Upgrading from Sora Groupset

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by caintuck, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. caintuck

    caintuck New Member

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    Hello all, I am new, and happy to be a member of Cycling Forums.

    I just bought a Trek XO1. I will take possession in a couple of weeks. The design appears to be almost perfect for my riding style: quite hard commuting/recreational and off the road occaiosionally, but not too far off. But, after reading some reviews, I am having my doubts about whether the Sora Groupset that comes with the bike will always give me the response I want. I am trying to talk to my dealer about this, but I live in Japan, and, though my Japanese is pretty good, I don't think I am getting the whole message.

    What I understnad so far that the Sora is 8 speed and the 105 (my choice) or Ultegra are 9 speed. And this means what: that I can't upgrade at all; that I can upgrade some parts but not others; that the upgrade must be complete and will require some basic, but impossible, changes in the design of the bikethan its worth??? This is where I am losing my dealer.

    If anyone could please help me out here, I would surely appreciate it.

    Dave
     
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  2. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

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    Since Sora is 8-speed and Tiagra/105/ultegra etc are 9-speed, a proper upgrade to any of the higher groups requires replacing a lot of parts.

    If you are still keen though you could replace them in this order:
    1. Rear derailleur - a 9-speed one will work fine with your sora shifters
    2. Shifters, cassette and chain - officially you shouldn't use 9-speed stuff with an 8-speed crankset and f/der, but actually it'll work ok.
    3. Crankset & front derailleur

    You might find though that you can get a good price on, for example, a full 105 upgrade "kit" that includes all the bits you need to do it in one go.

    Your alternative is to live with the Sora for a while until its really bothering you, then get a new bike. The difference between 8 and 9-speed isn't enough reason to upgrade, but if the performance of the Sora stuff is affecting your enjoyment of your cycling then its time to open your wallet...
     
  3. caintuck

    caintuck New Member

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    Thanks so much for the concise and informative reply, nick. I'll jot all of these options down, and, after riding a while, if I find the Sora unacceptable, will discuss them with my dealer. Again, thanks so much.

    dave

     
  4. cachehiker

    cachehiker New Member

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    caintuck

    I bought a Trek with a mostly Sora groupset a couple of years ago myself. My impressions are 50/50. I have also been toying with the idea of a 105 upgrade, but I can't justify it given the rest of the components on my soon to be retired ride. Things might be different with the SL tubing on your frame though. Personally, I would look at the fork first. You could definitely find a smoother ride than aluminum will provide.

    Sora shifters are designed to be more easily shifted from the brake towers instead of the drops. This, I believe, is desireable for cyclocross style riding. The sora rear derailleur is also designed to accomodate up to a 11-28, 8 speed mtb cassette where a 105 is supposed to be limited to a 12-27 road cassette. Shifting on the rear has always been crisp for me.

    I don't know about the Bontrager crankset, but I think the Sora crankset (and the CPI crankset on my bike) uses steel chainrings. >>double checked, only the inner<< Although they're heavy, they will likely outlast the alloy rings on a 105 crankset. >>My 105 rings showed signs of wear after ~1000 miles.<< Many 8 speed chains are also stronger and will outlast 9 speed chains under most circumstances. Unlike the rear, shifting on the front has left me unimpressed.

    Finally, watch the bottom bracket. The cheap POS that game with my Trek was worn out after just 2000 miles. Everything else is still working like like it was new after 3500.

    cachehiker
     
  5. caintuck

    caintuck New Member

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    Thanks cashehiker. Yeah, everything I've read mentions that shifting from the drops is a real pain with Sora.

    I hadn't thought about changing the fork. I'll give that a hard look after I've ridden the thing for a while.

    Everything you wrote is going in my notebook for future reference. Thanks.

     
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