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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Budget Group Sets

Old 06-27-19, 04:20 AM
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guidogad
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Budget Group Sets

I'm contemplating to put a modern budget group set on an old bike, just for fun.
Both with my many vintage bikes and my handful of modern bikes I have never had anything equipped with less than 600/ Ultegra, Chorus or Force and usually it's Dura Ace, Record or Red - but everything I have is at least 5 years old.
Now I see budget group sets like Claris, Tiagra, or even Centaur for ridiculously low prices and I wonder if they are any good - or maybe more specific, how a 10s Tiagra from today would compare to the first 10s Dura Ace from 15 years ago?
I wouldn't be surprised if in a direct comparison test the new Tiagra would come out ahead of the old Dura Ace... or am I dreaming?
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Old 06-27-19, 07:55 AM
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I can't speak for Tiagra/Claris/etc, but I can say that I can't tell the difference between my r7000 105 and my r8000 Ultegra.
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Old 06-27-19, 08:06 AM
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The designs of the older premium tier groups probably did flow down and become the designs of the lesser groups as new tech and design was introduced to dura ace. So yes, to a large exetent, a dura ace from long ago is probably no better than tiagra or less today.

Probably as they stepped it down in tier group, materials and tolerances changed, but still, overall the lesser groups improved.

Last edited by Iride01; 06-27-19 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 06-27-19, 10:05 AM
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10s Tiagra is a very competent groupset. I upgraded my FD to a Dura Ace when I swapped frames and needed a different clamp diameter but the rest of my road bike is Tiagra 4600. I'd prefer something that doesn't have the cables flying out the sides of the shifters, but other than that, no complaints.

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Old 06-27-19, 10:18 AM
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When I read "budget," I thought the OP was talking about stuff like the Sensah Empire, where the levers + F&R derailleurs is like 120 bucks.

Yeah, the 4700 Tiagra is pretty great-- and you can get the full group, including brakes, cranks, chain, everything, for $350 on eBay all day long.
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Old 06-27-19, 10:31 AM
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It's my understanding that Tiagra 4700 has the same cable pull ratio as Shimano's 11-speed groupsets, so you could mix and match shifters or derailleurs if you want to upgrade piecemeal. I don't think you'd be able to do that with Sora and Claris.
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Old 06-27-19, 01:04 PM
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I think I can answer this question. I replaced the old 8 speed 105 groupset on my Lemond with tiagra. For comparison, I have DA7800 on my giant.
In terms of ergonomics and shifting quality there is no real difference, except that the downshifts on the front are noisier with the tiagra.
The DA crank is lighter, and I think the brakes may be a bit stiffer, but given the price the tiagra group is great value.
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Old 06-27-19, 01:49 PM
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GCN did a blind test between Dura-Ace and 105 and had trouble guessing which was which on the trainer.

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Old 06-27-19, 01:57 PM
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Oh and a complete groupset of 105 is just over $400 on ebay.
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Old 06-27-19, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 69chevy View Post
GCN did a blind test between Dura-Ace and 105 and had trouble guessing which was which on the trainer.
True but I'm willing to bet that since they didn't swap the groupsets onto the same bike each tester could tell the difference from the instant they climbed on...

I believe they tried to honestly evaluate the groupsets but certainly if you know what group you're riding by the feel of the handle bars, the saddle, the reach, etc... it has to color your opinion to some degree, right?
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Old 06-27-19, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by guidogad View Post
I'm contemplating to put a modern budget group set on an old bike, just for fun.
I did that a couple of years ago with Tiagra 4700. Works great and it was fun! 4700 is good stuff. Better than older higher end groups in my opinion. Almost as good as my 6870 Di2...
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Old 06-27-19, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for all the encouraging responses. I'll give it a go. Might even go down all the way to the latest Claris after having googled the matter a bit in the meantime. I certainly won't miss the extra gears.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
When I read "budget," I thought the OP was talking about stuff like the Sensah Empire, where the levers + F&R derailleurs is like 120 bucks.
That's what I was thinking... Sure is a shame the shifter throw is so huge; aside from that deal breaker it'd be incredible value. Gonna pull my Sensah gear off and sell it.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by guidogad View Post
Might even go down all the way to the latest Claris after having googled the matter a bit in the meantime. I certainly won't miss the extra gears.

I wouldn't - Tiagra is definitely the sweet spot; the only crap thing about it is the boat anchor crankset, while Claris is definitely relatively crappy all round.

Perfectly serviceable mind you, but if you like nice stuff it's a total yawn, while Tiagra is actually pretty sweet, especially for the money.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:23 PM
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Tiagra 4700 is a great groupset for the price
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Old 06-28-19, 09:40 PM
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Pretty safe to say, best value ever, IMO
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Old 06-29-19, 06:13 AM
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Well, that comment about Sensah got me searching and amazon came up with these.
Anyone have any experience with this stuff?
I'm thinking of pairing them with the working bits of my old 105 group and building up an old Miyata frame I have hanging in the rafters.
I can't find any info on the cable pull or anything, but they look like Microshift maybe?
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Old 06-29-19, 09:56 PM
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Yeah, definitely re-branded Microshift.
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Old 06-30-19, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Yeah, definitely re-branded Microshift.
Thanks, I think I'll get some and try them out. Ultra budget, but for a low end 80's frame, why not?
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Old 06-30-19, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
Well, that comment about Sensah got me searching and amazon came up with these.
Anyone have any experience with this stuff?
I'm thinking of pairing them with the working bits of my old 105 group and building up an old Miyata frame I have hanging in the rafters.
I can't find any info on the cable pull or anything, but they look like Microshift maybe?
I have them in 7sp and 9sp. Acetone to remove the 'wake'. They are microshift and work great.
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Old 07-01-19, 12:12 AM
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I have 105 10spd on my bike, my wife has Tiagra 10spd on hers. I find hers much easier to set up, seems to shift as well, if not better.
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