Having been unable, so far, to find a bike which fits me (60 or 61cm, sloping top tube) and my intended uses (light touring, towing kids), I'm close to just building up a bike from a frameset. This brings up the question of picking a drive train. To make the decision tree simpler, I'm assuming for the moment that the drivetrain will be entirely Sora, all Tiagra, all 105, etc. (not a mix and match). So anyway, here's the quandry:
Everybody bashes Sora (the bane of entry level road bikes, it seems), but you can get 8 speed cog gear ranges (e.g. 12-21, 12-23, 12-25, 13-23, 13-26) which are very close to what you can get from a 9 speed Tiagra or 105 (e.g. 11-23, 11-25, 12-25, 12-27) and as far as the front cranks, I think that any combination of double or triple rings in the front for Sora, Tiagra or 105 is available for all.
then what good reasons are there not to build it up with Sora instead of the more expensive stuff? Will Tiagra or 105 last longer? Stay in adjustment longer? Shift noticably smother? I'm not knocking the better stuff. I know it's better. I'm just not sure that I can see whether it's enough better to justify the greater cost. Then again, whatever I install will be on the bike for years (I hope). It won't kill me to spend the money for Tiagra or 105, but I'd prefer not to waste money.
- If I don't really care about riding an 11 tooth cog versus a 12t cog (I go fast enough to suit me now with a 48 chainring and a 13t cog on my '83 Trek 520);
- If I don't care about not having a cog greater than 25t or 26t (I never use my lowest gears even when climbing anyway);
- If I dont' care about the few grams to be saved (I take 10 lbs off the bike just skipping lunches);
- If I don't plan on using brifters (just bar end shifters instead);
All comments, pro and con, welcome.