Tourney groupset upgrade to Caris/Sora: is it worth it?

Hello everyone. I'm riding around on a Raleigh Airlite 100; 2014 limited edition which has a tourney groupset. I'm wondering if anyone has upgraded from this to Sora and found it worthwhile. I don't want to go out and buy a Sora groupset and find that the difference isn't worthwhile.
 
Does the Tourney have STI shifters? i.e. do you change gear from the brake levers, or separate down-tube shifters?

If, as I think, 2014 is the Tourney with 7 gears using down-tube shifters, then there will be a startling difference.
Just checked - Tourney is STI - ignore comment above.

Also, moving up to an 8 or 9 speed cassette will give you lots more options and availability on wheels, cassettes, chains, etc. I moved up from 2300 (Claris equivalent) to 105, and found a tremendous difference - like a new bike. The gears were so much nicer and easier to adjust. Although its probably the new wheels that helped me go just that little bit faster too.
 
Last edited:

bikingdad90

Über Member
Yes you will notice a difference, the shifting will be less clunky particularly if you purchase the new sora with hidden gear and brake cables. It's basically the old shimano 105.
 

ChrisEyles

Veteran
Location
Devon
I find the (late 90s) Tourney kit on my wife's bike a PITA to adjust, but having said that when it's all set up nicely it's perfectly OK to ride.

The Sora groupset on my touring bike is the old style with exposed cables and while it's a tad on the clunky/agricultural side for feel, it has so far been pretty much bombproof and much easier to keep in good fettle (had to replace the RD after a slide on the drive-side a couple of icy winters ago and have replaced gear/brake cables once, but otherwise all working great after 6,000 miles or so).

TBH I'd only bother upgrading if the current Tourney stuff is knackered, since you might as well get your money's worth out of it first. When you do reach that point though, Sora is a great point to upgrade to on the price/quality front.
 
OP
stevenfarthing

stevenfarthing

Regular
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Does the Tourney have STI shifters? i.e. do you change gear from the brake levers, or separate down-tube shifters?

If, as I think, 2014 is the Tourney with 7 gears using down-tube shifters, then there will be a startling difference.
Does the Tourney have STI shifters? i.e. do you change gear from the brake levers, or separate down-tube shifters?

If, as I think, 2014 is the Tourney with 7 gears using down-tube shifters, then there will be a startling difference.
Just checked - Tourney is STI - ignore comment above.

Also, moving up to an 8 or 9 speed cassette will give you lots more options and availability on wheels, cassettes, chains, etc. I moved up from 2300 (Claris equivalent) to 105, and found a tremendous difference - like a new bike. The gears were so much nicer and easier to adjust. Although its probably the new wheels that helped me go just that little bit faster too.
My Airlite has STI shifters with break lever and thumb controls operating a 7 cog cassette. It is my first bike in over 30 years. I like the upright geometry of the frame and am currently doing rides of around 40 miles. I am finding hill climbing a bit difficult and have had to walk the bike up a few.
Just checked - Tourney is STI - ignore comment above.

Also, moving up to an 8 or 9 speed cassette will give you lots more options and availability on wheels, cassettes, chains, etc. I moved up from 2300 (Claris equivalent) to 105, and found a tremendous difference - like a new bike. The gears were so much nicer and easier to adjust. Although its probably the new wheels that helped me go just that little bit faster too.
Does the Tourney have STI shifters? i.e. do you change gear from the brake levers, or separate down-tube shifters?

If, as I think, 2014 is the Tourney with 7 gears using down-tube shifters, then there will be a startling difference.
Just checked - Tourney is STI - ignore comment above.

Also, moving up to an 8 or 9 speed cassette will give you lots more options and availability on wheels, cassettes, chains, etc. I moved up from 2300 (Claris equivalent) to 105, and found a tremendous difference - like a new bike. The gears were so much nicer and easier to adjust. Although its probably the new wheels that helped me go just that little bit faster too.
My Airlite has STI's using the break levers and a thumb control. It's my first bike in over 30 years and I have enjoyed rides of around 40 miles. But, I'm finding hills a challenge and have had to walk the bike up a few. It weighs 10.7 kl. The frame really suits me as it has a more upright geometry but only 7 cogs on the cassette. The upgrade to a sora groupset I'm told would be £360. Then some new wheels another £160.
 
You can often get bargains on the groupset. I don't know about the wheels, but they may be designed for a cassette for at least 8 speeds. Worth checking out.

When I upgraded, I had already bought a set of wheels that were a bit of a bargain, so wheels were no cost, other than the spacer which I no longer needed. I went for the 105 as it was a few steps up from the 2300. Anything more expensive would have been too fragile for my riding.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
So it'll cost 500 pounds to upgrade a 500 pounds bike... poor value that IMHO. I'd spend the 500 pounds on a better (used) road bike with better kit on it. You'll get a decent alu bike with 105 gear for that money.
 
OP
stevenfarthing

stevenfarthing

Regular
Location
Tunbridge Wells
So it'll cost 500 pounds to upgrade a 500 pounds bike... poor value that IMHO. I'd spend the 500 pounds on a better (used) road bike with better kit on it. You'll get a decent alu bike with 105 gear for that money.
So it'll cost 500 pounds to upgrade a 500 pounds bike... poor value that IMHO. I'd spend the 500 pounds on a better (used) road bike with better kit on it. You'll get a decent alu bike with 105 gear for that money.
If you get everything at list price, yes, too expensive. However, with a good bargain, it is a good choice. The Airlite gets some good reviews:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/road/product/review-raleigh-airlite-100-11-41657/
I paid £300 for the Airlite out of the box from CyclesUK. I have looked at the Raleigh Criterium which sells for £500 but has claris groupset and doesn't weigh much less.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
I paid £300 for the Airlite out of the box from CyclesUK.
In that case it seems even worse value, personally I'd never spend more on an upgrade than I paid for the bike. If you really, really love the bike and can't part with it, and if you've got lots of money, then it's an option I guess. I still think buying a better used bike is a better option.
 

DRM

Über Member
Location
West Yorks
Hi stevenfarthing my first road bike since being a young 'un was a Carerra Zelos, with 7speed tourney on it, & as you say it gets a bit limiting as your ability to ride further increases, I actually was going to do what you are thinking of, but the cost is just not worth it, I managed to get a brand new Verenti Technique, with Sora (11-28 cassette & compact FSA chain ring set) it's Wiggles in house brand, for £350 in the end of season sale, if you tot up the price of the grouset, plus wheels ( I suspect yours will be a freewheel, not a freehub, as was the carerra) plus cables,cable ends & any specialist tools needed, it really isn't viable, perhaps a good second hand bike could serve you well.
 

JasD

Well-Known Member
Hi have a Claris drivetrain on my commuter but it's never felt that great, it's a bit clunky. It is however very reliable and performs it's job acceptably, it just feels clunky. So in terms of how it feels to operate, i'm not sure Claris would be that much of an "upgrade".
 

Vantage

The dogs chew toy
In that case it seems even worse value, personally I'd never spend more on an upgrade than I paid for the bike. If you really, really love the bike and can't part with it, and if you've got lots of money, then it's an option I guess. I still think buying a better used bike is a better option.
It depends on the frame. The frame is the heart of any bike. If that one piece is a pile of sheite then no amount of money and upgrades will make it better.
If on the other hand, the bike handles beautifully, it's worth spending money on.
Maybe the op could take a test ride on a Claris equipped bike to see how much better the groupset performs and then decide if it's worth it.
 

davidphilips

Über Member
Location
Onabike
Really dont think its a good idea upgrading from caris to sora unless you can get the parts cheap or perhaps buy used parts and sell your old groupset to keep the spend as low as you can.

Now if it was me i would buy another bike (a used one) and start a collection, money and space permitting, good luck with your cycling.
 
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