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Old 07-09-07, 08:07 AM   #1
povertyonwheels
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Understanding Shimano parts

I just purchased my first road bike, and I'm trying to figure out where my components fall on the scale of quality, I'd also like to become generally more educated on bike parts.

Could anyone break down the difference between components for me? Also, are there any other brands beside Shimano?

Thanks,
Jess
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Old 07-09-07, 08:15 AM   #2
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http://sram.com/
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Old 07-09-07, 08:20 AM   #3
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There isn't any information explaining the difference between parts on that site. Is it just another brand?
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Old 07-09-07, 08:26 AM   #4
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SRAM is a competitor of Shimano.

What kind of Shimano parts are you looking for comparisons? Road? Mountain Bike?

For Road, the general hierarchy for Shimano is DuraAce, Ultegra, 105, Sora (did I miss on in there? Tiagra?). The differences will be in materials, weight, durability, etc., as with most manufactured goods.

Opinions will vary. If you're new to road riding, 105 level Shimano stuff is excellent for performance and durability.

Check out Shimano's website for more info and specs.
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Old 07-09-07, 08:34 AM   #5
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Short list--top-of-the-line to cheapest

Dura-Ace
Ultegra SL (new for 2008)
Ultegra
105
Tiagra
Sora
2200

An older page on the Shimano site listing the groups in order. 105 is now 10-speed and in 2008 Sora will be 9-speed.

Current 2007 offerings
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Old 07-09-07, 11:41 PM   #6
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thanks, this helps! the Shimano site doesn't really explain them very well. i also heard that Shimano isn't really the best, that they break pretty easy, but it's a starting point for a road bike novice. someone suggested SRAM and Cappy(?).
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Old 07-09-07, 11:42 PM   #7
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oh, and the bike i just purchased is the Specialized Dolce, with Shimano Tiagra.
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Old 07-09-07, 11:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by povertyonwheels
thanks, this helps! the Shimano site doesn't really explain them very well. i also heard that Shimano isn't really the best, that they break pretty easy, but it's a starting point for a road bike novice. someone suggested SRAM and Cappy(?).
Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo (Campy) all make different levels of components. Lower end Shimano stuff will obviously be a little less durable than some other manufacturers, considering that SRAM and Campagnolo low level groups start at much more than Shimano lower level groups. However, Shimano also makes some very nice higher level stuff (Dura Ace), which is comparable to upper level SRAM (the Force and Red group) and Campagnolo (Record). At that price point, virtually everything is of very high quality and the differences come down to personal preferences and/or what specific characteristics you are looking for (weight, appearance, etc).

Shimano Tiagra is a decent low-level group, which should serve you well for a while. Once you buy Shimano 105, or any SRAM or Campy, it generally gets to the point where if you spend more, you're just getting less weight, not added functionality or more durability.
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Old 07-10-07, 12:34 AM   #9
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try to get 105 shimano, veloce campagnolo, or better.
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Old 07-10-07, 03:51 AM   #10
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Dura-Ace is Shimano's 'Italian' groupset, it's pronounced Doorah-Acheh with an Italian accent while raising the open palm of the right hand.

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Old 07-10-07, 09:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by povertyonwheels
I just purchased my first road bike, and I'm trying to figure out where my components fall on the scale of quality, I'd also like to become generally more educated on bike parts.

Could anyone break down the difference between components for me? Also, are there any other brands beside Shimano?

Thanks,
Jess
The best way to become more familiar with cycling gear is by reading cycling magazines. After a few issues, you'll begin to accrue a basic knowledge, which will only build up over time. For your first bike, the Shimano parts you have are just fine, and over time, as your cycling proficiency and experience increases, you'll have a better idea of changes or upgrades in gear you'll need, such as different clipless pedals, lighter wheels, add-ons such as cyclometers, and tools to service your bike.

AS many people mentioned, there are many, many companies offering a vast selection of cycling gear, mainly from Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM. Reading cycling magazines will expose you to different gear options and manufacturers, as will the people on this forum who will always be glad to help you out in selecting new gear.

Enjoy the bike, and happy and safe riding.
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