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Mountain vs Road (Components)

Old 02-16-09, 07:24 AM
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SharpStone30888
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Mountain vs Road (Components)

I have been looking at the Trek FX 7.3 and the Specialized Sirrus Sport.

The Trek FX 7.3 has mainly components which are termed 'mountain' (e.g. shimano deore).

The Specialized Sirrus Sport has components mainly Shimano Sora, which is termed Road components on the Shimano website.

What is better, Im leaning towards the sirrus sport because I like the more aggressive road geometry and the fact that it has road specific components as I would rather a more flat-bar road than a hybrid (FX).

What is the actual difference between these components (the deore/sora, or whatever their equivalents are???)

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 02-16-09, 07:31 AM
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In general terms... mtn components generally offer you lowering gearing than road components. So if you are going to be carrying a lot of weight and doing a lot of climbing, the lower gear range may be good. But if you plan on using the bike for recreational or group rides as well, probably not.

Somebody else can weigh in on where the deore ranks, because I know very little about the mtn component groups, but sora comes in at the bottom of the barrel on the road side.
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Old 02-16-09, 07:49 AM
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I've heard before (i.e. from other threads on this forum) that tiagra ranks about even with deore - I'm not quite sure of the difference though, as I believe (for instance) that Sora shifters are compatible with Deore derailleurs, etc.
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Old 02-16-09, 07:59 AM
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Thanks guys.

Whats better value for money? Sora or Deore?

I like the fact that the road ones have more aggressive gearing.

Chris
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Old 02-16-09, 08:43 AM
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If you're already active in a team sport, or you run at least middling distances, the higher gearing on road components is an advantage. Not a huge one, since a lot of newer riders tend to ride in a much higher gear than they should. Mashing and standing on the pedals a lot reduces your power output, and is pretty tiring to boot. This is also a common source of knee injuries.

If you're not very active, or haven't been doing much cardio for a few years, you're better off with mountain gearing. Even if you're spending all your time in a too high gear, you can't make it as much too high, which saves your knees a little. And if you can bear to gear down a bit, you'll have a lot more room at the low end for handling cargo or climbing big hills seated.
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Old 02-16-09, 10:02 AM
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The gearing on Specialized Sirrus Sport is not at all lacking in the low range. It appear to have triple chainrings of 48, 38, and 28 teeth and rear cassette ranging from 12 to 25 teeth. Believe me, this has plenty low-range gear ratios for practically any road riding you could do. It is hardly "aggressive" at all, really.

I have Sora triple (52, 42, 30 and a 12-26 cassette), live in the hills and never use the smallest chainring. You'll be fine. It shifts well if it's tuned and you let up on the pedals a bit while shifting. The derailleurs on Sora triple will rub a bit if you cross-chain, but it has "trim" so you can half-click the front under these circumstances to eliminate the rub.

A better question might be whether you really want a flat bar bike. I know a few folks who started with flat bar and ultimately went to a bike with road bars once they realized what they really needed.
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Old 02-16-09, 10:06 AM
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The main reason road bikes cost more than mountain bikes at the low end is because there is not comparable road group to the altus-alivo-tourney line of cheap mtb components.

To say that Tiagra or Sora is comparable to Deore is fairly correct.
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Old 02-16-09, 10:12 AM
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I'd say that the components listed for those two bikes are the least of their differences.
The Trek looks like a big mountain bike with slicks. The Specialized seems like a flat bar road bike. A test ride of both would reveal the true story.
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Old 02-16-09, 10:50 AM
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How each is categorized doesn't really matter. The geometry is mostly similar between similar sizes, but the Sirrus tends to have a bit shorter wheelbase as it looks like the Trek has a slacker head tube angle. So the Sirrus may feel a bit edgier handling-wise. If it comes with skinnier tires I would expect it to feel somewhat faster on a test ride.

I'd ride both and see what you think. Either bike would be fine for tooling around, running errands, commuting, etc. However, if you're after something for long, fast rides on the road, save up a bit more and/or buy used and get a road bike with drops.

I wouldn't really factor the components into your decision at this price range; just buy whichever is more fun to ride.
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Old 02-16-09, 10:52 AM
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The short answer is that I don't know what makes a "road" component vs a "mountain component"

I do know that both Deore and Sora are entry level component groups that will probably be fine. I agree that there are bigger differences in the bikes that you should use to make your decision.


My MTB currently has a Tiagra long cage derailleur on it which is a road component. My winter road bike has an old mountain rear derailleur and cassette.

If I remember right the hierarchy goes something like this for MTN:

Deore
Deore LX
SLX
Deore XT
XTR

For road groups it's like this:

Sora
Tiagra
105
Ultegra
Dura Ace

I know I'm leaving out some
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Old 02-16-09, 12:34 PM
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Road components are generally designed for bikes with drop bars and skinny tires with narrow clearances. Thus you have brake-lever shifters (or barcons or downtubes if you're a retroweeny like me), side pull brakes, and higher gearing.

Mountain components consist of shifters that work with straight bars, V or cantilever brakes, and lower gearing.

Personally, I wish more road bikes had lower gearing. There's no real reason to have a 52 or 53 tooth chainring unless you are racing in a 40mph peloten or wishing to scream down hills at 50.
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Old 02-16-09, 01:57 PM
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My wife has a 2005 Sirrus and my dad has a 2005 Trek 7300FX (pretty much the same as the 7.3 FX). Both bikes have the same triple crankset (48/38/28) but the Sirrus came with a road cassette (12/25) whereas the Trek came with a MTB cassette (11/32). The Sirrus thus has slightly higher lowend gearing but closer spacing between those gears. Because of the 11T rear cog, the Trek has high end gearing similar to many road bikes (a 48-11 combo is slightly higher than a 52-12).

The Trek frame is "beefier" than the Sirrus most notably due to the reinforcement near the headtube. The wheels are heavier duty on the Trek as well.

The Trek uses MTB style V-brakes whereas the Sirrus has mini-V's. Becuase of this, you can run wider tires than on the Sirrus (something to be considered if you want wide tires and fenders).

Basically, the Sirrus is closer to a road bike and the Trek is closer to a MTB. The Sirrus costs (or it did when I was looking) significantly more as road bikes tend to do. Having ridden both (for short rides only), either would make a great commuter with the Sirrus having the slight advantage in my opinion only because I think the Trek is slightly over-built for a road-only bike.
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Old 02-16-09, 04:34 PM
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One difference in the gearing aspect is the REAR DERAILLEUR-

Road RDER's are usually spec'd at a 27T maximum cog size (although they can often handle 30T), while a "Mountain" RDER handles up to a 34T cog.
Next-
Chain wrap capacity-
That's the difference between your largest & smallest chain rings PLUS the difference between your largest & smallest cogs.
"Road cassettes" are typically around a 12-25 or so, while mountain cassettes can be 11-34. That's a 13T difference vs 23T difference.
A road "double" will be somewhat less than a triple of either "ilk", while triples will be similar at around 20-22T.
So the chain wrap required for a "mountain" RDER runs as much as 45T, while a "road" triple would be about 35T.
"Road" RDER's typically have a wrap capacity of 37T OR LESS, depending on the version.
You can always put a "road" cassette on a MB, but the opposite probably won't work.

You'll see the terms short, medium & long "cage" used, regarding RDER's. "GENERALLY", the 1st two are road types and the last is a mountain type.
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Old 02-16-09, 06:13 PM
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It says on the website that the rear derallieur of the sirrus is a sora long cage? is that the mountain one, like you mentioned Bill.

Chris
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Old 02-17-09, 02:37 AM
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Heere's where the nomenclature gets somewhat confusing-
A "long cage " road DER is really a medium cage. It has enough extra chain wrap to handle a triple with a road cassette, but not a mountain cassette.

Shimano tech docs can give you some specs- use the "SI" docs for your Sora etal questions=

http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp
http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830614952.pdf

The SS has a wrap of 31T or less, while the GS (longer) is 37T or less.
They both specify a max cog size of 27T.
Shimano is a little conservative, and users have reported using up to 30T cogs. I wouldn't push the wrap capacity by a T or 2.
Looking at the 09 Sport, it appears to be a 28/38/48 with a 12-25 cassette.
That's a wrap of 33T.
You could probably go to a 30T max cassette, which would be a wrap of 38.
However, the only 8 speed cassettes I see with a 30T large cog have an 11T small cog. That adds 1T of wrap to the equation. At that point, you would need your chain length properly adjusted and things might still be getting a little sloppy.
Unless you have severe hills, I would think a 28T largest cog would probably be sufficient and save pushing the limit.
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