newbie with shimano issues



DNAtsol

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Sep 5, 2007
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Hi all,

Here I am finally riding regularly and of course that leads me to thinking about better components, getting a road bike as well as my current MTB..... you know, typical male "I want better stuff" mentality.

Currently I'm trying to understand derauliers and the different "models" shimano and Campy put out. As far as I can figure, the higher the price the lighter the parts. Obviously this make a difference in racing but I'm not really in a racing form (and do not anticipate being in one for quite some time :D). So what else am I missing here? For example, what might be important for me to consider when comparing a Shimano TY-23 and a shimano SIS (I used these examples as my wife and I are considering buying a tandem and these are some the the differences between 2 models we are considering).

Thanks for any insight. I'm getting quite bogged down in all the techspeak and not finding any real answers from bike shops or the shimano corp site.
 

neilkod

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Sep 8, 2003
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People may flame me for this but here goes: I went from 105 gruppo to Dura-Ace (well except for my front der. which is Ultegra) and I don't notice too much of a difference. When the bike was brand new and the cables were super-tight, the shifting was definitely snappier. However, once everything has broken in, it all feels the same.

I understand that the Dura-Ace and the Ultegra components are more serviceable, whereas with the lower-end group, you need to replace components if something goes wrong

Disclaimer
#1 - I'm not a gram-counter
#2 - I didn't set out to buy a Dura-Ace bike, but the Ultegra line (Tarmac Expert) was sold out nationwide so I went up a level(Tarmac Pro).
 

DNAtsol

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Sep 5, 2007
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neilkod said:
People may flame me for this but here goes: ...
Disclaimer
#1 - I'm not a gram-counter
#2 - I didn't set out to buy a Dura-Ace bike, but the Ultegra line (Tarmac Expert) was sold out nationwide so I went up a level(Tarmac Pro).
No flaming from me :D! As I tell my students over and over "while there may be no such thing as a stupid question, stupid answers and defensiveness tend to come from people who are insecure" :p
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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neilkod said:
People may flame me for this but here goes: I went from 105 gruppo to Dura-Ace (well except for my front der. which is Ultegra) and I don't notice too much of a difference. When the bike was brand new and the cables were super-tight, the shifting was definitely snappier. However, once everything has broken in, it all feels the same.

I understand that the Dura-Ace and the Ultegra components are more serviceable, whereas with the lower-end group, you need to replace components if something goes wrong

Disclaimer
#1 - I'm not a gram-counter
#2 - I didn't set out to buy a Dura-Ace bike, but the Ultegra line (Tarmac Expert) was sold out nationwide so I went up a level(Tarmac Pro).
DA and Ultegra are not really more servicable than the lower end components. The biggest difference is that the 105. Ultegra, and DA Components tend to last longer as they caontain less plastic parts which are commonly used in the lower end component lines to reduce costs. The lowerr end components work well for the weekend riders, but everyday riders may end up wearing them out fairly quickly.

The big differences between 105, Ultegra, and DA is a little bit of weight and better aesthetic appeal on the Ultegra and DA. Some people say that thier Ultegra shifts better than the 105, and that the DA shifts better than the Ultegra. In my own experience, the DA shifts only very slightly better than tha 105 and no better than the Ultegra. I don't think that a newbie would be able to feel the difference. Save yourself some money and go with the 105 or Ultegra and you will probably be happy with the performance. Just remember, having a bile that fits is more important than the bicycle components.

Incidently, the component groups mentioned above are primarily for road bikes. I really cannot address MTB Components.
 

DNAtsol

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Sep 5, 2007
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kdelong said:
.... The biggest difference is that the 105. Ultegra, and DA Components tend to last longer as they caontain less plastic parts which are commonly used in the lower end component lines to reduce costs. The lowerr end components work well for the weekend riders, but everyday riders may end up wearing them out fairly quickly. ...
Great! This is is just the kind of thing I'm trying to learn about. When you say lower end components would wear up faster, is there a mileage number you had in mind? I'm currently 3-4 day/week rider (~8-10mi rides) and only had my longest ride of 17+ mile this weekend so I'm thinking the bike might be ready for replacement before individual components at my level of riding :p but I do plan to keep adding more mileage each month so by next summer I'm in the 20-25mi/day range.
 

jan_nienaber

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Feb 23, 2005
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DNAtsol said:
When you say lower end components would wear up faster, is there a mileage number you had in mind?
Hello DNAtsol,

Perhaps this might give you some idea of what lifetime you can expect:

I'm riding a 15-year old Specialized Allez Epic - the one with the carbon tubes and Aluminum lugs. I bought it from someone else about 2 years ago.

The bike is equipped with original 105 components throughout (even the hubs). I added 105 clipless SPD pedals myself. The gears and brakes are original stuff - the headset, cables, chain and the chainrings were replaced several times (plus the pedals as I mentioned). I think the brake calipers are the first generation of 105's that had the dual-pivot brakes.

I am currently putting about 300 - 400 kilometers per month on it. I have no reason to believe that the previous owner treated it like a "Garage Queen" - he was a real Roadie, I can tell one when I meet one!

The gears shift perfectly, brakes work fine, everything works GREAT! My (very humble) opinion is that the difference between 105, Ultegra and DA is mainly weight and finish. Someone else mentioned in a different thread that the longevity of the higher-end components might actually be less than 105 / 600 (I'm old enough to recall that Ultegra used to be called the 600 series back in the 80's) due to lighter components being used (I dunno if it is true, so don't flame me).

So I reckon with proper care, you don't have to get anything else for the next 15 years at least ;-). Frankly, I am more worried about my frame coming apart - I love the old Specialized frame and the way it feels. I have no idea if I will ever be able to replace that if the lug glue or carbon layering eventually fails one day!

Jan in BC, Canada
 

DNAtsol

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Sep 5, 2007
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jan_nienaber said:
I'm riding a 15-year old Specialized Allez Epic - the one with the carbon tubes and Aluminum lugs. I bought it from someone else about 2 years ago.
...
I am currently putting about 300 - 400 kilometers per month on it. I have no reason to believe that the previous owner treated it like a "Garage Queen" - he was a real Roadie, I can tell one when I meet one!
....
So I reckon with proper care, you don't have to get anything else for the next 15 years at least ;-). Frankly, I am more worried about my frame coming apart - I love the old Specialized frame and the way it feels. I have no idea if I will ever be able to replace that if the lug glue or carbon layering eventually fails one day!

Jan in BC, Canada
Thanks Jan, sort of ;). It looks like I won't be able to justify expensive new components to the wife ... damn :D! But it is good to know that I'll probably end up with a new bike before I run into any serious issues with my components on my current one.

Next up... justifying having a hybrid mountain bike AND wanting a nice road bike... hmmm :)
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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jan_nienaber said:
Hello DNAtsol,

Perhaps this might give you some idea of what lifetime you can expect:

I'm riding a 15-year old Specialized Allez Epic - the one with the carbon tubes and Aluminum lugs. I bought it from someone else about 2 years ago.

The bike is equipped with original 105 components throughout (even the hubs). I added 105 clipless SPD pedals myself. The gears and brakes are original stuff - the headset, cables, chain and the chainrings were replaced several times (plus the pedals as I mentioned). I think the brake calipers are the first generation of 105's that had the dual-pivot brakes.

I am currently putting about 300 - 400 kilometers per month on it. I have no reason to believe that the previous owner treated it like a "Garage Queen" - he was a real Roadie, I can tell one when I meet one!

The gears shift perfectly, brakes work fine, everything works GREAT! My (very humble) opinion is that the difference between 105, Ultegra and DA is mainly weight and finish. Someone else mentioned in a different thread that the longevity of the higher-end components might actually be less than 105 / 600 (I'm old enough to recall that Ultegra used to be called the 600 series back in the 80's) due to lighter components being used (I dunno if it is true, so don't flame me).

So I reckon with proper care, you don't have to get anything else for the next 15 years at least ;-). Frankly, I am more worried about my frame coming apart - I love the old Specialized frame and the way it feels. I have no idea if I will ever be able to replace that if the lug glue or carbon layering eventually fails one day!

Jan in BC, Canada
Actually I was comparing the lower end Shimano no name, Sora, and Tiagra to the higher end Shimano 105, Ultegra, and Dura-Ace. The Shimano no name, Sora, and Tiagra use a lot of plastic parts and these tend to wear more quickly, but we are talking high hundreds to over a thousand miles before it gets noticable. The higher end Shimano 105, Ultegra, and Dura-Ace use little plastic and typically last many thousands of miles. It is impossible to put a mile count on it due to variations in the maintenance the components receive and teh rider's riding style.

Jan, no flaming here but I have an all Shimano 600 EX equipped bicycle from the 1980's (even has a fifth set of Bio Pace Chainrings). It has nearly 18,000 miles on it and I have not noticed any wear related problems with the components. I have had to replace the idler and jockey pulleys a couple of times. Of course this bike is my baby so it gets extra special care and attention and new brake hoods last year off eBay! It gets fully cleaned and lubricated, including the cup and cone BB, after every ride.
 

jan_nienaber

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Feb 23, 2005
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kdelong said:
Actually I was comparing the lower end Shimano no name, Sora, and Tiagra to the higher end Shimano 105, Ultegra, and Dura-Ace. The Shimano no name, Sora, and Tiagra use a lot of plastic parts and these tend to wear more quickly....
My apology. Realized that after the post was submitted, edited it a number of times but got sidetracked by all my spelling mistakes every time :p Also, I have been out of cycling so long and only seriously back into it for a few months now - did not even realize that Shimano now makes lower-end components.

kdelong said:
....Of course this bike is my baby so it gets extra special care and attention and new brake hoods last year off eBay! It gets fully cleaned and lubricated, including the cup and cone BB, after every ride.
STUNNER bike! So would I lavish extra care on it - especially since being from the Old Guard ;) I am having a hard time getting used to the current fad of the down-sloping top tubes on modern road bikes - thanks for sharing, kdelong! Regarding the story that the higher-end components supposedly wears faster, I think the OP of that thread was really referring to the DA range rather than the 600 / Ultegra series. As mentioned, I have no idea as to the validity of the observation.

As a side note: I recall back in the late 1980's myself standing in a bike shop, complaining to the sales guy about a headset that wore out in a couple of months. When I told the sales assistent that it was a 105 series headset, he pretty much told me not to waste his time complaining about "low-end junk"! (Suffice to say I did not become a regular customer).

-- Jan in BC
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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artemidorus said:
You have got to be joking!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hubs/headset too???
You got me on the headset. It is re-lubed every three months or so, but the hubs do get cleaned out and re-lubed after every ride. Home Depot really loves me but they must wonder what I am doing with all that white lithium grease:D . I know, I have too much free time on my hands, but it is something that I enjoy doing.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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artemidorus said:
Would you consider moving to Sydney? I've got some bikes that really need you!
Crate them up and post them to Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. I have plenty of free time now since our local pro football team stinks this year (so what's new about that?):( . Really if I could make a living at my current lifestyle working on bikes, I would do it full time. As it is, I do keep busy with my own and several freinds who trust my work more than their LBS, or maybe its the price:confused: . Only parts, no labor. They are freinds after all.

BTW, its the boring American Football, not Australian Rules Football, rugby, or soccer.
 

chainstay

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Jul 8, 2007
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DNAtsol said:
Hi all,
For example, what might be important for me to consider when comparing a Shimano TY-23 and a shimano SIS (I used these examples as my wife and I are considering buying a tandem and these are some the the differences between 2 models we are considering).
I am not sure what group those two derailleurs you mentioned are in, but you might try posting the information regarding the two tandems as equipped that you are considering to a tandem forum like this one and ask for feedback/comments:

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=44
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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chainstay said:
I am not sure what group those two derailleurs you mentioned are in, but you might try posting the information regarding the two tandems as equipped that you are considering to a tandem forum like this one and ask for feedback/comments:

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=44
ALSO, before you buy, get on SANTANA's mailing list ... their catalog will provide you with some very useful information.

AND, try to find some local tandem riders ... you will learn a lot AND one-or-more will probably have a nicer USED tandem than what you are probably currently considering for less than a new tandem from a bike shop ...

Used tandems are like albatrosses ... too large to ship, and the market is small & will be local ... figure on about $400+ for one that has 27" wheels in NICE condition (most people seem to take pretty good care of their tandems), perhaps less ... more, for one that is more current ... but, probably not much more!?!
 

DNAtsol

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Sep 5, 2007
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alfeng said:
ALSO, before you buy, get on SANTANA's mailing list ... their catalog will provide you with some very useful information.

AND, try to find some local tandem riders ... you will learn a lot AND one-or-more will probably have a nicer USED tandem than what you are probably currently considering for less than a new tandem from a bike shop ...

Used tandems are like albatrosses ... too large to ship, and the market is small & will be local ... figure on about $400+ for one that has 27" wheels in NICE condition (most people seem to take pretty good care of their tandems), perhaps less ... more, for one that is more current ... but, probably not much more!?!
Timing is perfect here. I was out just yesterday on a ride and saw my first tandem in motion :D. So we probably will look around for a used one.

RE: Chainstay I'll post some specs to the link you provided in the near future. I have students breathing down my neck right now.. something about midterms, grading.... whiners:D
 

chainstay

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Jul 8, 2007
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DNAtsol said:
Timing is perfect here. I was out just yesterday on a ride and saw my first tandem in motion :D. So we probably will look around for a used one.

RE: Chainstay I'll post some specs to the link you provided in the near future. I have students breathing down my neck right now.. something about midterms, grading.... whiners:D
In addition, if you do a search on the threads in the tandem forum there, you will see that there are lots of threads with first time tandem buyers seeking advice, some of which information would likely be useful to you as well. There is also a thread there titled "Buying Used Tandem Success Stories" that might be interesting. I tend to agree with the above poster that buying used is a good way to start out in any of the various types of cycling because you can generally get an above average quality bike for not too much money that will keep you happy for awhile as you get to know the sport. Then if you still have money burning a hole in your pocket, and want to get a new bike, you will have an idea at what you are looking at and what you think you need in a new bike.