Shimano Ultegra Pedals 6800 vs 8000 – Which Ultegra model rules?

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Shimano Ultegra Pedals 6800 vs 8000

Shimano SPD-SL pedals are some of the best pedals in the cycling world. If you are looking for ideal differences between these two Ultegra models, look no further. Here you will find which model rules.

I remember the first time I clipped my plastic pedals on my old bike. I was so devastated. I seriously believed that was the end of its lifeline and I’d have to buy a new bike.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to buy a new bike and my crisis was one that could be easily resolved with a replacement of pedals.

At the time, I knew nothing about Shimano or any of their pedals but once I got to their store, I was blown away at the variety.

Now, years later, I’ve become some sort of expert on these Shimano branded pedals and this is my review on the Ultegra 6800 and 8000 models.

What are the key differences between Shimano Ultegra Pedals 6800 and 8000?

 
Ultegra 6800
Ultegra R8000
Type
SPD-SL
SPD-SL
No. of Cleats
3
3
Rotational Float degrees
6, 2 and zero degrees
6, 2 and zero degrees
Weight
265 grams
248 grams
Material
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber, anodized aluminum,
Price

Shimano Ultegra Pedals 6800 vs 8000 – How they compare

Trickle Down Effect

Ultegra 8000features close similarity to the 6800 versions because Shimano have a tradition based on bettering their last best. This means that most pedals will look the same but will differ very slightly in performance, weight, size or availability.

Shimano’s top-quality cycling pedals are the Dura Ace type and the company has been observed to be creating the Ultegra 68000 and 8000 prototypes from the technology basis of the Dura Ace. Currently the three models are separated by weight, manufacturing process and materials used.

It is true that some of the current designs in Ultegra are technological upgrades from the original Dura Ace, and a lot of riders still appreciate that they can experience the light weight and finely finished qualities of original Dura Ace pedals.

All Shimano pedals have a relation to Dura-Ace design and machination because they have always relied on trickling down technologies from one model to the other.

Cleat Number and Type

Both Ultegra pedals have factored in Shimano quality design and build. The differences in pedals is found on their release angle, their weight or their floating rotation angle.

The release angle of these two Shimano pedals is the degree which a foot must turn in order to release the SPD shoe from the cleats. If more room is available on the pedal, it gives the rider some relief in foot movement.

If there is no float on the pedal, you can expect to have a rigid foot position you have to keep which needs to be done right for better comfort and maximum safety to the user. This is the property of the red colored Ultegra pedals.

The yellow colored cleats will provide you the most freedom in foot movement with clipped shoe with a plus or minus 3-degree float. They work great with compatible bikes and they are relatively popular.

Racers, like myself, mostly pick the blue colored cleats because they offer a perfect balance between some wiggle room, fixed sure footing and improved power transfer. This both reduces chance of knee or joint injury and also maximizes my riding confidence.

Unless you are extremely comfortable with all your other bike adjustments like your seat and handlebars, the red-colored cleats in both Ultegra pedal models is too restrictive and rigid for the average cyclist.

Quality and Durability

Both pedals being of the SPD-SL model of Shimano pedals, these two have been built with extra hardy carbon and stainless-steel metal to keep their shape and form over longer periods. Bike drops, accidents and extreme terrain grazes are normal and expected.

To keep your pedals in the best of shape, you have the option to service them regularly by removing, greasing and replacing bearings if and when they need it.

Cleats on the pedals also wear out with regular use so once the fitting starts to get loose, make a point of getting them replaced. For Ultegra 6800 and 8000, it’s easier to get replacements because the cleat system is made of plastic material.

Unfortunately, because these pedals have three cleats on them, walking on these SPD-SL enabled shoes will not be favorable across rugged or slippery terrain. Dirt, mud and grime is easily caught in the cleats which clogs them up and diminishes their receptivity.

Both Ultegra pedals feature a double bearing and a matching length in distance between one crank arm end and the other. 

Shimano Ultegra Pedals 6800 vs 8000 – A Comparison Overview

Shimano Ultegra 6800 – Overview

SHIMANO 105 R7000 FH-R7000 10/11-speed Free Hub 130 mm Q/R 32 Hole...
  • Internal O-rings and grease sleeve
  • High quality cup & cone bearing

Uses Dura-Ace technology and cleat as a base to build into these super affordable Ultegra 6800 pedals. They are mostly made of carbon which is great for sturdiness and for protecting the spring mechanism which operates them. These pedals spin on two sets of bearings around a stainless steel spindle.

Following in Shimano’s color coordinating system, the pedals in these models also come in three different color tips. Yellow tips for 6-degree rotational float, blue tips for 2 degrees and red tips for zero rotational floating degrees.

Aside from acting as category markers, the tipped areas of the pedals are made to be multi-grip to increase your stability off the bike if required to run. However as with all SPD-SL pedals, dirt gets caught under the parts much easier which calls for a loosening of the spring tension with the use of an Allen key.

Pros

  • Heavier than Ultegra 8000
  • Great design
  • Three cleat/float options
  • No maintenance needed
  • Hardy and indestructible
  • More affordable than 8000

Cons

  • Rear end takes a while to get used to when securing foot

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Ultegra R8000 – Overview

ShimanoUltegra R8000 Groupset 11-28T 52x36T 172.5mm
  • Ultegra R8000 Crankset: 172.5 52/36
  • Ultegra Bottom Bracket: English BB68

These pedals are made of carbon and stainless-steel. In following with their trickle-down structure for upgrades that Shimano like to use, these pedals are like Dura-Ace models but cheaper and lighter.

In this model, they chose to reduce the stack height and increase the width which improves the power transferability and the foot stability in high speeds. The cleats on these pedals is three as is standard across all Shimano SPD-SL road pedals.

To get a distinction of their float angle, Shimano uses the same color coordination system across all its other models. Yellow-tipped pedals have a floating angle of 6-degrees, blue pedals float at 2-degrees and red-tipped pedals have no rotational float whatsoever.

To set your pedals tension, there is a tension spring fitted into these pedals that is activated by use of a 2.5mm Allen key. You can expect these pedals to rest pointing downwards and to be only one sided which means you have to get used to them.

Pros

  • Heavier in weight compared to 105 pedals
  • Made into durable pieces
  • Similar to Dura-Ace with better price

Cons

  • Expensive

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Verdict: So, which is better,Shimano Ultegra Pedals 6800 or 8000?

Because these are models of the same great sporting company, it is hard to pick one over the other. Based on your immediate needs, your budget, the type of bike you have and your pedal preference in float angle, either of the two Ultegra pedals will good and long service.

However, the Ultegra 6800 pedals feature all of the same features the 8000 has and yet they are cheaper in price. This makes them the better and worthier purchase.

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