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  1. #1
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    Sora vs. Tiagra vs. 105

    I have a bit of a problem, I am looking for a roadie for my g/f in a nice-looking WSD frame but I am finding that a lot of manufacturers tend to skip the Tiagra groupset, leaving me with Sora (too cheap) or 105 (too expensive). Keeping in mind that my girlfriend is only really just starting, is Sora suitable?

    We are eyeing the Merida Ride Juliet 91/901, however it only includes Sora components.

    What are the real differences between the above, I believe Sora and below don't shift as well, and anything from 105 upwards are basically the same, just a weight saving for each jump.

    Experiences?

  2. #2
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    Sora is not really suitable for anyone that actually rides a road bike as it should be ridden(for miles on end through many elevations that require frequent shifting).

    105 and above are considered to be "race" ready. Take that for what it means as I am sure that some weenies around here will argue you why 105 is inferior to whatever they have.

    I had a Sora rear derailleur and it shifted OK and was reliable but I upgraded to 105 once I got new shifters. Speaking of shifters, the sora shifters are different from Tiagra and anything above tiagra. You won't be able to shift them if you're down in the drops . Google a picture of them and see.

    Check out the bikes below.Are they too expensive for you? If so, your expectations of what one should pay for a decent road bike are too low.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes/road/lexa/lexasl/


    OR

    You can take the online route though you may have to take a risk in terms of fit. It's best to always ride a bike before buying.

    Check out below.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/gigi.htm

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e/gigi_pro.htm

    If she is new into the sport, have her be measured for a "man" bike and have her ride one from a local bikes shop. If she's comfy on it then who cares about "women specific design" .

  3. #3
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    The Lexa SL is "ballpark" i.e. what we would expect to pay (around $AU 1,400 R.R.P), so we are not aiming too high. She just thinks the SL looks ugly, basically we are looking for a nice looking frame for a woman, with at least Tiagra gear, for no more than about $1,500 R.R.P (i.e. , probably pay $1,400 in store after haggling).

    So far the only manufacturers with decent designs for woman is Orbea (Dama Aqua TTG - a little pricey) and Merida Juliet 91 (her favourite, but only Sora)

  4. #4
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    What is ugly about the frame? The colour? The geometry? The way it is welded together?

    You get what you pay for. At the price point you set out you are going to have a hard time finding beautiful, hydroformed frames.(forget carbon) As for the geometry, all WSD bikes have a different geometry that may look "ugly" to some people but they are different since a woman's body is different (appearently, perhaps it is marketing). I still say that you guys don't rule out a regular bike if you find the one that fits her well.

  5. #5
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    Mainly the paint job/colours. Not the frame so much. The Merida looks great, it's just that there's no "middle ground" - I.e. jumps from Sora to 105, with a big jump in price ($1000 - $1800).

    Examples of good looking bikes:
    http://www.orbea.com/nz-us/bicis/mod...qua_dama_ttg/# - $1440. Tiagra
    http://www.merida-bikes.com/en_gb/bi...+Juliet+91-com -$1,050 - But Sora (as above)
    Last edited by maxwolfie; 03-14-2011 at 05:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    Theres nothing unsuitable or unreliable about sora or tiagra. My 105 stuff failed much more than my sora. Not that its any worse, its just the way the dice rolled with that set. The 105 sort of marginally shifted better (trim was a nice feature too, if you insist on cross chaining).

    I wouldnt sweat sora shifters for half a second. Sora bikes usually have cheaper housings and cables, and thats where a ton of the sloppy feel comes from. Those types of bikes usually have less carefully installed and finished cables.

    Its not for everyone, but Im in love with my barcons. The price, weight, durability, and function is far better for me than even dura ace integrated shifters.

    If you're looking for bargains, look for last year models and closeouts.

  7. #7
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    The Felt ZW95 may be of interest. It's spec'd with a Sora drivetrain but uses MicroShift shifters that are similar in operation to Shimano's higher end groups.
    http://www.feltbicycles.com/Australi...ries/ZW95.aspx

    As another poster mentioned (paraphrasing), fit is very important, so have your GF work with a reputable fitter, get sized/ fitted and test rides any bikes of interest. I also agree that (depending on proportions) she may not require WSD geometry.

  8. #8
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    http://www.trekbikes.com/au/en/bikes/road/1_series/15u/

    Consider the above bike. It comes in sizes as small as 50 cm. It has Tiagra components, it's a good brand and it's MSRP is just that...most shops will sell for from $50-100 less. Plenty of brands have bikes with these components at similar price points. Women's Specific Design is an answer to a question no one seemed to ask. There could be more difference between two men than there would be between your girl and you for example. Everyone's body is unique regardless of sex.

    Just take her into a shop; have her try a bike she can afford and will enjoy riding. Componentry aside, it is primarily about the fit.

  9. #9
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    When I was trek shopping for my girlfriend, no one would come down on trek prices. Trek and spec dont like to wiggle on current model prices, maybe more so than other brands. Shops will bend over backwards to cut you deals on components, but we couldnt get more than a few bucks off current bikes. Ended up with a last-year trek 1.2, which has been just fine.

    The womens bikes usually have narrower bars and some girly looking parts. Theres nothing "wrong" with them, per se. Sometimes they're cheaper because they dont sell as readily. Definitely dont pay a cent extra for one, but dont pass them up either.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    The Felt ZW95 may be of interest. It's spec'd with a Sora drivetrain but uses MicroShift shifters that are similar in operation to Shimano's higher end groups.
    http://www.feltbicycles.com/Australi...ries/ZW95.aspx

    As another poster mentioned (paraphrasing), fit is very important, so have your GF work with a reputable fitter, get sized/ fitted and test rides any bikes of interest. I also agree that (depending on proportions) she may not require WSD geometry.
    Thanks, that comment about the shifters on the ZW95 really changes things for her. Cheers again.

  11. #11
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    Have I got the bike for you....

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwolfie
    I have a bit of a problem, I am looking for a roadie for my g/f in a nice-looking WSD frame but I am finding that a lot of manufacturers tend to skip the Tiagra groupset, leaving me with Sora (too cheap) or 105 (too expensive). Keeping in mind that my girlfriend is only really just starting, is Sora suitable?

    We are eyeing the Merida Ride Juliet 91/901, however it only includes Sora components.

    What are the real differences between the above, I believe Sora and below don't shift as well, and anything from 105 upwards are basically the same, just a weight saving for each jump.

    Experiences?
    Hi there,

    My wife has just moved on from the Merida Juliet 904 with 105 to a Colnago, because she likes cycling alot. She therefore has a near new 904 for sale (it has done only around 1000 km). I believe you are in NSW, and we are in Adelaide, so maybe if you were interested you could get a great 904 at 901 price or below.

    Cheers,

    M

  12. #12
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    We've decided that Sora is more than adequate, at least for a year or so while she gets the hang of it!

    She's getting the Merida Juliet 91, it's a sweet looking bike in the flesh, not so much in the picture.

  13. #13
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Nice! I like the looks personally, and Sora should work just fine.

  14. #14
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    My girlfriend has a womens version of the CAAD8.

    It comes with a mix of Tiagra (shifters and derailleurs) Sora (cranks). For her riding level, they work great. The action is fairly light and she has never missed a shift.

    The only issue she had with that bike are the levers. She has really small hands, so she has a hard time braking while on the hoods. I shimmed the levers, but that didn't much good. So I ended up putting some cross type levers on the bar tops.

    For the "lower" tier stuff...the Tiagra works pretty well. IIRC...the new Tiagra is supposed to be 10 speed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvantDale
    My girlfriend has a womens version of the CAAD8.

    It comes with a mix of Tiagra (shifters and derailleurs) Sora (cranks). For her riding level, they work great. The action is fairly light and she has never missed a shift.

    The only issue she had with that bike are the levers. She has really small hands, so she has a hard time braking while on the hoods. I shimmed the levers, but that didn't much good. So I ended up putting some cross type levers on the bar tops.

    For the "lower" tier stuff...the Tiagra works pretty well. IIRC...the new Tiagra is supposed to be 10 speed.

    Good looking bike (light blue), however still $300 - $400 more expensive (just for half the components to be upgraded to Tiagra)

  16. #16
    n00bsauce
    Reputation: Mel Erickson's Avatar
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    The main problem with Sora is the shifters. Why not have the folks you're buying from switch them out for Tiagra. Should not be a big cost difference.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  17. #17
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    We went with the Merida Juliet 91 with upgraded Tiagra shifters and R/D for an extra $150 odd dollars ($1220 total).

  18. #18
    n00bsauce
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwolfie
    We went with the Merida Juliet 91 with upgraded Tiagra shifters and R/D for an extra $150 odd dollars ($1220 total).
    You could've skipped the rear derailleur replacement. The Sora would have worked just fine. However, most of the cost was probably in the shifter replacement anyway so it probably wouldn't have saved you a lot. Good purchase. Enjoy.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  19. #19
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    Yeah, I figured she might get a little more milage out of the Tiagra R/D than the Sora.. no other reason really, as I don't believe the Tiagra is any more adjustable??

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