Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    My Bikes
    2012 Masi Evoluzione, 2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2
    Posts
    7,899
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Questions about SORA, Tiagra, and 105s

    These are really generic questions, but consider the Giant OCR 1, 2, and 3 as a case in point.

    The OCR 3 offers 8 speed SORA shifting at $650. The OCR 2 offers 9 speed Tiagra shifting with a 105 deraileur at $900, an increase of $250. The OCR 1 comes with 10 speed 105 shifting and lists for $1,100, an increase of another $200. There are other differences between the bikes, of course, including better wheelsets and different stems. But it seems to me most of the differences are in the drive train.

    It's been a while since I tested this bike, but here's my question. Every time I walk into an LBS, they always seem to try to steer me away (and up) from SORA shifters. The Giant LBS suggests I'd be a lot happier with an OCR 2 at a minimum, the Trek people immediately try to move me away from a 1000 to a 1500, and so on, the Specialized folks show me the Sequioa and then bump me to the Sequoia Elite.

    My intuition tells me SORA can't be that bad, since they keep producing and selling a lot of bikes with these shifters. My intuition also tells me that of course the Tiagras and 105s are going to be better -- but honestly, for someone like me, are they going to be THAT much better?

    On the one hand, I don't want to buy a bike with shifters I'd soon come to regret, but on the other hand, maybe that's fairly unlikely. Since I've learned that there is no final bike -- there will always be another bike -- is there a flaw in my logic when I reach the conclusion that a SORA equipped bike like the OCR 3, the Trek 1000, the Trek Pilot 1.0, or the Specialized Sequoia, just to name a few, would be just fine for me (assuming the fit is good) at this stage of my cycling 'career'?

    I think these salespeople are just trying to squeeze me for more money. But maybe I am not experienced enough to appreciate the difference and you folks can point out why I should carefully consider getting a bike with better shifters right from the start.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
    2009 Specialized Globe Vienna 2

    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  2. #2
    jcm
    jcm is offline
    Gemutlichkeit
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,424
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, DG, my take on the matter is that my "cycling career" is ever evolving. While there are components to my bikes I have pretty much settled on, in general, I tend to steer towards a notch above what I can afford. My only road bike is a Sequoia Elite. After testing aluminum bikes without the CF stays and forks, it was a slam dunk. The fact that it has all 105 stuff didn't exactly throw me off, either. Also, it was on sale for $200 off. That did it.

    I'm not plugging my bike, but rather, I'm pointing out that you will surely rise to the equipment when you 'buy up.'

    Now, although I'm not a purist type roadie, I am fairly aggressive, and tend to go long any time I have the opportunity. Also, I ride a whole bunch. But I drew the line at the Sequioa, rather than go up further to a mid-range Roubaix, because of the cost. When I tested the Roubaix, I thought I had a flat because it was so smooth and soft. The Sequoia is almost that good. As a recreational class bike, I think it represents that category very well.

    So, given the same weight within a pound or two, I went with the one that cost a little more but I'm happy I did. NOTE: All the front derailleurs seemed clunky, but accurate, whether it was the Sora, Tiagra, 105 or Dura-Ace. But, in fairness, I'm an old school friction guy. All the rear derailleurs worked flawlessly.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
    My Bikes
    86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
    Posts
    6,495
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A spendier bike is bound to have a bigger profit/commission.
    Much entry level stuff shifts "adequately".
    I think there's a point beyond "mid level" that unless you're a Lance Armstrong type, it's just a "bling" factor.
    If money is no object, why not?
    IF biking is your main hobby, why not? I know I've spent a few grand on other hobbies (back when I could afford it).
    If you're like me, you're just happy the chain doesn't break on the down stroke. After that, everything is gravy

  4. #4
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    '96 Litespeed Classic, '06 Trek Portland, '13 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,257
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There are two parts of the shifting equation: the levers/shifters/brifters (choose your preferred term) and the drivetrain itself--dérailleurs and the fanciness of the machining on the gears.

    On my seven-year-old Trek 1000 project bike, the drivetrain was shot from lack of maintenance. I chose to stay with Sora for expense and for compatibility with my commuter rig, which is also 8-speed, so that in a pinch, I can swap parts from one bike to the other.

    I found, and my LBS confirmed, that Shimano's "trickle-down" of goodness from the upper to the lower groups has improved Sora tremendously since my bike was made. Although the FD (on the triple anyway) deserves its reputation of being a pain to get dialed-in. Beyond that, I'm completely happy with the drivetrain. The RD does its job without complaint, and the cut of the gears, the ramps and pins and stuff, let the chain move smoothly from gear to gear.

    Where I was dissatisfied with Sora, and where many others are, was in the shifters. Sora uses little thumb buttons on the side of the housings to shift to smaller gears (upshift on the rear, downshift on the front.) I just plain didn't like them. Fortunately, Shimano makes a replacement from its "High-Grade Components" line, the ST-R500 shifters. They use the dual-lever shifting found on the other component groups.

    I strongly prefer the dual-lever ST-R500s to the stock Sora ST-330X. They're more comfortable, I can shift from the drops, and they seem to execute shifts in a way that just plain feels better. I can't quite explain what or how they feel better. My hands and feet just go, "Wow, I like this a lot better." It's a delight to click off shifts with them.

    So in my experience, the Sora drivetrain is just dandy, and bargain basement to boot. It's the shifters (and to a lesser extent, the FD) that mar its reputation.

    My advice: Ride both and decide for yourself. Buying new, you're pretty much stuck with whatever shifters are on the bike. Some people like, or at the very least don't mind, Sora's thumb buttons. Maybe you're one of them. If so, you can save a bundle. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the rest.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The US 2007 OCR range Is now the same as the SCR that I bought in the UK last year. So I have some experience of your dilema. I will be honest and say that for a cheap bike the OCR 3 is superb. Not being an out and out 25mph and 5,000 miles a year up mountain type rider- I do not need anything better. Not only is Sora 8 speed completely suitable for my riding- It works perfectly. While on gearing- Although I would not go as low as 6 speed- I have never found any fault with 7 speed either. The range of gears in 8 speed is satisfactory and although I have changed the rear cassette for my hills(Which made any faults in the gearing show up as I went from 12/26 to 11/28) I have found the range of gears to be perfect. The gear change I like and cannot see any problems in it after 3.000 miles.

    As far as I am concerned- there is nothing wrong with Sora. That is not to say that a 9 speed set would not be better, and with the higher spec of that upgrade it would probably be a better bike to ride.


    Then you come onto the rest of the spec and I have to admit that I did find a failing in the OCR3. That is in the wheels. Initially I did not find a problem with them but after about 2,000 miles- I found that something was lacking on the bike.For the amount of effort I was putting in- I thought I would be a little bit faster and the hills would be a little easier. Remember that I ride a Mountainn Bike so it was not that I was an inexperienced unfit rider. Had a chat with my LBS and got new wheels. They transformed the bike. I was now around 3 mph quicker- hills were being done in one or two gears higher and slopes stopped existing. They made that much difference.


    So although the OCR3 will be perfectly satisfactory from your point of view- I feel that an upgrade to the 2 would be worth it. Not only would you not have to think of new wheels within a year or so- The other upgrades that come with the 2 would be worth it.

    Mind you- If you continue to meet those Babes in Bikinis on Bikes on your rides- Why do you have to go fast in any case.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  6. #6
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gone to other places
    Posts
    20,676
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have Sora on one roadie and 105 on the other.

    The 105 differs from the Sora in that there is a "trim" function on the 105 triple, causing a need for a little extra "shift" while in the middle chain ring on the front der as the rear der goes from the smaller gears to the larger gears and vice versa, in order to keep the drive train more properly aligned, and reduce chain drag.

    The 8 speed Sora does not have (nor does it seem to need) this function.

    The thumb shifting does not bother me as I spend little or no time in the "drops."

    I like the 105, but I think the Sora is plenty adequate.

    Additionally, I do find the 105 brakes much more "firm" in their usage, and find the Sora brakes to heve more "give" in them. I don't know if this is common to all Soras, but the braking/pull efficiency on my 105 is noticeably better. I have heard that there is some flexing in the Sora brakes.

    However, my 105 is 8 years old now, and the Sora is a 2004, so likely much has changed.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,044
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Sora drivetrain equipment has an undiserved "bad reputation" that to some degree is part "techie must have better" and part "bike shop techie must have more expensive".

    For all of the sport riders that I have built bikes for I have found very few who needed or could use equipment more upscale than Sora.

    1. Sora equipment will save you a lot of money that you can spend on other parts of the bike.
    2. The dreaded thumbshifters are installed on almost all expensive Campy shifters and for most sport riders who shift from and usually even ride from the hoods instead of the drops they present no problem at all.
    3. The new generation of Sora brifters (3304 for triple) have a trim function. The doubles always had trim.
    4, The "hard to adjust" front derailleur is easy to adjust if the mechanic knows where to install the cable. If you look and the end of the cable arm you will find a groove. The cable goes there before it goes under the screw. This results in a slightly wider throw and solves all problems. Many otherwise smart shop mechanics do not seem to know about this.
    5. Unlike higher end Shimano shifters, Sora has a reach adjust screw that allows you to custom tailor the distance between the brake lever and the bar. Nice if your hands are a little small.
    6. Sora derailleurs work well (they will probably not last 10,000 miles) and the brakes are adequate (better if the pads are replaced with something more agressive.)

    Having said that about the drive train, I think you can do better with upscale wheels. The Sora hub seals are open and do not contain the grease and keep out water as well as 105 or ultegra hubs. The wheels that come on Sora equipped bikes are one of the places that the manufacturer will cut costs.

    Mind you, these recomendations are for sport riders. If you race, train at racer speeds or ride this one bike 3-4000 miles a year, you may well want the better equipment. If you have spent thousands for a carbon bike you may not want Sora equipment.

    I have a full set of 105 (9 speed black) on the road warrior and frankly I would have been perfectly happy with the Sora double brifters, front derailleur, an 8 speed cassette and chain. I would keep the 105 rear derailleur and the Tektro RX40 brakes.

    There was a time when it looked like Shimano was going to do away with Sora 8 speed. Now it looks like its here to stay. 9 speed Shimano equipment seem to be in the process of changing over to 10 speed. 10 speed looks at first glance to be very "fussy" for the average sport bike.

    Just sayn

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Southwestern Ontario
    Posts
    1,387
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    DG: your post is 'timely' in that I've just (yesterday) gone over to the dark side, and bought an OCR2 (07)--Nooooooo! Anyway, fwiw, I'm silly-intense about research on these things before laying down the dough, so here's my take.

    1. Assuming 2007 OCR, the alloy bikes, as you say 3 has Sora, 2 Tiagra, 1 the 105. Like you, my LBS 'steered' me away from the 3, and to at least the 2. In my case, though, a no-brainer because my arthritic thumbs I know would not like the thumb-activated part of Sora shifting. They did stress, however, that there's "nothing wrong with Sora," simply pointing out that Tiagra and up tends to be smoother/quieter.

    2. So, between the OCR 2 and 1: two key points. First, keep in mind that the 07 OCR 2 has NEW Tiagra: it is now, in all essential respects, a 9-speed version of the current 105, and much improved over the previous incarnation -- note too that the lever position is now adjustable to take account of hand-size. So, the question for me was "do I need 10 speed?" My LBS advised: probably not; 105 is very slightly smoother/crisper shifting, and slightly lighter, but (other than the extra cog) that's it. For a sport/light touring/commuting rider, Tiagra 9 speed (they said) might actually be better: slightly less finicky to adjust, and slightly more durable chain. Further, they said, given that the frame/fork etc. is essentially identical between the 2 and 1, you might be better off getting the 2 and investing in a really good set of tires (the one major thing that matters) and other stuff, with the difference. The difference in the wheelsets is slight as well; a more substantial difference in the cranksets, but again -- wear the stock one out, and change later to Shimano. Made sense to me/that's what I went with.

    3. Side note: re. frames -- from my test riding (extensive), I've concluded that the OCR alloy frames really are very good/smooth riding, as are the Trek and Cannondale ones. I remain to be convinced by the 'alloy frame with carbon stays' thing: I haven't noticed a difference that wouldn't be swamped by proper ride positioning, Ti saddle rails, and really good tires. I really think that you have to go 'full carbon' to really notice the benefits. On all this, Cycling+ (U.K. mag) points out that it's actually cheaper for mfgs. to produce an alloy frame with a bonded-in carbon rear triangle than it is to weld up a full alloy one. Interesting!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    6,190
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I have Sora on one roadie and 105 on the other.

    The 105 differs from the Sora in that there is a "trim" function on the 105 triple, causing a need for a little extra "shift" while in the middle chain ring on the front der as the rear der goes from the smaller gears to the larger gears and vice versa, in order to keep the drive train more properly aligned, and reduce chain drag.

    The 8 speed Sora does not have (nor does it seem to need) this function.

    The thumb shifting does not bother me as I spend little or no time in the "drops."

    I like the 105, but I think the Sora is plenty adequate.

    Additionally, I do find the 105 brakes much more "firm" in their usage, and find the Sora brakes to heve more "give" in them. I don't know if this is common to all Soras, but the braking/pull efficiency on my 105 is noticeably better. I have heard that there is some flexing in the Sora brakes.

    However, my 105 is 8 years old now, and the Sora is a 2004, so likely much has changed.
    Sora is great for riding on the hoods, definitely. Flick your finger or thumb and you're in another gear.

    DG, the biggest difference is those that ride a bike hard, and I mean racing. Sora will do for anything you or I are likely to get into. I would ride across the U.S. with Sora parts on my bike. The only thing is most shops will not carry replacement parts on the shelf, they will probably have 9 speed laying around. The parts are also a bit heavier. I have a 7 speed Trek 420 with Sora brifters that I got from Harris Cyclery. They work flawlessy, but I have to be careful about rubbing on the side of the front der. cage with the chain. If you replace a derailler, you can use any 9 speed component with no problem.
    Maddmax is right on the money that Sora will allow you to get better parts somewhere else on the bike. I had 32 spoke wheels on my 420, and made the mistake of putting on Shimano 550 wheels with bladed spokes when the old ones needed replacing. BIG mistake !! The 550's are very stiff, and I now feel every tiny bump in the road through my seat when I ride the 420. If I put another set of wheels on the 420, I'm going back to the silky smooth ride of 32 spoke wheels.

    If you REALLY want to feel a difference, test ride the Giant OCR3 carbon frame.

    DG, since you asked about the Bachetta Corsa in the garage door thread, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go up to Van Nuys to Bent Up Bicycles. This is a warning. Your life will never be the same if you do.
    http://bentupcycles.com/index.cfm
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 05-05-07 at 11:36 AM.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  10. #10
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,024
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx
    The dreaded thumbshifters are installed on almost all expensive Campy shifters and for most sport riders who shift from and usually even ride from the hoods instead of the drops they present no problem at all.
    As a Campy Centaur shifter user, I, and a variety of pro's (our only shared experience), shift quite happily in the drops using the "dreaded" thumbshifter. One simply sticks out one's thumb and....shifts! Granted that non-prehensile thumbed organisms may live in dread of their shifters. Look beyond the Rising Sun back to the Old World; humans and chimps can thrive on Campy-style thumb shifters.

    Seriously, I find Campy Ergos more comfortable for my smallish hands and the more immediate (on the click, not the re-click) shifting quicker than Shimano. Also, unlike Shimano, Ergos don't stick up like a suicide knob on a James Dean era Chevy steering wheel (no trolling intended). I use the Campy with a Shimano drivetrain and J-Tek quite happily.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,901
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sora is fine from a durability standpoiint. The only 2 issues are: DO NOT GET SORA with a triple front setup. No trim makes it a pain in the arse and you will find your only using several rear cogs with each front cog due to rubbing. Some people do not like the thumb shifter part of this setup. If you have very small hands this may be an issue but it does not seem to deter people from buying Campy Record!

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    Sora is great for riding on the hoods, definitely. Flick your finger or thumb and you're in another gear.

    I had 32 spoke wheels on my 420, and made the mistake of putting on Shimano 550 wheels with bladed spokes when the old ones needed replacing. BIG mistake !! The 550's are very stiff, and I now feel every tiny bump in the road through my seat when I ride the 420. If I put another set of wheels on the 420, I'm going back to the silky smooth ride of 32 spoke wheels.
    You have just pointed out to me a big advantage of the Sora changers as I ride mainly on the hoods. Nothing could be easier in this riding position.

    Now onto the wheels. I take it that the 550's are a radial spoked wheel. In other words the Spokes are direct pull from the hub to the rim with no crossing of the spokes. That type of wheel can be a lot lighter, have "Bling"- but are also a lot harsher- transmitting a lot of the road buzz to the rider. I recently changed away from the radial spoking to a hand built 105 hub, 36 double butted spokes on a Mavic CXP33 rim. Not an expensive wheel but the spokes are crossed x 2. this type of wheel has a bit of give in it and compared to radial- you might as well put suspension on the bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •