Author Topic: importance of componentry  (Read 12520 times)

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Offline litespeedlujak

importance of componentry
« on: July 10, 2014, 01:57:11 pm »
I'm looking for a decent endurance or touring type drop bar bike.  I want to do a tour.  I also want my bike to be a good commuter and everyday rider.  I have absolutely no intention of racing or much of anything involving speed.  More interested in miles.  I have myself somewhat locked into Tiagra at a minimum and 105 at best.  Is this really necessary?  I know the lower I go, the less crisp the shifting will be.  A local dealer told me I wouldn't notice much difference between Sora and Tiagra, but that I would from Sora to 105.  I thought Tiagra was essentially the same thing as 105, with 105 being a cleaner and prettier look.  Would Sora or Claris suffice for a budget bike?  How much more often will the budget Claris or Sora go out of adjustment as compared to Tiagra/105?      THANKS

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 04:36:10 pm »
I think you're being up-sold.  Tiagra will be fine (my shifters are 8 years, and about 30,000 miles) old and still shift fine -- knock on wood.

Indexed shifters and derailers usually gums up or breaks.  There are some internal parts that are plastic on less expensive lines which are metal in the middle, and sometimes replaced by fancy composites at the top end.  You'd have to find someone who knows what Shimano is putting into each line to find out where the breakpoints are this year.

The cables "stretch" a bit as they age, and that requires some adjustment.  You can use the same cables in a Sora as Ultegra, BTW.  So there's no difference in time between adjustment between the various lines, only how long they'll last.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 12:35:34 pm »
I previously owned a Tiagra equipped bike and was well pleased with the way that the components held up.
105 has a long history too, but it tends to show up more on the go fast bikes and not touring bikes.
You might also consider LX (or is it Deore now) mountain bike parts.  This is what you resort to when you need some climbing ability.

For the most reliable shifting, there is always a Shimano Barcon shifter.  Sometime Durace and sometimes Ultegra, but somewhere upwards of a $100.

Brifters are easier to use but not as reliable.

I think I would skip Claris and Sora if you could afford to do so.
Danno

Offline JDFlood

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 01:05:15 pm »
I have four touring / commuter bikes and have put tens of thousands of miles on them. Three have Dura Ace one has Ultegra... I have a couple other bikes with Dura Ace also. Never had a failure or a gum problem with any kind on of them. All this equipment is incredibly reliable. Also, instead of moving your hands to the unstable end of the bars away from the brakes to shift is, in my opinion dangerous. Not to mention more difficult to shift than STI.  The performance of Dura Ace is exceptional, even when compared to Ultegra. The idea you get bar end shifter because they are more reliable is silly. . If on the incredibly remote chance that something breaks on tour... there is Fed Ex virtually anywhere in North America, Europe and much of Asia. Perhaps if you are touring in sub saharan Africa, or Siberia in the winter. I can shift with my pinky with Dura Ace. Unless you are really constrained by money, I would get nothing else. If constrained, I would get the highest level you can afford. I have found you get what you pay for with Shimano.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 05:31:10 pm by JDFlood »

Offline DaveB

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 04:41:45 pm »
I have four touring / commuter bikes and have put tens of thousands of miles on them. Three have Dura Ace one has Ultegra... I have a couple other brakes with Dura Ace also. Never had a failure or a gum problem with any kind on of them. All this equipment is incredibly reliable. Also, instead of moving your hands to the unstable end of the bars away from the brakes to shift is, in my opinion dangerous. Not to mention more difficult to shift than STI.  The performance of Dura Ace is exceptional, even when compared to Ultegra. The idea you get bar end shifter because they are more reliable is silly. . If on the incredibly remote chance that something breaks on tour... there is Fed Ex virtually anywhere in North America, Europe and much of Asia. Perhaps if you are touring in sub saharan Africa, or Siberia in the winter. I can shift with my pinky with Dura Ace. Unless you are really constrained by money, I would get nothing else. If constrained, I would get the highest level you can afford. I have found you get what you pay for with Shimano.
I think Dura Ace is the last group you'd consider for a true touring bike.  There is no longer any triple crank or shifter option, a "compact double" (50/34) is the smallest chainring set available and the cassettes are 11-speed and none with very large big cogs.  It's a wonderful racing and sports riding group but out of place for touring. 

Offline JDFlood

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 05:32:10 pm »
Lucky when I got mine then, it doesn't get any better. There is a huge performance difference between my Ultegra and Dura Ace triple components.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 12:33:39 pm by JDFlood »

Offline BikeFreak

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 07:36:09 pm »
From what I know, the only major difference between the Shimano component groups are

1. Weight
2. Finish. This also includes anti corrosive coatings.

So I believe when a Surly LHT is equipped with Tiagra or something similar it will just be fine for touring ... because you do not have a 15 lbs racing bike. However I do believe that after 1 winter of commuting in harsh salty environment will rapidly destroy a cheap groupset ... the more expensive should last longer.

On my trike I had those Shimano Duraace bar end shifter installed. After 6000 miles the indexed one failed and I had to finish my tour using the friction setting. I was not impressed by them. On my touring bike I have Dura ace down tube shifters installed. After more than 20000 mi the best and most reliable shifters ever.

Offline csykes

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2014, 11:55:07 pm »
I use Ultegra STIs on my carbon road bike and love them for fast club rides.  For my steel commuter/touring bike (with an IRD triple,) I use bar-ends with Tiagra derailleurs and find them to be perfectly fine with no safety issues.  I've used bar-ends on my tandem for thirty years with no issues.  I've had bad luck with Sora in the past, so it's worth a few dollars more for Tiagra.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 06:41:42 pm by csykes »

Offline litespeedlujak

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2014, 08:38:56 pm »
Most road bikes are supplied with road bike componentry.  But a few road bikes, I believe most would qualify as touring bikes, have mountain bike componentry.  I've seen a few with Shimano Deore.  Is this because touring cyclists are not really looking for speed, but just being about to stay astride the bike while climbing a hill or mountain, thus calling for a lower gear (granny gear).  Is there an advantage of having a Deore setup over Tiagra or 105 setup?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2014, 10:15:11 am »
Yes, touring bikes typically have lower gears than other road bikes, and so-called "mountain" components had those lower gears.  Up until recently, you could shift any Shimano rear derailer with any Shimano shifter.  Deore shifters had/have longer arms to cover the larger cogs (up to 34 teeth) on the MTB cassettes.  It was an easy call to put a Deore derailer and cassette on a touring bike, and shift those with Tiagra STI brifters.  Tiagra front derailers could shift smaller cranks up front (i.e., lower gears again) adequately IME.  Some people say 105 and even Ultegra worked as well, others say nothing worked as well as they did on real road cranks with larger chain rings, but I can only report my experience with the Tiagras.  All-Deore would be a problem if you go with drop bars, as many of us have done, because the shifters are for MTB, non-drop bars.  The Deore/Tiagra mix worked well.

(Curmudgeon mode on)  It worked so well Shimano fixed it.  Newer groups have changed the cable pull ratios.  Perhaps someone else knows the intricacies of new Shimano groups; are the mixed-group touring bikes still on the market using warehoused older groups, or is Deore still being produced to service older mountain bikes?

Offline ...neil...

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 03:37:21 pm »
Something that has not been mentioned is the 'trickle down' effect through Shimano's product lines. Significant improvements start at the top (Dura Ace, XTR), and trickle down to the 'lower' product lines over time. This year's 105 is last year's Dura Ace, etc. Seeing as how Shimano has been doing this awhile, even the Deore/Tiagra level stuff is pretty damn good.

I've always been suspicious of those who attribute huge perfomance increases to Dura Ace/XTR over the more modest component sets. I wonder if it is a function of knowing how much they paid for those components and expecting a big return in performance. I use a mix of low- to mid-level Shimano componentry on my bikes (mostly Deore/Lx/XT/Tiagra), and never have any complaints about function. More $ gets you lighter and blingier components, but the Shimano component performance is good across the line.

Final thought: I just installed $20 Microshift deraillers with ancient Suntour friction shifters on my LHT, and the shifting is crisp and precise. Knowhing how to install, set up, and maintain shifting systems will get you more happy miles than simply buying the bling.

Offline JDFlood

importance of componentry
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 03:52:58 pm »
Neil, you express a view commonly  held by value oriented people. That people with money are stupid and easily duped, as evidenced by buying top of the line stuff. But that is false, and actually probably quite the opposite. I have 6 bikes with2004 vintage triples. Two Ultegra and 4 Dura Ace STI groups with a mountain front derailure on a couple to allow smaller chain wheels. Categorically the Performance of the Dura Ace is very significantly better than the Ultegra. Period. Faster shifts, cleaner, and profoundly less pressure to shift. I have 40,000 miles on these bikes and could tell the difference with big mittens on. Generally you get what you pay for... Except maybe watches.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 04:34:50 pm by JDFlood »

Offline paddleboy17

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2014, 01:05:36 pm »
It is important to know what application a component group was designed for because price is not the only consideration.  Durace is designed for racing road bikes and focus is on weight and not durability.  So Durace generally not a good choice for touring bikes because it not durable enough.  People who race well enough to buy Durace are generally superb athletes, so you are not going to find gearing appropriate for touring either.  There is one and only one exception to Durace not belonging on touring bikes, Shimano in their quest to maximize income, puts a Durace sticker on a barcon shifter.  Components from other vendors racing groups are limited as Durace, and that includes XTR.

I do not believe that there is a touring specific group.  Shimano at one time had a trecking group but it did not seem to be a good match for touring.

I will continue to stick with Shimano components, but similarities exist for Cane Creek, SRAM, etc.

Feel free to choose from road (Tiagra, 105, Ultegra) and mountain (Deore, LX, XT) groups to get what you want.  Buy the best group you can afford, just remember that weight that rotates is more important that weight that does not.  The importance of rotating weight is amplified by the radius it rotates on.  So in a hub, durability is more important than weight.  In a rim, durability and weight are important.

Danno

Offline DoubleD

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2014, 11:33:40 am »
I have used shimano and campy gear for over 25 years.  I too am not a racer and am much more interested in dependability and availability.  I now have Shimano Sora on my Surly Pacer and Tiagra on my Surly LHT.  To me they are the ford or chevy of cycling.  I see no reason to spend more as these serve me well.  The LHT has bar end shifters loved by some, hated by others.  They work well for me and I prefer them on my trucker.  I also put them on an old Raleigh to replace the down tube shifters.  Simplicity, availability, dependability.  Shimano is the go to for me and for my purposes Sora and Tiagra are top of the line.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: importance of componentry
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2014, 08:27:40 am »
Seems to be two questions here. First, barcons v. STI. I tour with STI and haven't had breakdowns but tour with a guy whose Ultegra levers have failed twice. Long, slow climbs the rest of the day for him. Second, top of the line STI v. lower. I notice difference between Sora and my 105 but not between 105 and Deore or Ultegra. Mostly difference of weight, name and shine.