  16. #16
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    Any of them would be great IMO, but I'd go for the SL8. Since the 9000 cassette is quite a bit costlier anyway, maybe the shop would be willing to swap out the 9000 cassette for the 6800 at no cost to you at purchase time. Can't ignore the shifting difference between the 9000 and 6800 group. It's there. Not huge but you can feel it.6800 and 5800 feel identical. If I didn't want to spend on the SL8, I'd go with the SL5, unless I could get the SL6 on sale.

    Update: You purchased one. Congrats on the new ride. Post some pics. I'd love to see it.

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