Upgrade old 105 components or go old school?
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Upgrade old 105 components or go old school?

    I have a 1995 Cannondale R800 with old Shimano 105 components that I have been told are shot and need to be replaced. The guy at the bike shop told me that it would cost me at least $200 to get Sora parts put on it. He suggested I go old school and put the shifters on the the frame to save money. I am not that competitive of a rider and am just looking at options.

    I looked online and I found that I can get a rear 105 derailleur for $60 and a 105 front derailleur for $35 both brand new. I am new to road bike and do not understand why he said that Sora (being bottom of the line) would cost me $200 to install? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    He's quoting you retail prices. And probably also the cost for the shifters.

    How shot are your components, really? Old-school shifters lasted forever unless hit with something, and front derailleurs tend to have pretty insane life spans too. Rear ones don't do as well, and things like the chain and cassette wear out too. Try and figure out which things, exactly, are too worn to keep using.

  3. #3
    Wanna go for a ride?
    Reputation: LandShark'n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    What exactly needs to be replaced? Is it just your derailleurs? Derailleurs do a lot of work, but they also can last a long, long time as long as they haven't been damaged in a crash. Did the guy at the shop mention your shift levers? Integrated brake/shift levers are prone to wearing out, and while Shimano units can be rebuilt (details exist on the web), it's not a task I'd want to take on.

    If the rear derailleur hasn't been damaged in a crash, you can make it good as new with some light maintenance and lubrication, you may even need to change out the pulleys. This is a small investment to bring new life to your shifting. Likewise, the front derailleur can withstand a lot of use, make sure the cage isn't bent or severely worn and you should be fine too.

    Other things to consider are changing the chain rings, cassette and chain. Being that this should be 8-speed on your bike, you're not looking at a lot of money for good serviceable parts.

    If you wanted to keep it cheap and the shift levers are in need of replacement, you could go to down tube shifters and still use your existing levers for braking only, or you could replace those with a set of Tektro road levers for about $30. Another viable option is MicroSHIFT's 8-speed levers:

    I have used MicroSHIFT components and am very pleased with the overall performance. Definitely worth checking out.

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