Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

105, Tiagra, Sora, Claris...Help!

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

105, Tiagra, Sora, Claris...Help!

Old 01-07-16, 08:09 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 30

Bikes: Giant Escape 3 Jamis Renegade Expat

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
105, Tiagra, Sora, Claris...Help!

I posted yesterday about upgrading to a new road bike and what type of bike I should be looking at for the type of riding I want to do. I think I'm on the right track with that search. Next question is every bike shop has their own opinion on group sets. One shop says claris would be sufficient, another says anything above sora, and one said I should not even think about buying anything under 105. I test rode a sora equipped bike and it shifted alot better than my current Giant Escape. Would a new rider notice the difference between them? I want to buy a decent bike that will last for a while, but money is tight with a son in college and another one to follow shortly. Also I'm sure a new road bike will be coming in the future for my wife. Thanks for helping a new guy with some questions!
jmls1994 is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 08:32 AM
  #2  
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
It's usually good policy, in my opinion, to buy the best components you can afford, up to the point at which diminishing returns make the increase in cost greater than the increase in performance.

I think you'd notice the differences in use, but the steps up between groups aren't huge. The new 105 group is excellent, but the Tiagra group has also been upgraded and is very good quality. If you can afford the Tiagra without depriving your wife of the new bike, that's probably the sweet spot in terms of value. But if not, Sora or even Claris will do a job for you.
chasm54 is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 08:34 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 15,280

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2934 Post(s)
Liked 341 Times in 228 Posts
Is it worth it for 105 or better is a value judgment, subjective. But if you're concerned that there is some flaw that you'll regret with Claris and Sora, those are what I have. I chose Sora on the bike I built a few years ago, with Claris rear derailleur, and I've had no issues. Actually I upgraded the rear DR to Claris, originally with a lower end Shimano MTB DR, and added used Sora brifters. I have probably 20K miles on that bike, daily rides.

It depends on how much upgrade you want, but from the standpoint of reliability and durability Sora is fine.
wphamilton is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 08:34 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
NYMXer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 1,495

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix EVO w Hi-Mod frame, Raleigh Tamland 1 and Giant Anthem X

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
I was a beginner only 5 months ago and because I had no idea if I would really like cycling enough to ride for months, let alone years, I bought a cheap road bike from bikes direct. It cost $400 and has the Sora gearset. It is alum framed, weight is around 27 pounds and entry level. That bike let me ride with the "A" group in our local club of over 250 members.

Once I decided that I was hooked on cycling and it was for me, I bought what was supposed to be a "better" bike, a Cannondale SuperSix EVO with the High Mod carbon frame, 105 gear set, fancy rims and tires, blah.... The end result was that I was only as good as my conditioning and the bike really didn't make much of a difference. Sure it was lighter, had better components and wheels but those parts did not make me better or faster.

So, I would suggest that you buy the best frame that suits and fits you and upgrade components as you have money and enthusiasm. The best part of the bike is the rider, then the components. Buy the best that you can comfortably afford and the rest should take care of itself.

With my eyes closed and not seeing what components are on a beginner bike, they are all good and will work fine for you. Now, this may not be true for a real inexpensive bike from a retail chain with a cheap 7 speed cassette, crappy brakes and wheels. Use your best judgement to get the best value for your money. I think the whole shifter upgrade concept is over rated at the beginner level. Get a decent bike and ride it, especially with others who have been riding for a while. You will learn a lot from them and your experiences and can then use that knowledge to upgrade your bike to suit your needs and riding level.
NYMXer is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 09:41 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 540

Bikes: Novarra Randonee 2016, Trek Verve 2 2015

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by NYMXer
...

With my eyes closed and not seeing what components are on a beginner bike, they are all good and will work fine for you. Now, this may not be true for a real inexpensive bike from a retail chain with a cheap 7 speed cassette, crappy brakes and wheels. Use your best judgement to get the best value for your money. I think the whole shifter upgrade concept is over rated at the beginner level. Get a decent bike and ride it, especially with others who have been riding for a while. You will learn a lot from them and your experiences and can then use that knowledge to upgrade your bike to suit your needs and riding level.
Word!

I (still) have a 1999 Diamondback Parkway with a Shimano Altus RD (equivalent to today's Tourney most likely). The LBS wrench declined to put too much effort because 'it's an old bike with a lot of plastic parts'...

A neighbor helped me adjust the FD/RD and it's changing gears so smoothly, it is imperceptible (except the granny gear when shifted in with the middle chainring... it does it with a resounding 'crack'... but then the rear cogset was changed to a 34T).

Now my son is riding the bike in college and all I care is that it lasts until Graduation day in May 2017, but even cheap components work well with a little TLC.
GerryinHouston is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 09:51 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
avidone1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: still above ground
Posts: 1,066

Bikes: 2016 Specialized crosstrail comp disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by chasm54
It's usually good policy, in my opinion, to buy the best components you can afford, up to the point at which diminishing returns make the increase in cost greater than the increase in performance.

.
I agree. There are intangibles such as personal pride in your ride etc. Some people have no emotional connection to their bikes, but those who do, want it to satisfy some psychic itch. And among this group there are different paths to this deeply personal satisfaction. For some it's building their own. For others it's having the "name". Still others, have modified their bike to personalize it. But regardless of your passion, IN GENERAL starting with the best components is a sound approach. I say 'in general' because there is a segment who get great satisfaction by waving 'bye bye' to the guys in sponsor kit riding the top of line Italian road machine whilst they themselves are riding a vintage Schwinn 10 speed (I really envy those guys)
avidone1 is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 09:55 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Oldguyonoldbike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 839

Bikes: Casati Laser, Colnago Tecnos, Ciöcc Exige, Black Mountain Cycles Road

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 177 Times in 78 Posts
Claris and Sora will both work fine and are durable. With the new Tiagra (4700) and 105 the shifting will be slightly faster, but maybe not enough faster for you to notice if you're not riding very aggressively. The weight also decreases as you move up the food chain, but again, depending on how much climbing you do, you may not notice. Tiagra is 10 speed and 105 is 11 speed, so the jumps between gears are smaller; shifting is therefore smoother. Another thing to bear in mind is, if you think you may upgrade wheels in the future, most performance wheels are made for 10/11 speed cassettes.
Oldguyonoldbike is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 10:02 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
NYMXer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 1,495

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix EVO w Hi-Mod frame, Raleigh Tamland 1 and Giant Anthem X

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by avidone1
I say 'in general' because there is a segment who get great satisfaction by waving 'bye bye' to the guys in sponsor kit riding the top of line Italian road machine whilst they themselves are riding a vintage Schwinn 10 speed (I really envy those guys)
When I finally made my way up to the "B" group and working hard to make the "A" transition, I had a lot of personal pride in my ability to pass more experienced riders on bikes costing over 10 X's what mine cost. Some would scoff at first, but later make a remark and I would smile and ask "do you want to trade bikes, because it's always the bike"?

Now that I am on a so called better bike, the smile is not as cherished because, again.... they all think that it is about the bike.
NYMXer is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 10:37 AM
  #9  
George Krpan
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Westlake Village, California
Posts: 1,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Claris is good stuff if 8 speed is ok for you. Sora is 9 speed, Tiagra 10 speed, and 105 11 speed. 10 or 11 has some real advantages if you're doing pack rides. There's less shifting of the front chainrings which might make the difference in getting dropped.

I have Claris on two bikes and I love it. The crank is a boat anchor with it's steel chainrings but it performs well. Claris looks really good with it's gray finish.

Do not buy Sora without the inner shift lever, impossible to shift from the drops.
GeoKrpan is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 10:56 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 5,853
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1788 Post(s)
Liked 1,660 Times in 948 Posts
Buying a bike and upgrading can be costly, especially from the lower end (Claris, Sora) to anything higher up the Shimano food chain. From 105 up to Dura Ace everything is 11 speed and the new Tiagra even though it is 10 speed shares the same newer cable pull for brakes and derailleurs that the 11 speed groups do. My vote would be for Tiagra, it is really nice quality, very well finished and an upgrade to 11 speed would only involve new shifters, not like Claris and Sora which would require basically a whole new component group to get to the Tiagra level
alcjphil is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 11:28 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
ramzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fernandina Beach FL
Posts: 3,602

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles, Tange, Ishiwata, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 700 Post(s)
Liked 318 Times in 248 Posts
IMHO bikes really break down into three things in order of importance. 1. wheels & tires, 2. frame, 3. components. Give me a really good wheelset & frame and, I really don't care that much about components.
ramzilla is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 11:31 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Southern Appalachians
Posts: 453

Bikes: A hauler, a commuter, and a steamroller.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by jmls1994
I test rode a sora equipped bike and it shifted alot better than my current Giant Escape.
I have an escape 2 (8-speed Altus, step up from the 3, but quite similar) and a 9-speed Sora-equipped Crossrip.

Both shift about equally fine, provided they are in adjustment. If anything, I'd give the ease of use nod to the Altus trigger shifters, just because it is so easy to fat finger the smaller shift lever on the Sora brifters (and go up rather than down - not what you want on a climb!). I tested at least one 8 speed MTB of similar recent vintage, and it wasn't markedly different from the Altus.

My guess is the LBS recommendations differ based on subtle variations of your description of how you'll be riding. Sora (or Claris) will get you there, and if you're on a budget I wouldn't even think of upgrading a groupset on a new bike.
ph0rk is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 12:13 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,055
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
I have a Fuji Newest aluminum bike with the old 8-speed Sora. The bike has a little over 23,000 miles on it, and I still ride it often. My experience with Sora 8-speed triple gearing has been good. It shifts well, does not require frequent adjustments, and is reliable.
doctor j is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 12:44 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
bmthom.gis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,980

Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4 Rival; 2014 Cannondale Trail 7 29; 1972 Schwinn Suburban, 1996 Proflex 756, 1987(?) Peugeot, Dahon Speed P8; 1979 Raleigh Competition GS; 1995 Stumpjumper M2 FS, 1978 Raleigh Sports, Schwinn Prologue

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
I had a bike with Tiagra a few years ago. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. It really all just works off of trickle down technology. This years 105 will likely become next years Tiagra. Sora works fine, too. As I am sure Claris does. I'd say unless you have a lot of money to burn, there is no reason to look into anything higher than 105, and the rest comes down to your own personal budget and desires.
bmthom.gis is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 01:32 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 30,225

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1572 Post(s)
Liked 642 Times in 363 Posts
How thinly can you slice the baloney?

Six road groups! I used to think that I had to move up or down 2 groups before I could subjectively sense any difference. As Shimano continues to add new group sets I'm not so sure about that anymore. I would probably have to move up or down 3 groups. I'm not saying there's zero difference, I'm just saying that the degree of difference can be pretty fine. Meanwhile the price, as you move up the food chain, increases exponentially.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 01:40 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 23,208
Mentioned: 89 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18883 Post(s)
Liked 10,644 Times in 6,053 Posts
The obvious differences everyone thinks about are: more expensive groupsets shift better and weigh less. As a general rule, with some exceptions. Not as obvious, the shifters have different shapes. So do peoples' hands. Best to check them out before you make any decisions if you can.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 01:46 PM
  #17  
Bad example
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Seattle and Reims
Posts: 2,925
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 775 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 20 Posts
Another point in favor of the 105 is that it has the least-ridiculous name.
Aubergine is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 03:25 PM
  #18  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 30

Bikes: Giant Escape 3 Jamis Renegade Expat

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow. Sure a lot of bike knowledge around here! A lot of great info. to ponder. Sounds like I really can't go wrong with any of them. I'm going to go ride a few and see what feels the best. The budget look like sora - tiagra. At the end of the day I may just pick which shop treats me the best.
jmls1994 is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 03:47 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 496

Bikes: Volagi Viaje (rando/gravel/tour), Cannondale Slice 4 (tri/TT), Motobecane Fantom PLUS X9 (plus tires MTB)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 97 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My wife has a Sora bike. She doesn't ride a lot or very hard, and she's not very heavy. Seems to work great for her.

My personal opinion is that anything Tiagra and above will probably give good service. Some riders tend to be hard on certain parts - if that's true for you, then something might wear out that you replace eventually. I'm hard on rear wheels; the Tiagra bike I had gave me excellent service for 4 years except I had to upgrade the rear wheel. (PS, in case you don't know, they weren't officially "Tiagra" wheels but they were consistent with that price level).
Even so, buying a Tiagra bike and then upgrading the rear wheel was a lot less expensive than upgrading the whole component group would have been.

I also have two 105 bikes. They might shift just a bit smoother, or it might just be my imagination. Nothing has worn out on either one of them.

If you can easily afford 105, do it.
Otherwise get whatever is in your "comfortable" price range; and maybe you will have to upgrade the one part that bothers you someday; very possibly you won't.
alathIN is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 03:55 PM
  #20  
blah blah blah
 
milkbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If I was on an extremely tight budget, I would be perfectly fine with Claris. And I shift my gears a lot more often than most people I ride with.
milkbaby is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 05:05 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Carlsbad, North County San Diego, CA
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Definitely 105 at the least. Ultegra is the sweet spot though.
radsmd is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 05:38 PM
  #22  
Some Guy on the Road
 
Wittyname's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: 614
Posts: 423

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot, Trek Domane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
3500ish miles last year on a Claris-equipped Crossrip, grand total of 0 issues with the group set. Just got a new-to-me bike with Sora, commuted on it today with no issues

Buy the bike you can afford and that makes you want to ride. Everything beyond that is peanuts
Wittyname is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 05:39 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,865

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2952 Post(s)
Liked 3,105 Times in 1,417 Posts
I just bought a Tiagra mini-group for my son's bike and I'm really impressed with it. It certainly won't hold anyone back.
caloso is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 07:48 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,719
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My these days minimum is Tiagra. 105 is really my in a practical sense sweet spot, but I prefer Ultegra. My current primary road bike is a couple year old Tiagra equipped Cannondale...purchased because the deal was too good to pass up...but the couple of components I've upgraded are Ultegra. Cost difference vice 105 was minimal. Next bike, prolly this coming season, will most likely be Ultegra equipped.

Last edited by ltxi; 01-07-16 at 07:51 PM.
ltxi is offline  
Old 01-07-16, 08:22 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
GravelMN's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Rural Minnesota
Posts: 1,604
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I find that 105 is the break point where increasing cost outpaces increases in performance. Honestly, any of the modern entry level groups works as well or better than even the mid-level groups of a few years back.
GravelMN is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.