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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finding a lot of opinions on Sora out there, but I am trying to narrow it down to one single measurement; performance. I know Sora is heavier, less prestigous, less sightly, and probably won't last as long as 105. Let's assume for the moment I don't care too much about these factors. Lets assume that price and performance are my primary concerns. Right now I'm considering the Iron Horse Triumph Sport for $399 or the Iron Horse Triumph Comp for $699, both are at rscycle.com. The Comp upgrades to 105\Tiagra. That extra $300 has to make good sense to me right now. So, I need to cut through any snobbery that may surround Sora and find out if I am going to notice a "real" difference between it and 105. But I know that I need to provide a little history in order for anyone to comment.

I am a returning rider who has had RSX, Ultegra and Veloce. I never really had a beef with any of them. They all did their job. Now, I know I'm only going to ride a few times a week, maybe 20-30 miles each time. I know that I am not going to be entering any centuries any time soon. I probably won't even ride with other people. I just want to get out and do some riding.

I'm not too concerned about the weight of Sora because, hell, I'm carrying an extra 20 lbs myself right now. What do I care about ounces! Image\prestige? Ehhhhh! Finally, it doesn't have to last forever, but I don't want it to fall apart after 2000 miles either. Most importantly, I want it to do what I tell it to, when I tell it. I don't want to fight with the shifting.....ever!

So, would Sora perform acceptably? Would 105 perform "noticeably" better than Sora?

Any comments are welcome.
 

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Ti me up
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Sora is decent stuff. I certainly don't think you're going to have any problems with it, given the type of riding you describe. And once you get used to Sora's thumbshifters and want to upgrade, you're already set for the switch to Campy! :)

Seriously, though, I took a quick look at the rscycle web site, because I'm having trouble focusing on work this afternoon, and I have to say that if I was going to buy one of the $399 bikes, I'd probably go with the Tommaso, rather than the Iron Horse. Basically the same specs, except you get clipless pedals with the Tommaso, and the name sounds like an exotic Italian brand. Besides, it's red, which everybody knows is the fastest color.

[Edit] Oh, and to add one more thing - I said for what you're using it for, the $399 would probably be a decent starter bike, and you can always upgrade if you find yourself doing more of it, but the one thing I might be cautious of with the lower end models is the brakes. I've heard many people call those Tektro brakes real crap. So if you do much in the way of steep downhills, I'd solicit opinions from people who've actually used the Tektros.
 

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Two things I would say - 1. How much more of a financial inconvience is the extra money for the 105 equiped bike? 2. The shifting will probably be equal in the beginning, but the Sora will go out of whack faster,. Truth be told, while you say you do not worry about weight, the thing is that you will find Sora to be much, much heavier than 105 (which may not be a bad thing, just something to consider).
 

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As long as you are looking for opinions Sora, being lower on the Shimano scale, it's a bit below my, "acceptable tradeoff, " limit. 105 is demonstrably better and worth the difference in price. Ergonomically it's better. That makes shifting easier. Now that I've given you my opinion, go get any bike and just ride it.

Oh, and I put nearly 2000 miles on a 2004 Giant OCR2 with Tektro brakes and Shimano Tiagra shifters. I had no problems with the brakes, whatsoever. I d0 all my own maintainence on my bikes and the quality of the brakes is equal to Shimano's low end stuff. Actually I like the fact that there is competition in components beyond the 800lb gorilla. That's another topic altogether, though.:rolleyes:
 

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gone biking...
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I have about 4 years of experience with Sora. It would actually shift on it's own when I got out of the saddle or when climbing - giving me a "slipping" feeling, and this would force me to sit back down to adjust again (EXTREMELY ANNOYING!).

I would often take it to the LBS to get a "tune-up", and for maybe the first couple of rides it would shift nicely, but after that it would be out of whack again.

Sora is 8spd.
 

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Bottom line for me (my preference), Sora shifting sucks in comparison to 105. Not as smooth, a bit clunky... do the upgrade, less maintenance and 105 will last lots longer.
 

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I don't like the levers on the Sora, you can't shift when you're in the drops. Look at a compromise, find a bike with all Tiagra all Tiagra/105. Tiagra is the next step up from Sora. Check out www.PerformanceBike.com, I bought my bike at a heck of a sale last fall, Tiagra/105 9 speed, with shippiing, about $500 and lifetime adjustments if you are near one of their stores.

I'm not sure about upgrading but if you went with all Tiagra, I'm sure down the road you can upgrade to 105.
 

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I agree with Lawrence - my old Cannondale was full Tiagra, which I bought because you get the advantage of the more expensive levers without having to pay through the nose for them. Sora has that little thumb button which I didn't like very much when I first saw it.

My bike has probably done in excess of 10,000kms on the same groupset, and is used as a commuter every day. I've finally got to the point where the chain and rings don't really fit properly, but even with the extreme wear it's all still changing gear OK, so unless you're a real thug when it comes to shifting then the lower level stuff will certainly last.

Admittedly I'm now using campag, but that's a whole other discussion... :)
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Agreed

lawrence said:
I don't like the levers on the Sora, you can't shift when you're in the drops. Look at a compromise, find a bike with all Tiagra all Tiagra/105. Tiagra is the next step up from Sora. Check out www.PerformanceBike.com, I bought my bike at a heck of a sale last fall, Tiagra/105 9 speed, with shippiing, about $500 and lifetime adjustments if you are near one of their stores.

I'm not sure about upgrading but if you went with all Tiagra, I'm sure down the road you can upgrade to 105.

I had Sora initially on my bike, and it's okay, but as my riding progressed and I bought a cyclocross bike. I noticed that the 105 group on the cross bike shifted MUCH nicer than the Sora group, consequently I just upgraded my road bike to 105. It shifts a lot better and it's much easier to shift from different positions on the bars. If you could get it for only 300 more, I would spend it in a heartbeat, but that's my .02 cents for whatever it's worth.
 

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Drop the $

I had Sora on my cross bike and wasn't very impressed w/ the shifting performance. Adequate, but not real good shifting under load. I believe that the 105 will keep you happy for 'long, long' time and last a lifetime. My biggest beef was the shifter buttons for the cable-releasing shifts on the Sora. I don't have small hands, but couldn't use them on the drops.

Another thing to consider is you'll get other goodies for the $, esp. the butted frame, alloy steerer tube and splined BB. There could be other unmentioned upgrades such as headset, tires, handlebar/stem.


Triumph Sport:

Frame: SEMI-COMPACT ALLOY ROAD FRAME, 1 1/8" INTEGRATED HEADTUBE
Fork: CARBON W/CHROMOLY STEERER
Front Derailleur: SHIMANO 2203
Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO SORA
Shifters: SHIMANO SORA DUAL CONTROL STI
Brakes Levers: SORA STI, PLUS TEKTRO CYCLOCROSS
Brakes: TEKTRO ROAD
Chain: SHIMANO HG-50
Crankset: TRUVATIV ISOFLOW ROAD
Cassette: 12/24, 8 Speed
Pedals: WELLGO PLATFORM ALLOY W/ TOE STRAPS

Bottom Bracket: TRUVATIV CARTRIDGE
Headset: INTEGRATED ALLOY
Saddle: SELLE ROYAL VIPER
Seat Post: ALLOY MICRO ADJUST
Handlebar: ALLOY OVERSIZE
Grips: BLACK
Stem: ALLOY OVERSIZE
Tires: VITTORIA ZAFFIRO 700X25CM
Wheelset: ALEX 32H ALLOY BLACK W/ MACHINED SIDEWALLS
Weight:
Color: BLUE or SILVER

Triumph Comp:

Frame: SEMI-COMPACT BUTTED ALLOY ROAD FRAME, 1 1/8" INTEGRATED HEADTUBE
Fork: CARBON W/ ALLOY STEERER
Front Derailleur: SHIMANO TIAGRA
Rear Derailleur: SHIMANO 105
Shifters: SHIMANO 105 DUAL CONTROL STI
Brakes Levers: 105 STI, PLUS TEKTRO CYCLOCROSS
Brakes: TEKTRO ROAD
Chain: SHIMANO HG-73
Crankset: TRUVATIV ISOFLOW ROAD POWERSPLINE
Cassette: SUNRACE 9 SPEED, 11124
Pedals: WELLGO M919 CLIPLESS

Bottom Bracket: TRUVATIV POWERSPLINE
Headset: INTEGRATED ALLOY
Saddle: SELLE ROYAL VIPER
Seat Post: ALLOY MICRO ADJUST
Handlebar: ALLOY OVERSIZE
Grips: BLACK
Stem: TRUVATIV XR OVERSIZE
Tires: VITTORIA ZAFFIRO 700X25MM
Wheelset: ALEX 32H ALLOY BLACK W/ MACHINED SIDEWALLS
Weight:
Color: RED
 

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Go 105...

Choosing between Sora and 105, go with the 105. Have you looked at anything with Tiagra shifters? The Tiagras function much like the 105s, but with a slight weight penalty.

I saw that someone else hit upon this earlier in the thread - ergonomics. You can't shift Sora levers from the drops which can be a hindrance if you spend any time in the drops.

Lastly, durability. Sora has more plastic parts and isn't too long lasting. I've replaced many more Sora levers on customers' bikes than Tiagra and 105 combined.

Just my 2 cents...:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sora is out, 105 is in!

Okay, so I have decided to pass on Sora, and Tiagra for that matter (there really isn't that big a price difference between a Tigra and 105 bike anyway). So, I'm pretty focused on a 2006 Trek 1500 at my LBS for $1,049 (out the door) or a 2005 Schwinn Fastback Comp online for $799 (delivered). They are both similarly equipped, except the FB has carbon seatstays, and the 1500 has an Ultegra rear. Also, the FB is full 105, which means the brakes are all 105, whereas on the Trek they are Tektro (or similar). There are other minor differences too, but I'm not too sure if they matter that much. The wheels look pretty comparable.

So, buying online vs. LBS aside, from a pure equipment\machine and cost\benefit point of view, which bike would you get?
 
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