Several different parts combine to make a bicycle. One such component is the groupset, which comprises everything, excluding the bike’s fork, wheels, handlebars, frame, seat post, and saddle. There are multiple manufacturers of the groupset, and each one of them has a different set of advantages and disadvantages. The most popular groupsets among the available options are Shimano Claris vs. 105. But, what’s best for your needs? Read on to know the answer.
Shimano Claris Vs. 105
Shimano 105 is higher in the hierarchy, but Claris is an entry-level groupset. Designed for bike enthusiasts, 105 is more refined when compared to Claris. But, you cannot use high-end and expensive parts for each mission. Sometimes, it’s better to purchase inexpensive components.
Claris includes an 8-speed cassette and is available in two recreations; Sora, which consists of a 9-speed cassette, and Tiagra that comes with a 10-speed cassette. On the contrary, Shimano 105 has an 11-speed cassette. Let’s discuss other differences between these two.
Part 1: Shifter comparison
Both the groupsets use STI brake-shifters, which allow you to shift without taking your hands off the bars. But, there are three differences; the number of speeds, brake support, and cable routing options.
Shimano 105 has 11 speeds, but Claris is limited to 8. Plus, the cable routing in Shimano 105 is invisible, which makes the cockpit cleaner and boosts the aerodynamics. Plus, this brake shifter is compatible with hydraulic disc brakes.
Some of the riders state that Shimano 105 is ergonomically better than Claris. However, it depends upon your personal preferences because Claris suffices the requirements for a regular biker.
Shimano 105 sits at a higher level than Claris. But if you don’t have hydraulic brakes on your bike, or you can ignore significant gear jumps, Claris can do the job.
Part 2: Brakes comparison
Claris does not include disc brakes, but you can purchase them separately. On the contrary, Shimano 105 consists of a hydraulic disc brake caliper. Talking about the rim brakes, 105 has a better pulling technology when compared to Claris. Plus, 105 brakes can be paired with a direct mount fork and frame.
However, if you own a regular frame and fork, Claris can perform according to your desires. Also, it might be a great option if you are not planning for a hydraulic braking system.
Part 3: Front derailleur comparison
Claris front derailleurs are straightforward and do not offer any cable adjustment. But, Shimano 105 has an integrated cable tension adjustment and other cable routing options. However, this feature is only available in the new models.
Shimano Claris derailleurs have a short arm, which is another disadvantage. It’s terrible because you have to pull the levels with additional strength to overshadow its mechanical disadvantage, especially when you want to make a significant shift.
Shimano 105 front derailleurs have built-in options for cable adjustments. Plus, it has better architecture and is more comfortable than Claris.
Part 5: Rear derailleur comparison
Shimano 105 rear derailleur operates with 11 speeds and has a low profile built. So, this component remains protected under the cassette that keeps it safe during collisions and falls. Plus, the rear derailleur is lightweight. On the other hand, Claris offers smooth gear shifting, but you have to ignore the large jumps between the cogs.
Shimano 105 is lightweight when compared to Claris. The chainring material in Claris is steel, and its aluminum in 105. Hence, Shimano 105 is perfect for races.
Part 7: Hubs comparison
The hubs of these two groupsets are different at four points.
- Weight: As you can guess, Shimano 105 is lightweight.
- Brake support: Claris hubs are not compatible with disc brakes
- Speed support: The maximum speed of Claris is 8 to 9 speeds.
- Axle: The brake hubs of Shimano 105 uses a thru-axle, which avoids any brake rubbing while you install the wheel.
Advantages of Claris
- Offers high-quality performance at a reasonable price: Shimano Claris has multiple features that you can only find in high-end and expensive groupsets. Hence, Claris might be the right purchase if you want to enjoy bike rides but don’t want to invest too much in it.
- Solid and durable: Claris performs well in unfavorable conditions and is sturdy enough to withstand the beating.
Disadvantages of Claris
- Bigger jumps because it has only eight-speed
- The resale value is low
- You cannot upgrade it
- Shifting is not as smooth and crisp
- The front derailleur required more shifting strength due to its poor mechanical advantage.
- Not compatible with disc brakes.
Advantages of Shimano 105
- Lightweight: If you want to save significantly on weight, then try Shimano 105.
- High-grade performance: Shimano 105 is a medium-level groupset that falls between entry-level options and professional ones. It also the first groupset to offer both Dura-Ace and Ultegra. Most of the riders cannot outgrow 105 because of top-grad performance.
- Allows upgrades: As 105 has the modern 11-speed version, it’s upgrade friendly.
- High resale value: A bike fitted with 105 has a better resale value.
Disadvantages of Shimano 105
Cost: Shimano does not have any negative points, except its price tag might be high for some riders.
How will you use the bike?
If you need a bike for your daily commute, then Shimano Claris might be perfect. It’s also great if you want to use the bicycle for weight management. There are high chances that someone steals your road bike. So, try a Shimano 105 or other expensive racing components only if you have a safe parking spot.
Do you wish to be a professional in the future?
Well, this question could be difficult to answer if you are new to the cycling world. Still, you can ask yourself and think, will you ever try to be an athlete? If the answer comes with a high percentile, then you can try Shimano 105.
What is your budget?
Shimano 105 comes with a high price tag. But Claris is inexpensive. So, you can try any of them as per the available amount you can invest.
Most of the riders upgrade to Shimano 105 because it’s lightweight and smooth. But, everything depends upon your bike, riding style, and budget. Claris is an inexpensive option, which does the needful without creating any problems at all. But 105 is costly because it has better construction. Hence, 105 is might be the correct groupset for races.