he Shimano Sora is possibly the most easily overlooked groupset in the company’s range. While budget bike hunters are impressed by the effective gear swapping of low-end options such as Shimano’s Claris and Tourney, and more demanding riders look towards — on a sliding scale — Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105 and now 10-speed Tiagra, Sora tends to exist on those bikes which are not eye-catching bargains, nor particularly aspirational.
That’s actually a shame, because as far as reliability goes, you’d be hard pushed to find a more resilient road bike groupset than Sora, yet it comes with all the aesthetic niceties you’d associate with Shimano.
The current Sora range — technically designated as Shimano’s 3500 series — was introduced in late 2012 and appeared on 2013 model year bikes, so going by Shimano’s constant upgrading cycle it’s probably due an upgrade again reasonably soon. The previous iteration used a thumb lever to drop the chain down, but as with all its more expensive siblings, the modern Sora features Shimano’s much-lauded double paddle Dual Control technology.