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  1. #1
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    Noobie question on upgrading Sora to uh.....well, Sora

    I had a question regarding a new crankset, shifters and cassette and chain. The New Sora Groups set shifters are 9-speed. I currently have the 8-speed Sora STI shifters. And I'm looking to either go compact or stay triple with the new 9-speed Shifters. I currently have a 52/42/30 Bontrager Triple and an SRAM PG-850, 12-26 cluster. I also have a Sora FD and a Tiagra RD.

    My question's are:

    1. Should I continue a triple or go compact? What are the advantages -disadvantages?

    2. What size cassette? I know a 9-speed, but what custer size?

    3. How do I determine chain length? The current SRAM PC68 8-speed chain would be shorter, right?


    Just FYI, I've been riding for about a year entry-level for exercise mainly and recreational--mostly flats, a few city hills but no mountains really... yet.

    I usually stay in the larger chain ring and average about 20-24mph with a few sprints at 30mph.


    Thanks for your help and input !


    (P.S. Don't laugh at my pedals ! )

    Last edited by circuitslave; 09-03-08 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #2
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Those orange wheels don't match the orange of the bike very well. And you're supposed to take pictures with the drive side showing.

    At least your stem is pointing the right direction.

    As for the rest of it, I'm not sure the compatibility between all the different brands and levels, but if possible (these guys can tell you) I would try and get 105 at least when you upgrade. If you must upgrade.

    What's your reason for upgrading? And why do you want to stay with Sora (just money?)?
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  3. #3
    Waiting for Summer ! soderbiker's Avatar
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    HI,
    i personally like the colors your bike is showing , but i like LOUD colored bikes

    well you can determine your CHAIN length here

    as far as compact goes , compact doesnt mean a double chain ring crank set . compact means it allows use of smaller chain rings ..smaller rings--> climbing .
    so i woudlnt go there . you dont need to invest IMO :

    if i was you , i wouldnt worry about upgrading the bike too much at thime
    what i would concentrate on is what are you having problems with .and then repost

    how do you feel about your gearing as it is ?
    Cheers T
    1989 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra|1991 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra
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  4. #4
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    don't bother changing the number of gears you have if you are still staying on the sora level. ride your bike till the parts wear out. by then you'll have saved enough money to truly upgrade.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by soderbiker View Post
    HI,
    i personally like the colors your bike is showing , but i like LOUD colored bikes

    well you can determine your CHAIN length here

    as far as compact goes , compact doesnt mean a double chain ring crank set . compact means it allows use of smaller chain rings ..smaller rings--> climbing .
    so i woudlnt go there . you dont need to invest IMO :

    if i was you , i wouldnt worry about upgrading the bike too much at thime
    what i would concentrate on is what are you having problems with .and then repost

    how do you feel about your gearing as it is ?
    Cheers T
    Thanks for the link, soderbike and the advice---and the compliment. . As far as gearing--I'm fine, I think what happens is sometimes when I am sprinting--like on a downhill incline---I'm in the highest cog and can't go any faster--pedal any faster than 30mph. I've got 170mm cranks and I'm fairly short ---the frame is a 47, I think. So I just thought I'd see about gaining some more speed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by crocodilefundy View Post
    don't bother changing the number of gears you have if you are still staying on the sora level. ride your bike till the parts wear out. by then you'll have saved enough money to truly upgrade.

    This makes a lot of sense; however, I was just curious---also economically, it may be cheaper to upgrade the whole bike, though wouldn't it? as opposed to upgrading the entire group set? Thanks for your input, though, Crodocilefundy.

  7. #7
    Waiting for Summer ! soderbiker's Avatar
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    Just ride it .
    if you need to change your gearing from a toouring style to more a race style gearing ,talk to your local bike shop and askthem to help you with your gearing , you can get on the spot help and a possible cassette swap ( if you smile ) or $€ always talks .


    Cheers T
    1989 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra|1991 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra
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  8. #8
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    Those orange wheels don't match the orange of the bike very well. And you're supposed to take pictures with the drive side showing.

    At least your stem is pointing the right direction.
    Did this thread get moved from the Road forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    As for the rest of it, I'm not sure the compatibility between all the different brands and levels, but if possible (these guys can tell you) I would try and get 105 at least when you upgrade. If you must upgrade.

    What's your reason for upgrading? And why do you want to stay with Sora (just money?)?
    I agree with many of the posters, ride the bike as-is, at least until the chain and cassette wear out, then, if you want, you can upgrade to 9-speed Sora/Tiagra or 10-speed 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace with a new cassette, chain, and shifters. (At minimum, the speeds of these three components must match.)

    BUT back to your questions:

    1 & 2) Play around with the Sheldon Brown gear calculator: http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ (I find MPH @ a given RPM to be most useful for comparing gears).
    3) Use the Sheldon Brown method: http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html#chain
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  9. #9
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    You arent pedaling fast enough - with the 52/12 you should spin out at around 35 mph. A cassette with a small cog of 11 should take you to 40 mph. You should be more concerned about increasing your speed going up hills, because you wont be spending enough time coming down to make any difference to your average speed.

  10. #10
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
    Did this thread get moved from the Road forum?
    If I don't rag him first then it's just giving advice, and that's no fun. If it was the road forum I would've stopped after the ragging though, and not given the advice at all.

    But thanks for noticing my style, apparently I'm learning quickly.
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  11. #11
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    If it was the road forum I would've stopped after the ragging though, and not given the advice at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  12. #12
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I'm also going to agree that a compact crank will not help you. You need to learn to spin faster. Maybe some clipless pedals also.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  13. #13
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    Thanks for everyone's help---and the links. I'll check the info out. I do indeed know it would probably be wise to get some better pedals before anything else.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    I'm also going to agree that a compact crank will not help you. You need to learn to spin faster. Maybe some clipless pedals also.
    RIGHT THERE, a few people already hit the bull's eye. A long crank is sure not gonna help u spin faster, and most DEFINITELY, METALPHYSICALLY, GOD-LLY get SOMETHING TO tie your feet to the pedals, clipless, rubber band whatever, 'coz u CANNOT spin fast with a loose foot. /story.

  15. #15
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    I just want to say you have a really cool looking bike.

    That said my current bike went 38 mph on a downhill 2 weeks ago during a Triathlon. I do have aerobars which puts me in a more aero position, but otherwise I have the identical setup to you (albet I'm probably a little larger, 155lbs on a 54cm bike). Firstly to hit that kind of speed you need the right hill hehe. As well you need to accelerate to that speed, you cant just drop to the 12 rear and up to the 52 front and expect to hit 35 mph, you will kill your legs, you need to step through the gears as you accelerate and get your cadence up.

    My opinion, keep what you have, but a wireless computer with a cadence meter, practice holding 100 rpm as you ride, you will find out a lot about what your current gears can do. Most downhills that arent that steep I only hit 30, if I want to go any faster I really need a long hill thats a little steep. You can go faster you just need to practice it right.

    Also, if you are going to spend the money to upgrade, get yourself a Shimano 105 setup, you can get it fairly reasonably priced if you search, its stronger lighter stuff, and 10 speed rear as well, with a triple front crank that gives you a lot more gear options. Once you get used to the setup you have now you will see why you would want something like that, and its less about top speed and more about going faster overall.
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  16. #16
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    It would be more cost effective to keep what you've got and at a later date update the entire bike. A completely new bike is less expensive than the sum of its parts. I would not buy 9-speed components, 10-speed is standard and 11-speed is coming soon. Not that we need 10 or 11 cogs but because 9-speed parts are gradually going away.
    Get a computer with cadence, I like the Cateye Astrale. Learn to spin 90 - 110, you do not need different gearing for more speed.

    Al

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
    I just want to say you have a really cool looking bike.


    Thanks! And I'll look into the cadence thing---I currently have a cateye wireless--but I know they make a version will includes cadence. Thanks for your input.

  18. #18
    No matches Flatballer's Avatar
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    Don't worry TOO much about exact cadence numbers though. The ideal cadence varies for everyone. I'd try something between 80-110 and see what feels good to you. Some people are natural spinners and some are not. You can train yourself to spin higher cadences, but there is only one ideal power transfer cadence for your particular body.

    MOST people are somewhere around 90-100. But it depends and you shouldn't kill yourself trying to stay in that range.
    It's a bike race, not a tea party. - GirlAnachronism

  19. #19
    Blue Light Special kmart's Avatar
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    No new advice about gearing from me, I think enough has been dispensed already.

    But I do want to say, that is the sexiest Trek 1000 I have ever seen!

    When you get a new bike (say, a BikesDirect special) you might even consider keeping that frame
    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
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  20. #20
    Senior Member deburn's Avatar
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    I too want to say that that's a very very cool looking bike (even if tires dont match the frame ). No advice really, just wanted to comment on your bike!

    Quote Originally Posted by kmart View Post
    No new advice about gearing from me, I think enough has been dispensed already.

    But I do want to say, that is the sexiest Trek 1000 I have ever seen!

    When you get a new bike (say, a BikesDirect special) you might even consider keeping that frame
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  21. #21
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    Get a 53 tooth large chainring, and some shoes and clipless pedals. You'll be doing 40mph in no time

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
    At least your stem is pointing the right direction.
    Looks backwards to me.
    --Fred

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by deburn View Post
    I too want to say that that's a very very cool looking bike (even if tires dont match the frame ). No advice really, just wanted to comment on your bike!

    Thanks ! ---- the bad part, though is it creates an OCD disorder----everything I buy now, bike related has to be either orange or white.

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