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Is ANYBODY? Satisfied with their SORA, ALEX gear.

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

Is ANYBODY? Satisfied with their SORA, ALEX gear.

Old 01-07-06, 05:31 PM
  #1  
TnDiamondback
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Is ANYBODY? Satisfied with their SORA, ALEX gear.

Alright guys, I know I'm new here but I've done a LOT of reading of the forums and I see a lot of knocks on SORA stuff, ALEX rims and so forth. Now I've only been able to ride my new Felt F90 one time so far but you know it all seems good to me, I don't feel shorted at not being able to shift from the drops, matter of fact I thought it was neat that I could shift up from the flats, just stick out a finger and flip the thumb lever, this can't be done with 105. I asked my lbs and said he doesn't ride that much in the drops and he is a high mileage cyclist, he says take care of it and it will take care of you.
WHAT makes the ALEX rims so bad? The rim? The spokes? Why do they lose their true?
Now having asked all this, does anybody PREFER the SORA shifters? My Felt has SORA front D and TIAGRA rear D, is this level of equipment really that bad or is it some snobbery also?
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Old 01-07-06, 05:34 PM
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I like my Sora just fine, and haven't had a problem with my Alex rims under my 200 lb. butt yet. There's better stuff of course, but I'm not dissatisfied with what I have.
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Old 01-07-06, 05:47 PM
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Though I've rid my bike of Alex rims for performance reasons, I don't have a bad word to say about them as they took me a lot of miles and broken surface and stayed intact and true.
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Old 01-07-06, 05:48 PM
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They're both tip-top. There is very little difference between my Sora + Alex rims, and my 105 + mavics.
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Old 01-07-06, 05:52 PM
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I don't have a full Alex wheel, but I've had no issues with my Alex DA22 rims, despite abuse and lousy roads. When you think about it, just about all aluminum rims are 6061-T6 rims...so unless they're superlight (most Alex rims are average weight), then they should have around the same strength as other Al rims...

I've a few thousand miles (mostly from commuting) on my Shimano Sora's. I go through a lot of stop lights/signs on my commute, so I shift a lot. I'm still waiting for mine to fail so I can get some higher-end Dura-Ace components (for the lighter, less effort shifting). I like having the thumb shifters when I'm on the hoods, but my thumbs aren't long enough to reach them from the drops, which I don't find to be much of a problem (unless I'm sprinting in the drops)-->still easier than down-tube shifters though...
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Old 01-07-06, 05:57 PM
  #6  
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I definately prefer the 105 stuff on my Fuji but the Sora on my touring bike is really quite solid. Having said that I plan to slowly upgarde it to 105 just because I can and I enjoy upgrading. I also prefer the ability to shift both ways from the drops because I use them quite alot. It can be annoying having to push up onto the hoods after a descent just to choose a lower gear for the flat.

I think the main weakness with Sora is the rear mech. It's cheap and a bit clunky during shifts. As long as you swap it for a Tiagra or 105 the shifting is fine.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:01 PM
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your stuff is fine, don't worry about it

people just want the fancy stuff like racers, but the other groups work

if you have trouble with the wheels I would have a shop go through and check the tension on both--I think it is the build, not the materials, that are the issue with Alex wheels

good luck
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Old 01-07-06, 06:06 PM
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My bike was Ultegra originally. They only lasted a year and a half and the shifters were junk! I used a Sora rear derailleur and shifter as I was in a pinch. I figured I'd use them for 6 months or so then replace with Dura Ace.

I bought DA stuff on sale at Supergo, real cheap at sales. Rear derailleur,$64 with no tax type sales, so I bought 2 ! Shifter $199!

I waited for almost 2 years for the Sora stuff to wearout and it wouldn't! I replaced the Sora only cause I got tired of waiting!

Kept it dialed in and there were no problems at all! I would only replace when needed, or unless you have the money! But then, you'd be a snob!LOL!
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Old 01-08-06, 06:39 AM
  #9  
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I've had no problems with a Sora/Alex combo and I've beaten the hell out of it.
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Old 01-08-06, 07:48 AM
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To wrap it all up, Yes people are satisfied with Alex rims and Sora components.
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Old 01-08-06, 09:21 AM
  #11  
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I have no experience with Sora but I had problems with the freehub on the Alex wheels that came on my Felt F65 (Felt has since dropped the Alex wheels on that model and the one below it).

Alex wheels are cheap, heavy and quality is spotty. They are also quite flexy. I replaced them with a set of wheels that are lighter, stronger and stiffer and couldn't be happier. One of the best upgrades I've made on my bike. You get what you pay for and Felt definitely cut costs by using these wheels.

I have a friend who rides a Specialized Allez and he has a combination of Sora/Tiagra and he's had problems with it shifting when he doesn't want it to. He's had it adjusted a couple times but yesterday it was skipping on him during our ride. We looked at it and I found a few links in his chain were really tight and wouldn't bend freely. We took it to a nearby bike shop and they played with it a bit and he had no more trouble with it on our ride. Maybe a new chain would fix his troubles.
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Old 01-08-06, 09:25 AM
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I've posted in other threads about this but will chime in here ...
I have two sets of Alex wheels (road bike and commuter). Never had a problem and I think they are fine. I also like the price compared to the more expensive models. I think they are a good value.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:47 AM
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I wouldn't chalk up preference for other equipment to snobbery even if it is sometimes a factor.

You can ride on any decent steel bike with bar end shifters, eat low cost food, and wear sensible, durable, clothing your entire life without having any problems. However, there's no crime in getting things that you really appreciate.

It would be difficult to argue that nonracers need high end equipment. Unless we're talking about real garbage, better equipment doesn't make you a better cyclist, it only makes you a slightly faster one.

Get what you need, but if you can afford it, get what you like.
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Old 01-08-06, 11:00 AM
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sora shifters, Yes they worked just fine and held up fine. I would have kepth them on but was given a NOS set of shimano rsx shifters in 8 speed. I am thingking about going to 105 on this bike just to keep things the same between 2 bikes. So i only have to keep one size spare chain on hand. and cut down on the number of different cassetes that are laying on the work bench. Each bike has 2 sets of rims.
I have on set of alex 400 wheels. pretty much bomb proff trued once no broken spokes. no trashed bearinggs ect.
If you have them ride them
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Old 01-08-06, 11:21 AM
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I've heard sora RD's are bad but never had one. I have had Acera, Tiagra, Alivio, and XT RD's and they all work the same if adjusted properly. I'm happy with my sora/alex Trek 1000. Works flawlessly. I think it's biggest problem is that it offends the OCP crowd.
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Old 01-08-06, 11:32 AM
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My Alex rims are bulletproof despite the fact that I weigh 275 and ride FAST on ROUGH roads. What more can be said?
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Old 01-08-06, 12:42 PM
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As for the Sora drivetrain, I've had no problems with the shifters. People here at BF have actually said that Sora is more precise than higher end shimano stuff.

All I've heard bad about Sora is that you might have to tend to the adjustments a little more often. I do seem to need to fiddle with the front derailleur quite a bit.

As for the Alex rims, I've got AT450's on my Trek 1000. After 2000 miles of abusive riding, they stayed pretty true with only some very minor adjustments. At about 2100 miles, I popped a spoke. I replaced it and it's been fine so far.

I bought my bike at a pretty high end shop where they probably check the spoke tension when they take new bikes out of the box. And that's just it. The best rims in the world won't stay true if the wheel isn't built properly. And the cheapest Alex or Sun products perform flawlessly if the wheels are built and tensioned properly.
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Old 01-08-06, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
My Alex rims are bulletproof despite the fact that I weigh 275 and ride FAST on ROUGH roads. What more can be said?
I have some bullets, mind if I test your claim.

If they are indeed bulletproof those suckers must be heavy!!!
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Old 01-08-06, 12:46 PM
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I had Alex 330s on my '03 Allez. Had all sorts of problems with the rear wheel-went out of true, popped spokes and finally cracked the rear hub, all within 2000 miles. I haven't seen 330s in a while though, could be those wheels have been phased out.
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Old 01-08-06, 01:44 PM
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Upon test riding a Sora equipped Trek 1000, the front chainring dropped the chain on the second shift. I bought a used bike with twenty year old, lower-end Shimano equipment, and have never dropped the chain after a month of use.
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Old 01-08-06, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SDRider
I have some bullets, mind if I test your claim.

If they are indeed bulletproof those suckers must be heavy!!!
These guys do test with real bullets.

http://mountainbikemilitia.com/stuff/headshok.html
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Old 01-08-06, 01:51 PM
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Ah, also I have Alex 700c x 38 rims on my commuter, they regularly stand up to curb hopping with a 208lb rider, lightly loaded with gear. After three months they are still true and work just fine for fast city riding and very light off-road.
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Old 01-08-06, 02:13 PM
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I did my initial training/weight loss on a Sora/Alex combo and had nothing but problems the first few months, but that was most likely due to its eBayness and my painfully underwhelming knowledge of bike mechanics. The wheels went out of true all the time; luckily the guys at my LBS serviced them for free since I usually bought $10 of merch while I was there. The rate of failure has leveled off considerably after I dropped the first 30 pounds, but after a nasty crash, 7 months of riding (~100 miles a week), and 30 potholes later i'll be damned lucky if those Alex rims survive another couple of months until I can move a step up in the food chain. The chain pops off about once every third ride, and if I'm on a fast descent it tends to shift to the big chainring despite my lack of a front derailleur (broke during an adjustment and I figure staying in the middle ring will help improve my cadence). Definitely not built to last, in my case.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:14 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by thebankman
Upon test riding a Sora equipped Trek 1000, the front chainring dropped the chain on the second shift. I bought a used bike with twenty year old, lower-end Shimano equipment, and have never dropped the chain after a month of use.
This is probably a problem with the limiting screws on the FD. I had the same problem with mine, it happened after I rode out of the shop. Went back, they had it fixed in two minutes. It took two minutes on the stand and a philips head screwdriver to fix. Could this not happen to a DA/Record FD just as much as a Sora piece, assuming its adjustment was far enough out of whack?

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Old 01-08-06, 05:22 PM
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I have a SORA equipped bike, but with some unknown Shimano fr. der. I like it fine, no problems. It is obviously not built as well as nicer groups, with some play in the brake levers....This is purely something that is 'annoying', but does not affect the performance at all. However, on a budget, it is a great deal.

I have no experience with Alex rims.
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