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  1. #1
    Senior Member clarkbre's Avatar
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    Does an Older NOS Groupset = Good Build?

    Currently, I have a cheap, stock 2200/Sora equipped bike with a Shimano 105 hub/Mavic Open Sport wheelset. I bought the bike sans the wheelset and bought the wheelset knowing I would be upgrading frames and other components in the future. I am looking to build a Soma Smoothie with the end goal of having a very solid, comfortable road bike that doesn't break the bank. I will be using this for recreational riding only.

    In starting to compile the pieces, I am finding quite a bit of older NOS Shimano 105 9 speed parts available.

    My questions are:

    Would it be crazy to build up a bike using these older, but never used, components to complete the build?

    Is the older Shimano 5500 series 105 stuff worth buying and using?

  2. #2
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    105 stuff is great and the 9 speed parts are not that old either.

    I built up my Proctor road bike with 8 speed Ultegra / 600 Tri Colour and could not be happier with how it works.

  3. #3
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    shimano 5500 9 speed was new in 2001. thats not that old.

    and yes, good stuff. significant upgrade from 2000 and Sora (3000).

  4. #4
    Wookie Jesus inspires me. Puget Pounder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
    That chinese frame is going to be what brings this build down.

    Find something nice to start with.
    I believe Somas are built in Taiwan. Soma Smoothies are great bikes.

  5. #5
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    If you're actually going to ride it that way, go for it and enjoy a great ride. What would be dumb is to build it 9s 105, then make yourself trying to upgrade to 10s or in some other way. If the 105 9s is just a patch towards a different desired end, you're probably selling it new rather than slightly used.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member zukahn1's Avatar
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    Simple answer is no you are starting to get smart to parts value nice nos 105 9speed stuff is as good as it gets on a budget and basically better than any of the Sora stuff. High end NOS Shimano parts from within the last 10-15 years highly compatiable with monor effort they will play togoether.

  7. #7
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
    Whatever, Puget.

    "Weight: 4.9 lbs. (44cm, frame only)"



    You can find a lighter bike in the trash.
    in cromo ?

  8. #8
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    105 stuff is indeed solid, reliable and performs well and IMO 9-speed is the highest number of 'speeds' worth having in terms of durability and economical cost of consumables like chains and cassettes.

    Moving to 10-speed is a waste of time I think as the chains and cassettes seem to hardly last at all, cost a relative fortune, and provide no benefit in riding over having 8 or 9-speed.

    10-speed (and presumably 11 - I haven't tried it yet) is also more finicky to setup and tune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Continuity View Post
    Moving to 10-speed is a waste of time I think as the chains and cassettes seem to hardly last at all, cost a relative fortune, and provide no benefit in riding over having 8 or 9-speed.

    10-speed (and presumably 11 - I haven't tried it yet) is also more finicky to setup and tune.
    Hmm, very interesting. I guess the fact that I've had the my previous several 10-speed chains (Wippermann and Shimano) and 10-speed cassettes (105 and Campy Veloce) last well over 8,000 miles each is lasting "hardly at all".

    Really, I've found 10-speed parts to last as well as 9 or even 8-speed stuff and the benefits are not insignificant. The most important benefit is the wider range road cassettes (12x27 for Shimano and 13x29 for Campy) include a 16T cog which is extremely useful and missing from 9 and 8-speed cassettes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Continuity View Post
    105 stuff is indeed solid, reliable and performs well and IMO 9-speed is the highest number of 'speeds' worth having in terms of durability and economical cost of consumables like chains and cassettes.

    Moving to 10-speed is a waste of time I think as the chains and cassettes seem to hardly last at all, cost a relative fortune, and provide no benefit in riding over having 8 or 9-speed.

    10-speed (and presumably 11 - I haven't tried it yet) is also more finicky to setup and tune.
    10 speed is all but standard on all road bikes now, 9 speed although nothing wrong with it, for modern road bikes is obsolete. The idea that they are expensive and not durable is strange, 10 speed chains cost only very slightly more than 9 speed, all the parts last if maintained, add to that you can't get 9 speed above Sora (unless old stock) for key parts like STI's now will give issues in keeping any 9 speed bike in service as 9 speed.

    Interesting that SRAM never even bothered with 9 speed, and Campag only has 10 speed in it's lower ranges now

    For ease of setup, 10 speed is no different to 9 speed

    For 11 speed, this should be even better than 10 speed, as you should be able to eliminate the compact crank, by using a wider range cassette, and a 52/36T crank, I'm looking forward to this trickling down to the Ultegra / 105 price point.

  11. #11
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
    Whatever, Puget.

    "Weight: 4.9 lbs. (44cm, frame only)"



    You can find a lighter bike in the trash.
    What is that 2200 grams? That's not out of this world for a steel frame.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  12. #12
    Senior Member clarkbre's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your responses. As far as 8, 9, or 10 speeds…I will be happywith 9 out back. I picked 9 because Iwill be able to transition from 3x8 to 3x9 using the 105 derailleurs on my 8until I get the 3x9 shifters, 9 speed cassette, chain, and crankset. That being said, I found a 5500 series 105triple front derailleur on ebay and bought it and also bought a set of 6500series Ultegra brakes off of craigslist.

    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
    "Weight: 4.9 lbs. (44cm, frameonly)"
    I’m not sure where you’re reading those numbers. Soma lists the 54cm weighing in at 4.0 lbs. In the Soma Smoothie builds I have seenonline, many are 20 lbs +/- a few ounces. Not bad considering my current bike is 24 lbs.

  13. #13
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    10 speed chains are only slightly more than 9 speed chains? Really? I didn't know that. I can get decent new 9 speed chains at Fred Meyer for 16.99 a piece retail or even cheaper wholesale but not everyone has access to wholesale cost.

    I always thought most 10 speed chains started at around 30 dollars and went up from there.

    I LOVE 9 speed stuff. All of my main riding bikes have mostly 105 with a smattering of Ultegra thrown in there. And I find 105 stuff pretty cheap if you hunt around.

    And it holds up great even to my 350+ pound body.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

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    9 versus 1o? Can anyone here tell us, in all honesty (and practical experience) what advantage to having 10 speed over 9 is?

  15. #15
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    10 gives you one more close spaced gear, depending on the cassette range (assuming your 9 and 10s have the same high and low, of course).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE ARS View Post
    That chinese frame is going to be what brings this build down.

    Find something nice to start with.
    Oh jeez, not this again...
    I'm back!

  17. #17
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    I must admit in having a lot more experience of MTB than road stuff, but I have noticed that the older 7/8 speed stuff on MTBs seems a *lot* more durable than the 10-speed 105/Ultegra stuff that came stock on my Kona PHD hybrid. The 7/8 speed chains/cassettes seem to last a *lot* longer before needing replacement - I got 2/3x the life out of those parts than I have been getting with the 10-speed road gear.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog3 View Post
    9 versus 1o? Can anyone here tell us, in all honesty (and practical experience) what advantage to having 10 speed over 9 is?
    Quote Originally Posted by pierce View Post
    10 gives you one more close spaced gear, depending on the cassette range (assuming your 9 and 10s have the same high and low, of course).
    Yup. That is a huge thing for some people, and meaningless for others. Everyone is different.
    I considered going to Campy 11 to get an 18t in my 12-25 cassette, but decided to hold off.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog3 View Post
    9 versus 1o? Can anyone here tell us, in all honesty (and practical experience) what advantage to having 10 speed over 9 is?
    In brief; a 16T cog.

  20. #20
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkbre View Post
    Would it be crazy to build up a bike using these older, but never used, components to complete the build?
    Not as crazy as it is for me to build 7-speed bikes from scratch.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  21. #21
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    The benefit really depends on the gear range. With a narrow cassette, ie an 11-21 or 11-23 you'll have one extra place with a 1 tooth jump, but it may not matter to you. OTOH on a wider cassette where it moves to 2 tooth jumps sooner it can be the difference between a 15% and 8% jump at a place you do lots or riding.

    The only way you can determine what it means to you is look at the gears where you do most of your riding, then compare the 9s and 10s cassettes of the range you'd buy, and see if the extra sprocket is in a place that it'll make a difference to you.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Not as crazy as it is for me to build 7-speed bikes from scratch.
    Or 6 speed. Or 5.
    I told someone I was building up a 2x5 (53/39 x 14-15-16-17-18) and you'da thought I had 3 heads.
    I'm not pokey, but I'm certainly not speedy... sorta half-fast, I guess...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadoman View Post
    Or 6 speed. Or 5.
    I told someone I was building up a 2x5 (53/39 x 14-15-16-17-18) and you'da thought I had 3 heads.
    Not at all. I would have thought you live in a very flat area and never climb any significant hills.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkbre View Post
    Would it be crazy to build up a bike using these older, but never used, components to complete the build?

    Is the older Shimano 5500 series 105 stuff worth buying and using?
    Sure. 9 speed chains and cassettes are cheap and easy to find. Roughly half of the cost of 10-speed cassettes and chains. 9-speed itself was pretty much an unnessary step in the tit for tat arms race of more cogs to mask a lack of real innovation in the bike industry. In terms of usable gears, most 10-speed cassettes come with a useless 11-tooth cog, so the 9-speed cassettes have just as many effective 'gears'.

    If your shop tells you nonsense like "9-speed stuff is hard to find", then get another shop. They are just prodding at you to get a new bike.

    As far as a new frame, check out Bike Nashbar. They sell road, cross and MTB frames in the $100 to $200 price range that are light, strong and perfectly well finished.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
    in the tit for tat arms race of more cogs to mask a lack of real innovation in the bike industry.
    And what "real innovation" would you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
    In terms of usable gears, most 10-speed cassettes come with a useless 11-tooth cog, so the 9-speed cassettes have just as many effective 'gears'.
    I agree that 11T cogs are useless for the large majority of road riders but not all 9 and 10-speed cassettes have one. Shimano makes 12x25 and 12x27 in both 9 and 10-speed form and Campy makes 13x26 and 13x27 cassettes in 10-speed form. The 12T is even a bit suspect with a 52 or 53T big chainring but can be worthwhile if paired with a compact crank.

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