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Old 07-10-09, 01:26 PM   #1
dennisa
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Shimano Sora

So I've been scoping out some road bikes at my LBS mainly online for the time being and a lot of the bikes in my price range are outfitted with Shimano Sora components. Are these acceptable components for recreational riding or riding for exercise ? or should I be looking for something better ?
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Old 07-10-09, 01:38 PM   #2
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Well, if memory serves per Shimano road components from lowest to highest per price/performance:
Sora, Tiagra, Flight Deck 105, Ultegra, Durace, Durace (Electronic)

Also, these can be in a 2 chainring or 3 chainring configuration (front gears)

I guess it depends on how much riding you plan to do, type (commuiting/recreation), roads (hills? flat?), & budget.

Some casual road cyclists I know have Sora w/3 front chainrings. Those that are into cycling a bit more for
recreation & fitness have either Flight Deck 105 or Ultegra in either 2 or 3 front chainrings.
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Old 07-10-09, 01:46 PM   #3
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Nothing wrong with Sora. What you generally get when you move up the food chain is better finish, some increased toughness (up to 105) and less weight (Ultegra and DuraAce). BTW,Flight Deck is an integrated computer that works with most Shimano road groups, and is not exclusive to 105.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:02 PM   #4
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True...Sora would be just fine.

I've had various Flight Deck computers. (6500, 6501, 6502) used with Ultegra & also Dura-Ace.

I have seen Shimano components labeled as Flight Deck 105.
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Old 07-10-09, 02:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback

On the Shimano site they list a 2200 as the lowest price/performance. I'm just a little skeptical about using a low end component as my current bike walmart special mongoose has shimano components and has never shifted properly since I bought it.
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Old 07-10-09, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisa View Post
On the Shimano site they list a 2200 as the lowest price/performance. I'm just a little skeptical about using a low end component as my current bike walmart special mongoose has shimano components and has never shifted properly since I bought it.
Not to worry dennisa, Sora equipped bikes are a giant step up from your Walmart Mongoose.
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Old 07-10-09, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisa View Post
On the Shimano site they list a 2200 as the lowest price/performance. I'm just a little skeptical about using a low end component as my current bike walmart special mongoose has shimano components and has never shifted properly since I bought it.
That's probably because the Mongoose has parts that are even lower-spec than 2200.

I'd normally say that any drivetrain can be adjusted well enough, but I had a rental MTB this winter whose front derailleur was beyond help. I never could figure the danged thing out and why it couldn't handle the triple crank, so I used the limit screws to restrict it to the two bigger chainrings.

Anyway, about Sora -- I rode for a while alongside an older guy who rides in bike tours (as in, six-day supported rides over a few hundred miles). He had Sora on his bike.

I'd say to just get it and ride it. After riding to work, to the store, or to movies and dinner often enough, you'll save enough in gas money to buy nicer parts when these break. And besides, if you ride the bike enough to wear out some parts, you've earned nicer stuff.
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Old 07-10-09, 03:18 PM   #8
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The Sora derailleurs on my commuter bike have always been 100% satisfactory and haven't needed adjustment in years.
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Old 07-10-09, 11:07 PM   #9
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I rode a Super Randonneur series (200K, 300K, 400K, and 600K) in 2001, and a Super Randonneur series plus the Rocky Mountain 1200K in 2002, plus all the riding and training for those events, on a bicycle with Sora Shifters ...... and I didn't have any trouble with them at all.
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Old 07-14-09, 12:59 PM   #10
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Sora is generally acceptable for recreation and exercise for sure - I wouldn't go below Sora, but I just bought a bike with Sora components (a 2008 Specialized Sequoia) as my "leave locked up outside a store" bike because I thought it was the right balance between decent components - I wanted something that worked reliably but was as cheap as possible in case it got stolen (so I could easily replace it). I also cannot stand certain low end stuff (I hate the road bikes where you have to take your hands off the brakes to shift), so I thought Sora was about right. As someone else mentioned, it's going to be light years above the components on your walmart bike.

The other thing is that a lot of the bikes that come mostly with Sora components often come with a Tiagra rear dearailler (like mine does).

From Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimano
Road bicycle groupsets

For 2009, road bicycle groupsets include:
  • Dura-Ace 7900 (10 speed)
  • Dura-Ace Track
  • Ultegra SL (10 speed)
  • Ultegra (10 speed)
  • 105 (10 speed)
  • Tiagra (9 speed)
  • Sora (9 speed)
  • 2200 (8 speed)
There are some drawbacks to Sora on my bike:
1. The shifter is on the brakes but it's a switch on the top, unlike with Tiagra and up where the shifter is a second brake lever that's flush with the actual brake lever. In other words, with Sora you can't shift while down in the drops. May or may not matter.
2. The rear Tiagra derailler shifts fine, haven't noticed much of a difference from my Dura-Ace shifting. My front derailler, which is Sora, has been rather annoying and has some trouble shifting. However, I rarely ever shift the front derailler.

IMO, Sora is acceptable and light years above the components that likely came with your Walmart bike. Sora would be fine. But if you wanted to make sure you got a bike that's going to shift reliably on both the front and back rings, I think Tiagra is the level at which shifting no longer improves above it by any noticeable amount.

Unfortunately, I know around me bikes this year seem to come with either Sora or 105 (with a rather large price difference in between). The good thing about Sora is that if you ride it enough that parts wear out (like the chain rings) they're both 9 speed to you could slowly migrate it to using Tiagra stuff.
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Old 07-14-09, 04:26 PM   #11
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I wouldnt worry a bit, Sora will be just fine for ya. Keep your stuff clean and lubed and it will last for years.
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Old 07-14-09, 07:07 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the great feedback. I just put a crap load of stuff of mine I could do without on craigslist so I can start generating a decent fund to buy a decent bike. I'm going this Sunday to get fitted and take a look around at some New & Used bikes at the LBS
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