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I've been doing a bit of research on road bikes trying to pick one out, and lots of reviews complain about sora components. What gives?

The Giants have them. It seems to be a good bike, but everyone seems to complain about Sora.... HELP!

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Shimano has 5 different grades of components. From worst to best, they are Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace.

My first bike had Sora components (Trek 1000). It wasn't a bad bike, but I think things wore out a little too quickly. Most of my bikes have Ultegra or better.
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My bike has a mix of 105 and Ultegra. There is a difference, and unless you're looking at Dura Ace, it's worth the extra money.

I found in my research that the main cost of a bike wasn't the frame/fork, but rather the components on it. Case in point -- new, my bike would be about $2000 (before taxes). But just the frame and fork were $900.

See if you can find a "used" bike shop. We've got one here run by an old guy who used to race. He rebuilds used bikes and sells them. He's got heaps of components too. If you find a shop like this where you are, you can get some decent components without the sticker shock.
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I would try and get 105 or 105/ultegra mix. It will be worth the extra cost. Quality of shifting and longer life of the components.
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