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Are the higher end groupsets really worth it these days?

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Are the higher end groupsets really worth it these days?

Old 05-06-17, 09:08 AM
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Fuzzy logic, perhaps.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:12 AM
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In 2015, the main difference between Sora and Claris was 8 vs 9 speed. I tested both, and almost got a Claris bike. I ended getting a a Sora bike, but mainly to get a carbon fork.

Even for racing, if someone was starting out, they would likely be a more successful racer if they got a Claris level bike and a power meter for structured training...than if they got an 8K superbike but no power meter. The Claris shifts well enough even for that.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:16 AM
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People often comment on my "smaller" TV, and how they like that we have a "living room" that happens to have a TV, rather than a TV room in which the TV's presence dominates everything else.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings
People often comment on my "smaller" TV, and how they like that we have a "living room" that happens to have a TV, rather than a TV room in which the TV's presence dominates everything else.
I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do I like to watch it on a bigger screen. My comment regarding bigger/smaller TV's come from speaking with a number of people over the years who'd expressed that they wished they'd purchased a bigger TV. But, like buying groupsets, you buy what you can afford.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
Laser drilling, Baby. Laser drilling.

If you haven't cut down your seat post to minimum insertion, you ain't no weight weenie.

Actually you would probably be surprised to know how many ultra-light components I was willing to fork over cash for until I saw how dysfunctional they were. On that basis it just wasn't worth it. Yes, I'm talking about Tune hubs.
Right. Got that Masi under 12 now without the saw. Lots of extra Di2 cable I can get rid of too. Just cutting to cut another 300g was not worth it.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge
Just cutting to cut another 300g was not worth it.
I think we need to vote him out of "Worldwide Weight Weenies" for that remark.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
My comment regarding bigger/smaller TV's come from speaking with a number of people over the years who'd expressed that they wished they'd purchased a bigger TV. But, like buying groupsets, you buy what you can afford.
Yes. I always recommend buying as much hardware as one can afford. but More is not always Better.

If my TV was so big I couldn't fit my bikes in the room .....
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Old 05-06-17, 09:43 AM
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It is rare the A group does not work better than the B group. It is rare it is heavier. But sometimes they work the same, sometimes it is just weight, sometimes it is just finish. You have to look brand by brand, group by group.

Then there is what is important.
SRAM eTap is known to shift a wee slower than Di2. Does that matter? Like not having to route cables more than mostly noticeably faster shifts?
I hear RED is lighter, but we (had RED) are using Di2 on the light bike. 80% now is just brand loyalty.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do I like to watch it on a bigger screen. My comment regarding bigger/smaller TV's come from speaking with a number of people over the years who'd expressed that they wished they'd purchased a bigger TV. But, like buying groupsets, you buy what you can afford.
The biggest screen in our house is not used for TV.
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Old 05-06-17, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by saint mucus
I'm trying to decide on a name brand bike with Sora or an off brand bike with an almost complete Ultegra group set both bike are new. The off brand bike is a couple lbs lighter and costs a little less too.
Here's my point of view:

I'd be looking at the frame fit and quality first, then at the groupsets.

In my experience, lower speed count stuff is more robust, able to tolerate dirty(er) and worn cables and housing, (crash) misaligned RDs etc. That is 6, 7 and 8 speed being better in those terms than 9, 10 and even 11 (though cable pull was fixed even by Shimano with 11 speed road stuff and Tiagra 4700 10 speed, while SRAM had it fixed long before that, even on their 9 speed groups, Campagnolo being fine all the time as well).

This even has little to do with groupset class - especially today, with new stuff, since there's no high end groups with lower speed count offered. Speed numbers are determined with cassette and shifter (as long as RD is compatible with the shifter). You could match 8 speed shifters with (new out of the box, but older generation) Ultegra 10 speed derailleurs and probably get the best of both worlds in terms of weight and durability balance.


P.S. Frame quality, in my view again

When talking about frame quality, I'd consider:

- Frame geometry. It should fit you well. It should also match your riding style - whether you want a more relaxed ("endurance") riding position, or a more aggressive ("racing") position.
- Build quality. i.e. not being likely to brake. Manufacturer's reputation (and the length of their guarantee) and user reviews are the only way to measure it. Hard to do with observation.
- Light weight if that's important to you.

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Old 05-06-17, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
I think we need to vote him out of "Worldwide Weight Weenies" for that remark.
That climbing bike might get rewired. DA levers have 3 sockets. I could loose junction B and go straight from right lever to RD, and left lever to battery in the steer tube. That would loose the FD - which is not needed for current purpose.
That would save me junction B box, 6 connectors, 2m of wire.

Of course going to SRAM Red would save a bit too over DA Di2, but weight is not that important to me.
I think I will cut the bottom of this post. Seat has enough holes in it already.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar
P.S. Frame quality, in my view again
Absolutley ....

Thing is, once you pick the right frame ... you do sort of need to hang a groupset on it. Which leads to this next set of questions ....
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Old 05-06-17, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do I like to watch it on a bigger screen. My comment regarding bigger/smaller TV's come from speaking with a number of people over the years who'd expressed that they wished they'd purchased a bigger TV. But, like buying groupsets, you buy what you can afford.
I struggle to understand the desire for the biggest screen that you can afford. I know that the demand is real, and I've had friends with huge TV's, but I don't really get it. Some emotional component, or cultural imperative maybe? I think mine is 42", and the only reasons it's that big are the trivial price difference,comfortable from the viewing distance and to fill the space.

What I can afford is merely the upper bound, and I tend to buy the level beneath that which is logical for the purpose and no more. It could be just old-fashioned values.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I struggle to understand the desire for the biggest screen that you can afford. I know that the demand is real, and I've had friends with huge TV's, but I don't really get it. Some emotional component, or cultural imperative maybe? I think mine is 42", and the only reasons it's that big are the trivial price difference,comfortable from the viewing distance and to fill the space.

What I can afford is merely the upper bound, and I tend to buy the level beneath that which is logical for the purpose and no more. It could be just old-fashioned values.
For a computer - it is great with 4K graphics cards. I cannot take it all in, but it is like having 4 HD monitors (I had 3 before) and I turn my head. So in one area on the same screen I have what I am doing in an about 19" window. I have email in another 15" window (on laptop), specs or...Bike forums in another and trun my head.
I think as far as far as TV goes - I don't care. I listen more than watch.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Absolutley ....

Thing is, once you pick the right frame ... you do sort of need to hang a groupset on it. Which leads to this next set of questions ....
Others may have different priorities, and experience, but from my experience: one thing that is hardest and most expensive to later replace is the frame. Choosing between a better (fitting) frame and higher end components on a questionable quality (and/or fit) frame - I'd always go with the right frame.

Of course, it is understood the frame has standard mounts so groupset can be changed as desired later on, if "upgrade" or "downgrade" is wanted. Any exotic stuff, like fixed seat post, etc. should be avoided IMO.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:17 AM
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For those of us who do enjoy a good movie or TV show I love having a big screen and surround sound. I am far from an audio/videophile, but once I got used to this theatre-type set-up I could never go back to just a small tv.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006
For those of us who do enjoy a good movie or TV show I love having a big screen and surround sound. I am far from an audio/videophile, but once I got used to this theatre-type set-up I could never go back to just a small tv.
For most things, it's about finding the optimum. Would a 100" TV be fine? How about 200"? Or more? Depending on one's taste, budget, room size, wall size and usual viewing distance, "optimal" size (range) varies - but there always is the optimum.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge
For a computer - it is great with 4K graphics cards. I cannot take it all in, but it is like having 4 HD monitors (I had 3 before) and I turn my head. So in one area on the same screen I have what I am doing in an about 19" window. I have email in another 15" window (on laptop), specs or...Bike forums in another and trun my head.
I think as far as far as TV goes - I don't care. I listen more than watch.
I understand for coding. I need space for at a minimum the IDE and output, also a text editor, command shell etc, and bigger is better. I need multiple displays. I just don't get it for a TV.
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Old 05-06-17, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton
I understand for coding. I need space for at a minimum the IDE and output, also a text editor, command shell etc, and bigger is better. I need multiple displays. I just don't get it for a TV.
It makes a difference.

Why have people gone to movie theaters all these years? The difference in experience of watching a HD movie on a big 65" tv vs a 32" is pretty massive.
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Old 05-06-17, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar
P.S. Frame quality, in my view again

When talking about frame quality, I'd consider:

- Frame geometry. It should fit you well. It should also match your riding style - whether you want a more relaxed ("endurance") riding position, or a more aggressive ("racing") position.
- Build quality. i.e. not being likely to brake. Manufacturer's reputation (and the length of their guarantee) and user reviews are the only way to measure it. Hard to do with observation.
- Light weight if that's important to you.
The off brand bike I wouldn't be able to ride first but I do have the specs of my current frame (though be it a hybrid) to compare it to. The name brand bike (Specialized Allez) is my other choice and as lame as it may be the reason I like it over other other big name brands in that price range is it's the most visually appealing to me. Here's the off brand bike https://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/s...78_-1___204687 no way to know who the frame maker is but I came across a review that someone bought a carbon frame Cavalo and Nashbar forgot to remove the Fuji tag or label from the frame.
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Old 05-06-17, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch
I'm afraid weight is not a function; it's a measured quality.

Lighter may be more efficiently functional, but unless you've actually calculated the amount of effort required to acquire a lighter bike (the watts you spend working to earn the money and going to the trouble to make the exchange, and the cost of lost opportunities - i.e., better ways of spending your time than looking for the best price on the lightest group), you can't say that effort saved by the lighter bike is "worth it" without placing a value on something other than functional efficiency. I don't think anyone would bother worrying about weight if they couldn't perceive the difference.

We aren't soulless machines; we can't escape aesthetic appeal. If someone says Dura-ace isn't worth the extra cost to them because it's a stupid name and "Tiagra" sounds cooler anyhow, who are we to argue?
I would never argue.
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Old 05-06-17, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
If I could ride a 300-lb bike and it was as fast up and down hills a 13-lb bike .... then cost would be the decider. Or aesthetics.

For some people the only “perceived” benefit is the benefit they perceive when they can cite a lighter overall weight.

As far as that’s a bunch of .... unnecessary lightweight parts, if you will.

How can you calculate how much energy went into shopping? If you look at three options, but only look at two most of the time ... do you even calculate the “watts” spent looking at the third? If you spend an hour looking at choice A, and hour looking at choice B, and buy choice C on impulse in one minute .... how do you calculate watts per unit of shopping?

Suppose you look at two parts extensively online but when you get to the bike shop you see something you like better ... how do you calculate the watt/unit of shopping? Does driving time and fuel get factored in?

If it is really cold one day and you shop online, do you calculate the cost of heating, versus a day when you didn’t need to run the heat while shopping online?

If you spend energy looking for the best price on the lightest group but spend and equal amount of time looking for the best price on the most “functional” group are the watts/unit of shopping equal?

And the best part? So ... if function is not a measured quantity, it is basically imaginary. It is a personally determined value. So ... the ultra-light parts Can be even more “functional” because functionality is not a measured quantity.

The first part of your post looks like an ill-conceived attack on people with the disease of weight-weenieism.

The people need our compassion, and our support. Please don’t belittle them. Imagine their suffering, knowing that the moment they lay out huge money for a lightweight part, someone else could produce something even lighter.

Using similar logic, if a person prefers one part over another because the part is .00000347 grams lighter ......
Not sure if you're making my point or arguing against it there, but for what it's worth, here are a couple of clarifications to what I was saying, in case anyone else is confused.

I didn't say functionality is not a quality, I said weight is not a function. Function is what something does, which it may do regardless of whether it was made to do so, and which it may do more or less well (a quality we call functionality). Weight (or rather mass), on the other hand, is a property of the thing itself, which can only be measured when the thing is not doing anything. It may sometimes affect functionality, but it is never something that it does.

To actually calculate the additional watts required in order to buy a lighter bike would certainly be ridiculous. The point, however, was that in order to claim that a lighter bike is worth some amount of money because of the watts it saves, one has to know what's on the other side of the equation in the same terms - how many watts does it take to get it? The money is just the means of making the exchange. Any other way of determining functional value would be arbitrary - as much a matter of personal preference as color.
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Old 05-06-17, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
New Sora is as good as 4700 Tiagra and new 105 is about as good as Ultegra, I'd say. each generation, the "good stuff" moves down a level.

I'd say Ultegra 6800 is better than Tiagra 4600 but not a Lot better. Less effort to shift up front, that's about it. it looks a lot cooler and weighs less .... and costs a lot more.
I guess I would also agree to this to a point. I have never ridden the Tiagra years ago to know what it rode like way back then and now. What I have done is ridden the 105 and Ultegra and never the Dura Ace. The Dura just isn't worth the Money IMHO. I know the adjustable trim feature on the Ultegra has trickled down to the 105. The 105 has always been the work beast so to speak. On other items like bottom brackets and chains it really might not be worth the high initial cost and works better to just replace it more often or the bottom bracket ultergra might not last any longer than a 105 or Tiagra bottom bracket jut difference in weight for each component. It might all come down to whether you are a weight weenie or not. I am not. One trend that I don't really like is the fad of going for more gears. I would be happy with just 10 speeds. The more gears you get on the cassette the thinner they are. Each group set that moves ups makes the older ones to find. Not a parts guy but I would guess that the 7 speed and 8 speed are harder to find now. Soon the 9 speed will probably follow that.

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Old 05-06-17, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Zurichman2
I guess I would also agree to this to a point. I have never ridden the Tiagra years ago to know what it rode like way back then and now. What I have done is ridden the 105 and Ultegra and never the Dura Ace. The Dura just isn't worth the Money IMHO. I know the adjustable trim feature on the Ultegra has trickled down to the 105. The 105 has always been the work beast so to speak. On other items like bottom brackets and chains it really might not be worth the high initial cost and works better to just replace it more often or the bottom bracket ultergra might not last any longer than a 105 or Tiagra bottom bracket jut difference in weight for each component. It might all come down to whether you are a weight weenie or not. I am not. One trend that I don't really like is the fad of going for more gears. I would be happy with just 10 speeds. The more gears you get on the cassette the thinner they are. Each group set that moves ups makes the older ones to find. Not a parts guy but I would guess that the 7 speed and 8 speed are harder to find now. Soon the 9 speed will probably follow that.

Zman
Generally agree, just a few "notes"

I think 10 and 11 speed sprockets are both 1.6 mm thick, just that 11 speed ones are more tightly spaced.

Shimano Claris is a relatively new, relatively widely available 8 speed road groupset. As for 7 speeds, yes, both STI levers and freehubs are a bit less easily available.

I'd rate Sora as a workhorse group, for derailleurs at least.
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Old 05-06-17, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by vinuneuro
My first bike was a used 2007 Specialized Tricross with Tiagra. I don't remember the shifting being anything special. Next road bike was my current Diverge which came with Ultegra 6800. Recently went to check out a few year old bike with Sora for a friend and was completely blown away at how good the shifting was. I know carbon bikes mostly only come with 105 or higher, and the higher end are lighter. But man if I had to build a bike today, while I'd probably go for 105, I'd be perfectly happy to use Tiagra or even Sora. It's shocking how good Shimano's lower end components are these days.
Shimano has come pretty close to perfecting mechanical cable shifting. Shifting across tight ratio road cassettes has never especially challenging however.

Ever since the introduction of hyperglide ramps and superglide rings to a lesser degree, shimano shifting has been essentially perfect in every component group. Their elite tier groups have always a been a bit faster, smoother and quieter, but even their lower end groups usually shifted perfectly even under load.

Then again, are there any subpar shifting groups these days? Not really. Shimano is the smoothest and most refined but a lot of people prefer the more engaging shifting characteristics of SRAM and Campy.
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