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  1. #1
    LDB
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    Which group is which?

    Is there somewhere that will list the groups of a manufacturer in order from most basic to best? I've found listings but none that definitively show the order of progression as you move through the product lines. Thanks.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
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    I dare you to rank car brands in a linear scale from worst to best.

    Now rank chocolates.

    And handbags.

    Do you see a pattern now? You are asking for a objective answer to a subjective question.

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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Is there somewhere that will list the groups of a manufacturer in order from most basic to best? I've found listings but none that definitively show the order of progression as you move through the product lines. Thanks.

    No such thing. In fact, many "manufacturers" simply order bikes from factories in Taiwan, China, or elsewhere. They come built with the specified geometry and equipped with the specified components. If you took the decals off, you couldn't tell them apart.

    If you want to get the "right" bicycle, shop around for a good bike shop. The good ones will take the time to understand your needs and educate you on the differences among the bikes they sell, and will support you after the sale.
    Jeff Wills

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  4. #4
    LDB
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    Yeah, I'm just trying to figure out when looking at bike A with Deore and B with Tiagra and C with 105 and D with Ultegra and E with whatever how to figure out what order they should go in for group quality level.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

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    LDB
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    Quote Originally Posted by superfred View Post
    I dare you to rank car brands in a linear scale from worst to best.

    Now rank chocolates.

    And handbags.

    Do you see a pattern now? You are asking for a objective answer to a subjective question.

    All those things may be subjective however when Shimano builds and sells group sets the Sora is a basic set. The Tiagra is a step up, the 105 another step up and so on up the line. You can specifically rank them as to where they fall in the model line. I didn't know where to find the proper ordering. Someone directed me to a wiki with that information so now I can read specs and know where components fall in the line.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Yeah, I'm just trying to figure out when looking at bike A with Deore and B with Tiagra and C with 105 and D with Ultegra and E with whatever how to figure out what order they should go in for group quality level.
    Oh... the Shimano site gives you a pretty good rundown/up of the order of "groups": Deore is middle-range mountain, Tiagra, 105, and Ultegra are road (in ascending order). Deore is about the same level as 105. There's some fuzziness in that (some touring bikes use mountain derailleurs for their lower gear capabilities), but in general Deore/SLX and 105/Ultegra are the sweet spots for quality vs. cost. That's my opinion... but it's an informed one. I've been in and around the bicycle business since 1980.

    My original advice stands: shop for a bike shop, not a bike. Bikes are too similar to waste your time and money on lousy service.
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  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Yeah, I'm just trying to figure out when looking at bike A with Deore and B with Tiagra and C with 105 and D with Ultegra and E with whatever how to figure out what order they should go in for group quality level.
    First you might want to decide what kind of cycling appeals to you, and look for the type of bicycle that best matches that kind of cycling.

    Do you think mountain biking might be your thing? Or do you want a bicycle for commuting? Or touring? Or long distance cycling? Or road racing? Or ... what?

    And within the category that you choose, what do you want to do with it?

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Look at what the whole bike is priced. that is the sum of the parts involved.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Yes. Both Shimano and SRAM websites list their component groups in descending order within road or mtb.

  10. #10
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Groupsets are much easier to rank in worst to best.. however once you mix in older groupsets etc it makes things a bit more confusing, bicycle brand names themselves are also a bit of a mix up right now. For instance, I have no problem owning an 80's Schwinn but I'd pretty much refuse to buy a modern Schwinn as the company was gutted and the name sold to a group that mostly sells walmart type bikes, same goes for mongoose etc. You really need to hang around and get a feel for where things rank and how it matches up with what you want to do. So is this just you want to learn, or are you looking for a new bike/upgrades?
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post

    My original advice stands: shop for a bike shop, not a bike. Bikes are too similar to waste your time and money on lousy service.
    That's lousy advice. You'll spend THOUSANDS of hours on your bike. How much time will you spend at the bike shop? [Hopefully, next to none, if you can learn how to turn two screws and a barrel adjuster by watching a youtube video- excpet perhaps, to pick up a few tubes now and then].

    And while I don't think that the level of group makes a huge difference, except in aesthetics; the over-all feel and performance of the combined elements of the group on the bike, working in conjunction with the bike's frame quality/geometry/material does make quite a difference- but the ultimate FIT and feel of the whole package is probably the most important thing.

    The shop, though? That's the very last thing I'd worry about. I haven't been in a bike shop in over 20 years. Viva le internet!

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    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    Viva le internet!
    Good choice. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-For-UPS-Claim

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    Quote Originally Posted by GP View Post
    So? I buy a used bike from 1000 miles away and it gets dented in shipping- what has that got to do with anything? Even if i don't end up getting compensated for it, it still beats the reaming I'd take at an LBS.

  14. #14
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    So? I buy a used bike from 1000 miles away and it gets dented in shipping- what has that got to do with anything? Even if i don't end up getting compensated for it, it still beats the reaming I'd take at an LBS.
    Why not a used bike off your CL?
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


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    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayGloDago View Post
    Even if i don't end up getting compensated for it, it still beats the reaming I'd take at an LBS.
    The shop I go to wouldn't sell a damaged frame.

  16. #16
    LDB
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    Well, my reason for asking is so if/when I narrow it down to bikes A and B and if said bikes are similar in price, one with Sora and one with 105 or one with Deore the other with Deore XT I'll know which one is giving me more for the same money. I also still enjoy learning new things.
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
    Why not a used bike off your CL?
    It was off CL....just not "mine"

    There's virtually no used bike market around here- The only thing you see on the local CL are kiddie bikes and Huffy/Walmart bikes. On the rare occasion you see some ancient, low level road bike....it's absurdly priced.

    Last week, there was an old Schwinn Varsity on the local CL- ....for $250! (Hey, on mine, at least the damage is on the underside of the down tube, so you don't notice it....it's just a shame, because the bike is otherwise pristine)

  18. #18
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Is there somewhere that will list the groups of a manufacturer in order from most basic to best? I've found listings but none that definitively show the order of progression as you move through the product lines. Thanks.
    Looking at drive train groups, I think the approximate equivalencies are (arranged Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo):

    Super Record (11)
    Dura-Ace (11), Red (10), Record (11)
    Ultegra (10), Force (10), Chorus (11)
    105 (10), Rival (10), Athena (11), Centaur (10)
    Tiagra (9), Apex (10), Veloce (10)
    Sora (9)

    What I've laid out is probably more like how the manufacturer's have theoretically positioned the products. Compagnolo is a bit of a wild card as they positioned Super Record to be in a class by itself. That's why the equivalents are Dura-Ace, Red and Record. Also, the split in the Campagnolo line-up with Athena (11) and Centaur (10). When all their gruppos were 10-spd, Centaur was positioned the next rung down from Chorus. Now it is their top 10-spd gruppo.

    However, bike manufacturers will frequently mix and match; up and down. Such an arrangement might be an Ultegra gruppo with a 105 cassette or a 105 gruppo with one, or both, derailleurs upgraded to Ultegra. The 2004 Giant TCR-2 bike that I used to have had basically a 9-spd 105 gruppo, but Tektro brakes and a SRAM cassette. Other variations are substituting with FSA or Truvativ cranks.
    Last edited by flatlander_48; 02-27-13 at 05:23 PM.
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  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If new , the 105 parts have to be compensated for by using something cheaper , but less visible
    to bring the price total back down to be equal.

    You noticed the 105 part when its on the RD logo prominant.
    then perhaps a budget BB and crank are, often used ..
    seat post , headset hubs. etc.

    full 105 kit is up the price points. what is your budget? $K
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-27-13 at 05:33 PM.

  20. #20
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the costs are not linear as you go up the chart. They are geometric (ish).
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  21. #21
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    Well, my reason for asking is so if/when I narrow it down to bikes A and B and if said bikes are similar in price, one with Sora and one with 105 or one with Deore the other with Deore XT I'll know which one is giving me more for the same money. I also still enjoy learning new things.
    The differences between 105 and Sora or Deore and Deore XT are minor compared to other services offered by a good bike shop. For riding comfort, how the bike fits you is key. You would be better off buying a bike that's $50 cheaper (and a "lesser" group) and then spending $50 on fitting it to your anatomy. A good bike shop will spend the time figuring out the difference.
    Jeff Wills

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  22. #22
    Senior Member carl_h's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl_h View Post
    The Tiagra entry is incorrect. Currently the Shimano web site says 9 speed and the cassette shown has 9 sprockets. Also, Athena EPS is not listed. I have corrected the page...
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  24. #24
    Senior Member carl_h's Avatar
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    Tiagra is now 10 speed since 2012. Not sure why the Shimano website still lists it as a 9 speed cassette.

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