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 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.
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.
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.
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…