2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Best In Class

Photo: John David Becker

Components

Shimano Ultegra 6800
$1,250, Bike.shimano.com
The draw: Impeccable shifting and braking

Electronic groupsets get the headlines, but Shimano’s mid-tier mechanical Ultegra group is the best value in bike components. The kit was totally updated this year and it achieves nearly the same functions that distinguish the top-level Dura-Ace set, including precise front shifting and highly predictable brake performance. The true value of Ultegra is most obvious on a road bike, although similar function translates to triathlon bikes. For elite performance, mechanical Ultegra is the most affordable option.