Upgrading Ultegra Shifters - Options
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  1. #1
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    Question Upgrading Ultegra Shifters - Options

    I have 2006 ST 6600 shifters that are getting a little tired and I would like to replace with newer shifters but do not know what would work best for me. I have fairly small hands and like to do weekly higher speed pace line riding that requires quite a bit of quick shifting. I do not race, just recreational training rides. Any advice on which model and brand (eg, newer Ultegra, dura ace, SRAM) to consider and why would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    How many speeds and double or triple?
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  3. #3
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    I have a 10 speed Ultegra cassette, and double up front. Thx.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhubb08 View Post
    I have a 10 speed Ultegra cassette, and double up front. Thx.
    Any 10 speed shimano double shifters will work fine for you, just choose the ones you want, anything from tiagra level to dura ace will be fine for what you are doing. If you want to try sram shifting you need to replace the derailleurs as well as the shifters but everything else can stay.

    Certain 10 speed shifters (dura ace 7900 and ultegra 6700) are designed to work with different pull brakes though so won't work as well with the brakes you have now but will work.

  5. #5
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    Really 3 main options. Was in a similar position when my 6600 right shifter broke.:
    Newer Shimano - you can go the cheap route and take 10-speed Tiagra which should still work with your brakes. Other option is 5700 for some more cash. Otherwise you'll have to change RD's.

    SRAM - hoods are a bit smaller. Cheapest route is Apex shifters + RD. No matter what you'll need the RD, if not a JTek Shiftmate, which can cost as much as an eBay/CL deal Apex RD anyway. Also note the Apex RD (or any "WiFLi", long cage RD) opens up options for bigger cassettes.

    Campagnolo 10 speed shifters+SRAM RD - hoods are smaller than SRAM, but have a very versatile fit. I've done this combo with Centaur and Apex, going to a 6600 cassette. Still working perfectly fine to this day. On paper it shouldn't work based off pull ratios, but it does in practice for many. Some attribute it to SRAM's tolerances (pulley angles and overshoot I guess) not being so tight. Big catch is the thumb shifter. I have no problems with it, some just don't like it. It's not convenient for sprinting in the drops. Bright side, shifts are positive and design is a bit more robust than the rest.

  6. #6
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhubb08 View Post
    I have fairly small hands
    You may already know that some of the Shimano shifters have adjustable reach for people with smaller hands. I don't know which models but worth looking for.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  7. #7
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    I'd actually stick with what you have (unless of course they don't work anymore) before getting 6700 or 7900. 6700 and 7900 work fine but what you have is a little better because the cable doesn't run under the bar tape.
    I'm not positive about this but I think you would need a new front derailleur if you got 7900. Ultegra front shifters have trim and 7900 don't. I could be wrong about needing a new derailleur so don't quote me on that one.

    might be hard to find new ones but 7800 would be a good option.

  8. #8
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhubb08 View Post
    I have 2006 ST 6600 shifters that are getting a little tired... Any advice on which model and brand (eg, newer Ultegra, dura ace, SRAM) to consider and why would be much appreciated.
    "A little tired" being somewhat vague, unless you have upgraditis, I suggest trying a shifter flush before giving up on them. Might just rejuvenate them and buy you a couple (or more) years.

    RE: reach, Specialized used to make shims that adjust for that. I didn't see them on their website, but a dealer may be able to help.. or they may be available from other sources.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the replies from aramis, Ventruck, Randy99cl, Jay Strongbow, and P1352. Many excellent suggestions that I had not thought of. For now, I think the best option is rejuvenating and sticking with the 6600 shifters, till I'm absolutely forced to replace. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhubb08 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies from aramis, Ventruck, Randy99cl, Jay Strongbow, and P1352. Many excellent suggestions that I had not thought of. For now, I think the best option is rejuvenating and sticking with the 6600 shifters, till I'm absolutely forced to replace. Thanks.
    Best choice. In most cases, balky shifters can either be fixed by the tried and true WD-40 flush or they are kaput.

  11. #11
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    and/or finding new or used 6600's on ebay or online sellers. You might be surprised to find NOS 6600's.

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