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Groupset Quality

RowCycleRowCycle Posts: 367
edited June 2011 in Workshop
What advantage to I get by going 'up' in groupset? I.e. Sora -> Tiagra -> 105 -> Ultegra -> DuraAce.

It costs more, but does it perform better, is it lighter, is it more durable, all of the above?

Thanks

Posts

  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Perform better - a bit, but not really above 105
    Lighter - yes
    More durable - no
    More BLING - yes
    much more expensive - yes
  • ChrisSAChrisSA Posts: 455
    10spd on 105 (and Tiagra soon). Technology trickles down, so next year's Tiagra is similar in weight and spec to this/last year's 105.

    What are you thinking of upgrading?
  • RowCycleRowCycle Posts: 367
    I'm not.

    I've always stuck Sora bits on my commuting/winter bike. Theory that it's cheaper when it needs replacing.

    Particualrly I wondered if more expensive bits were more durable, and Sora whilst cheap to replace would need it more often. Got me on to thinking that there must be some benefits of more expensive bits so wondered what they were...
  • topdudetopdude Posts: 1,557
    Very little real advantage It's mostly marketing nonsense.
    They could make just one groupset of good quality that looks good at a reasonable price but that would not suit the accountants :?

    Sora kit does exactly the same job as Dura Ace, the lever pulls the cable and the mech moves the same distance. Same with the brakes.
    But they make Sora look plain and DA a bit more bling so we perceive extra value and feel a need to move UP the range.

    Same thing with helmets, cheap ones look naff, expensive ones look cool, but they are made of the same stuff :?:

    Rant over, I'm currently looking for some rapidfire shifters for a hybrid, I don't want Alivio i want Deore :wink:
    He is not the messiah, he is a very naughty boy !!
  • aguillaraguillar Posts: 21
    Can't see the sense in spending money when you don't have to but would mention I've done 100k miles over the last 13 years on my Dura-Ace 9 speed stuff. Gone through a huge number of chains and a goodly number of jockey wheels and cassettes but mechs and shifters are still mint. Prior to that I used to find rear mechs would develop wear after a couple of years...
  • will3will3 Posts: 2,173
    I's not quite true to say that they're all the same, for example you'll find better bearings in the higher end bits than in the cheap stuff. eg you'll find a rolling element bearing in your tension pulley on an XT mech wheras there'll be a plain bush in Alivio etc etc. These should last a bit longer.

    Whether you really notice or not,.......
  • stoobydalestoobydale Posts: 535
    What advantage to I get by going 'up' in groupset? I.e

    Sora -> Tiagra -> 105 -> Ultegra -> DuraAce -> Mirage -> Veloce -> Centaur -> Chorus -> Record etc.

    Kudos,Quality, Looks, Spares, better and better the further you go. :lol:

    Sorry I just can't help myself today. :oops:
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    IME the better quality of materials and finish of most high-end stuff does mean it lasts longer - particularly if ridden all year. Some low rent stuff uses heavier steel parts or bare alloy which rusts/ corrodes in no time. The only exception are some expensive chains and cassettes - the cost of low weight is shorter life. The best compromise is to go with high-end components and mid-range consumables i.e. chain, cassette, brake blocks etc. In general, I only replace stuff when it's worn out or transfer to a lower bike - it works out cheaper to buy a Record mech every few years than keeping 6 cheapy ones on the go!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Functionally there is also a difference when moving up from Sora to any higher level Shimano group since the shifters make it much easier to shift from the drops. Most people cannot shift using the Sora thumb levers from the drops without having to completely change their hand position. So in that case there is a good case to be made for moving away from Sora level shifters.

    When it comes to Sram and Campagnolo, however, their shifters work the same from their lowest to highest road groups, and therefore the difference comes down to weight, aesthetics, and some less noticeable functional and construction differences.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Yes my DA kit lasts indefinitely - but it doesnt play out in the winter weather - so no salt to worry about.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    Monty Dog wrote:
    IME the better quality of materials and finish of most high-end stuff does mean it lasts longer - particularly if ridden all year. Some low rent stuff uses heavier steel parts or bare alloy which rusts/ corrodes in no time.

    +1

    The Sora rear mech I put on the winter bike bleeds rust from the spring inside the mounting point, and the front mech is corroded to buggery, whereas the 105 kit on the roadie is still corrosion free.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • lucasf09lucasf09 Posts: 160
    I agree with that some upgrades are cosmetic.
    However, I upgraded from sora to 105, and wouldn't go back for the world. I don't have to adjust the gears half as much as I used to adjust the soras, the shifting is more positive and easier from the drops.
    Must clarify, I upgraded as my left shifter broke, and found the whole 105 groupset for 170 second hand which i thought was very good value.
    Also my girlfriend has 2300's on her bike (which is lower than sora), and it has more problems than Sepp Blatter trying to hide his bribery money (different topic), she got hers on a new bike pretty much at the same time as I upgraded, and I have to have a look at her bike at least once a weak because the gears have messed up!!!! mine still work flawlessly (with regular cleaning and general care).
    I haven't experienced ultegra or DA (though did play with some Di2 shifters at a shop and they are NICE (in a bliggy way tbh), but from almost any review on the net I am yet to say anyone say that they are worth the extra money (unless they are racers or something).
    That is the problem with Shimano compared to Campag and Sram. The latter two only have 3 or 4 ranges, which start at pretty much 105 prices, where as Shimano has 3 gs' below 105, not to mention their non-series 7 speed stuff still hanging round (especially in hybrid/mtb sector).
    In conclusion, basically above 105 (apex or veloce) they are problably bling or slight improvement for the famous "small incremental differences" or whatever. Below there still is quite a bit of difference (although Tiagra is making up ground)
  • RowCycleRowCycle Posts: 367
    Functionally there is also a difference when moving up from Sora to any higher level Shimano group since the shifters make it much easier to shift from the drops. Most people cannot shift using the Sora thumb levers from the drops without having to completely change their hand position. So in that case there is a good case to be made for moving away from Sora level shifters.

    Maybe I'm odd but I quite like the Sora thumb thingys.

    My old bike had Sora, my new bike has Ultegra. Maybe it's just time getting used to it, but I quite like the thumby bits.

    Also the Ultegra hoods seem a bit wider than the Sora ones, and I tend to ride on the hoods with my middle finger underneath. On the Sora it is fabric, but on the Ultegra I feel the mechanism.

    But as I said, maybe I'm odd...
  • bill57bill57 Posts: 454
    Maybe I'm odd but I quite like the Sora thumb thingys.
    I still have a pair of 8 speed Sora and like them fine; how often do non racers need to change from the drops anyway?
  • doktorstevedoktorsteve Posts: 112
    Just bought the latest 105 for a new bike.
    Not sure that it really works a lot better than Tiagra on my old bike. Front shift is not so clunky maybe but then the Tiagra has 5000 miles on it.
    And I miss the indicators on the top of the levers. I have 10 speeds now and no idea which 1 I am in without looking at the cassette.
    And 9 speed chains last longer than 10 speed. 4000 miles on a KMC so far.
    105 brakes work better but I have long reach Tiagra brakes so they are never going to give quite as good leverage.
    100% ME!
    Do you think I would be this bad on drugs?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,441
    I've had Tiagra and 105... in my opinion Tiagra is better... the 9 speed system needs less fiddling to get correct/smooth shifting... after 5000 miles, many of which wet and some muddy, it's still in perfect conditions, very little wear on the chainrings and BB is still in good nick...

    Highly recommended... weight difference does not justify the huge difference in price with higher specs groupsets
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    I liked the thumb shifters on the Sora, but that's about it. I find quite a big difference as you move up the groupsets. The springs, materials are better and there seems more attention to detail.

    I also found Sora (and to an extent Tiagra) quite difficult to adjust, whereas Ultegra needs only the smallest tweak every year or so and runs perfect.
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    I posted this answer on groupsets before, but just the re-iterate -

    Better engineered equipment is nicer to use. The difference between Sora and Dura Ace is like the difference between shagging an ugly munter and a fit young blonde. They both have all the same bits in the same place and they all do the job so there's no physical reason why riding the latter should feel better than riding the former.

    It just does.
  • cristoffcristoff Posts: 229
    I have 105 on my roadie and tiagra on my commute.

    Both functionally good, do the job, etc...

    but 105 'feels' better, more robust, sturdier, tighter, less play in them, mechanically better if you get my meaning.

    depends if it justifies the extra spend or not.
  • richVSrichrichVSrich Posts: 527
    cristoff wrote:
    I have 105 on my roadie and tiagra on my commute.

    Both functionally good, do the job, etc...

    but 105 'feels' better, more robust, sturdier, tighter, less play in them, mechanically better if you get my meaning.

    depends if it justifies the extra spend or not.

    would it be fair to say you use your commuter a lot more often through rougher roads? would this create an apparent tighter / better feel than the commuters tiagra?

    i'm just trying to understand if groupsets really make much difference

    for example
    say an entry level bike has sora
    then next one up has tiagra with all other parts same (frame, fork, wheels, brakes etc)
    would it be worth the £200 more? (about a third of the entry level bike) ??
  • yoctoyocto Posts: 86
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    I posted this answer on groupsets before, but just the re-iterate -

    Better engineered equipment is nicer to use. The difference between Sora and Dura Ace is like the difference between shagging an ugly munter and a fit young blonde. They both have all the same bits in the same place and they all do the job so there's no physical reason why riding the latter should feel better than riding the former.

    It just does.

    :lol:
  • richVSrich wrote:
    cristoff wrote:
    I have 105 on my roadie and tiagra on my commute.

    Both functionally good, do the job, etc...

    but 105 'feels' better, more robust, sturdier, tighter, less play in them, mechanically better if you get my meaning.

    depends if it justifies the extra spend or not.

    would it be fair to say you use your commuter a lot more often through rougher roads? would this create an apparent tighter / better feel than the commuters tiagra?

    i'm just trying to understand if groupsets really make much difference

    for example
    say an entry level bike has sora
    then next one up has tiagra with all other parts same (frame, fork, wheels, brakes etc)
    would it be worth the £200 more? (about a third of the entry level bike) ??

    If you are just commuting and do not use the drops often, I would say that it isn't worth the extra cost to get Tiagra over Sora. In my experience there just isn't that big of a difference between how they perform and feel. However, if you do use the drops frequently then Tiagra is worth the extra cost due to the fact that shifting from the drops is much easier.

    When I first started riding I never used the drops and Sora was fine, but as I started training more seriously and racing I used the drops much more and I was willing to pay whatever I needed to in order to be able to easily shift from the drops. It doesn't seem like it would be a big deal having to move your hand to shift, but it makes a big difference when putting in hard efforts.

    So basically as a strict commuter if you are choosing between Sora and Tiagra I would save my cash and just go with Sora.
  • richVSrichrichVSrich Posts: 527
    richVSrich wrote:
    cristoff wrote:
    I have 105 on my roadie and tiagra on my commute.

    Both functionally good, do the job, etc...

    but 105 'feels' better, more robust, sturdier, tighter, less play in them, mechanically better if you get my meaning.

    depends if it justifies the extra spend or not.

    would it be fair to say you use your commuter a lot more often through rougher roads? would this create an apparent tighter / better feel than the commuters tiagra?

    i'm just trying to understand if groupsets really make much difference

    for example
    say an entry level bike has sora
    then next one up has tiagra with all other parts same (frame, fork, wheels, brakes etc)
    would it be worth the £200 more? (about a third of the entry level bike) ??

    If you are just commuting and do not use the drops often, I would say that it isn't worth the extra cost to get Tiagra over Sora. In my experience there just isn't that big of a difference between how they perform and feel. However, if you do use the drops frequently then Tiagra is worth the extra cost due to the fact that shifting from the drops is much easier.

    When I first started riding I never used the drops and Sora was fine, but as I started training more seriously and racing I used the drops much more and I was willing to pay whatever I needed to in order to be able to easily shift from the drops. It doesn't seem like it would be a big deal having to move your hand to shift, but it makes a big difference when putting in hard efforts.

    So basically as a strict commuter if you are choosing between Sora and Tiagra I would save my cash and just go with Sora.

    thanks for that peddle, most enlightening! i didnt really know that difference between sora and tiagra.. (currently on a boardman hybrid - which is the perfect all year city commuter i think)

    when i do get round to getting a new bike it will be my weekend / summer special, so will try to get a tiagra (or equivalent)..i also think of getting a bike just above one's level will make it easier to progress? rather than coming up short too soon?
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    aguillar wrote:
    Can't see the sense in spending money when you don't have to but would mention I've done 100k miles over the last 13 years on my Dura-Ace 9 speed stuff. Gone through a huge number of chains and a goodly number of jockey wheels and cassettes but mechs and shifters are still mint. Prior to that I used to find rear mechs would develop wear after a couple of years...

    Aguillar, what maintenance do you do on your front and rear mech? I clean and re-lube jockey wheels and fire some lube into moving bits but I'm sure there must be more to it than this to get things to last longer.
  • Chorus whilst being expensive is still loads cheaper than record etc.
    Just had my shifters refurbished and i reckon ive covered over 150 miles a week for nearly 5 years.
    Would i get that much more out of super record.

    Doubt it.

    Ive got some veloce 9 speed levers that ive had at least ten years for winter. Still going okay and i may upgrade them to ten speed.

    Ive had some serious miles out of the centaur cassettes.

    Just dont cross the chain, simple
  • Chorus whilst being expensive is still loads cheaper than record etc.
    Just had my shifters refurbished and i reckon ive covered over 150 miles a week for nearly 5 years.
    Would i get that much more out of super record.

    Doubt it.

    Ive got some veloce 9 speed levers that ive had at least ten years for winter. Still going okay and i may upgrade them to ten speed.

    Ive had some serious miles out of the centaur cassettes.

    Just dont cross the chain, simple
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