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I understand that the product lines (105, DuraAce, etc.) are ranked in terms of quality, and that last years high model drops to this year's low model. Could someone lay out the logic for the naming system so I can understand it?

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  • What do you mean by "drops"? Are you referring to price? Or are you misunderstanding how the product lines work? Apr 20, 2016 at 17:48

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For road components Shimano has the following quality ranking, from top to bottom and from (very) expensive to cheap: Dura Ace Di2, Dura Ace mech., Ultegra Di2, Ultegra mech., 105, Tiagra, Sora and Claris.

What trickles down from year to year are the innovations. If some innovation appears with the pro-groupset Dura Ace it will appear in the following or second year in the Ultegra group and so on downwards while the the Dura Ace components have some further improvement.

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    You should probably add Sora and Claris to be more complete.
    – Kibbee
    Apr 20, 2016 at 19:03
  • @ Kibbee, done, added, thanks. Those two rarely appear at the LBS. They are more common with BSOs.
    – Carel
    Apr 20, 2016 at 19:44
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    I would hardly call them BSO quality. The Trek 1.1 and 1.2 road bikes come with Claris and Sora. They are perfectly serviceable equipment for a recreational cyclist.
    – Kibbee
    Apr 20, 2016 at 20:09
  • Shimano also has non-group components like ST-RS685 shifters. Apr 21, 2016 at 2:42
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    I've never seen a BSO with Claris/Sora level componentry. High end BSO's generaly have Tourney or non-branded components. The names come from a wide variety of sources -- Ultegra stands for "Ulitmate Integrity"; theres probably something similar for Dura Ace (duraluminum + ace?), since Exage was "Excellence New Age", whereas some are likely words in different languages (Deore = golden in french, alivio and acera are spanish words, etc.).
    – Batman
    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:59

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