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I am a little struggling on whether to go with the 8spd or 9spd models for my very first entry level road bike. Based on the spec, which I surveyed among the following bikes, the 9 spd model is almost identical just as 8 spd model. However, I was wondering if there's more benefits or differences than just the speed.

9sp

  • Bianchi Via Nirone Sora
  • Bianchi Nirone Dama Sora
  • Giant Contend 1 (tubeless)
  • Specialized Allez Sports

8sp

  • Bianchi Via Nirone Claris
  • Giant Contend 3
  • Specialized Allez

closed as off-topic by Klaster_1, Daniel R Hicks, Grigory Rechistov, Chris H, mattnz Aug 13 '18 at 8:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product/service/learning material recommendations or item valuations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead describe the situation or specific problem you are trying to solve, or try chatting about it in The Velodrome." – Klaster_1, Daniel R Hicks, Grigory Rechistov, Chris H, mattnz
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  • The number of speeds selected by the rear derailer is only a small part of the overall performance profile of a multi-speed bicycle. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 13 '18 at 2:39
  • Welcome to the website! Because it is dedicated to Q&A that would last, and product recommendations tend to be soon outdated and/or geography/market specific, questions like this tend to be closed as off-topic. However, your question can be rephrased in a more general manner, smth like "modern 8 spd vs 9 spd - what are benefits?" In If you do that, the question would become relevant again. – Grigory Rechistov Aug 13 '18 at 6:07
  • I ride a 3x8 hybrid and a 3x9 tourer with the same range cassette (but bigger chainrings on the tourer). It doesn't make much difference except when I go from the tourer to the hybrid I notice a big jump at one point in the cassette. The issue is more that the fewer speeds you have, the lower the quality of spares you can buy, but even the entry level stuff from major manufacturers is pretty decent. – Chris H Aug 13 '18 at 7:09
  • FWIW, my impression is that 8 speed rears are becoming rare, and replacement parts will be harder to find. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 13 '18 at 11:23
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    @GrigoryRechistov I apologize for the mistake which I made as my very first question in stack community. I took your advise and changed the topic and my questions as well. And these replies really help me to understand more about the benefits beyond the speed difference. – JxHammer110 Aug 14 '18 at 6:05
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For making things simpler from marketing perspective manufacturers upgrade not only groupset with the next level, but many other components too. So overall in this price range you should not only be getting more gears, but lower weight, more reliable and higher quality components, better brakes etc. It could be even the difference between bottom bracket standards and chainsets which could make your life a little bit easier when it comes to service effort / service range.

Regarding speeds - more gears just give you smaller gaps between them, you can see it yourself that both 8 speed and 11 speed cassettes could provide you the same range of 11-28 or 11-32 (hardest gear size - easiest gear size), so going flat out or going uphill should make no difference. except the weight savings.

So answering your questions, you need to count in more factors to be able to make a choice. What's your expectations on a bike? How long do you want to keep it? In my opinion in this price range you get good value for money each time you pay a little bit extra. At the same time I'm sure it's possible to find Tiagra if not 105 bikes for the same price if you look for less mainstream brands, buy online or wait with the purchase to make it during autumn/winter season.

UPD: also would like to loop in the factor of resale value. I believe for lower spec road bikes it's usually quite low, while I can see people sell Ultegra bikes for something like 75% of the new price, when it comes to Claris I can see ads with only 50% of the price of the new. So at the end buying slightly more expensive groupset could save you some cash, worth checking out your local market of used bikes to make a decision.

  • very interesting point of view. Imagine the Ultegra bike was twice the price of the Claris bike, the depreciation in absolute values was exactly the same (which may suggest that Ultegra bike will last twice as long as Claris bike). Coming back to the weight difference - overall the Ultegra bike is lighter, but which cassette is lighter - 8 speed Claris or 11 speed Ultegra? And do the benefits of having 3 extra gears outweigh the extra weight? – Mike Aug 14 '18 at 6:51

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