Sora vs. higher-end crankset

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Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby ohexploitable » Sat May 18, 2013 6:50 pm

My bike has 105 stuff but i'd like to swap the standard crank over for a compact.

I've found Sora cranks available for only $70 which is really attractive to me.

What are the performance downsides (if any) of going with Sora?
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by BNA » Sat May 18, 2013 7:20 pm

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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby ozdavo » Sat May 18, 2013 7:20 pm

Look at the Tiagra 4650 as its 10 speed. About $75 at Wiggle/Ribble etc.

On your question; lower spec models will be heavier and not as stiff. Will you notice any difference? Unlikely.


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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby ldrcycles » Sat May 18, 2013 7:56 pm

Extra weight is about it, Sora is pretty reasonable stuff nowadays.

Re stiffness, i'm sure I remember reading an article which suggested that some of the lower level cranks were actually as stiff or stiffer than the top end equivalents, as the extra weight comes from more material which had not been machined off to save weight.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby Nobody » Sat May 18, 2013 8:31 pm

Keith Bontrager wrote:"You’d have to be dumb to think everything can be as good as high-end stuff. Frankly, the engineering for the £5,000 bike is more fun, you get to play with space-age materials, but the engineering for the £500 bike is more demanding because if you make a mistake there will be a lot of them coming back.”
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/i ... er--27619/

This suggests you should expect dependability (if not durability) from low to mid range gear.

From what I've experienced you don't miss out on much with lower end gear. Weight is the main penalty, which most won't notice when riding.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby takai » Sat May 18, 2013 10:28 pm

Go Tiagra if you are ever thinking about going to 10S. Other than taht my wife's Tiagra cranks function identically to my Ultegra ones (i.e. they transfer power to the wheels via the chain)
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby jacks1071 » Sun May 19, 2013 10:26 pm

ohexploitable wrote:My bike has 105 stuff but i'd like to swap the standard crank over for a compact.

I've found Sora cranks available for only $70 which is really attractive to me.

What are the performance downsides (if any) of going with Sora?


They are really heavy - I'd go for a Sram Apex crank, only a little extra $$ and much lighter. You'll need the matching bottom bracket.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby TMjpn » Tue May 21, 2013 3:07 pm

I used to have the Apex, and from what I experienced the Powerglide chainring was flexxy and kept dropping the chain. That was just my experience though.

But if you already have a BB for shimano then save $$ and get shimano.

As others stated Tiagra 4600 and also the R550 cranksets are 10sp compatible, good value and are around the mid 800g area due to Hollowtech 2 technology. I just had a set of the 4650 compacts and they were on the money for weight (just too long in the ams).

In fact they were similar to Shimano 105 5600 cranks - which I also recommend. keeping an eye on the 2nd hand market you can find a pair for $70 like i did a fortnight ago :)
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby durianrider » Tue May 21, 2013 10:51 pm

Gimme a bike with sora and I will still outride 99.9% of riders up a 10min climb. Its the rider that counts. As long as you have the right gear to allow 80+ cadence, your bike works and it fits proper, doesnt really matter if the sticker says Red or Sora.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby Duck! » Tue May 21, 2013 10:58 pm

jacks1071 wrote:
ohexploitable wrote:My bike has 105 stuff but i'd like to swap the standard crank over for a compact.

I've found Sora cranks available for only $70 which is really attractive to me.

What are the performance downsides (if any) of going with Sora?


They are really heavy - I'd go for a Sram Apex crank, only a little extra $$ and much lighter. You'll need the matching bottom bracket.

I wouldn't. SRAM shifting is crap.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby takai » Wed May 22, 2013 11:57 am

durianrider wrote:Gimme a bike with sora and I will still outride 99.9% of riders up a 10min climb. Its the rider that counts. As long as you have the right gear to allow 80+ cadence, your bike works and it fits proper, doesnt really matter if the sticker says Red or Sora.

Yeah, which is all fine for shorter bursts. But if you are riding something longer term i can almost guarantee that reliability comes out on top.

Heck, i reckon one of the biggest reasons my wife is still riding regularly even though its coming into winter is the fact that she now has a bike that shifts predictably and doesnt skip around regularly, courtesy of 105 mechs/brifters and Tiagra cassette and crank. It just works, as opposed to the below 2300 gear that was on her last bike that would drop out of tune in about 50km.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby drpants » Sun May 26, 2013 10:04 pm

takai wrote:
durianrider wrote:Gimme a bike with sora and I will still outride 99.9% of riders up a 10min climb. Its the rider that counts. As long as you have the right gear to allow 80+ cadence, your bike works and it fits proper, doesnt really matter if the sticker says Red or Sora.

Yeah, which is all fine for shorter bursts. But if you are riding something longer term i can almost guarantee that reliability comes out on top.

Heck, i reckon one of the biggest reasons my wife is still riding regularly even though its coming into winter is the fact that she now has a bike that shifts predictably and doesnt skip around regularly, courtesy of 105 mechs/brifters and Tiagra cassette and crank. It just works, as opposed to the below 2300 gear that was on her last bike that would drop out of tune in about 50km.


A Sora nowdays is just as reliable as 105/Ultegra.
The front shifting is a bit crude on the 3500 FD but other than that it's top notch albeit a bit heavy.

If it was a commuter I'd have no complaints on having it over a nicer gruppo... Less worry that it'll get stolen too!
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby mick243 » Mon May 27, 2013 5:26 pm

durianrider wrote:Gimme a bike with sora and I will still outride 99.9% of riders....


really? like wow.

why arent you off at the giro, or tour or something, instead of mixing it here with us mortals?





but for the rest of your statement, I agree, a good rider on a crap bike will almost always outperform a crap rider on a great bike (almost, as in to excuse the likely equipment failure on said crap bike)
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby ohexploitable » Mon May 27, 2013 6:27 pm

yep

a sora crankset will be unreliable

it'll break down in a month

okay then
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby jacks1071 » Mon May 27, 2013 9:00 pm

Duck! wrote:I wouldn't. SRAM shifting is crap.


I'd be pointing a finger at the person who tuned your gears rather than at Sram. Shifting on a sram crankset is just fine..
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby im_no_pro » Mon May 27, 2013 9:35 pm

Duck! wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:
ohexploitable wrote:My bike has 105 stuff but i'd like to swap the standard crank over for a compact.

I've found Sora cranks available for only $70 which is really attractive to me.

What are the performance downsides (if any) of going with Sora?


They are really heavy - I'd go for a Sram Apex crank, only a little extra $$ and much lighter. You'll need the matching bottom bracket.

I wouldn't. SRAM shifting is crap.


Perfect example of ymmv. I had more shifting issues with the 105 i had prior to moving to rival.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby Duck! » Tue May 28, 2013 8:37 am

im_no_pro wrote:
Duck! wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:
They are really heavy - I'd go for a Sram Apex crank, only a little extra $$ and much lighter. You'll need the matching bottom bracket.

I wouldn't. SRAM shifting is crap.


Perfect example of ymmv. I had more shifting issues with the 105 i had prior to moving to rival.

I have far more issues getting SRAM to behave at work than I do with Shimano. When 1/16 of a turn of the limit screw is the difference between not shifting to the big ring at all, and shooting off the side, that's crap in my professional opinion.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby jacks1071 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:22 pm

The OP is talking about a crankset, I'm not sure how we got onto gear tuning?

I agree chainring stiffness plays a part in your front shifting but someone saying sram is no good, 105 needs more or less adjustment is just ridiculous.

Any modern groupset if installed and tuned properly is going to work just fine. I don't think you could buy a "Bad" grouspet in this day and age.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby PeppeX » Tue May 28, 2013 9:56 pm

The new 2013 Sora groupset is pretty good. Have it on my Specialized Allez
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby rheicel » Tue May 28, 2013 11:15 pm

jacks1071 wrote:The OP is talking about a crankset, I'm not sure how we got onto gear tuning?

I agree chainring stiffness plays a part in your front shifting but someone saying sram is no good, 105 needs more or less adjustment is just ridiculous.

Any modern groupset if installed and tuned properly is going to work just fine. I don't think you could buy a "Bad" grouspet in this day and age.

This is true. I am not a pro bike mechanic and can only speak based on my experience. Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, Apex, Rival, and Force are the gruppos that I have experienced in gear tuning. Some are even mixture of them. New build, friends bike, neighbour and officemates commuters, they all seems to tune as expected.

To the OP, just make sure that if your existing crank is 10Speed, replace it with 10Speed for easy tuning and shifting.

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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby Duck! » Wed May 29, 2013 12:15 am

jacks1071 wrote:The OP is talking about a crankset, I'm not sure how we got onto gear tuning?

I agree chainring stiffness plays a part in your front shifting but someone saying sram is no good, 105 needs more or less adjustment is just ridiculous.

Any modern groupset if installed and tuned properly is going to work just fine. I don't think you could buy a "Bad" grouspet in this day and age.

While it's not the sole factor, the crankset (specifically the rings) has a lot to do with quality of front shifting. Not only does chainring stiffness play a part, there is also the ramping & tooth profiling which affects shifting performance. I've used both SRAM and Shimano chainrings on the Truvativ/(SRAM) crank on my commuter roadie, and the Shimano rings perform better, which matches my workshop observations.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Sora vs. higher-end crankset

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 29, 2013 7:01 pm

Pffft. The best front shifting I've ever had was on an old steely with stem shifters and Sugino cranks, 52-42 rings made from flat plate, no ramps, pins or deformed teeth :roll: .
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