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Claris vs Sora vs Tiagra vs 105's???

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Claris vs Sora vs Tiagra vs 105's???

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Old 07-10-18, 04:17 PM
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Witterings
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Claris vs Sora vs Tiagra vs 105's???

As per the heading is there really that much difference between them and are they worth the extra.

I've done quite a few searches comparing one to another and a number of the results you get back are reviews that are possibly sponsored / biased towards up-selling products which is beneficial for the company so thought I'd ask the real people and everyday users for an honest opinion in here.

A lot of the comments seem to generally refer to having an extra gear and have seen things like "Tiagra's worth the jump up from Claris because of the extra gear" and "the new Tiagra is the old 105's before they jumped to 2 x 11" ... but in a market whose latest trend seems to be 1 x 11 does having 1 extra cog on the cassette make a difference when even the Claris is 2 x 8 totaling 5 more than the 1 x 11.

Where you may have the same model but with different specs / price points I'm probably more tempted to go one up from the bottom rung with Sora rather than Claris as this can often be the entry point for hydraulic rather than mechanical brakes ... but the frame's are often exactly the same just with different colours / graphics so what else might you expect jumping up from there and is the gear change really that much smoother it justifies the extra cost.
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Old 07-10-18, 04:24 PM
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People on a tight budget = Claris is good enough...nothing wrong with that, any rationale is valid as long as they are yours.
People on a little more = Tiagra is good enough...nothing wrong with that, any rationale is valid as long as they are yours.
People on a higher budget = 105 is good enough...ad nauseum.

Stick with the budget you have set for yourself and you will be fine. Hubris is a pain.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:02 PM
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There can be observable differences among them...

...in terms of materials, resulting in differences in weight, aesthetics and durability. An example of weight. Compare the weights of Tiagra 4700 and 105 5800 cranksets. The differences may be insignificant or significant to each person. I reckon Tiagra/105 is where the sweet spot is.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:29 PM
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As long as it'll provide a crisp shift each time every time, not show it's age from weather & grime, not create unwanted noise[s] ; I'll go with that brand. I've had good results with Deore that compared to the Tiagra stuff I've used.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:39 PM
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I always have a budget in mind than spend MORE than I want by usually going up a notch. I would say bite the bullet and get the 105. It really isn't that much of a jump, and gets you a great, solid group. It may inspire you to do more with the bike than you originally thought you could.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:45 PM
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I recently bought a bike on closeout that has Sora. My first thought was- I'll need to upgrade as soon as possible. I have been really happy with it. Shifting is smooth and quiet and works great. I am really impressed.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:46 PM
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I had a tiagra group of a generation ago and it was fine. Personally I would gravitate towards Claris just because I like 8 speed stuff. Of course I use 3x8 half step and granny with friction. Ymmv.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:48 PM
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imo even the worst shimanos are like xtr/DA from 10 years ago.

I'm on mtb stuff exclusively though and i did notice a big difference between the xt and xts shifters in feel and crispness, and also the sound. the xtr (best mtb shifters) are much better. but i have feeling the rest of the stuff is similar and only lighter when you go up the grades.
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Old 07-10-18, 05:54 PM
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If the opportunity arises, I would ride all those in question. I had a Sora , then bought a specialized with 105 on it. I cannot tell any real difference between them for riding , except for the extra 2 gears on the 105. Both shift well and never had a problem with the 9 speed in 13,000 miles of riding.

I do not race. Just ride for the pleasure of riding. The 105, with 11 speeds, make it a bit easier to get the cadence that is most comfortable. I do not think you can go wrong with any of those you mentioned. buy the one that fits your budget and go ride!
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Old 07-10-18, 07:26 PM
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You can always cross them. My Tiagra rear derailleur works great with both Altus, Nexus snd LX shifters, and both 8/9sp cassettes. And i use a Claris front derailleur with my current 2/3sp XT front shifter which has an mtb-only dynasys rear set-up.
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Old 07-10-18, 08:41 PM
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My wife bought a Raleigh with Claris. Shifts great. I have older 105. Shifts great. 8 speed, 10 speed, it's all in gear selection, and I've done enough single speed riding that a slightly wider range doesn't make the ride less enjoyable . It may be very slightly slower.
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Old 07-10-18, 08:46 PM
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Went from a compact-11/32 Claris to the same in 105. The 105 definitely feels a bit higher quality but they both shift perfectly well. That said, I am much happier with the 105 due to the extra three gears. Many times on Claris I found myself wishing there was a gear that split the gap between two gears that I did have. I never feel that way with 105.
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Old 07-10-18, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
You can always cross them. My Tiagra rear derailleur works great with both Altus, Nexus snd LX shifters, and both 8/9sp cassettes. And i use a Claris front derailleur with my current 2/3sp XT front shifter which has an mtb-only dynasys rear set-up.
Indeed, my Giant TCX has a Tiagra RD, Sora FD and Sora brifters. Thought I had issues with the RD but it was the cable outer casing. Shifting is crisp since I changed it. What I like about the Sora brifters is the location of the down paddle. I'm most often on the hood and I find that pushing that little paddle with my thumb is easier and pushing the bigger paddle with my fingers.
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Old 07-10-18, 09:27 PM
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I have the Tiagra 4700 on my Ribble Ultralite. I LOVE IT. It is fast. It is loud shifting in the rear and I LOVE how it sounds so clunky but firm shifting. I will upgrade bikes before I upgrade gearsets. My next bike is gonna be a Ultegra gearset. I may just jump over the 105.
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Old 07-10-18, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
As per the heading is there really that much difference between them and are they worth the extra.
No. It's mostly about bragging rights and the placebo effect.
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Old 07-10-18, 10:43 PM
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The 105 feels really nice on my newish road bike. Is it the actual shifting or the 11 speeds that makes it feel smoother? I couldn’t tell you. I wanted to get nicer components for this particular bike so I went with 105 and happy.

You can make anything work with a little practice, IMHO. I also have a $180 craigslist Centurion vintage bike with old bar ends and a 14/28 6-speed sprocket. I enjoy that one, too. It feels like I am driving an old English sports car with no synchromesh. It takes a little more skill to ease ‘er into gear but the gears engage smoothly and I keep on riding!
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Old 07-10-18, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
No. It's mostly about bragging rights and the placebo effect.
absurd.
For road bikes I have 11sp 6800 ultegra, 11sp 5800 105, 9sp ultegra/600 tricolor, 9sp mixed road/mtb touring, 9sp tiagra/105 mix, and 7sp exage sport lx with microshift levers.

1- there is a definite difference between them all. Not just in shifting, but in brakes too.
2- there is a definite difference in materials used, finish, and weight.
3- I absolutely do not select drivetrains based on bragging rights. Many components on my 7 and 9sp bikes are 25-30 years old and they are ridden regularly. While some may buy to impress, many buy to stay up on current industry trends and to stay ahead of the curve. That's no different than most product segments, actually.
4- i made my drivetrains so that the gaps between shifts are minimized when it comes to my typical sweet spot for speed and cadence. A 2x7 has huge shift gaps when it matches the gear range of a 2x11. That isnt placebo and it isnt bragging- its just math playing out in real life.
5- 2x11 has allowed for increased range on road bikes while still conforming to established cranks and limiting shift gaps. This allows more options for cyclists like mixed surface riding that was previously too difficult due to limited gearing. It also allows more cyclists to comfortably spin up inclines that they previously struggled to complete.

that's all real and beneficial for many. No bragging of placebo. Just real access to more riding routes, less bile weight, and higher quality finish.
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Old 07-11-18, 02:46 AM
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Cheers for everyone's input, I have a foot in both camps in terms of buy expensive and buy cheap .... we moved house 15 years ago and I needed a long drill for a particular purpose so bought cheap, it just about did the job I needed it to do and was destroyed at the end of it but would never have been used again since.

The bike however will probably be a keeper so I'd rather save up a bit more and buy "the right one" as hopefully I'll have many years of pleasure from it ....

I did see a comment somewhere though saying that a Sora would likely be more durable than a 105 (I guess the reasoning that they're heavier built / thicker materials) ... does anybody know if that's true as I ride in some pretty horrible conditions through the winter with wet / rain and the inevitable mud on some of the dirt tracks.
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Old 07-11-18, 03:09 AM
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Claris and Tiagra both are ok in a low budget

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Old 07-11-18, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
4- i made my drivetrains so that the gaps between shifts are minimized when it comes to my typical sweet spot for speed and cadence.
Me too! Tight cassettes and even freewheels are available for any set up, from 6 speed on up. 11 or more speeds are not required for close gaps in the sweet spot cyclists spend most of their time while riding. The gears race is ridiculous.
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Old 07-11-18, 07:33 AM
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I have both a Claris and a 105 equipped bike. The difference is quite noticeable. Certainly more noticeable than say aluminum vs carbon frames.

I'd say Claris is "good enough" for what most people (including myself) really need... but personally I'd pay the extra for 105 because that's what I would want.
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Old 07-11-18, 07:34 AM
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I've got two roadbikes on Tiagra 9-speed and one on Sora 9-speed. Quite honestly I couldn't tell the difference blindfolded, they all shift equally well, the levers feel good in the hand. The 9-speed system gives a good range of gears with close spacing, and I can't see any need for upgrading any one of them.

As to reliability all the components were second hand when I bought them, and over thousands of miles none have let me down yet.
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Old 07-11-18, 07:37 AM
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If you want to maintain a budget below the level of a NEW 105 equipped bike, have you thought of buying used?
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Old 07-11-18, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
If you want to maintain a budget below the level of a NEW 105 equipped bike, have you thought of buying used?
Yes I have done but they all seem absolutely miles away from me .... I even looked at getting the lowest in the range 2nd hand with Claris and mechanical brakes as the frames are all the same geometry with a view to upgrading to 105's over time as and when I had funds available.
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Old 07-11-18, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
I did see a comment somewhere though saying that a Sora would likely be more durable than a 105 (I guess the reasoning that they're heavier built / thicker materials) ... does anybody know if that's true as I ride in some pretty horrible conditions through the winter with wet / rain and the inevitable mud on some of the dirt tracks.
I would be shocked if this is accurate. 105 simply is mid-level and hardly some weight-weenie setup. 5800 105 brake calipers are viewed as excellent. I use a 105 rear derailleur on a gravel bike and its perfectly fine after a couple thousand miles of gravel riding with all the dust, dirt, grime, etc. 105 shifters arent fragile by any measure. They are quite solid and well made.. a 105 crank is beefy...its actually a complaint of mine with current Shimano cranks- they look too thick. Certainly no worry about durability there either.
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