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Groupsets and commuting

DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
OK lets get all the social quips out of the way "you buy what you can afford" "Shimano 2200 and the Campag equivilent are OK groupsets capable of commuting" "Commuting isn't about racing and therefore not something to be so elitist about" "Campag vs Shimano blah blah blah" "You don't need a new bike" "You don't need gears"...

OK Naysayers and fun-sponges its all been said. Now to get on with the thread...

Last year there were a few bikes dripping with Dura-Ace at the £1000 mark and some with Ultegra. Most cycle2work vouchers covered that cost so it wasn't unrealistic to be commuting on a bike with a race intended spec. This created (for me) a lot of misconceptions about groupsets.

Considering that in todays market most £1500 carbon fibre bikes (intended for sportive and entry level competive cycling) are being offered up with a 105 groupset, is a 105/Veloce groupset necessary for commuting?

Also given the gulf in the level of groupsets on offer between 2008 and 2009 bikes at the £1000 - £2000 price mark, what should a person consider using for sportives/races at the entry level?

Finally:

What groupset do you have on your commuting and your best/sportive/sunday bike?
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A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game

Which groupset do you use for commuting 0 votes

Sora / Xenon
0% 0 votes
Tiagra / Mirage
0% 0 votes
105 / Velcoe
0% 0 votes
Ultegra / Centaur / Rival
0% 0 votes
Chorus / Dura Ace / Force
0% 0 votes
Record / Red
0% 0 votes
Super Record
0% 0 votes
Lightweight
0% 0 votes
Other
0% 0 votes
None
0% 0 votes
«1

Posts

  • FeltupFeltup Posts: 1,340
    42x16 fixed :D

    Sorry missed the final question.

    I have a mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra on the good bike.
    Short hairy legged roadie FCN 4 or 5 in my baggies.

    Felt F55 - 2007
    Specialized Singlecross - 2008
    Marin Rift Zone - 1998
    Peugeot Tourmalet - 1983 - taken more hits than Mohammed Ali
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I'd say Shimano 105 or equivalent is fine for commuting, it's funtional and cheap to fix. I run a mixture of Sora shifters, v.old Ultegra rear mech and a 105 front mech. The weak link in all this is the shifters but I can't bring myself to shell out over £100 for a new set. It's functional and it works.

    I've tried Dura Ace and Ultegra SL on top end bikes and didn't notice a huge difference between them tbh. I've got Ultegra SL on the Mad one and haven't regretted it yet.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

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  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    Out of interest - do the better group sets just have the advantage of lasting longer and smoother gear changes, or do they really make you ride faster?
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    48 x 16 - fixed

    Ultegra on the road bike.....
  • blu3catblu3cat Posts: 1,016
    105.

    Definitely a step-up from my old deore, alivio combo.
    "Bed is for sleepy people.
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  • Sewinman wrote:
    Out of interest - do the better group sets just have the advantage of lasting longer and smoother gear changes, or do they really make you ride faster?

    The speed effects are (a) less weight - a marginal difference too small for measuring devices to register; and (b) psychological. Just like a high end frame. There's a strong incentive not to be caught napping on it.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Sewinman wrote:
    Out of interest - do the better group sets just have the advantage of lasting longer and smoother gear changes, or do they really make you ride faster?

    Lighter and smoother/quicker changes - with Tiagra, it is a "shove" of the lever, with Dura Ace it is a finger tap.
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Tiagra/Sora for me on the SCR 3.0 - As this is the best groupset I have yet ridden on (leave myself some room for improvement there!) I can't complain........gear shifting can be a bit sticky when going balls out and trying to get it to the ickle cog at the rear but I think that's more to do with it needing tweaking and me being lazy!

    I'd be interested to see if we get anyone vote for Super Record or Lightweight :-D
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  • richkrichk Posts: 564
    Altus on commuter, Tiagra on Sunday best.
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    In terms of quality I'd have thought that a thinner chain/chainrings/cassette (such as 11 speed) wouldn't last as long as the thinker equipment of a 10/9 or 8 speed groupset made out of the same materials.

    Not sure how titanium comes into it, by rights it should last longer as its density is greater and has a higher resistance to failure and corrosion.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    Thanks Gregg66, Lusso.

    I have Sora 8 speed. Having never tried anything better I find it perfectly adequate. Only thing I notice is the gears grind when on extreme gears..not sure if that is normal.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    50x16 Singlespeed for the commute.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
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    On the Strand
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  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    In terms of quality I'd have thought that a thinner chain/chainrings/cassette (such as 11 speed) wouldn't last as long as the thinker equipment of a 10/9 or 8 speed groupset made out of the same materials.

    Not sure how titanium comes into it, by rights it should last longer as its density is greater and has a higher resistance to failure and corrosion.

    Another thing to remember is that while the higher end components are better quality, they are still only going to last a few thousand miles before they need replacing and I'd much fork out on the lower end bits then the top draw expensive stuff.

    Save the bling for the best bike which gets loved and treated with respect and not brought out on London's horrid roads when it's wet!

    Also with regards to Ti, I think one of it's best qualities (asides from the weigh saving) is that it doesn't rust, hence you can get some lovely un-painted frames that should last a lifetime!
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  • FeltupFeltup Posts: 1,340
    50x16 Singlespeed for the commute.
    I'd never get up the hills around here on that gearing but it would be nice on the descents so that I wasn't spinning like a loon.
    Short hairy legged roadie FCN 4 or 5 in my baggies.

    Felt F55 - 2007
    Specialized Singlecross - 2008
    Marin Rift Zone - 1998
    Peugeot Tourmalet - 1983 - taken more hits than Mohammed Ali
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Sewinman wrote:
    Out of interest - do the better group sets just have the advantage of lasting longer and smoother gear changes, or do they really make you ride faster?
    This is usually where it can become confused.

    In terms of things like mechs and hubs, higher end is usually better because they will last longer due to better seals, quality of bearings, bushings, etc.

    But then again, when parts are made for speed, they need to be made light, which often means lightweight materials which aren't as hardy as cheaper, heavier materials. Also, given that they are made to be light and for their intended purpose, only need to last for a relatively short period of time, perhaps they aren't so appropriate for the hard life of commuting.

    My personal take is that the lower to mid-range stuff from Shimano (Sora/Tiagra) and Campy (Mirage, is it?) is more than good enough for the commute. For stuff like chainrings, I would indeed prefer the more hardy (but weighty) steel chainrings on Sora (and the inner I think on Tiagra) over the alu rings on higher end groupsets.

    Personally I run a mix of Tiagra and 105 on my bike and it all works just dandy. Sure, it is nowhere near as delicious as the Ultegra on my race bike, but (as Rich said) replacement costs when these things wear out is minimal and do i really need sensational shifts on the commute anyways?

    FWIW, my missus bike (which is often much neglected) runs a mix of Sora and Tiagra and runs like clockwork despite being often left out in the elements and lacking attention.
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Sewinman wrote:
    Thanks Gregg66, Lusso.

    I have Sora 8 speed. Having never tried anything better I find it perfectly adequate. Only thing I notice is the gears grind when on extreme gears..not sure if that is normal.
    Set-up. Happens on my wife's steed when it is in need of attention.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Ultegra, but now with Race Face chainset. (EDIT: it's effectively second hand because it was previously used on the Sunday best)

    EDIT: Sunday best bike = Ultegra
    FCN 2-4.

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    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • girv73girv73 Posts: 842
    Deore LX on the old commuter MTB, SRAM X-5 mix on the current one, 105 on the road bike.

    X-5 works OK, but the shifts aren't nearly as slick as 105. I hate it when a gear change doesn't happen, so I have no problem with anyone using a decent groupset for a pure commuting bike.
    Today is a good day to ride
  • UnderscoreUnderscore Posts: 730
    Tricky one to vote on since 2 of my 3 bikes (and I use all 3 to commute at different times) are specced around MTB components and neither of them is specced with components from a single group.

    However, my road bike is 105 - but I see no reason why Tiagra (and Sora, except for the annoying thumb levers that I can't reach from the drops) wouldn't be just as suitable for commuting.

    My commuter workhorse has an MTB drivetrain made up of all sorts of bits but, when I replace stuff, I go for Deore, or LX (so SLX now, I guess) if there's a good deal on it, and it all seems to handle the winter salt well enough...

    _
  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    48x16 on the commuter. Used to commute on Ultegra and it cost me £250 pa in bits.

    Mostly Ultegra with a bit of DA on the road bike.

    The GF's new bike will have Ultegra and actually I'm thinking of nicking that and giving her my bike. :oops:
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    The speed and smoothness and reliability of Dura-Ace at the back is wonderful and is especially useful when commuting because of the huge number of stops, starts and everything in between. Nothing wrong with the 105/Tiagra combo on the old bike but you can really feel the difference and the confidence it affords.
  • benno68benno68 Posts: 1,689
    Only got Tiagra on my Giant Defy, seems good enough for me although it would be nice to upgrade the rear mech at least at some point. This is the only bike I've got in working order so it's used for commuting and pleasure rides.

    I've dreamt of having a Campag spec bike since I was 12, maybe one day - only 28 years and counting :D .

    Hey Blondie, did you see that Cav had some trouble with his Dura Ace rear mech recently?
    _________________________________________________

    Pinarello Dogma 2 (ex Team SKY) 2012
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  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Putting this in context - I would buy a bike spec to my budget allowance for commuting, but would never upgrade it!! Whether it be Sora, Tiagra or whatever, it is built for a purpose.....!

    My roadie was specced with Ultegra - I will replace if I break or wear out, but never upgrade it.

    However, if it was my race/leisure bike, I would go nuts and upgrade the lot!
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    i commute fixed, and come the summer i shall be riding an ultegra/dura ace mix on a carbon frame with kyrisum sl elite wheels
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Commute XT/LX mix, soon to be a fixed road bike instead. Used to commute on Ultegra.
  • Mixture of XT and LX on the commuter bike
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    46/14 fixed for the commute.

    For the rest, I have to say there's a noticeable difference in the shifting between Veloce (tifosi) and Record - the shifts are faster, more crisp, more silent, more exact...
  • always fixed or singlespeed, even in hilly Bath - got sick of replacing entire drivetrain each spring
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    interesting that you put DA next to Chorus and Force.....[duck and cover]

    I'm on 105 at the mo, but on another bike I have DA, albeit old. The new 105 stuff is better than the DA was when it was new. But having at one time upgraded to DA, if you put the money anywhere, put it in the shifters, then the rear mech. If you are going to save money anywhere, save it on the chain and cassette.
  • 46/14 fixed for the commute.

    For the rest, I have to say there's a noticeable difference in the shifting between Veloce (tifosi) and Record - the shifts are faster, more crisp, more silent, more exact...

    Should also shift more smoothly under heavy load: accelerating on a climb. sprinting, commuting*


    *well, what did you expect me to say?
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
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