By user12625760 on Aug 30, 2008
I rode my blue bike to work this week for two reasons. First I needed to carry more things home than usual and so had a pannier and second to make sure it was all ready for the winter. It turns out that all is not well. Having replaced the chain and cassette at the end of the winter and now I know that the Shimano Ultegra chain rings are only marginally more hard wearing than the 105 rings.
Prior to the bike's last major rebuild the 105 rings had only lasted one winter (3000 miles or so) and were replaced with TA rings. When the whole chain set was replaced it had Ultegra rings on so I left them. The Ultegra rings have lasted three winters (about 10,000 miles), not that bad until you compare the my summer bike. It is 9 years old and has done over 36,000 miles and still has the same chain rings (Campagnolo Record). The maintenance schedule of both bikes is the same, new chain and cassette after 3,500 miles. Yes the summer bike is lighter and does not go out in the winter but I still don't think that explains the drastic difference in the wear. I can't help agree with those that claim Shimano chain rings are made of grey cheese.
Luckily I have a spare set of chain rings, Stronglight ones, that I spent a happy hour fitting.