Budget Groupsets

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Budget Groupsets

Postby TMjpn » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:18 am

Hi guys, just seeking some feedback on a group for a trainer/commuter I am building.Trying to keep the costs low, so I am comparing Latest Sora to Latest Tiagra to perhaps 5600 105..

I don't have any Tiagra/Sora experience and was wondering what kind of groupsets they are when you want to try push them. Does they shift reasonably when climbing, will I feel annoyed with it on a ride >60km's?

Was also contemplating SRAM Rival or Apex but I'm a bit of a Dumb, so in place of learning new controls I just want to stay on the tried and trusted shimano instead of switching styles between bikes. Yep I am THAT lazy.
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by BNA » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:32 pm

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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby queequeg » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:32 pm

TMjpn wrote:Hi guys, just seeking some feedback on a group for a trainer/commuter I am building.Trying to keep the costs low, so I am comparing Latest Sora to Latest Tiagra to perhaps 5600 105..

I don't have any Tiagra/Sora experience and was wondering what kind of groupsets they are when you want to try push them. Does they shift reasonably when climbing, will I feel annoyed with it on a ride >60km's?

Was also contemplating SRAM Rival or Apex but I'm a bit of a Dumb, so in place of learning new controls I just want to stay on the tried and trusted shimano instead of switching styles between bikes. Yep I am THAT lazy.


My commuter came with SRAM Apex. It took all of 30 seconds to master the Double-Tap system vs STi.
I can't really compare the two properly though, as my STi set is Dura-Ace 7800. The shifting on the road bike is very smooth and precise. The Apex shifting is a bit rough in comparison, but the parts are substantially cheaper. Unfortunately you can't mix a SRAM RD with Shimano shifters, or SRAM shifters with Shimano RD. Makes it expensive if you want to switch later!
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TMjpn » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:29 pm

Thanks :) I havent been able to find an apex group in budget yet so i'll keep an eye open..

I have tried all of shimano's latest mechanical groups after building up from 105 5700 - except the new 9000 DA. I've noticed the changes in performance quality on the way and I do love how my 7900 group will most always get me in gear with no fuss - even when I'm out of the saddle on a climb and my legs begin bomb out. I know I can't expect the same level of precision in a lower end group but want to still try have fun with it on the daily ride to work. My budget is pretty much $300 max so if I can get in under that with a group I'd be happy.

Has anyone tried one of those Microshift Arsis groups? I've read they are very compatible with Shimano stuff/

I'm also really interested to find out how Tiagra 4600 is.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby find_bruce » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:56 pm

With a budget of $300 your options are going to be limited - for example Ribble have
  • Shimano Sora 3500 9 Spd Double Groupset From AU$265.94
  • Shimano Tiagra 4600 10 Spd Double Groupset From AU$367.27
  • Shimano 105 (5700) Silver 10 Spd Double Groupset From AU$497.74
There is not a lot of love for Sora shifters, mainly due to having to be on the hoods to operate the thumb lever to shift from larger to smaller gears.

You will struggle to find any thing substantially different between Tiagra & 105 - Shimano are the master at niche marketing - if you look at the pricing of individual components, the only one that has much difference is the crankset, but I haven't been able to figure out why
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby Philipthelam » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:47 pm

The new sora does not have the button on the side, the levers shift the same way as all the other groupsets.

I have tiagra 4600 on my bike. It shifts well but as it is the only groupset I have ridden I can't compare it to other shimano groupsets
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby alwlim » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:44 pm

I've had the 2300 before, which is a cheaper Sora. Works the same, smooth shifts when properly set and lubed up. I never liked the restriction of being on the hood to shift, but what the hell, it's okay when commuting at moderate speed (30-35 kph) and don't want to be on the drops.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby HLC » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:53 pm

If you can wait a little while, get the new Shimano Claris.

I'm a Campag man personally, but for a cheap as chips commuter....

http://road.cc/content/news/77271-shima ... s-groupset
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby ironhanglider » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:18 pm

Microshift is Shimano compatible and typically cheaper.

9 speed Tiagra is now out of date so NOS levers are relatively cheap. You can also use all those high end 9 speed NOS cassettes from both road and MTB, from that brief time when Shimano was compatible with itself.

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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TMjpn » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:15 pm

Wow that Claris stuff looks pretty cool! I can think of many uses for that in a future build.

I like how the Tiagra 4600 is now 10 speed - and the crank seems to be good value for money ($100 for 890g or there abouts). I guess it's really the mech's that are an unknown quantity, so if anyone has a bike with them and can vouch for them i'd love to hear what you have to say.. I suppose they are pretty solid for a weekend run and the daily trundle down to work and back up the hill to home? Not too fussed about the weight or the whole poseur value of the group, more the functionality. I won't be ashamed to rock up to saturday brekkie runs with it :D cos if anything i'd try a little harder to flatter my ride :P So maybe I should hang on for a bit and save a bit more coin for a 4600 group from Ribble..

I guess I could go Sora if I can really tell myself I won't need that extra gear...

Its amazing how pricey a reasonable group is new... Tho I have seen the microshift stuff on bikes in the US pro tour... slowly it gains traction
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby jacks1071 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:24 pm

We're going to be distributing Microshift in Australia. I've been playing with it for 4 years, basically you can get Dura-Ace weight for Sora price - and in 10sp.

Absolutely best value for money you can get. First shipment should be here in around 2-weeks, its not up on our site yet so please contact me directly if you'd like to pre-order.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby rjk » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:32 pm

i would suggest you look at microshift as well
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TDC » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:50 pm

TMjpn wrote:Wow that Claris stuff looks pretty cool! I can think of many uses for that in a future build.

I like how the Tiagra 4600 is now 10 speed - and the crank seems to be good value for money ($100 for 890g or there abouts). I guess it's really the mech's that are an unknown quantity, so if anyone has a bike with them and can vouch for them i'd love to hear what you have to say.. I suppose they are pretty solid for a weekend run and the daily trundle down to work and back up the hill to home? Not too fussed about the weight or the whole poseur value of the group, more the functionality. I won't be ashamed to rock up to saturday brekkie runs with it :D cos if anything i'd try a little harder to flatter my ride :P So maybe I should hang on for a bit and save a bit more coin for a 4600 group from Ribble..

I guess I could go Sora if I can really tell myself I won't need that extra gear...

Its amazing how pricey a reasonable group is new... Tho I have seen the microshift stuff on bikes in the US pro tour... slowly it gains traction


Tiagra 4600 looks like it is re-badged 105 5600 series. If that's the case, then its good solid stuff.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby Jonno » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:01 am

I recently bought a microshift arsis groupset from yishun bike:

http://www.shop-yishunbike.com/componen ... groupset-2

they sell brake sets also:

http://www.shop-yishunbike.com/componen ... ack-bicycl
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby GeoffInBrisbane » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:44 pm

TDC wrote:
TMjpn wrote:Wow that Claris stuff looks pretty cool! I can think of many uses for that in a future build.

I like how the Tiagra 4600 is now 10 speed - and the crank seems to be good value for money ($100 for 890g or there abouts). I guess it's really the mech's that are an unknown quantity, so if anyone has a bike with them and can vouch for them i'd love to hear what you have to say.. I suppose they are pretty solid for a weekend run and the daily trundle down to work and back up the hill to home? Not too fussed about the weight or the whole poseur value of the group, more the functionality. I won't be ashamed to rock up to saturday brekkie runs with it :D cos if anything i'd try a little harder to flatter my ride :P So maybe I should hang on for a bit and save a bit more coin for a 4600 group from Ribble..

I guess I could go Sora if I can really tell myself I won't need that extra gear...

Its amazing how pricey a reasonable group is new... Tho I have seen the microshift stuff on bikes in the US pro tour... slowly it gains traction


Tiagra 4600 looks like it is re-badged 105 5600 series. If that's the case, then its good solid stuff.


My old Fondriest had 5600 on it. Very good, EXCEPT for the fact that the shifters ate the cables. They bend them too tight around the drum, and the cable eventually frays, sending shift quality to hell. If you don't change the cable, it will eventually snap and you will have to extract the frayed cable end from the shifter, which I cannot imagine is easy... If you're happy to replace your cables every few months, it's not an issue.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby Dan » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:38 pm

jacks1071 wrote:Absolutely best value for money you can get.


What's the indicative pricing Dion?
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby limetang » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:35 pm

Ive put thousands of k's into my 4600 Tiagra group. Rock solid and amazing value as far as im concerned. The shift feel is not that far off my Ultegra 6600SL. Cant go wrong for around $350 imo (i got my group from ribble btw)
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TDC » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:51 pm

GeoffInBrisbane wrote:
My old Fondriest had 5600 on it. Very good, EXCEPT for the fact that the shifters ate the cables. They bend them too tight around the drum, and the cable eventually frays, sending shift quality to hell. If you don't change the cable, it will eventually snap and you will have to extract the frayed cable end from the shifter, which I cannot imagine is easy... If you're happy to replace your cables every few months, it's not an issue.


I think you have just had an unfortunate experience. I have had a 5600 groupset since 2007 and have not had the issues you have had. Have never changed the cables.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby simonn » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:56 pm

I've commuted on Sora, Tiagra, 105 and Veloce. Veloce is the best, but they all work. The cheaper you go the more often you have to tune, but they all shift well enough for commuting.

If you are going cheap... I've got a S/H set of Sora 3400 shifters and a Microshift 34.9mm clamp 9spd double front der for sale if you are interested $80 and $10 respectively.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby Ozkaban » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:00 pm

Current sora is surprisingly good for the money. It's on my wife's bike. Getting rid of the thumb button is great. Front shift is a bit clunky compared to ultegra, but you'd expect that...


My brother rides microshift and he rates them well too.
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TMjpn » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:12 pm

Well after many hours spent pouring over varieties and chasing feedback, my budget needs were answered with a practically new Tiagra 4600 set for $200. I couldnt say no to the value.. I was very strongly leaning toward the microshift and may end up giving the mech's a try if the tiagra stuff doesn't fulfill my expectations, the Youtube videos of the shifting action were actually quite eye opening - the RD seems very snappy and direct but willing under load. Given that i saved $100 I can look for a slightly more comfortable saddle than the one I had my eye on, and something nicer to roll on..

Mind you, that with all the google searches I've done the last few days about Tiagra and how it goes, I've read nothing but people telling others to just stump up for 105 or ultegra without actually having run Tiagra - but the opposite here is true. It's very refreshing to have true, decent and constructive opinions on the cheaper mech groups on the market here on BNA, opposed to someone bashing on about how much better it is to spend more money. I'm just looking forward to building up my shiny new Merida :oops: into a sub 9kg, sub $800 ride and punching out many K's :D

I don't think it's so much the group that defines the ride. I've got a buddy on an old Sora'd up LeMond that comes on saturdays and still keeps a good clip of pace (and beats a few guys on slightly more fancy bikes while he's at it).
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby jacks1071 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:43 pm

Dan wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:Absolutely best value for money you can get.


What's the indicative pricing Dion?


$250-$300 for both levers and both mech, Australian stock with backup etc, you know the drill :-)
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TDC » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:55 pm

Is Microshift Shimano/SRAM or Campag compatible (cassettes/chains etc)?
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby TMjpn » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:18 pm

TDC wrote:Is Microshift Shimano/SRAM or Campag compatible (cassettes/chains etc)?


Ideal with Shimano SRAM Cranksets and cassettes - but only compatible with Shimano mechs. For instance you can run Mshift with a shimano DR, but not a SRAM DR.
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Budget Groupsets

Postby Dan » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:56 am

TMjpn wrote:
It's very refreshing to have true, decent and constructive opinions on the cheaper mech groups on the market here on BNA, opposed to someone bashing on about how much better it is to spend more money.



Are you sure you're talking about this BNA? ;)
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Re: Budget Groupsets

Postby GeoffInBrisbane » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:00 pm

TDC wrote:
GeoffInBrisbane wrote:
My old Fondriest had 5600 on it. Very good, EXCEPT for the fact that the shifters ate the cables. They bend them too tight around the drum, and the cable eventually frays, sending shift quality to hell. If you don't change the cable, it will eventually snap and you will have to extract the frayed cable end from the shifter, which I cannot imagine is easy... If you're happy to replace your cables every few months, it's not an issue.


I think you have just had an unfortunate experience. I have had a 5600 groupset since 2007 and have not had the issues you have had. Have never changed the cables.


Odd. I was doing RD cables every 3000ish km, and I've heard of others finding the same thing. If it works alright for you though, awesome!

I should also add that in every other respect, I found 5600 to be excellent. Prefer the shape of the hoods and levers to 5700 (which is on my wife's bike) too.
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