Groupsets for Bike: Shimano Tiagra vs Sora vs Shimano 105 – Which One to Choose?
The Epic Battle: Shimano 105 versus Tiagra versus Sora
To begin with, it is worth saying that the drivetrain is also called a group set. In the classic sense, the group set includes the front sprockets, connecting rods, cassette (rear sprockets), front shifter, rear shifter, rods for these shifters, chain, bushings and brakes with rotors. However, we will not take up the subject of brakes here and focus only on the drivetrain. Shimano is a Japanese manufacturer of attachments for road and mountain bikes, which occupies the lion’s share of the market, namely about 60%.
The numbers are impressive, and so is the technology used by the company’s engineers. Japanese company Shimano, today, is the largest manufacturer of transmissions for mountain and road bikes. They master new trends, such as attachments for gravel bikes. Yes, of course, the Japanese company’s products are not the only alternative, but in this article, we will compare the group sets of this particular company. Shimano 105 vs Tiagra or Tiagra vs Ultegra or maybe Shimano 105 vs Sora? Are there any other options? We should say in advance that all of them have similarities and differences, so let us take a deeper look at each of them!
Entry-Level Groupsets: Shimano Tiagra vs Sora vs Claris
The range starts with the budget Claris group, which is usually found on most cheap road bikes. Claris is an 8-speed system (eight sprockets at the rear) combined with a two- or three-star crank system upfront. The next group set is Sora, which is also mounted on entry-level bikes, the same system is 9-speed and also combined with a “double” or “triple” crank system.
Then there’s the Tiagra, a 10-speed group set with performance similar to the 105, but with savings in some parts, such as the brake pads coming in one piece, as opposed to the cartridge ones. It is very interesting to compare Shimano Sora versus Tiagra, as the price range is almost the same. The Tiagra groupset does not have disc brakes in its series, but there are out-of-series (not labeled Tiagra) RS405s, which can be considered the equivalent of the groupset.
- The 2300 group is a thing of the past, replaced by the revised Claris. Pretty weighty road equipment from Shimano. Shimano Claris is the most affordable level of road bike equipment. It is mainly used for road bikes and entry-level road bikes. Despite the low price, there is a clear shift. Minuses are quite a lot of weight of the equipment and rather simple performance and quality. Guns have full dual control (when the chain release lever on the lower sprocket is under the brake lever). In general, this equipment leaves much to be desired: design, performance, and durability. That is why it is installed on bikes quite entry-level. It is made in China. If you just want to ride road bikes, try them out, as the entry-level groupset may well satisfy that request. There are only 8 gears in this groupset, which is compensated by the presence of 3 stars at the front. However, there are compact versions of 2×8. With this drivetrain it is possible to drive on any hill, that’s why it is a good solution for beginners.
- The Shimano Sora is the next best option after the Shimano Claris groupset and has a more attractive design and lighter weight. That is why a competition like Sora vs Tiagra is better than Claris vs Sora. The crank system under the standard carriage hollowtech 2, which has a positive effect on strength and stiffness. The brakes come in a single modification of u-brakes. This is the most common linkage in touring, urban, and road bike entry-level. A great option for a very reasonable price for an entry-level road bike with 16-24 speeds. The Shimano Sora keeps your bike running smoothly with minimal adjustments. The modern Sora is designed for 9 speeds. This is the most common linkage on entry-level road bikes. Not at all quotable with racers. This group of equipment is installed on amateur road bikes and has a lot of weight, budget solutions, and materials. It works more or less well and is suitable for leisurely riding. When using the equipment of this group for private training, “dual-controls” of this group rather quickly begin to play and rattle on the roughness of the road. Manufactured in Malaysia. The 2017 Sora has been redesigned and is much prettier than in previous years, which gives it a few points if you compare its design to the Ultegra or compete Shimano Sora vs 105. The groupsets at this level are 90% close to the top level in performance, the difference is in materials and weight. Yes, there is also a difference in the quality of machining of the finished elements. It’s no secret that the accuracy of factory fitting of elements of high-quality groups is many times better than the entry-level, which is what Sora belongs to. However, in a few years, the company will improve the Sora groupset and the comparison Tiagra vs Sora will not be relevant. What was available to professionals five years ago is available to beginners today.
- Shimano Tiagra groupset review. The Shimano Tiagra opens up the middle class of road equipment. The design characteristics suitable for use in the competition are the distinguishing features of the linkage. Great for long rides and amateur-level competition. Unlike the higher-level ranges (tiagra vs 105) a little heavier, also the cassette has only 10 teeth instead of 11. This group is currently rated at 10 speeds and is positioned by the manufacturer as a group for advanced amateurs. The old Tiagra group was designed for 9 speeds. In Shimano Sora vs Tiagra competition, Tiagra has a nicer look and lighter weight than the Sora, and the look and ergonomics are not much different from the higher 105 groups. The hubs of this group will not be the best solution due to the rather simple construction. The rather massive “dual controls” give away some cheapness. However, according to the tiagra review the Tiagra shifters perform quite well even under high load conditions. The connecting rod system with an integrated axle looks very modern and does its job rather tolerably, but the carriage is frankly weak and falls into disrepair from the heavy load in less than a season. The group set is made in Malaysia, and the shifting levers for straight handlebars are made in Japan. You could say that versatility is the main goal of this level of equipment.
Shimano 105 and Ultegra Advanced Groupsets
The Shimano 105 is the most affordable quality-focused group and comes on many mid-priced roadsters. So, people always compare Shimano Tiagra vs 105.
This 11-speed group is regarded by most riders as the best combination of quality, durability, and price. Shimano Tiagra versus 105: 105 has no hydraulic brake option in the group, but as you could understand from the Shimano Tiagra review, just like the Tiagra, the RS505 handlebars are the equivalent of the Group 105 (battle of Shimano Tiagra vs Shimano 105). Shimano 105 – the line closes the middle class equipment for road bikes from Shimano.
Characterized by clear operation, high reliability. Great for people who want to try themselves in competitions on the highway, amateur triathlon. Also, this line can often be found on touring bikes. In essence, Shimano 105 vs Tiagra are the equipment of the same level with a difference only in the number of speeds (10 and 11 respectively).
The Shimano Ultegra ranks one place below the professional-level Dura-Ace group. And it is not relevant to compare Shimano Tiagra vs Ultegra. The Shimano Ultegra 11-speed group has many of the same design features as the top-of-the-line Dura-Ace and provides all the performance that most riders could ever ask for, but has a bit more weight than the Dura-Ace. Like the Dura-Ace, and unlike the Ultegra vs Tiagra the Ultegra includes separate groupsets with the Di2 electronic shifting system, as well as versions with hydraulic disc brakes, in addition to the traditional mechanical shifting and braking systems.
Dura-Ace Professional Level Groupset
Shimano Dura-Ace is the top level of the road equipment. Only the top materials are used: aircraft aluminum, titanium, carbon. The line is available in two versions, the standard, which works at the expense of cables, electronic, called Di2. Of course, the cost of equipment is very high. Shimano Dura-Ace- the flagship of the company.
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