Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my situation. I'm 42 and getting back to cycling after 11 years. I currently ride a 19?? Centurion with Shimano 600 components. I have no idea where Shimano 600 components fell in the Shimano spectrum back when my bike was new, but everything works well and is solid. There's nothing really wrong with the bike, but 11 years ago, I did have a hankering to get a new bike. Now I've decided that after I put 500 miles on the bike I'll start shopping. My wife won't object too hard to me spending around $800.

So, $800 at any of the LBS gets me an Allez, or a Sequoia, or a Trek (?), and I even found a Fuji, maybe even a Giant. However, these all have Sora components, and the talk on these forums leads me to believe that I may not be happy with these. To move up to Tiagra is generally another $3-400. I don't want to spend more simply because of marketing.

Is Sora that bad? What's so bad about it? I am not looking to race, just mostly 20-30 mile rides and maybe a couple of centuries a year. How long should I expect Sora to last if well maintained and is ridden for 2-3000 miles a year?

Thanks for any info.
 

· Two scoops of inertia.
Joined
·
530 Posts
what you don't know won't kill you? I've started out with a trek 1000 that has served me faithfully for a year and hopefully will for many more. A few months of posting here put me in some serious buyers remorse and I was wishing that I'd spent more and gotten better components than I had, but they work. My rear derailleur has survived a number of falls, my front derailleur has been fine since I aligned it. Nothing fancy, but no big complaints considering I don't race. Add to that you will probably be spending quite a bit of money around the bike other than the bike. A good saddle, a good handlebar, pedals to your liking, clothing. That $3-400 can go pretty quickly.

What you will find is that at that pricepoint other components will be low rent as well. I've come to understand there is a tradeoff with the durability of nicer stuff so I don't care much that I don't have the best gear. Also Sora has been stepped up to 9-speed this year, though it may not come on bikes yet.

Besides that keep in mind with the bigger names you are paying for brand equity. I'd consider looking at some other brands to see how far your money can go.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
I've found (from working on many of my friends bikes and from being an ex bike mechanic) that the 8 speed Sora suffered the worst on the front shifting. I believe this is a chainring issue, not a derailleur or shifter issue and replacing the cheap steel chainrings on Sora (or cheap house brand) cranksets will greatly enhance its performance. It seems to work well otherwise.

Having not worked on 9 speed Sora, I don't know if it suffers from the same front shifting issues.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My plan is to ease into some of the other expenses with my current bike. Pedals are the next purchase, and they will simply transfer to the new bike.

I don't expect to suffer from buyer's remorse as long as I am satisfied with what I have. If the test rides don't wow me, I'll stick with what I have and keep saving. I'd be perfectly happy going with a lesser known brand. The trouble is, that locally (Wichita, KS), there seems to be a Specialized stores, Trek stores, Giant stores, etc. I did find some Fujis at one store, but the choices were still between the $800 intro/Sora bike and the $2500 higher end bike. Stores have to stock what they believe will sell, so I don't begrudge them. I do want to make sure I get a bike that fits, so I do want to go local.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

· Two scoops of inertia.
Joined
·
530 Posts
hooray double post...

My front derailleur shifted like crap for 10 months because I hadn't been around bikes enough to recognize that the FD was ~10 degrees out of alignment for near 11 months. After I was able to correct it according to other bikes I saw, it's been a lot better. I can see where there would be room for improvment in consistency and response though.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I started with a Sora-equipped Sequoia and the main things that started to bug me about it were:

1) Chain rubbing on front derailleur in some gear combos, and no trimming adjustment to correct it (no, I was not cross-chaining).

2) Generally poor front shifting performance; constantly tweaking cable adjuster, etc.

3) The little thumb lever for upshifting is hard to operate from the drops.

Over the winter I upgraded the drivetrain to 105 10-speed components and it was like having a new bike when I got out and rode it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
If you look around you can find a 105 equipped bike for around $850. That said, I have sora on my commuter and I find it works very well so far but I have flat bar shifters, I have read a lot of complaints about how the standard shifters work.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
I think that 99% of shifting issues relate to setup and not the component group. If the dérailleurs are Sora, they will serve you well. If the shifters are Sora, you need to be mindful that they shift differently than the other STI offerings by using a thumb lever and a finger lever. Personally, I prefer the Sora levers in the winter when wearing gloves. FWIW, the current Sora shifters do trim between gears.

BTW, Sora components are not any less durable than higher level groups. They differ in weight and "precision feeling." If anything, they handle difficult conditions and abuse better due to looser tolerances. (I use them on my winter ride for that reason) Consider the many tens of thousands of miles that tourers but on bikes with inexpensive Deore rear dérailleurs .
 

· hail to the redskins
Joined
·
54 Posts
I bought a used Trek 1000 with Sora components last summer, and have put about 1300 miles on it. I always wonder what it would be like to have 105's, or to have a full carbon bike. But the reality is that the 1000 with its Sora is a great bike, and I am totally happy with it. When I am honest with myself, I can see no justification to buy a better bike.
BTW, the stock saddle is garbage. You will need to get a new one.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
Your old bike has Shimano 600, and that is the equivalent of todays ultegra. The 600 probably is good on your old bike, it is on mine. Those shifters were tremendous. You are used to good shifting, so pass on the sora and tiagra. You will need the 105 or Ultegra. Just do it and you will never think about it again. You wont think about it because your shifts will be effortless, and your cycling will be very enjoyable.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Pre-STI (Integrated shift/brake levers) 600 should not be compared to modern Ultegra. While 600 was one step down from Dura-Ace just like modern Ultegra, that is where the similarities end. Today's components shift more crisply, accurately, and reliably. So it would be a misnomer to say that you would need to buy 105 or higher to compare with your old 600. The only thing old 600 would have over modern component groups is durability (as would most older 7 speed systems).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
I have an 07 Allez Triple with Sora that now has well over 2000 miles on it. It shifts well but I do get FD rubbing with one grear combo when I'm in the middle ring. I can adjust it so happens with either the highest or lowest gear, and I just make a point of skipping that gear, no biggie. With a bit of practice I can hit the thumb triggers from within the drops, too.

I would suggest riding the Allez around the parking lot a bit and if you're immediately offended by the shifting quality, save for something better. But I'm guessing you will be very happy with Sora.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies. They have been very helpful.

My plan now is to keep piling the miles on my current bike. This is mostly to prove to myself that I can stick with it. The last time I rode seriously, I didn't have a wife, two kids (plus one on the way), a mortgage, and a lot of other things to take my time...

One thing I did notice in looking closer at the Allez and Sequoia is that they do use Tiagra RD with a SRAM cassette, but still use the Sora shifters. Maybe this is an attempt to compensate for shifting problems? Maybe it's just to keep the price down.

When the time comes, I'll ride a wide range, including those bikes I definitely can not afford. If I'm not impressed with the affordable, I'll keep saving and stick with what I have.

I did see a Lemond when at a LBS Saturday, but it was well out of my price range. They do look like a good value, though.
 

· Two scoops of inertia.
Joined
·
530 Posts
dadwhobikes said:
One thing I did notice in looking closer at the Allez and Sequoia is that they do use Tiagra RD with a SRAM cassette, but still use the Sora shifters. Maybe this is an attempt to compensate for shifting problems? Maybe it's just to keep the price down.

I did see a Lemond when at a LBS Saturday, but it was well out of my price range. They do look like a good value, though.
The sora mix is pretty common. At first ride with no experience and no ability to compare set up, I was much more impressed with the tiagra rear derailleur than the sora rear derailleur. That was part of my motivation to get the trek over an equivalent jamis ventura that had all sora parts leave the 2200 front derailleur.
 

· (not a real racer)
Joined
·
484 Posts
I ride a Cannondale that came with a Tiagra/Sora mix and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm a recreational rider and I usually do 20-50 mile rides. Haven't had a problem with my components yet although I do keep everything well adjusted. I was kinda skeptical of the Tiagra/Sora stuff but like I said I'm pretty happy with it.
 

· Descender
Joined
·
2,213 Posts
Use the time you are saving money to scout deals at your LBS and the internet. You can do better for the money you are talking about or maybe a little more, than Sora

There will be some deals at the end of this year on 08 models as the
09's are launched.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top