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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Is Shimano 2300 any good

    Hi,

    i'm thinking about buying the botom level Specialized Allez 2011, but i'm having some doubts about the gear.
    Some say the shimano 2300 isn't really worth buying, that i should at least upgrade to shimano 105. Others say the 2300 is enough for what i do with my bike (one, max 2 rides/week, about 70 km/ride).

    Any experienced users here?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I rode over 2000 kms this year on a 2300 equipped bike - no problems at all.

  3. #3
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Shimano's lower end groups are durable and function well. IMO the biggest disadvantage with the 2300/ Sora groups is the thumb tabs employed to shift down to the smaller ring and/ or cog. They're difficult to operate from the drops, but most casual or new users ride on the tops/ hoods, and they're the users these groups are designed for.

    If you're relatively new to riding or normally position your hands on the hoods or tops, I think you'll be fine going with the 2300 series.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    My converted mtb --> drop bar commuter has Sora brifters which is the same format as the 2300 brifters. Works great. Solid and reliable.
    The only draw back is it is tough to shift down when on drops. But I hardly ever go on drops on my commutes.
    Cable set-up is key to happy gear shifting.

  5. #5
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    How about durability? I am not that handy when it comes to bikes, and would like to avoid part upgrades/replacement.
    I plan to ride 50 miles a week on it. Is 2300 good enough?

  6. #6
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    I bought the 2010 base-level allez and would say the shimano sora/tiagra groupo works perfectly fine - especially if you ride 2 times a week. I do have to agree that the thumb shifter levers aren't the smoothest while shifting. i recently upgraded to mostly ultegra parts and can't tell thaaat great of difference - except for the shifting levers - but of course that may be because I'm relatively new to road biking. If the sora thumb levers are too bothersome you can of course always upgrade them to 105 later, and you can find some inexpensive 105 derailleurs on ebay along the way.

    Bottom line: Allez sport is a great entry level bike with decent components.

  7. #7
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    From what I've seen, they are quite durable and reliable, the key is to have them dialed in correctly, and they will shift VERY well. As others have stated, the thumb shift can be somewhat bothersome, but it's not a deal breaker.
    "Those who like it, like it A LOT!"

  8. #8
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    I have the 2010 allez with all 2300 components. Really has been great for my 50-100 mi per week riding. I did need some adjustment on the RD after a few weeks due to cable stretch. My lbs did it for free. Over all good entry groupo.

  9. #9
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    I ride a 2010 Allez Triple and I have put lots of miles on this bike...some of those miles were under very unfavorable road conditions. Throughout it all, the drive train and shifters worked smoothly and precisely. From my personal experience, the 2300 groupo is a reliable workhorse.

    I don't know why some people are saying that 2300 is only good for limited riding. I have seen lots of people rack up lots of miles on componetry that is lower level than 2300 without durability or shifting problems. Maintenance is the key to the longevity of any bike.

    Don't get hung up on componetry because a lot of it is just marketing. Basically, you want a system that is comfortable for you, that is reliable and that works the way it should. Buy your 2300 equipped bike and work it like a borrowed mule. You will have no problems. Learning how to do basic bike maintenance and derailleur adjustments is a good thing to do for any set-up.

    The thing I like about the 2300 shifters is easy access to the cable adjustment. Also, if you ride the hoods like most non-racers, you will be able to shift faster. I have found that the 2300/Sora style shift button drops you into high gear faster than the 105 shifter. It's a faster, shorter motion.
    Last edited by masherjim; 10-22-2011 at 01:22 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    IMO the biggest disadvantage with the 2300/ Sora groups is the thumb tabs employed to shift down to the smaller ring and/ or cog. They're difficult to operate from the drops, but most casual or new users ride on the tops/ hoods, and they're the users these groups are designed for.

    If you're relatively new to riding or normally position your hands on the hoods or tops, I think you'll be fine going with the 2300 series.
    How exactly difficult is it to shift on the drops with Shimano 2300 shifters? Are the thumb shifters virtually useless on the drops? If so, what modifications or alternatives would you recommend? Next year, I am planning to get a road bike with 2300 shifters and I am bit concerned about this matter.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevensRacer View Post
    How exactly difficult is it to shift on the drops with Shimano 2300 shifters? Are the thumb shifters virtually useless on the drops? If so, what modifications or alternatives would you recommend? Next year, I am planning to get a road bike with 2300 shifters and I am bit concerned about this matter.
    If a rider had their hands positioned in the drops or 'hooks', they'd need to move them up slightly towards the thumb tabs to operate them. Conversely, Tiagra (and up) shifters use an inner and outer lever, which can be operated from the hoods or drops.

    If this is your first road bike, I think the 2300 shifters will suffice, but if/ when your fit evolves where you're spending time in the drops, you'll probably want more ergonomic shifters. Other options/ brands to consider are SRAM and Microshift. The latter used to be OEM'd on some reasonably priced Felt's.. maybe still are.

    FWIW, not all riders (new as well as more experienced) ride in the drops often.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    If a rider had their hands positioned in the drops or 'hooks', they'd need to move them up slightly towards the thumb tabs to operate them. Conversely, Tiagra (and up) shifters use an inner and outer lever, which can be operated from the hoods or drops.

    If this is your first road bike, I think the 2300 shifters will suffice, but if/ when your fit evolves where you're spending time in the drops, you'll probably want more ergonomic shifters. Other options/ brands to consider are SRAM and Microshift. The latter used to be OEM'd on some reasonably priced Felt's.. maybe still are.

    FWIW, not all riders (new as well as more experienced) ride in the drops often.
    Thank you for the helpful input - I really appreciate it.

  13. #13
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    Sorry to bring this thread up, but I met a cyclist who told me about some sort of extention that can be installed on the 2300 thumb shifters that will enable a rider to easily use the shifters on the drops. Has anyone done this or have any specific info on what this cyclist is referring to?

  14. #14
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    I just picked up a pair of sora-type shimano levers, a front triple and an old and hard to find 7 speed rear for $45 and $30 respectively.

    I have to say Im pretty blown away with the build quality of the lever, the shifting action is smooth and precise and they feel really solid. For what I paid they are pretty awesome.

    As some have mentioned, not being able to shift to a smaller cog from the drops is a little bit of a bummer but these were for my drop bar mountain bike commuter where Ill mostly be on the hoods anyway.

  15. #15
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    I ride with 2300's on my trek 1.1, they work great and everyone has stated the drawbacks of being in the drops and not able to reach them unless you have thumbs 5" long. I have put plenty of 25-35 mile rides on the components and they have yet to fail me or go out of whack. I ride flat terrain and dont see any difference in my components to my friends dura-ace equipped roubaix, besides it being better looking, lighter, cooler, and have dual finger shifter thingys.
    Bottom line, it'll get the job done.

  16. #16
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    Is it any harder to move one hand from the drops to the hoods to shift, than it was to move it from the drops to the downtube back in the good old days?

  17. #17
    PhotonFreak
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    Is it any harder to move one hand from the drops to the hoods to shift, than it was to move it from the drops to the downtube back in the good old days?
    If anytihng it's a lot easier, but then again, my only experience with downtube shift bikes is riding some friends' old POS 80s bikes that barely work at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    If a rider had their hands positioned in the drops or 'hooks', they'd need to move them up slightly towards the thumb tabs to operate them. Conversely, Tiagra (and up) shifters use an inner and outer lever, which can be operated from the hoods or drops.

    If this is your first road bike, I think the 2300 shifters will suffice, but if/ when your fit evolves where you're spending time in the drops, you'll probably want more ergonomic shifters. Other options/ brands to consider are SRAM and Microshift. The latter used to be OEM'd on some reasonably priced Felt's.. maybe still are.

    FWIW, not all riders (new as well as more experienced) ride in the drops often.
    I really like the ergonomics on the SRAM levers best. I like them more than Shimano's main groups (ie Tiagra and up) and way more than Sora/2300 w/ the thumb tab shifters.

    The brake lever is for braking only. There is a single shift lever which may either upshift once, or downshift up to three times in a single move when pushed laterally. The lever also pivots and can be swung in toward the rider's hand and held with the index finger. This means it's possible to shift without moving the hand from any bar position -- including down low in the very bottom part of the drops or up on the bar tops during seated climbs. SRAM is also significantly easier/nicer to operate when riding with full-fingered gloves IME.


    Unfortunately the SRAM stuff is only available on bikes at significantly higher price point than Sora or 2300 equipped bikes. Shimano offers 6 groupsets with 2300 and sora on the low end w/ 8 and 9 speed drive trains and the thumb-tab shifter. SRAM only offers 4 groupsets (Red, Force, Rival, Apex) comparable to Shimano's higher end groupsets (Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105, Tiagra, respectively).

    That said, I'd encourage you to try out some bikes with different kinds of shift levers to get a feel for the ergonomics. Even "test riding" a bike on a trainer in a shop should be an indicator of whether you like or dislike the lever ergonomics.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevensRacer View Post
    Sorry to bring this thread up, but I met a cyclist who told me about some sort of extention that can be installed on the 2300 thumb shifters that will enable a rider to easily use the shifters on the drops. Has anyone done this or have any specific info on what this cyclist is referring to?
    I am going to bump this question again.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SevensRacer View Post
    Sorry to bring this thread up, but I met a cyclist who told me about some sort of extention that can be installed on the 2300 thumb shifters that will enable a rider to easily use the shifters on the drops. Has anyone done this or have any specific info on what this cyclist is referring to?
    I read this but didn't respond because I've never heard of such a thing. I'm wondering if the person you spoke with wasn't thinking of the shims that bring the brake lever closer to the bar (shorten reach).

  20. #20
    Scott in Maryland
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    I gotta say that in a few limited rides I've found new 5750/5700 level 105 group to be so good that I'd recommend spending the extra up front to get into this.

    I think the question is not 2300 vs 105 but rather 105 vs Ultegra.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott in MD View Post
    I gotta say that in a few limited rides I've found new 5750/5700 level 105 group to be so good that I'd recommend spending the extra up front to get into this.

    I think the question is not 2300 vs 105 but rather 105 vs Ultegra.
    Usually the issue isn't acknowledging that 105 is "better" than the Sora or 2300 stuff, but the issue is what level of bike is affordable for a person.

    Based on my experience with high end groups (Shimano Dura Ace and Sram Red) and having rented Sora and 2300 level bikes several times, I can honestly say that the lower end stuff is just fine for almost any recreational rider, especially a beginner. There's no meaningful loss of function (except the basic issue of thumb shifter) and especially, there's no loss of fun when using the lower end stuff.

    If that level of spending is what is comfortable for the buyer, he/she should feel no hesitation, shouldn't feel the need to over spend, or wait and save to "upgrade" to 105 and beyond.

    The person might consider the Sram Apex though as it is also very affordable and the ergonomics might suit the rider better.

  22. #22
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    I dig it.

  23. #23
    gmillwater
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    Shimano 2300

    Being a retired racer and a avid cyclist since the '70s, I've used just about every series of components by Shimano and Campy. They all function exactly as they were designed with the major difference being weight. Think of components as your typical car. They all get upgrades every year as technology grows, but they ALL do the same thing and do it well. Also, look at the race teams. When Campy introduced the entry level Athena line, what do you think their teams were using? It's all in marketing. If the components were not reliable, the mfg. wouldn't put them on pro bikes even for a short marketing campaiegn. If it was to fail in a major event like the "Tour", they would fall flat on their face.

    So the next time some pampas ass club guy implies that your equipment is junk, remind him that his fancy high priced equipment doesn't make him any faster than you.

  24. #24
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    Just wanted to point out the 2013 Sora shifters have done away with thumb shifters. I guess it's the trickle down of last years Tiagra tech. I test rode a 2013 Roubaix Compact with them and they work fine. I'd probably go for Tiagra if you can afford it but the Sora stuff worked just fine.


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    Just wanted to point out the 2013 Sora shifters have done away with thumb shifters. I guess it's the trickle down of last years Tiagra tech. I test rode a 2013 Roubaix Compact with them and they work fine. I'd probably go for Tiagra if you can afford it but the Sora stuff worked just fine.

    Internal cable routing ??
    Only the dead shall know the end of war.

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