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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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And now for something completely different

In this price range, you should strongly consider buying a 3-4 year old used bike. You will get much better components and frame, and for your intended use, you will be way ahead.
 

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Kant phuckin sphell
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No, I think a 105 bike is just fine. I would stay away from the Sora, that stuff is junk.

But, be really careful of a "105 equipped" bike. Make sure everything is 105 or better! Sometimes companies will try to put some real junky parts (usually the most important stuff - like wheelsets) on a bike that only has 105 where the untrained eye would look first, like shifters and rear derailleur.

I would get a nice vintage steel bike. They ride nice are easy to learn how to work on, and they hold there value really well. Look on ebay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's funny you should mention that. I've been keeping my eye out for a Schwinn Peloton for a long time, but I just can't seem to find one. I had a 99 Peloton w\Ultegra before and it was very nice. I would say it was my favorite out of the three bikes that I've had. It's too bad 853 has virtually disappeared in recent years.

Thanks for the other comments. I have noticed that some "105" bikes do come with rather cut-rate wheelsets, and often times Tiagra pieces. Sheisters!
 

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say no to Sora and Tiagra, IMO

I had a 2004 Trek 1000 with Sora 8-speed for a year. It worked ok and still does work ok (I sold this bike to a friend about 1 year ago) but I would *not* buy Sora or Tiagra equipped bike unless I was counting every penny. The brakes on Sora was simply unsafe at any speed above 15mph. D/A pads improved it a bit but still remained quite poor. The number of times the chain comes off is very high. The gear shift is quite slow and clunky. And it is very heavy compared to full 105. The Tiagra is not much better. Also avoid. Also beware of bikes that advertise they have 105 but when you take a closer look you see that they have some Tiagra or Sora components thrown in with 105.

So, buy new 10-speed 105 and be happy. It is a reliable and race-ready group set that should last a long time.

With Campag brand you should buy at least Veloce-10 or better yet a Centaur-10. Avoid the lower groups like Mirage etc. They will all work ok but you will quickly out-grow them.

Generally, you get what you have paid for.
 

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Personally I would avoid the Sora group if possible. It is a major step down from other Shimano road stuff. Most agree that 105 or better is great stuff- better than most riders will ever need. Tiagra is interesting. The later (post STI) stuff appears to be very similar to earlier 105 gear. I have had later Tiagra shifters and FD. The shifters were fine, though not as crisp as 105's. The Tiagra FD was decent at first, but did not seem to age well.

Personally- If you can find one, a great deal on a properly sized, well-maintained used bike is clearly your best value. Check out local LBS's for leads. If you buy new- go 105 if you can afford it. If it's Sora or no bike, go Sora.
 

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Resident Dutchbag
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If you don't want to fight with the shifting, forget about the Sora. The front is clunky and the back goes out of tune rapidly, if it tunes at all. The shifters are actually quite good when hooked up with more upline derailleurs, at least the rear is. Ergonomics aren't all that good although reach can be shortened to fit smaller hands. For the extra money between the bikes there should be more than just the difference between Sora and 105, $300 extra should buy you better wheels and or saddle and bars and tires etc. as well.
 

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I also agree with most of the previous posts, Sora (8sp sora) is really junky. I ride with people that have everything from Sora to DA/Record, and the sora is nasty stuff. Tiagra looks good, and a friend has an almost full tiagra specialized Allez, and with one or two nice components on it (carbon post, nice frame), his bike really performs/weighs the same as my 105 bike. I think/hope that my 105 will last longer than his Tiagra. Last time I looked at all the groups, you really could see a major difference between Sora and Tiagra (in design/functionality), but the same couldnt be said from there up (this has changed a little as these new cranks filter down the line now).

In conclusion, in order of spending money, I'd say.

1) Cheapest - buy second hand fullv105 or Ultegra.
2) Buy new full new tiagra
3) Buy new 105

Interestingly, I found a comparison table online, and it said that 9sp 105 vs 9sp DA, only has a difference of 472 grams, so 105 is actually pretty good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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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im assuming the 2006 trek has the new shimano 10speed vs the 2005 schwinn having last years 105 9 speed.

something to think about.
 

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Low end Shimano is a mess right now. You have 8 speed Sora, 9 speed Tiagra, and both 9 and 10 speed 105 (first year for 105 10).

I don't know you at all so I can't say, however I know I wouldn't be happy knowing I was buying recently obsoleted stuff. Problem is that about the cheapest you'll find a 105 10 speed bike for is $1300.

So I say screw it all and buy Campagnolo Veloce or Centuar and be done with it! :D
 
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