It’s not much of a secret that I favour Shimano components, from the combined perspective of a rider and a mechanic. I have to admit that I like the good stuff, so I usually run Dura Ace, but I actually like a lot of the features of Tiagra.
Yet, a week of riding a Gios Feluca with Shimano Sora has me scheming to upgrade the STI. Oh, it shifts competently out of the box. It’s possible that it shifts as well as top end stuff a generation or two ago. But the ergonomics suck and I would never recommend this to a racer at any level.
The problem is the thumb button upshift. It’s right up against the brake/downshift lever, which is a country mile from the drops. I may have small hands, but I doubt anyone can reasonably enact an upshift from the drops while maintaining a proper grip. Look at the photo, and you can see my thumb is almost an inch away from even touching the thumb button.
The thumb button position on Campagnolo levers, while not my favourite, is at least reasonable since it sits further aft of the brake lever than the Sora STI.