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Sora: shifting under load

Old 01-30-08, 10:52 AM
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tjspiel
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Sora: shifting under load

I've heard that the Sora groupset doesn't shift well under load. Is this fact or opinion?

If it's fact, what components are responsible for this shortcoming? RD, Cassette, Shifter?

Thanks !
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Old 01-30-08, 11:14 AM
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It's opinion because it is subjective to the rider.

The only fact that can be relied upon is that any drivetrain will perform less than optimally under load. As much progress as Shimano and the other biggies have made with Hyperglide, etc in improving shifts under load, a drivetrain used this way is put under much more stress than one using good shifting technique (i.e.: letting up on pedal pressure while shifting) and will wear much quicker.
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Old 01-30-08, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
It's opinion because it is subjective to the rider.

The only fact that can be relied upon is that any drivetrain will perform less than optimally under load. As much progress as Shimano and the other biggies have made with Hyperglide, etc in improving shifts under load, a drivetrain used this way is put under much more stress than one using good shifting technique (i.e.: letting up on pedal pressure while shifting) and will wear much quicker.
Right.

All Shimano systems shift equally well, generally. When you go for the "higher level" components you're mainly gaining lightness and, in some cases, long-term durability. The more expensive stuff is often prettier too.

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Old 01-30-08, 02:27 PM
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Thanks for the affirmation Sheldon.

To further clarify and agree with Sheldon's point, do not expect a "higher end" group to perform better under load. Upgrade your technique first and the money spent on lighter and fancier components for replacement will be a better investment as they'll last longer.

Without getting too into specifics, my experience has been that groups from any manufacturer hit a certain point of diminishing returns where they will actually give up longevity in exchange for lighter weight, while true performance stays the same...or even declines. This can vary from year to year as new "innovations" come to market, but if your Sora group is of fairly recent vintage, I doubt you can improve upon the ability to shift under load signifigantly.
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Old 01-30-08, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
Thanks for the affirmation Sheldon.

To further clarify and agree with Sheldon's point, do not expect a "higher end" group to perform better under load. Upgrade your technique first and the money spent on lighter and fancier components for replacement will be a better investment as they'll last longer.

Without getting too into specifics, my experience has been that groups from any manufacturer hit a certain point of diminishing returns where they will actually give up longevity in exchange for lighter weight, while true performance stays the same...or even declines. This can vary from year to year as new "innovations" come to market, but if your Sora group is of fairly recent vintage, I doubt you can improve upon the ability to shift under load signifigantly.
Most of my miles have been put an old bike with a uniglide freewheel, and I learned to shift on a "Positron II" system so I don't shift under load out of habbit. I was under the impression that hyperglide was the real advancement that made shifting under load possible.

So when I heard someone saying that you don't want Sora or Tiagra if you need to shift under load (while racing or whatever) it made me a little curious. I'm on my mountain bike for the winter so I couldn't really test this assertion. I wanted to know if it was true or just someone trying to justify spending $$$ on higher end components.
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Old 01-30-08, 03:01 PM
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Speaking of technique, as long as you are spinning above say 90 rpm, an out of the saddle, hard as you can push, upshift is instant and flawless every time. Now an out of the saddle downshift at 50 rpm is not going to be fast and possibly not pretty, especially if you are trying to get down two or three cogs.
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Old 01-30-08, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
Speaking of technique, as long as you are spinning above say 90 rpm, an out of the saddle, hard as you can push, upshift is instant and flawless every time. Now an out of the saddle downshift at 50 rpm is not going to be fast and possibly not pretty, especially if you are trying to get down two or three cogs.
Is the downshift ugly because of the low rpm, or just because it's a downshift?
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Old 01-30-08, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Is the downshift ugly because of the low rpm, or just because it's a downshift?
A little of both. I will do a downshift while standing up on a hill, but I try to do it when I still have some spin going, because its easy to overshift and go down 2 or 3 gears (at least with Shimano) which can lead to falling on the top tube huevos first, which is no fun. Sitting down and downshifting on a hill is pretty smooth, but not quite as fast usually, because you tend to spin at a lower rpm.
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Old 01-30-08, 08:29 PM
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I took the wife's OCR3 a few hundred miles with Sora components loaded to the gills for camping on the desert with lots of water, etc. and loved it. Shifts great from the hoods and never gave me a problem, even on long climbs into Joshua Tree NP from the lower desert.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:12 PM
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my 2006 Specialized Allez Triple has Sora shifters, They work great and im around 220. I try to keep my cadence up though

I thought about upgrading to 105 or campy veloce but I like the sora's, and im used to them. Maybe my next bike?
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