Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Shimano 9-speed brifters: Sora, Tiagra, or Ultegra

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Shimano 9-speed brifters: Sora, Tiagra, or Ultegra

Old 08-16-10, 01:41 PM
  #1  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
Thread Starter
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shimano 9-speed brifters: Sora, Tiagra, or Ultegra

I'm going to be converting my commuter from bar-end to integrated shifters (aka, brifters). I run 9-speed Shimano, and am considering either Sora, Tiagra, or Ultegra shifters. I've heard/read that the Sora units aren't the greatest, but how much of a difference is there between the Tiagra and Ultegras? FWIW, I'll be running a triple up front and canti brakes.

Thanks.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 03:30 PM
  #2  
Al1943
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 9,438

Bikes: Trek 5500, Colnago C-50

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It all depends on how much you want to spend.
Buy new not used.
Al1943 is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 03:46 PM
  #3  
DieselDan
Senior Member
 
DieselDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
Posts: 8,522

Bikes: Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you have your hands on a new set of 9-speed Ultegras, by all means use them.
DieselDan is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 03:48 PM
  #4  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
tiagra will be your best bet.
You can't buy 9sp ultegra new anymore, and the ergonomics of the lever itself is questionable.

The current generation 9sp tiagra STI levers are way better ergonomically and functionally than the previous generation 9sp 105, ultegra and tiagra levers.
current gen. Sora STI levers are better built than the previous 8sp levers, but still leave a lot to be desired over tiagra, due to a variety of reasons.


Another alternative is to use 10sp 2009 campangolo veloce levers and a J-tek shiftmate or "B-routing", because I know someone will mention it. Quite frankly, the Veloce 2009 levers are better than Tiagra and the prices aren't that different, but it's slightly more hassle to mate them to a shimano 9sp drive train.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 05:51 PM
  #5  
wunderkind
Pro Paper Plane Pilot
 
wunderkind's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What's your budget?
wunderkind is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 06:33 PM
  #6  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
Thread Starter
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
What's your budget?
$200-ish.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 07:01 PM
  #7  
jasonrobo02
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 204

Bikes: 2006 Bianchi 928 Record and 2002 Bianchi Axis 1x9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Another vote for the newer version of Tiagra levers.
jasonrobo02 is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 07:05 PM
  #8  
DieselDan
Senior Member
 
DieselDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
Posts: 8,522

Bikes: Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
tiagra will be your best bet.
You can't buy 9sp ultegra new anymore, and the ergonomics of the lever itself is questionable.
Ever heard of NOS?
DieselDan is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 07:17 PM
  #9  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Ever heard of NOS?
yeah, but are they covered with warranty?
case in point, $170 for tiagra ST-4501/4503 shifters at ribble that are covered with warranty.
ultegra ST-6500, off of ebay, $200 + S&H

Shimano shifters aren't repairable when they break either.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 07:25 PM
  #10  
wrk101
Thrifty Bill
 
wrk101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mountains of Western NC
Posts: 21,791

Bikes: 86 Katakura Silk, 87 Prologue X2, 88 Cimarron LE, 1975 Sekai 4000 Professional, 73 Paramount, plus more

Mentioned: 64 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 584 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
$200-ish.
Does your budget assume you will do the installation, or the LBS? Your options will be very limited if someone else does the installation.

FWIW: I picked up nine speed Ultegra off ebay, buy it now, complete with derailleurs, brake calipers, cables, handlebar and stem for about $100. It is now the drivetrain on my 1987 Prologue. So sometimes you can score a pretty good deal.

I personally prefer the older 8 speed stuff (good ones, not SORA), as they are rebuildable. So I have Shimano 105 8 speed STI on my 1995 Fuji (came stock that way). 9 speed = limited/no repair.
wrk101 is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 08:56 PM
  #11  
andrewluke
Senior Member
 
andrewluke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 444
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tiagra. I'm taking the full group off my CAAD9 and sticking them on a cheap frame for a beater. If you were running a double, I'd have another set I could send you but since you want a triple, you can get a set on ebay dirt cheap as a takeoff
andrewluke is offline  
Old 08-16-10, 08:59 PM
  #12  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
Thread Starter
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Does your budget assume you will do the installation, or the LBS? Your options will be very limited if someone else does the installation.

FWIW: I picked up nine speed Ultegra off ebay, buy it now, complete with derailleurs, brake calipers, cables, handlebar and stem for about $100. It is now the drivetrain on my 1987 Prologue. So sometimes you can score a pretty good deal.

I personally prefer the older 8 speed stuff (good ones, not SORA), as they are rebuildable. So I have Shimano 105 8 speed STI on my 1995 Fuji (came stock that way). 9 speed = limited/no repair.
Yes, I'll be doing the install.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 11:10 AM
  #13  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
Thread Starter
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm thinking that new Tiagra is the way to go. I've seen some NOS Ultegra available in 9-spd, but I'm not sure the extra cost is justified.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 11:43 AM
  #14  
josephjhaney
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just got a set of NOS Takeoffs of the new tiagra levers myself, they are very very nice. Smoother than the old set of Tiagras I had. The newer ones are the ones with the gear indicators on top, I think they just started that on the tiagra level this year.
josephjhaney is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 12:19 PM
  #15  
LarDasse74
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grid Reference, SK
Posts: 3,768

Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Tiagra is great value.
Ultegra is good if the price difference between it and Tiagra is not too great.
Sora is not as good. Avoid sora if you have the option of Tiagra. Sora has a different downshift mechanism that is not nearly as nice, in my opinion (and the opinion of most others), and has had other functional problems.
LarDasse74 is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 01:35 PM
  #16  
idoru2005
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
With a $200 budget, I'd definitely go for a NOS or lightly used Campy 10sp setup.
idoru2005 is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 01:44 PM
  #17  
MileHighMark
Old. Slow. Happy.
Thread Starter
 
MileHighMark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by idoru2005 View Post
With a $200 budget, I'd definitely go for a NOS or lightly used Campy 10sp setup.
Initially I balked at this, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I could pick up some NOS Campy 10sp shifters and a Jtek and have a setup that could be rebuilt/repaired fairly easily. Plus, I could run any front mech/rings on the triple.

Hmm...

Last edited by MileHighMark; 08-17-10 at 04:02 PM.
MileHighMark is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 01:48 PM
  #18  
MadBuddha1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 83
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get low miles dura ace 7700 shifters, $200 sometimes less on ebay
MadBuddha1 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.