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Old 07-13-06, 03:04 PM   #1
earleybird
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Can Sora be converted to 9 speed?

I am sure I read somewhere a few years ago of someone converting their Sora STi 8 speed to 9 speed.

I love my Sora and wouldn't swop it for even Dura Ace that said it would be really handy to have the extra sprocket to spread my gearing a little better. I may buy a set on ebay and have a go .
I believe Shimano may have made a marketing error with Sora . I think they weren't confident enough of uptake so intoduced it at the bottom of the range .
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Old 07-13-06, 03:14 PM   #2
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Old 07-13-06, 03:21 PM   #3
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I have to disagree. Shimano offered something at a cheaper pricepoint. Companies do this all the time. You had the option when you purchased the bike to go nine speed if you wanted to spend the extra money to move to Tiagra. I think somewhere down the line Tiagra will move up to ten speed and Sora will become nine speed. That is usually what Shimano does. To convert to nine speed you will need shifters, cassette, and chain. Your derailleurs and crankset should work okay. I would just ride what you got until you are ready to buy a different bike. There is nothing wrong with eight speed and I doubt you would see much difference.
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Old 07-13-06, 03:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ray Dockrey
.... There is nothing wrong with eight speed and I doubt you would see much difference.

Gotta agree with this. Your gear range will be the same, and the extra gear just isn't worth the money and effort it'll take to get it.
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Old 07-13-06, 03:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ray Dockrey
I have to disagree. Shimano offered something at a cheaper pricepoint. Companies do this all the time. You had the option when you purchased the bike to go nine speed if you wanted to spend the extra money to move to Tiagra. I think somewhere down the line Tiagra will move up to ten speed and Sora will become nine speed. That is usually what Shimano does. To convert to nine speed you will need shifters, cassette, and chain. Your derailleurs and crankset should work okay. I would just ride what you got until you are ready to buy a different bike. There is nothing wrong with eight speed and I doubt you would see much difference.

I bet shimano will keep at least one of their road groups in 8 speed, because 8 speed is the highest number of speeds anyone has ever gone without having to introduce proprietary chains or cog sizes. Unless shimano stops making standard 3/32" components entirely and gives up the market to others, they'll stay with 8speed, and just keep moving the yuppie crap to 14 speed or whatever.

I can imagine it now: dispenser boxes of 14-speed chains, to be used and thrown away after every ride. Cassettes that come off with some sort of quick release so that you can change them every week.
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Old 07-13-06, 04:15 PM   #6
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Mind if I threadjack?

I have an 8 speed cassete with a tiagra derailler and Sora shifters. I have no problems with the 8 speed or the shifting qualities.

However I would like it if I can shift from the drops (a la Tiagra up). Can a Tiagra shifter work with 8 speed cassette?
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Old 07-13-06, 04:35 PM   #7
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I have two 8 speed road bikes with Sora that I would not swap for anything. You can mitigate the "lack" of gears by careful choice of the front and rear gear sizes. One bike has 52/39 front and 26-13 rear, the other 52/42 and 25-12. What is missing from most 8 speed cassettes is a 16 tooth sprocket, as far as my riding preferences go. However, you can realise varied gear intervals, or outright range with appropriate choices. As for extra sprockets, my best bike has 9 speed 105, and I dont feel any overwhelming benefit from the extra gear. Mind you, 5 years ago I was amazed that my 5 speed was so outdated

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Old 07-13-06, 04:48 PM   #8
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The technical compatibility: Shimano STI shifters work only for the number of speeds for which they were designed (although there are some tricks to use 8-speed with 7, and 9-speed with 8, and the like... but there's no way to make an X-speed STI shifter compatible with (X+1)-speeds.

Shimano rear deraillers that were designed for indexing all have the same cable-pull ratio and so a 105 rear derailler from 1987, designed for indexing on a six-speed freewheel, and be mated with a current 10-speed STI lever on a 10-speed cassette. (This excludes pre-9-speed Dura Ace, which had rear deraillers with a different cable-pull ratio. Incidentally, 9-speed shifters will work on 8-speed cassette if you use the 8-speed Dura-Ace rear derailler, which had the weird cable-pull ratio.)

So, if you want 9-speed - and I agree with others here that it's generally not worth it for you - you'll have to get STI levers designed for 9-speed. You can keep your deraillers. You can also keep your chainrings - the 3/32" width of all nearly all chainrings made in the last ~40 years will hold a 10-speed chain, even. The difference in chainrings designed for 9- or 10-speed drivetrains is not the width of the teeth, but the spacing between the chainrings. Even so, people use cranksets designed for 6-8 speed drivetrains, and use them with 9- and 10-speed drivetrains all the time without problem.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ed Holland
I have two 8 speed road bikes with Sora that I would not swap for anything. You can mitigate the "lack" of gears by careful choice of the front and rear gear sizes. One bike has 52/39 front and 26-13 rear, the other 52/42 and 25-12. What is missing from most 8 speed cassettes is a 16 tooth sprocket, as far as my riding preferences go. However, you can realise varied gear intervals, or outright range with appropriate choices. As for extra sprockets, my best bike has 9 speed 105, and I dont feel any overwhelming benefit from the extra gear. Mind you, 5 years ago I was amazed that my 5 speed was so outdated

Ed
I wonder if the real issue isn't that more speeds is a MARKETING ploy by Shimano and others, to get you to throw away perfectly good 8 speed components for new and improved 9 speed components, and of course get a new bicycle to attach them to.

In 1976 I had a 10 speed road bike, don't know what the lowest or highest gears were, but it was good enough for me. Now I have a 24 speed MTB, I use 3 gears off the granny ring, 5 off the middle ring, and 2 off the big ring, I still only use 10 gears Usually the big ring going down hill, the middle ring on the flats, and the granny going up hill. Then again, it's 30 years later, and I just got my pension statement from work, I can retire in 20 years, 20 years (okay, flipout is over).....

I wonder if it would be technically possible to build a 10 speed hub, with the same gear ratios as a modern bike, but with even spacing, and eliminate the complexity of the chainring and the risk of having the deraileur eat a back wheel on occassion????
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Old 07-13-06, 06:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by shakeNbake
Mind if I threadjack?

I have an 8 speed cassete with a tiagra derailler and Sora shifters. I have no problems with the 8 speed or the shifting qualities.

However I would like it if I can shift from the drops (a la Tiagra up). Can a Tiagra shifter work with 8 speed cassette?
The derailler doesn't give a crap how many speeds you are running. The shifters and the cassette need to match up. It's all about length of cable pull mating up with space between cogs. Thus, 9 speed shifter is a NO GO with 8 speed rear.

Personally I never understood why Sora came out as 8 speed when the rest of the line was 9. It's not as if there is a heck of a lot of price savings. The shifters are goofy and the upward compatibility is nil.
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Old 07-13-06, 07:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by capwater
Personally I never understood why Sora came out as 8 speed when the rest of the line was 9. It's not as if there is a heck of a lot of price savings. The shifters are goofy and the upward compatibility is nil.
I think the post by wogsterca nails that particular issue - marketing, and the commercial interests in having a progression in quality and or functionality through a range of products.

Personally, I find the shifters extremely functional, the large hoods very comfortable and the whole system extremely reliable. Opinions about the shifters varies from love to hate, but that is an individual thing. I ride 4000+ miles a year on this stuff and it is great value. I don't care about upwards compatibility.

Cheers,

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Old 07-13-06, 07:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by shakeNbake
Mind if I threadjack?

I have an 8 speed cassete with a tiagra derailler and Sora shifters. I have no problems with the 8 speed or the shifting qualities.

However I would like it if I can shift from the drops (a la Tiagra up). Can a Tiagra shifter work with 8 speed cassette?
Shimano still makes an 8-speed like you want.


Read up: http://bike.shimano.com/catalog/cycl...=1152839848289
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Old 07-13-06, 10:13 PM   #13
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Thanks guys!
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