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I am preparing my bike for a 2000 km trip. I have an old and used ~2003 hybrid bike with 105 derailleurs and want to change the current horizontal handlebars to road ones, so I have to change cables and shifters too.

Some time ago I got an almost new Shimano Sora groupset, so I will use, at least, those shifters for my bike. Do you think I should also change the derailleurs or should I better stay with the current old but nice 105?

  • Both are 9 speed groupset – riqui Jun 17 '18 at 14:47
  • After setting it up and riding 90km/3000m I have mixed feelings about it. It is true that now I have brand new Shimano groupset on it, but, on the other hand, I can feel how this Sora is a bit slower than the old 105. – riqui Jun 26 '18 at 8:43
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After making it to Norway with the Sora groupset, now I regret the change. As far as I remember, the original 105 was faster and I would guess, reliable enough.

I am used to good derailleurs, even though they could be old. For my commuting bike I use a Shimano 600 tricolore from the late eighties and for my road bike I use a Shimano Ultegra from the late two thousands. Once I finished my trip and came back to my other bikes, I realized they are way better, and still reliable even though they are old.

Moral of this story: for shimano at least, it's better old and good than new and bad.

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    Reading into that - the only reason for changing an older component would be wear? Great work on getting all the way to the destination too! – Criggie Jan 3 at 10:13
  • for shimano at least, it's better old and good than new and bad. In general, I'd agree. But even old and good Shimano is going to wear out eventually, and your 105 was 15 years old. I've had to replace the right shifter (Ultegra 6700) on my most-ridden bike once or twice in the past 6-7 years - it just wore out. I'd hate to have to deal with that on a long trip. – Andrew Henle Jan 3 at 10:40
  • Could you explain what you mean by one derailleur being „faster“ than another? – mkrieger1 Jan 4 at 11:27
  • When you change gears on a 105, it does it almost immediately. You can feel a sharp "click" in the lever and the derailleur moves right away. With a Sora, there is a softer change of gears. The movement acting the lever is longer and less precise and the derailleur takes a bit more to change gears. You can live with that, but if you can choose... – riqui Jan 4 at 14:16
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I assume the 105 groupset is 9 speed 5500, so is compatible with the 9 speed Sora.

I think I'd go with the new Sora instead of the old 105 derailleurs, the main reason being knowing that there will not be any compatibility problems.

By the way, you should know that frames for flat bars are slightly different from frames for drop bars - they are typically a little longer, because drop bars place the rider's hands further forward of the head tube than flat bars do. if you fit drop bars to your hybrid you may find the 'reach' from saddle to bars is too long, and you need a very short stem.

  • Thank you! Indeed, the original stem happend to be too long. I change it and tried it, everything looks nice now. – riqui Jun 26 '18 at 8:39
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On a 2000 km trip, I'd have the bike completely checked out to make sure things are in good enough condition.

Making major changes to the bike requires time to acclimate, so give yourself some time and mileage to get used to the bike with the new drops; as Argenti said, the geometry for bikes with flat/drop bars are usually a bit different, so you might have issues (which may or may not be solvable with more part replacements). You could also consider things like bar ends and what not.

You shouldn't expect compatibility problems with the derailleurs that Argenti was alluding to, but I'd be inclined to use the new derailleurs just because they have less miles on them. This would be something to discuss with the person checking out your bike.

  • Thank you! Bar ends were already on my first trip, so that solution was not enough. However, it looks like the new road bar with a shorter stem is a good combination. – riqui Jun 26 '18 at 8:46

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