Know Your Groupsets

110

Do you know the difference between 105 and Dura-Ace and which should you opt for on your next bike? British Cycling talks to Julian Thrasher, Head of Training at Shimano UK, to find out the answers.

Can you explain the key features of your road groupsets?

Claris

A 2x or 3x 8 speed mechanical shift groupset that can be run in cable rim brake or cable operated disc brake options. Claris can be run with drop handlebar dual control levers for a road bike or flat handlebar brake and shift levers for a hybrid bike.

Sora

A 2x or 3x 9 speed mechanical shift groupset that again can be run in cable rim brake or cable operated disc brake options. Sora can be run with drop handlebar dual control levers for a road bike or flat handlebar brake and shift levers for a hybrid bike.

Both Claris and Sora groups are ideal starting points for leisure riders or riders who are brand new to cycling.

Tiagra

Is available as a cable rim brake 2x or 3x 10 speed mechanical shift groupset with drop handlebar dual control levers for road bikes or flat handlebar brake and shift lever options for hybrid bikes.

There is a dedicated hydraulic disc brake 2x 10 speed mechanical shift groupset in drop handlebar dual control levers only.

This is an ideal upgrade for the rider who wants to get into road cycling and wants the performance of the higher end groups but at an affordable price range.

105

Is available as a 2x 11 speed mechanical shift group only – there is no 3x option. 105 drop handlebar dual control levers are available in either cable rim brake or hydraulic disc brake versions. There is no flat handlebar option with 105.

105 is often seen as the start of the performance groupsets.

Ultegra

Is available as a 2x 11 speed mechanical or Di2 electric shift drop handlebar groupset. Both mechanical and Di2 groupsets are available in cable rim brake or hydraulic disc brake options.

Ultegra shares the same features as the range topping Dura Ace but uses different materials to make it a more affordable group.

Dura-Ace

Again is available as a 2 x 11 speed mechanical or Di2 electric shift drop handlebar groupset in cable rim or hydraulic disc brake options. Dura Ace is the range topping flagship groupset and is designed purely with racing in mind. All component are optimised for performance without thought to cost.

Chosen by professional race teams or top level amateurs who are not restricted by budget.

105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace are seen on most mid to top end road bikes. How much difference is there in terms of performance between them?

Honestly, in terms of performance – really not much! There will be a slight difference in feel between the three groups due to materials used, but you can expect the same solid and reliable shift and brake performance across all levels. This is why many keen club riders will choose to run 105 on their winter bikes.