Shimano 105 Vs. Sora: Which Is The Better Option?

With its SRAM rival, the Shimano groupset is among the most famous. Everybody who is a fan of cycling or biking, Form the experts to those who have nothing but an elementary and rudimentary knowledge of bikes, knows a thing or two about them.

The reason is that they are durable, efficient, and of good quality. And the more expensive the Shimano groupset becomes, the more impressive its features and performance.

Almost all bikes have a Shimano groupset, whether high-end or intended for the mass market. The mid-range to low-end bikes have either Shimano 105 or Shimano Sora.

Shimano 105 vs. Shimano Sora, which among them is the better one? If you are the one customizing your bike, which would you prefer?

The Shimano Groupset

There is a hierarchy among the Shimano road bike groupsets. One that belongs to the higher groupset would be the Shimano Dura-Ace series, namely Dura-Ace R9200, Dura-Ace 9150 DI2, and Dura-Ace 9100.

Then there is the Shimano Ultegra, consists of Ultegra R8100 and Ultegra 8000.

Those are the most high-end of the Shimano family. Below them would be the mid-range to low-end ones, namely, Shimano 105 groupset, Shimano Sora, and Shimano Tiagra.

The Shimano Claris groupset occupies the lowest rung.

Those are according to the ranking of experts. One is also priced differently according to the efficiency and features.

But all of them are of good quality and, in their way, can better serve the bike’s or rider’s needs.

A groupset must be compatible with a component or other parts, a bike frame, for instance. For bike companies manufacturing bikes, they have specifications that would match the Shimano groupset.

For those customizing their bikes, things could be tricky. You need to know if what you have in mind is appropriate for a particular Shimano component.

If not, some issues may affect the bike’s performance.

A bike that could optimize the Shimano groupset, overall, may be more efficient than those with top-tier Shimano but cannot optimize it.

It is crucial, then, to go beyond the usual price and specs, dig deeper and look closely at Shimano 105 and Shimano Sora. It is better to compare and contrast them and know what they bring to the table.

See more: Want to know the best bikes of the year, according to Forbes Magazine? Read this:

Comparing Shimano 105 and Shimano Sora: The Similarities:

Shimano 105 and Shimano Sora have features that make them stand out and differ from other Shimano groupsets. Among these are:


Both Shimano groupsets are in between the high-end and the low-end ones. They are ranked by experts precisely in the middle, along with Shimano Tiagra, talking about price and quality.


A high-end Shimano 105 that of Shimano R7100 is priced at just below two grand. But the low-end Shimano 105 R7000 is just around a hundred dollars more expensive than Shimano Sora R3000.


In terms of speed, they are closer to each other. Shimano 105 sports an 11-speed, while Shimano Sora features a 9-speed gear.

Those do not spell that much of a difference. Two riders with the same skill set will not have much difference in speed or performance, whatever of the two they use.

A 9-speed gear, though, will perform better on the climb, but the 11-speed can take a variety of terrain. The gear options make the difference, especially when cycling long distances.


With slight differences, Shimano 105 and Shimano Sora employ the same shifters with the same use and function. They have levers you push or pull for braking and shifting.

The slight difference has something to do with the quality of the shift. More than the gear options, Shimano 105 makes for a better, smoother shift.

The Sora shifter requires a bit of effort; other than that, it is as efficient as the Shimano 105.

Shimano 105 vs. Shimano Sora: Significant Differences

Both being mid-range, having nearly the same speed, and operating shifters, there are significant differences between Shimano 105 and Shimano Sora. It involves features, quality and performance, and price.


Shimano 105 is significantly lighter than the Shimano Sora. It has that clean, glossy look, making it more appealing.

A bike presumed to be mid-range or high-end can amplify that look and image by having Shimano 105 crankset.

Aesthetics aside, however, Shimano Sora may have gotten the better of Shimano 105 with its triple chainset, a feature already discarded in Shimano 105. That makes the Shimano Sora ideal for those who want to take on some climbs and terrain.

Brake Set

Here the difference is more pronounced. Shimano 105 employs hydraulic disc brakes, whereas Shimano Sora uses mechanical disc brakes.

Brake Set

In general, hydraulic disc brakes have more stopping power than rim brakes or mechanical disc brakes, but with Shimano 105, the stopping power is even greater. The Shimano 105 brake set is more reliable than others, and the brake lever is easier to handle.

It is the same if we compare the caliper brakes employed by the two. Shimano 105 has more stopping power and provides crisper brakes than the Shimano Sora.

Cassette Weight

Despite having lesser gears, the 9-speed Shimano Sora cassette weighs heavier than the 11-speed Shimano 105. The advantage here of Shimano 105 becomes apparent, as it does not burden you with additional weight but at the same time provides you with more gearing options.

You need to pair the Shimano Sora cassette with a 9-speed chain, which might pose a problem because the standard speed is 11-speed. It can complicate your situation if you are customizing your bike.

Shimano 105 has more excellent compatibility compared to Shimano Sora.

Price Difference

The higher quality of Shimano 105, the broader applicability, and the many options it provides the rider, are why it is much more expensive than its counterpart. The difference is just above a hundred dollars between them.

If you add the disc brakes, the difference could be as high as $300.

Assessing the Difference: Shimano 105 vs. Shimano Sora

The two have a significant qualitative difference, even in their shared features. Though employing the same shifters, for instance, the ones in Shimano 105 are significantly better, providing quality, smoother shifts.

That difference becomes more important as you deal with some road conditions and changing terrain. Shimano 105 offers more options in gearing too.

More options with gearing and a lighter cassette make the difference between them more apparent. One can ride faster on paved roads and not worry about additional weight.

For some, minimal differences may matter, especially if you need to ride fast or need to do some shifts when in terrain or due to weather.

But it is in the brakes where the advantage of Shimano 105 is at full display. With hydraulic brakes, Shimano 105 has more extraordinary, more excellent stopping power.

It does not change even if we shift from disc brakes to caliper ones.

Shimano 105 has a more significant advantage than Shimano Sora due to the superior quality of some parts and broader applicability to roads. But in other aspects, Shimano Sora might be the better option.

For instance, Shimano Sora is the better climber option due to its triple crankset.

But the question is, given the price difference, is it worth going for Shimano 105? Those who want to have the better one would always choose Shimano 105.

But those who can get a good quality performance for an inexpensive one might go for Shimano Sora.

Why Choose Shimano 105 Groupset?

There are some reasons why others would choose Shimano 105 over the other. Among these are:

Better Quality

Shimano 105 Groupset

Why go for the other when you have something significantly better but less expensive than those high-end Shimano groupsets? It has better quality, is lighter, and provides the right balance between performance and price. 

Wider Applicability

Gear options matter when you ride on as many road conditions as possible. If you are this type of rider, you will surely benefit from having Shimano 105.

It will save you trouble if you suddenly encounter uneven surfaces and rough roads.

And you will have an excellent, faster ride racing into a paved road and smooth surface. Whatever terrain, the shifts and stopping power would be more than adequate to handle them.

Why Choose the Shimano Sora Groupset?

Despite everything, there is more than enough reason why some will choose Shimano Sora. Among these are:

Affordable Quality

Anyone who rides a bike wants to have parts of good quality. For that reason alone, it is enough to choose Shimano Sora.

You need not spend that much if you are only biking to have fun, commute, or go from point A to point B.

Efficient in Climbs

The triple crankset makes Shimano Sora better than Shimano 105. If you are into taking long climbs, you might benefit from having this one.

Better still, you have a Shimano groupset that is more efficient at a much better price. The Sora groupset would be ideal, too, for those customizing a road bike that can take a climb.

See more: Want to know more about a road bike groupset? Watch this:

Shimano 105 vs. Shimano Sora: So Which is the Better Option?

The idea of “better or best usually revolves around quality and performance. There is no doubt that Shimano 105 is undoubtedly the better one.

It is of higher quality, provides more options, and performs better when put on a bike.

But that is not to take anything for Shimano Sora. Shimano Sora has become a favorite of many cyclists and even manufacturers.

That has something to do with it being the cheaper option.

Inexpensive compared to Shimano 105, it does not surrender quality or even performance. There might be some drawbacks, like having fewer gears and being of lesser quality, relatively speaking, to Shimano 105.

But overall, Shimano Sora does not surrender much ground to Shimano 105. The Shimano 105 vs. Sora debate might be settled in favor of the former, but every rider will ultimately decide which one he genuinely needs.

Thomas Kersten

Hi, I am a passionate biker, and I have been riding for more than ten years and share my biking tips and tricks with the world. I've tested more than 300 bikes.

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