Need help. New to cycling. shimano components don't match

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Gunfrost, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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    I bought a specialized allez A1 it has shimano sora components. The derailer is tiagra and says 9 speed. There is only 8 rear cogs. I want to get the bike upgraded to 105s. Can I change one part at a time such as rear derailer and cogs. Then front derailer. Then flight deck. Or do I have to change flight deck and derailer at the same time? Also can I change brake calipers without changing flight deck? I paid 325 for the bike. Thanks and forgive my ignorance.
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can change any of those parts one at a time.
     
  3. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Depends on how you plan to upgrade - new components vs. older components - and what functionality you want to retain, specifically FlightDeck.

    Your right Sora shifter is "hard coded" for 8-speed. Regardless of the derailleur on the back, the shifter has 8 specific "detent" positions to control uptake and release of cable. Those detent positions are matched to the spacing between cogs in the cassette. The rear derailleur is pretty much just along for the ride - all it has to do is be able to travel far enough to reach from one end of the cassette to the other. IOW the components are part of an integrated system. There is some flexibility to mix and match components, but you'll need to identify what series of Shimano 105 (older vs. new) you want to get to, then plan around that.

    Older versions of 105 were 9-speed. Newer versions are 10-speed. FlightDeck computers and wiring harnesses for each are specific. Maintaining FDeck functionality throughout the upgrade will most likely require you to replace shift/brake levers and compatible FDeck components all at the same time. This will be the most expensive part of the upgrade (generally - an eBay unbelieve-a-deal aside). The newest version of 105 shifters are designed for different spring rates in the front and rear derailleurs, so for optimized performance you should match series within 105, but mixed series do function. You will also need a narrower chain to work with tighter cog spacing in a 9 or 10 speed cassette. For front derailleur, you can swap but know where you're going with crank/left shifter - double vs. triple.

    Upgrading brake calipers will not affect your FDeck operation.

    In general, the newer the version of 105 that you target, the easier it will be to source matching components. Most likely it will also increase the cost of your conversion. What you want to do really isn't all that difficult .. there are just a few series compatibility nuances that you need to keep in mind. The other option is to acquire the parts over time, but wait to do the install until you've pulled a full group together. If you aren't mechanically inclined and able to do this upgrade yourself, then it would be more economical to acquire the full 105 group and have an LBS install everything at the same time.
     
  4. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Your wording suggests that you are referring to your (¿SORA?) SHIFTERS as the "flight deck" ...

    Is THAT correct OR are you referring to the computer as sitzmark is presuming?

    • If you are simply referring to the bike's computer, then you do not need to replace it as the only thing which will be gain, AFAIK, is the cog/chainwheel indicator will be have 10-instead-of-9 chainring indicators.

    • If you are referring to the shifters, then you need to know that the label is merely an indication that the shifters have the interface to allow you to connect a FlightDeck computer harness.

    BTW. I am not certain that you will achieve a significant improvement in your bike's responsiveness by making the changes to 105 components which you have suggested.

    SHIMANO drivetrains do require BOTH the front derailleur type AND chain type to match the shifter type to operate well -- functionality is compromised if, for example, a 9-speed chain is used with 8-speed shifters, etc.
     
  5. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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    I was talking about the shifter though I am wanting a computer also. I bought the bike to see if I will enjoy riding. I want to get back into shape. I also figuredof I do like it I will nee more prone to dropping some cash on a nicer bike. do you guys think I should hold off on upgrades, ride this for this year then sell as is. Paid 325.00 did I do ok
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Although you may have already set aside a certain amount for a better bike if you enjoyed riding your SPECIALIZED ALLEZ A1, I think that you should consider NOT replacing the current bike until you have logged EITHER ~2000 miles OR 3 years of ownership (VERY arbitrary benchmarks), whichever comes first ...

    Single Speed, 3-speed, 7-speed, 8-speed, 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed?

    • the only type I haven't ridden is an 11-speed ...
    • MY preference is for 9-speed drivetrains mostly because 'I' don't perceive an advantage having 10 Cogs in the rear & I don't have that many 8-speed Cassettes ... in other words, it's mostly a matter of the contents of my toolbox between having 8-speed & 9-speeds on the bike

    THAT's not to say that an 11-speed drivetrain won't be what YOU want in a year or two ...

    AND, if you anticipate THAT being the case, then it is another reason why you will want to wait because 11-speed drivetrains will be the new-norm on (mid-range & high end) bikes in a couple of years ...

    AND/OR, 11-speed 105 drivetrain components will be readily available for you to upgrade your bike with ...

    • at that point in time, you will be able to decide if any component changes/upgrades are worth it or, if you are satisfied with the way your bike's components function
    [*] OR, if you want to pony up for a new bike

    BTW. The aesthetic considerations cannot be ignored with regard to cycling equipment ... and, could be a valid reason to ignore the arbitrary benchmarks which I suggested ... nonetheless, what looks "good" today may seem to have been a dubious what-was-I-thinking choice a few years down the road.
     
  7. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    If you don't have the Shimano FlightDeck computer (and don't want one) then your upgrade path is less complex.

    As alfeng noted, FlightDeck is Shimano's proprietary cyclocomputer that integrates into FD compatible shifters to give you on-screen display of gear selection in addition to typical parameters of aftermarket cyclocomputers. After market can be much less expensive or much more expensive depending on what functionality you want. If a visual indicator of gear selection is what you want, you'll need the FDeck computer with 105 to get that - there used to be a kluggy in-line cable indicator, but I don't know if they are still available (or if they actually worked).

    If you shop carefully and patiently, you can assemble a full 105 group for less than the cost of buying it as a package with a bike. You need to be good at shopping, however. Otherwise, you will spend more upgrading piecemeal. If you shop well, you can assemble your 105 group now and transfer it to a different frame and wheelset later.

    My suggestion about upgrading is to understand what you want that you don't have now. Lighter overall bike ... more gears ... different gear ratios ... less rolling resistance ... more aerodynamic ... sexier design/tubing/paint ... better fit ... Once you know what you want, then start the upgrade process - either by selecting a pre-assembled package (whole new bike) or in stages working toward specific objectives. Pre-assembled packages are relatively cookie-cutter to keep cost in check at the lower/mid range. That said, you can buy off-the-shelf bikes up to $10,000+ with more and more bells/whistles to suit your fancy. Really comes down to what you want and how much value you ascribe to specific things.

    I'm not keyed into Specialized (new or pre-owned) so I can't give you an informed answer about how you did, but for a late model ALLEZ with base level components, $325 is probably somewhere around 50% off a comparable new bike. Can you get $325 back out of it? Probably somewhere about that if it is in excellent condition. The key is if the bike fits you and you don't have any maintenance/repair, etc. to do. If that is the case, and your out-the-door cost for exploring cycling is $325, then that's a pretty good deal - especially if you can recover 75%-100% of your investment if you decide cycling isn't for you.

    Enjoy and have fun!
     
  8. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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    I took the bike out for a maiden voyage yesterday. It ran pretty good may meed a tune up. We did basically 10 miles in an hour. I could sell it on a local classified for what I paid in a day or less. There is a great little second hand shop that has both new and used components. Shimano 105 bake calipers for 15.00 a little older I think. Older shimano 105 tear derailleur 15.00. 20-40 for front derailleur 105/ultagra. they have new and used cogs. I have not seen shifters. I will probably run as is for a while.
     
  9. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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  10. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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    forgot to mention. 8 rear cogs and triple crank
     
  11. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    So what is the problem you're trying to solve?
     
  12. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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    Got it figured out. Had a rear derailleur that was a nine speed but only had a 8 speed rear cog. Shifters are only compatible with an 8 speed. Thanks though.
     
  13. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I'm not exactly sure what you think that you "figured out" ...

    FYI. 8-speed & 9-speed Shimano rear derailleurs are interchangeable.
     
  14. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Congrats - looks like you have a good clean bike to explore cycling with.

    The "9" on the derailleur means nothing - the rear derailleur goes where it is told to go by the shifter. "9" is a marketing thing - just means it will span the distance of a 9 cog cassette. (It will also span a Shimano 10 speed and Shimano 8 speed cassette because they are all the same width - just different number of cogs and between-cog spacing.) What needs to be "matched" is the number of cogs on the rear cassette and the number of detents in the shifter ... 8 and 8 - so you're good.

    Are you experiencing shifting problems?
     
  15. Gunfrost

    Gunfrost New Member

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    I an pretty sure it is a tune up thing. I did not know the rear was interchangeable until one of the other guys said that.
     
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