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Shimano Sora R3000 launched, with mechanical disc brakes and thru-axle wheels

New four-arm cranks, mechanical disc brakes and 11-34t cassette for the latest Sora 9-speed groupset

Shimano’s strategy to trickle down technology first seen at the top-end to its more affordable groupsets continues, with the announcement today of its new Sora R3000 , which features a refreshed appearance, 11-34t cassette, mechanical disc brakes with flat mount calipers and new thru-axle wheels.

Shimano launched its new Tiagra groupset last year, which we were hugely impressed with. Sora sits one step below Tiagra and is a 9-speed groupset aimed at, in Shimano’s words, “sports and fitness cyclists” but is also “a perfect groupset for winter or urban commuting bikes”.

- Review: Shimano Sora 3500 groupset

What’s new then?

The main difference is a visual one. Shimano has treated Sora to the same four-arm chainset design that first appeared on Dura-Ace a few years ago, and was introduced to Tiagra last year. There’s also a new two-tone black and grey gloss finish for the chainset, shifters, levers, brakes and rear derailleurs. 

Shimano Sora R3000 13.png

The other big change is to the shifters. Like Tiagra, the cables are now routed under the bar tape, providing a much cleaner appearance, and gives the groupset a more upmarket look. Bikes with Sora fitted should look really good, we can’t wait to see the first examples of it in the coming months.

- Shimano Tiagra 4700 first ride review

Shimano Sora R3000 4.png

Sora is intended to fulfil several different roles, from road bikes to flat bar commuters. For this reason, the chainset is available in four-arm double 50-34t and triple 50-39-30t configurations and, for flat bar bikes, a five-arm chainset in 50-34t or 50-39-30t version, the latter with an integrated chain guard.

Shimano Sora R3000 6.png

There is also new 11-34t cassette with a long cage rear derailleur and a long arm front derailleur.

“Spinning up hills suddenly got easier with two extra teeth over the previous SORA, while the small 11T sprocket makes sure you have enough high-end range to put the power down,” says Shimano of the new cassette.

Shimano Sora R3000 5.png

Discs and thru-axles for the masses

Disc brake technology is getting more affordable, with Shimano releasing the new Sora level mechanical disc brakes with a flat mount caliper.

BR-RS305-R_zz_zz_STD_S1_draft.png

Flat Mount is the method of attaching the caliper to the frame/fork and it’s a cleaner and lighter system than the other current standard, post mount.

SM-RT81-S_zz_zz_STD_S2.jpg

The new brakes can be used with a choice of steel of stainless steel rotors. 

WH-RX31_zz_F_L_S1.png

Shimano has updated the RX31 wheelset with new AX720 hubs with E-Thru technology, based around 12mm thru-axles. E-Thru is an existing technology with Shimano, it first debuted it on its mountain bike line of components last summer.

- Your complete guide to Shimano 2016 road bike groupsets

There are no prices or availability information at the moment.

David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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17 comments

Avatar
matthewn5 | 7 years ago
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I suppose the "twisted" crank is so you can't use these cheaper rings on the more expensive grey groups like Ultegra...

Avatar
Richard1982 replied to matthewn5 | 7 years ago
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matthewn5 wrote:

I suppose the "twisted" crank is so you can't use these cheaper rings on the more expensive grey groups like Ultegra...

 

I can't see any reason that these chainrings wouldn't fit on any other 110BCM Shimano cranks.

Avatar
hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago
0 likes

@typevertigo

the Rever is made by Tektro (TRP) for Rever, with some small design changes  3

Avatar
hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago
0 likes

@Morat

mechanical cable disc brakes certainly have 'pistons' (pistons are called pistons whether actuated hydraulically or mechanically)

the Shimano brakes are locked into using the design of a fixed piston / single moving piston

TRP have the patent on their revolutionary Spyre design with the strirrup driving both moving pistons, so Shimano / Avid / Hayes / etc. cannot offer a similar design

Avatar
TypeVertigo replied to hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago
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hampstead_bandit wrote:

TRP have the patent on their revolutionary Spyre design with the strirrup driving both moving pistons, so Shimano / Avid / Hayes / etc. cannot offer a similar design

TRP isn't the only player with a twin-piston mechanical disc brake caliper.

Rever released their MCX1 brakes last year. They offer slight improvements to the Spyre design, most notably not requiring wheel removal to swap brake pads in and out. The BikeRumor crew wrote up a hands-on impression article last May.

http://www.bikerumor.com/2015/05/01/soc15-hands-on-with-new-rever-dual-p...

Avatar
cyclisto | 8 years ago
0 likes

A 9-speed groupset with hydraulic brakes and bargain price would be massive hit for commuters. Less spockets to clean in rain, more safety during braking. I cannot understand why MTBers enjoy an 9-speed altus groupset with hydros at 500 quid or less and roadies can't have it.

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1961BikiE | 8 years ago
0 likes

Any info as to whether the disk calipers are 1 or 2 piston? Hoping it's the latter. But then thinking about it being a budget groupset it's more likely that it's 1 piston. Bum.

Avatar
Morat replied to 1961BikiE | 8 years ago
0 likes
1961BikiE wrote:

Any info as to whether the disk calipers are 1 or 2 piston? Hoping it's the latter. But then thinking about it being a budget groupset it's more likely that it's 1 piston. Bum.

 

Do cable brakes have pistons?

Avatar
Vejnemojnen | 8 years ago
5 likes

why sh specifies beginner groups with 11t small sprockets? a 13-28 would be much sensible. I cannot stand 2 t jumps in the cassette. I'd be perfectly happy with a 13t sprocket, even with 50-48 large chainring..

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to Vejnemojnen | 8 years ago
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Vejnecske wrote:

why sh specifies beginner groups with 11t small sprockets? a 13-28 would be much sensible. I cannot stand 2 t jumps in the cassette. I'd be perfectly happy with a 13t sprocket, even with 50-48 large chainring..

 

beginners don't like going fast downhill?

Avatar
Chris James replied to Vejnemojnen | 8 years ago
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Vejnecske wrote:

why sh specifies beginner groups with 11t small sprockets? a 13-28 would be much sensible. I cannot stand 2 t jumps in the cassette. I'd be perfectly happy with a 13t sprocket, even with 50-48 large chainring..

A sure sign of a beginner is someone pedalling at a cadence of 60 rpm on the flat so I guess they might like some massive gears!

On the other hand I have a winter /commuting bike and a cyclocross bike I use for racing that runs Sora due to cheap part replacement, so not all Sora users are beginners.

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HoldTheWheel | 8 years ago
0 likes

I used the current Sora (3500?), it's quite heavy, shifting up to the big ring isn't easy (and I found it nearly impossible from the drops), gear changes on the rear were sluggish and the brakes were awful even with good pads.

If those issues have been addressed, then it could be a great groupset. I use 105 5800 now and it's brilliant, the new Tiagra sounds like it's pretty much a slightly heavier 10 speed version of that. If this new Sora groupset is slightly heavier again but offers similar performance for 9 speed, it would be brilliant for beginners and winter hacks.

Avatar
rollorawles | 8 years ago
5 likes

The current Shimano 4 arm cranks are the ugliest cranks ever produced! In my humble opinion!

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ledzep61 replied to rollorawles | 8 years ago
0 likes
rollorawles wrote:

The current Shimano 4 arm cranks are the ugliest cranks ever produced! In my humble opinion!

Avatar
DaveE128 | 8 years ago
1 like

Sounds like some very sensible improvements. I think having a wide range cassette is a great idea for lower level group sets, as narrow ratios really aren't good for beginners and those who don't have the time to train most days, who are the people less likely to be buying Dura Ace (unless they happen to have a lot of disposable income!) The aero cables are a big improvement, for several reasons including riding in the dark (!) - the cables on my old tiagra annoy me with the shadows cast onto the road when commuting at night, however you mount lights on the bars.

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leaway2 replied to DaveE128 | 8 years ago
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DaveE128 wrote:

riding in the dark (!) - the cables on my old tiagra annoy me with the shadows cast onto the road when commuting at night, however you mount lights on the bars.

Agreed. The positive is that you can see that your lights are on on lit urban roads laugh

Avatar
700c replied to DaveE128 | 8 years ago
3 likes
DaveE128 wrote:

I think having a wide range cassette is a great idea for lower level group sets, as narrow ratios really aren't good for beginners

Unless the irritating jumps between gears, of a 9sp 11-34, put beginners off?!

Better to do without the 11 &12t if you really need a 34.

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