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Is 105 pretty much the starting point for quality components on a road bike these days? My old bike (1989 Trek 2300) had Ultegra and it was great. Are the lower level groups good quality and performance?

In other words, what is the lowest level of componentry that offers good value and performance?

I don't really plan on becoming a full-time roadie, I just want to be able to ride when the trails are closed, and maybe start commuting once or twice a week (25 miles each way). I work from home now but new boss thinks I should start coming in three days a week. Maybe getting to work sweaty and gross after a 25 mile ride will change her mind about that.
Yeah, the 105 groupset is still a good starting point for decent quality coming from Shimano. I'm primarily a road rider, and I wouldn't think twice about going with 105 components on a mid-level bike. Of course, I prefer Ultegra, Dura Ace or even high-end Campy, but 105 hangs in there pretty well with the best of them. I wouldn't go any cheaper than that, though.
 

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Just buy something like this and call it a day:



Seriously though, you'd do well to pick up something like an Allez Sprint disc equipped with 105. No way you wouldn't be absolutely stoked with that.
 

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Now that I think of it, I take back what I said about things not changing much for road bikes. Saying road bikes have not changed much other than the rise of Gravel bikes is like saying not much happened on 2020 other than the pandemic. A Gravel bikes changed everything for me.

IMO, the really key development for road/gravel biking was not disc brakes, or through axles, or any new drive-train, or whatever is happening with CF or electronics.... Those are all improvements around the edges. Rather, it is the availability of light, truly high performance fast tires in the 32-45mm range. Up until about 10 years ago, there were almost no options over 32mm that were not either heavy touring or commuting tires, cheap hybrid tires, or knobby CX tires. The first time I mounted up a set of 33mm Jack Brown Green Labels (slicks), my eyes were opened. Then I moved on to various Compass Superlight slick tires in 32, 35, then 38mm and my mind was blown. These tires (and road/gravel bikes that fit them) changed everything for me. I don't think I will ever ride tires smaller than 35s from now on.

I'd go back to rim brakes and my old 3x9 drivetrain before I would go back to the tires that fit on most road bikes 20 years ago.
 
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