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Difference Between Ultegra and Ultegra SL

ultegra-pdUltegra vs Ultegra SL

Ultimately, the main difference between the Ultegra and the Ultegra SL, is more than just price, although this is definitely a factor. The Ultegra is less expensive than the newer version of the Ultegra SL.

You can shave as much as a quarter pound off your frame’s weight with the newer Ultegra SL. The lighter frame has been credited for better time, easier transitions, and faster handling and responsiveness.

The Ultegra SL has a new, initially impressive, gray finish. Reviews and tests have shown that the new finish does not tend to hold up to the same standards of resistance as the Ultegra’s finish, as it is more easily tarnished by shoes and other contact.

The Ultegra SL is designed to be immediately compatible with some of the corresponding upgrades of the package, that aren’t quite as readily matched for the Ultegra. Some of these upgrades are, for instance, the proper configuration for the dual control levers, bottom bracket cups that save weight, high alloy material upgrades, and compact chainring configuration.

The hardened spindle is constructed of light steel, creating strength over the aluminum construction of the Ultegra. The entire package is meant to go together in a simple, straightforward design, that requires little reconfiguration. The Ultegra requires a greater knowledge base, should you wish to reconfigure it for personal asset glorification.

In many ways, the ultimate difference between the Ultegra and the Ultegra SL, comes right down to personal preference and budget. If you’re only looking for the new frame, many recommend to choose the Ultegra. If you are wanting to continuously upgrade, or upgrade all at once, it’s not a bad move to consider all the advantages of the weight difference options, should your budget be sufficient.


1. The Ultegra SL runs, on average, $90 to $120 more than the Ultegra.

2. The Ultegra SL can save a quarter of the frame weight alone, more if you upgrade on a regular basis.

3. The Ultegra SL has a finish that has been currently rated at a poorer quality.

4. Ultegra SL requires less reconfiguration, and offers straight upgrades, when compared to Ultegra.

5. Light steel and alloy construction create strength and durability for the Ultegra SL.

6. The Ultegra SL offer for those who adjust to the switch, a faster response and handling for all maneuvers.

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