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Shimano 105 5500 -- worth it?

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Shimano 105 5500 -- worth it?

Old 05-27-14, 01:52 PM
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ksryder
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Shimano 105 5500 -- worth it?

Assuming I can snag a 105 5500 group in good shape for a good price, any reason not to?

Background: Keeping my old '07 Trek 1000 on the road until I can afford a new bike. Thanks to Sallie Mae, it will probably quite a while until I have enough money in the new bike fund. I don't ride fast but I do a couple centuries a year, average 100-120 miles/week.

I'd like to upgrade to 105 (still using the original sora/tiagra combo it came with) but I don't want to put a whole lot of money in this bike if I don't have to. I don't need the latest and greatest, just reliable.

I've looked for deals on 5600 but I haven't found anything great -- you would think you could save some money since 5700 has been around for a while and 5800 is coming out soon but I haven't found any bargains.

Longtime lurker, first time poster. Be nice. Thanks for any insight!
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Old 05-27-14, 01:58 PM
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The problem with buying used components is the condition of the shifters, it's a real crap shoot. And it's nearly a sure bet that you'll need a new chain, cables, cable housings, bar tape, and quite possibly a new cassette.
If what you have now is working well I say save your money.
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Old 05-27-14, 02:09 PM
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ksryder, The 5500 is a good, all around entry level race group. That said, if there is no mechanical reason to replace anything you now have I'd leave the bike alone except for the usual maintenance.

Brad
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Old 05-27-14, 02:14 PM
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Used components, particularly Shimano STI brifters, are always a crap shoot as Al1943 mentioned and I certainly agree. If the shifters don't work well or die soon after, you will be sol.

Also, 5500 is 9-speed and that's two, soon to be three, generations out of date at this point. 9-speed isn't actually obsolete but is getting rarer and some parts, like its bottom brackets (V1 Octalink) are no longer common and the basic design has been dropped. I recommend you find a NOS 5600 group or save for a 5700. Check some of the UK suppliers like Wiggle, Ribble and Probikekit. You might be pleasantly surprised how affordable these components can be.

Finally, the obligatory question; are your present components broken and unusable or is this just a case of "upgradeitis? Maybe the most economical route is use what you have until it really doesn't work.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:09 PM
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Good question, I should've mentioned in the first post: I want to convert to a double. I can't remember the last time I used my little ring. We don't have any real big hills where I live. So, might as well upgrade the whole thing right (ok maybe a little upgraditis).

What I have still works but it's definitely not as snappy as it used to be plus I've always hated the reach when I'm in the drops.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:30 PM
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You could get a full groupset of new current Tiagra for $300-350 usd at Ribble. That would be comparable to the 5500 105.

Shimano Tiagra 4600 10 Spd Double Groupset at Ribble Cycles
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Old 05-27-14, 03:43 PM
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OP, if you are tight on money look at Microshift components, they are light years better than the overpriced crap that Shimano and SRAM is pushing out and their gear is very reasonably priced. I recently built up a bike using their gear and an very happy with the performance of their stuff. I am so happy that I am seriously thinking about pulling the Shimano crap off of my Trek upgrading the bike to Microshift and tossing the junk in the trash. Take a look, I think you will like what Microshift has to offer.
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Old 05-27-14, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadie1 View Post
OP, if you are tight on money look at Microshift components, they are light years better than the overpriced crap that Shimano and SRAM is pushing out and their gear is very reasonably priced. I recently built up a bike using their gear and an very happy with the performance of their stuff. I am so happy that I am seriously thinking about pulling the Shimano crap off of my Trek upgrading the bike to Microshift and tossing the junk in the trash. Take a look, I think you will like what Microshift has to offer.
Look you can even get it at high end retailers:

microSHIFT Centos Group Set - Walmart.com
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Old 05-27-14, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
You could get a full groupset of new current Tiagra for $300-350 usd at Ribble. That would be comparable to the 5500 105.

Shimano Tiagra 4600 10 Spd Double Groupset at Ribble Cycles
Excellent suggestion. Shimano's tendency to let the high line designs flow down to the "lower" groups is a huge benefit to those who don't want to pay first cabin prices. Tiagra these days may be fully equal to even 5600 of a few years ago.
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Old 05-27-14, 04:08 PM
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swapping out your tiagra and putting on used 105 should be an enjoyable experience. i'm sure it will add to your riding enjoyment for a while at least. you have my permission.
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Old 05-29-14, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, it's given me a couple things I hadn't considered. I might go with plan B: buy lottery tickets and hope for the best.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
You could get a full groupset of new current Tiagra for $300-350 usd at Ribble. That would be comparable to the 5500 105.

Shimano Tiagra 4600 10 Spd Double Groupset at Ribble Cycles

Actually better. Tiagra 4600 is 10-speed, 5500 is still the old 9-speed.
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Old 05-29-14, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Actually better. Tiagra 4600 is 10-speed, 5500 is still the old 9-speed.
Is it? Well there you go OP. Send those Brits your money!
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Old 05-29-14, 11:29 AM
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I'd pass. I have a 5500 105 crank, it's beautiful and it's held up for years... but it's also the old octalink standard and eventually you won't be able to find bottom brackets for it. Best to go with a more recent crank even if a lower level. 5500 is a beautiful group though, I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to build up a steel frame with a classic feel. Performance wise, current Tiagra is probably a better product than something over a decade old. The 5500 crank has nicer chain rings than current 105, imho, I'll give it that.
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Old 05-29-14, 03:04 PM
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I would rather have a new Sora group than the older 105 if its used. Both 9 speed, and Sora can be had for cheap
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