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When you’re a biker, there are two main things that should concern you with regards to your bike: the frame and the components. The frame of the bike is what gives you an aerodynamic feel and control over your ride. However, the components are all the pieces that help you ride efficiently and safely.

You might have heard of different group sets for components. When pieces of your bike become damaged and need replacing, you can often replace the pieces from a complete group set of biking components. One of the most popular manufacturers of group sets is Shimano. Two of the sets on the market right now are the Sora and the Claris. But how do you know which of these is the better option for your bike?

The most important thing to keep in mind is the compatibility. Different bikes have different gearshift speeds, and you need to purchase components that are compatible with your bike’s shift speed. You also want to keep in mind what type of bike you have. Some components are made for road bikes, while others are made for mountain bikes or other purposes.

#1. Claris
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#2. Sora

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#1. Claris

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Claris is one of the most competitively priced Shimano group sets on the market. The parts in the set can suit road bikes, and each of the pieces helps to improve a bike’s efficiency and strength.

The main selling point of the Claris is the shifter. The Claris uses an integrated gear lever and braking system that’s used in the Ultegra Di2 group set. To shift into a higher gear, the right lever must be pushed behind the brake lever. To downshift into a lower gear, you’ll push both of the levers in.

The brake set is superior to most other group sets for road bikes. Many road bikes are used in competition racing. When you’re reaching high speeds, brakes are just as important as acceleration. The group set has a full offering of brake calipers and brake levers that work together to help you slow down and stop with ease.

Most group sets don’t include a ring frame to let you attach the chain. But the Claris set does come with a chain ring, which you can use to shift gears more aggressively.

The Claris gear is compatible with an eight-speed shifter thanks to the eight sprockets on its cassette. It can be used with all eight-speed road bikes, even those that aren’t Shimano brand.

#2. Sora

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The Sora group set is another offering from Shimano. It tends to be found in standard Shimano bikes at the entry level, but you can also find it installed in some specialized mountain bikes. Though it’s a little more expensive and specialized than the Claris, the Sora group set does have a number of advantages.

The shifter is exceedingly easy to use and not as complex as that of the Claris group. All you have to do is press the shifter to shift smoothly between different gears. There’s also light padding that makes the shifter easy to grip and maneuver without getting tired.

The brakes of the Sora are crafted with aluminum dual-pivot calipers. They’re also finished in black. They tend to be high-performance when compared to brakes at the same price point. There’s also a black-finished chain ring, setting this group set apart from those that don’t include a chain ring.

The Sora group set is designed for use with nine-speed bikes. While it can technically be used with non-Shimano bikes, it’s only designed to be used with Shimano designs.


One of the biggest differences is in the compatibility of the two sets. The Claris set is made for eight-speed bikes, while the Sora is made for nine-speed bikes. Sora gear won’t be compatible with an eight-speed bike, and Claris gear doesn’t have enough spokes for nine-speed bikes.

The Claris set is made for road bikes. It’s not designed to provide racing quality, but it does allow for smooth shifting between gears at high speeds. The shifter tends to be high quality. Meanwhile, the full brake set is also ideal for use in biking. It provides powerful braking regardless of the gear you’re in.

Meanwhile, the Sora set is made for both road bikes and mountain bikes. It’s not designed to be used at the same high speeds as the Claris, though. The shifter is a little easier to use thanks to its comfortable padding and simple mechanism. At low speeds, you can easily shift between different gears to handle tough terrain. There are several mountain bike designs that will suit the Sora, but the gear won’t be compatible with all mountain bikes.

The Claris set tends to be the cheaper option between the two, most likely because it’s made for eight-speed bikes rather than nine-speed. The Sora does offer excellent quality for its more expensive price point, though. In addition, the Sora has a stylish black finish that adds to the aesthetic appeal, which the Claris lacks.

Final Thoughts

Both of these group sets are ideal for use in a wide range of bikes.

If you have an eight-speed bike, the Claris is a good choice. It provides ideal braking and easy shifting between gears. Keep in mind, though, that it’s designed for road bikes rather than mountain bikes.

For those with a nine-speed bike, the Sora works well. It’s only made to be compatible with Shimano bikes, but it may fit certain other frames as well. The Sora can work on both road bikes and certain specialized mountain bikes, but since it’s not compatible with all mountain bikes, you should double check the compatibility before you make any purchases.

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