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Old 06-23-07, 09:10 PM   #1
TO11MTM
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2008 Sora...

http://cycle.shimano-eu.com/publish/..._groupset.html

It's a shame they are still keeping Sora held back in the brifters.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:25 PM   #2
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fascinating. the groupset looks really nice, quite pretty. and then it has the Sora-specific design of the levers. Why? Shimano used to have their lowest road group (RSX) with standard-design STI levers.
I'm still curious why Shimano introduced the different design in Sora, their lowest road group for the past few years. Is it
  • cheaper to produce? (possible, but doubtful)
  • intentional down-engineering to make something worse, and give impetus to upgrade to higher groups?
  • actually preferable for the sort of people who'll be riding Sora-equipped bikes? (possible, I know that some people like the Sora design better than typical Shimano STI levers, and people riding Sora bikes are, on average, doing a different sort of riding than people riding Ultegra)
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Old 06-23-07, 09:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcupery
fascinating. the groupset looks really nice, quite pretty. and then it has the Sora-specific design of the levers. Why? Shimano used to have their lowest road group (RSX) with standard-design STI levers.
I'm still curious why Shimano introduced the different design in Sora, their lowest road group for the past few years. Is it
  • cheaper to produce? (possible, but doubtful)
  • intentional down-engineering to make something worse, and give impetus to upgrade to higher groups?
  • actually preferable for the sort of people who'll be riding Sora-equipped bikes? (possible, I know that some people like the Sora design better than typical Shimano STI levers, and people riding Sora bikes are, on average, doing a different sort of riding than people riding Ultegra)
Probably cheraper in the sence of a few cents. Down engineering seems likely.... The preferable bit is questionable... My girlfriend is a very casual rider (Heck, typically keeps her hands on the cross levers I put on her handlebars...) but prefers the 105s.

But who knows, maybe some people find the same direction shifts counterintuitive.
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Old 06-24-07, 12:00 AM   #4
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I personally love the Sora thumb shifters. Their the most crisp shifting I've ever use. The only drawback is that you can't shift from the drops. But who am I kidding, I ride probably like 80% on the hoods.
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Old 06-24-07, 02:54 AM   #5
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Maybe they think that by using campag style thumbshifters only on the lowest group, they make campag seem less good.
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Old 06-24-07, 03:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TO11MTM
http://cycle.shimano-eu.com/publish/..._groupset.html

It's a shame they are still keeping Sora held back in the brifters.
I tend to look at it the other way. Sora brifters shift similar to Campagnolo. It's a shame that Shimano is holding back everything but Sora. It's too bad that Shimano uses their best engineered brifter on their lowest level group.

Maybe it's a secret Japanese plan to slowly introduce the world to the superior Campagnolo style shifting. They'll start at the bottom and slowly integrate thumb shifters upwards. Eventually there will be thumb shifters on Dura Ace. Or, maybe I'll just stop dreaming of Campy world domination. Seems like Shimano has become the Toyota of the bicycle world.

Tim
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Old 06-24-07, 07:37 AM   #7
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9-speed, huh?

Does this mean that Shimano has officially rendered 8-speed basically extinct? Some of you may think it's silly, but that really upsets me. I am personally a fan of 8-speed. The durability, longevity...yet adequate versatility of an 8 speed drivetrain are great for my commuter. I LIKE the fact that the chain is a bit beefier. Are we soon to have everything in 10 speed? It may seem bizarre to some here, but I ride 8 speed by choice.

Hmmmph. I'm a bit upset now.
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Old 06-24-07, 08:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shakeNbake
I personally love the Sora thumb shifters. Their the most crisp shifting I've ever use. The only drawback is that you can't shift from the drops. But who am I kidding, I ride probably like 80% on the hoods.
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Old 06-24-07, 10:46 AM   #9
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I like the 8 sp, find the shifting very slick. I modified the buttons so I can shift from the drops.
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Old 06-24-07, 11:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcupery
fascinating. the groupset looks really nice, quite pretty. and then it has the Sora-specific design of the levers. Why? Shimano used to have their lowest road group (RSX) with standard-design STI levers.
I'm still curious why Shimano introduced the different design in Sora, their lowest road group for the past few years. Is it
  • cheaper to produce? (possible, but doubtful)
  • intentional down-engineering to make something worse, and give impetus to upgrade to higher groups?
  • actually preferable for the sort of people who'll be riding Sora-equipped bikes? (possible, I know that some people like the Sora design better than typical Shimano STI levers, and people riding Sora bikes are, on average, doing a different sort of riding than people riding Ultegra)
That does look nice! Sora has been my favorite STI setup, aside from the fact that it had not been available in 9-speed.

I greatly prefer the Sora/Campagnolo style shift interface to the other Shimano models, because it is a different motion for upshifting than for downshifting. I find this reduces confusion.

The Sora brifters also have a unique advantage: they're the only drop-bar brake levers with a reach adjustment, making them THE best choice for riders with short fingers.

The biggest problem with Sora is dealing with snobbery and the stigma of low price.

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Old 06-24-07, 11:18 AM   #11
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So where will we be in a few more years. All groups are 10 speed? Meaning that now I have to replace all my hubs and rebuild my wheels when my last compatible brifter breaks?

Will my choices be cheap 10 speed that has serious durability issues, and expensive 10 speed that has silly prices for the riding that I do?

Yes, the new group LOOKS nice...but I'm getting sour about everything going to 10 speed. Maybe I'm just turning into a grumpy old man before my time.
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Old 06-24-07, 01:25 PM   #12
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Shimano still makes STI shifters for 7 and 8 speeds, in their "high quality components" (not part of a group, but usually 105 or Ultegra-level) category. Cheaper mountain bikes will probably continue to use 8-speed gearing for a few more years.

If I build a touring bike, it'll probably have 8-speed with bar-end shifters.
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Old 06-24-07, 02:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai
So where will we be in a few more years. All groups are 10 speed? Meaning that now I have to replace all my hubs and rebuild my wheels when my last compatible brifter breaks?

Will my choices be cheap 10 speed that has serious durability issues, and expensive 10 speed that has silly prices for the riding that I do?

Yes, the new group LOOKS nice...but I'm getting sour about everything going to 10 speed. Maybe I'm just turning into a grumpy old man before my time.
You're imagining a problem that doesn't exist.

Shimano 10 speed cassettes fit the same hubs used for 8- and 9-speed setups. Campagnolo 10 speed cassettes fit 9-speed hubs. No need to replace your hubs or rebuild your wheels.

To convert a Shimano 8- or 9-speed bike to 10-speed all you need is:

•10-speed shifters.

•10-speed cassette

•10-speed chain

•10-speed handlebar tape. (Rumor has it that 9-speed handlebar tape works too...)

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Old 06-24-07, 03:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai
So where will we be in a few more years. All groups are 10 speed? Meaning that now I have to replace all my hubs and rebuild my wheels when my last compatible brifter breaks?

Will my choices be cheap 10 speed that has serious durability issues, and expensive 10 speed that has silly prices for the riding that I do?

Yes, the new group LOOKS nice...but I'm getting sour about everything going to 10 speed. Maybe I'm just turning into a grumpy old man before my time.

If you had Campy, you could rebuild those shifters.
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Old 06-24-07, 04:52 PM   #15
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the new "optical gear display." I'd think this would be the biggest upgrade for the entry-level users they're marketed for. I'll even admit to finding that handy on occasion myself.

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Old 06-24-07, 06:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Shimano 10 speed cassettes fit the same hubs used for 8- and 9-speed setups.
I was of the opinion that 10 speed cassettes required their own hub, but 8 and 9 were compatible. I stand corrected. However, why do hubs typically specify 8/9 speed, or 10 speed? I don't believe I've ever seen 8/9/10 speed listed for a hub.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
•10-speed handlebar tape. (Rumor has it that 9-speed handlebar tape works too...)
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Old 06-24-07, 06:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Banzai
However, why do hubs typically specify 8/9 speed, or 10 speed? I don't believe I've ever seen 8/9/10 speed listed for a hub.


I know very little about ten speed stuff, because I've never used it. But the last three or four Shimano freehubs I've bought were listed as 8/9/10 speed compatible-
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Old 06-25-07, 07:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by nitropowered
If you had Campy, you could rebuild those shifters.

That's what I've done for a few friends. I personally use my Campy Record front and Dura-Ace back by choice... at least on my high mileage roadie. My left hand seems more comfortable on Campy. And, I like the flick action for my right...call me crazy.
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Old 06-25-07, 08:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timcupery
fascinating. the groupset looks really nice, quite pretty. and then it has the Sora-specific design of the levers. Why? Shimano used to have their lowest road group (RSX) with standard-design STI levers.
I'm still curious why Shimano introduced the different design in Sora, their lowest road group for the past few years. Is it
  • cheaper to produce? (possible, but doubtful)
  • intentional down-engineering to make something worse, and give impetus to upgrade to higher groups?
  • actually preferable for the sort of people who'll be riding Sora-equipped bikes? (possible, I know that some people like the Sora design better than typical Shimano STI levers, and people riding Sora bikes are, on average, doing a different sort of riding than people riding Ultegra)
I'd guess options 2 and 3. First off, it's intentional market segmentation. They don't want to give up on the low-end component market, but they want to avoid cannibalizing their more expensive groups as much as possible. So they come up with a design that no "serious" cyclist would want to use. Additionally, most of the people I see riding lower end bikes ride on the hoods anyway (even if they have the fully integrated levers). So I'd say it's a combination of the two.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:17 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge
So they come up with a design that no "serious" cyclist would want to use. Additionally, most of the people I see riding lower end bikes ride on the hoods anyway (even if they have the fully integrated levers).
I hope you're not refering to the thumb levers. Up until Lance Armstrong won his seven tours, Shimano didin't have many, if any, showings in the winners circle. It was all Campy. I'd say that some serious cyclists who use brifters with thumb levers. Try again

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Old 06-25-07, 04:20 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cs1
Up until Lance Armstrong won his seven tours, Shimano didin't have many, if any, showings in the winners circle. It was all Campy. I'd say that some serious cyclists who use brifters with thumb levers. Try again

Tim
That's not really correct. Shimano equipped bike won plenty of classic and other stage races well before Armstrong's Tour de France run. They just never won the Tour before then.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:07 PM   #22
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Ah, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Sora brifters are the only Shimano ones with the thumb lever. And I'm also pretty sure that USPS/Discovery didn't use Sora.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cs1
I hope you're not refering to the thumb levers. Up until Lance Armstrong won his seven tours, Shimano didin't have many, if any, showings in the winners circle. It was all Campy. I'd say that some serious cyclists who use brifters with thumb levers. Try again

Tim
OK, I'll try again (I always love it when people end posts with that one, as if they've just prpven something fundamental).

I've never used Campy, but my understanding is the placement is different for the buttons. I never said buttons were inherently evil, but if they're placed in the wrong area they can't be used well for speed. With Sora, it seems uncomfortable to shift from the drops. If you're suggesting that serious cyclists get up on the hoods to upshift, I'd be surprised. Certainly would detrimentally affect "teh aero".
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Old 06-25-07, 06:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by top506
Ah, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Sora brifters are the only Shimano ones with the thumb lever.
You're right, they are.

Quote:
And I'm also pretty sure that USPS/Discovery didn't use Sora.
Top
No, of course they didn't. The original comment was that thumb lever brifters (i.e. Campy Ergos) had won many major bike races and, until Armstrong, Shimano equipped bikes hadn't. I replied that Shimano STI bikes (not Sora) had won a lot of races, just not the TdF.

One point that may not be apparent to those who haven't ridden both types is that the thumb levers (aka mouse ears) on Campy Ergos are positioned quite differently from those on Sora levers. The Ergo's can easily be shifted from any hand position where as Sora apparently can't.
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Old 06-25-07, 07:38 PM   #25
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Hmm.. all this hype.

I'm feeling ancient with my 7-speed RSX group. But then I converted my crankset from a triple to a single. Anyone else notice the 2-piece crankset with the Sora group? Does this mean it uses outboard bottom brackets? It says integrated..
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