Tag Archives: bottom bracket

Shimano Bicycle Components. Too many names! Part II

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Before we begin….Check out the “About Me” page to the left and read about what this journey is all about.  If you are into it, support my journey by helping others and adding to the donations we will deliver to the Mercy Corps organization. Donate, sponsor, or Pledge on a per-km/mile basis, anything will help.

In this post we’re going to delve into Shimano components. We’ve recently reviewed the mountain component sets, and here are the road sets.

Road- These components are designed for road use which means they are usually lighter and more durable.  They are able to take repetition and speed and continue functioning at peak performance.

Entry-level Road Component Group:

Sora. The Sora component group is comparable to the mountain bike Deore set . This group of components is considered to be low entry-level.  This package of components would be found on most of the cheaper stock bikes you see at your bike shop.  It is designed for recreational riders and should not seriously be considered as an option for your long-haul tour.  Most of the components in this package are made of aluminum and could not be expected to hold on long enough for a serious rider or tour.  Expect an unreliable crankset.  While these components may be acceptable for some riders, for a touring bicycle, they won’t do.

Shimano Sora Component Package

Shimano Sora Component Package

Shimano Tiagra- This is the next step up on the Shimano component ladder.  Comparable to the mountain version called Shimano XT, this package features hyperglide (HG) sprockets for slick usage.  It is designed for cross-country riding and trekking.  It is still consider to be an entry-level component set, but more acceptable for touring than the Sora components.  There is a slight weight improvement when upgrading from Sora to Tiagra.  Consider this as ‘decent’ or ‘somewhat acceptable’ for your long-haul tour.

Shimano Tiagra Component Package

Shimano Tiagra Component Package

Mid-level Mountain Component Group:

105–  The 105 component package is where casual riders make the jump into the realm of serious bikers.  Superior performance without serious money.  That describes the 105 line very well.  It is like getting a present without wrapping paper.  The components aren’t super light, but they are smooth and reliable.  Sounds good enough for me.  This is where you should start for a serious long-haul journey.  Anything less than this and you are risking failure.  Sure, if you are doing city commuting, the Tiagra components are fine, and if you are teaching your kids to ride a bike, the Sora will do.  But for touring, this is the starting point.

Shimano Deore XT Component Package

Shimano Deore XT Component Package

High-level Mountain Component Group:

Ultegra- This is getting to the top of the line.  Designed for hardcore professional racers, the Ultegra components are lightweight, well crafted, and designed. You’re going to get better craftmanship and a pretty much universal weight reduction on most of the components in this set. This package is something to consider if you are really looking to ensure a couple of thousand of miles on your bike with absolutely no problems.

Shimano Ultegra Component Set

Shimano Ultegra Component Package

There’s still more with Shimano….

Dura-ace- This is the serious stuff people…titanium, super light-weight, nickle-plating, etching, you name it, it’s here.  If you’ve got the money, go for it, if not, stick with the 105 or Ultegra.

Comparing the weight of the front derailleur of a 105 or a Dura-ace….232g vs. 180g…

Shimano Dura-ace Component Package

Shimano Dura-ace Component Package

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Shimano Bicycle Components. Too many names!

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Before we begin….Check out the “About Me” page to the left and read about what this journey is all about.  If you are into it, support my journey by helping others and adding to the donations we will deliver to the Mercy Corps organization. Donate, sponsor, or Pledge on a per-km/mile basis, anything will help.  Thanks.

In this post we’re going to delve into Shimano components.  Why Shimano?  Well, this are probably the most popular kind of bicycle component on the market, available in just about every bike shop you can find.  High (and low) quality, well-price, and accessbile, sounds great.  BUT, knowing what kind of Shimano components to buy can be complicated.  Shimano has sets of components with names and we’re going to try and simplify it all right here and now.  We’ll divide the components into MOUNTAIN and ROAD.

Mountain- These components are designed for mountain use which means they are usually heavier and stronger.  They are able to take abuse and continue functioning at peak performance.

Entry-level Mountain Component Group:

Deore. This group of components is considered to be entry-level.  This package of components would be found on most of the cheaper stock bikes you see at your bike shop.  It is designed for recreational riders and should not seriously be considered as an option for your long-haul tour.  Most of the components in this package are made of aluminum.

Shimano Deore Component Package

Shimano Deore Component Package

Shimano Deore LX- This is the next step up on the Shimano component ladder.  This package is designed for cross-country riding and trekking.  It is still consider to be an entry-level component set.  The weight on this set is less than the regular Deore, and the crankset is improved.  Consider this as ‘decent’ or ‘somewhat acceptable’ for your long-haul tour.

Shimano Deore LX Component Package

Shimano Deore LX Component Package

Mid-level Mountain Component Group:

Deore XT–  The XT component package starts to offer some higher quality products to riders.  You get an imporved rear derailleur, better quality parts in the crankset, and more weight reduction in some of the parts.  Shimano says that this is the line to go with if you want superior performance without serious money.  This is true.

Shimano Deore XT Component Package

Shimano Deore XT Component Package

High-level Mountain Component Group:

SLX- This is the top of the line.  Designed for hardcore professional racers, the SLX components are very lightweight, extremely well crafted and designed, and expensive.  Almost not even worth considering these options unless they happen to be on sale and you just won the lottery.  We will put up some price comparisons shortly, so look for them by the end of the weekend.  I think it’d be safe to stick around the LX and XT level components for your bicycle tour, but it’s up to you.

Shimano SLX Component Package

Shimano SLX Component Package

The Shimano road component packages and price comparisons are coming up soon, stay tuned and donate or pledge towards the Set Sail the Prairie on a Surly cause.  Your dollars go to the Mercy Corps who is currently working in countries along the route.  Cheers.

Bicycle Components. What you can upgrade.

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Knowing exactly what kind of components you get on a bike is extremely important when deciding on which touring bicycle to purchase.

Let’s look at the types of bike components first, then we will discuss the different options with Shimano.

Some of the components that you can upgrade on your touring bike are (there are others):

Rear Derailleur- This helps when moving the chain between rear sprockets.  It takes up the slack in the chain when moving to a smaller sprocket at the rear or a smaller chainring by the front derailleur. Est. Price for a Shimano Ultegra Rear Derailleur is about $100.  Here’s a picture.

Shimano 6600 Ultegra Rear Derailleur

Shimano 6600 Ultegra Rear Derailleur

Front Derailleur- The front derailleur moves the chain from side to side between the front chainrings. Estimated price for a Shimano Ultegra front derailleur is about $70.00.

Shimano Ultegra Front Derailleur

Shimano Ultegra Front Derailleur

Crankset- The crankset is where the rider is connected to the bicycle.  It is the component of a bicycle that converts the motion of of a biker into the rotational motion needed to move the chain.  This is what the pedal is connected to.  The estimated price for a Shimano Ultegra crankset is about $250.00.

Shimano Ultegra Crankset

Shimano Ultegra Crankset

Bottom Bracket- The bottom bracket allows the crankset to move freely.  The estimated price of a Shimano Ultegra bottom bracket is about $40.00.

Shimano Ultegra Bottom Bracket

Shimano Ultegra Bottom Bracket

Cassette- The cassette is the cluster of gear cogs or sprockets attached to the hub of the rear wheel.  Power is transferred from the biker, to the crankset, to the chain, and to the cassette.  This is where the gears come from.  Typical cassettes have 9 cogs, which when combined with 3 chainrings, gives a rider 27 gears.

Shimano Ultegra Cassette

Shimano Ultegra Cassette

Bicycle geometry. A brief look into how it effects your ride.

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Bicycle geometry.  A brief look into how it effects your ride.

Ok, since I started blabbering about and ripping on the Jamis Aurora, I felt I needed to explain the geometry of a bike a little more in detail.  So after some work in Photoshop, I’ve got a graphic and some more information to help in a touring bicycle search.

Definitions first…

Head-tube angle- the angle between the floor behind the front wheel and the steering axis.

Trail- the distance between the front wheel’s center on contact point and the point where the extending steering axis line reaches the ground.

Fork Offset (rake)- the distance that the hub preceeds or follows the steering axis.

Let’s look at the graphic to put it all together.

Bicycle Geometry

Bicycle Geometry

The shaded green thing is the fork.  Remember, the bigger the trail, the more stability.  Small variations in any of these angles can have a serious impact on your ride.  Larger trail figures will give you more stability, but steering precision is compromised.  Longer wheelbases make turning more difficult than shorter wheelbases.  Your touring bike will have a long wheelbases, so don’t expect precise turning.  Your ideal touring bike should also come with a low bottom bracket, which keeps your weight closer to the ground, making it take less effort to move your body from side to side.

Plug all your specs into this website calculator…check the ACTUAL TRAIL CALCULATOR

http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisil/trail.asp

Unless I hear otherwise, use 12.25 as the tire radius, that is for a 700 c tire.