Japanese groupset goliath, Shimano has just updated its massively popular Sora groupset. The new Shimano Sora has the designation 'R3000' and has lots of key differences from the previous 'Shimano Sora 3500.' The first big news is that Shimano Sora is staying nine-speed for the time being.
Shimano describes Sora as being pitched towards sports/fitness cyclists and commuters and has prioritised 'durability and affordability' in the new iteration. We are used to seeing higher spec technologies trickle down into lower tier groupsets and that has happened again here.
The new shifters, levers, brakes and rear derailleurs take on the sleek two-tone black-grey gloss finish that resembles those found on Shimano’s upper tier groupsets. The overall look is significantly more sophisticated than the previous Sora.
The chainset now has a sleek and lighter weight 4-arm double (50-34T) or triple (50-39-30T) design that looks very similar to that first unveiled with Dura-Ace 9000.
One of the biggest selling points is the new shifters. They remain 9-speed, but now feature neat and clean internal cable routing, with no cables popping out the sides like on the old version. Aesthetically this will make any bike equipped with the new groupset look tidier.
Video - Buyer's guide to road bike groupsets
Shimano Sora R3000 will also be available with commuting and flat bar specific versions. For this, components include 5-arm 2x9 (50-34T) or 3x9 cranksets with trouser-protecting chain guards (50-39-30T), Rapidfire Plus gear shifters and brake levers with Optislick cables.
One of our gripes with the old Shimano Sora, was the brakes. Shimano has addressed this with a claimed "20% increase in rim brake performance over its previous incarnation." This is in part down to the new dual-pivot BR-R3000 calipers with quick release cable levers. Again, an example of trickle down, with dual pivot calipers seen on the higher tier groupsets.
Meanwhile disc brake technology continues to trickle down through the road bike market with flat-mount Sora grade mechanical disc brake calipers.
A big range of gears
The compact 50-34T or 50-39-30T cranksets can now be combined with a large range 11-34T cassette, an accommodating rear derailleur and a long arm front derailleur. Previously Shimano Sora was 12-32, so this adds significant versatility, potentially making both going up and downhill more fun.
The new Shimano Sora R3000 is expected to hit the market from April onwards. For more information, head over to Shimano.
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