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Shimano's fourth-tier groupset gets four-arm cranks and redesigned mechs and shifters but triple and flat bar options are still available

Incoming! Everyone loves a new Shimano groupset, right? And you were probably counting off on your fingers what was most due an update. And give yourself a slap on the back if you worked out it was fourth-tier Tiagra that's next in line for a brush-up and polish. Or, in this case, quite a lot more than that.

When Shimano 105 went 11-speed and double only last time around it moved it very firmly into the racing/fast riding sphere where before it was very much on the watershed between that and touring, commuting and the like. So what's happened with the new Tiagra release? Well, lots. But the headlines are that it's still 10-speed and there's still triple and flat bar options, but there's a lot of trickle-down from the dearer groupsets too.

What's immediately obvious is that Tiagra has adopted the four-arm chainset design that has made its way down all the way from Dura Ace. Shimano have ditched the 53/39 as a standard option, opting instead for the mid-compact 52/36 and the 50/34 standard compact. What's different about the Tiagra chainset however is that it's also available as a 50/39/30 triple as well, which will please the many advocates of the triple; there's still plenty who'd prefer one over a compact double. The inner ring bolts on to the middle ring, and then both are attached to the spider. So there's no second bolt circle in the spider.

The design of the shifters is also very much like the more expensive groupsets. The neat under-tape cable routing is new for Tiagra, which until now had the gear cables exiting from the side of the lever. The new lever doesn't appear to carry over the gear indicator window, which some users may miss.

Derailleur-wise there are two options, a short cage and a mid cage. The short cage should see you right up to a 28T sprocket on the back, whereas the mid cage is good for anything up to a 34T. That's great news if you're planning a touring setup as the triple and wide cassette would give you a 23" gear on a 700c wheel which should be low enough for most loads and hills. That's assuming the mid-cage mech has enough capacity for that setup; we'll check.

The derailleurs, again, move towards the look of the more expensive groupsets. The cable pitch on the rear has been revised, and Shimano say it "offers precise and long-lasting shifting performance". But then they would. The front is redesigned too, with double and triple chainset versions available.

The brakes don't get the symmetrical pivot design of Shimano 105 and above, but Shimano say they're still a 30% improvement on the last incarnation in terms of braking power. Most likely they're a rebadged version of the last Ultegra brakeset; that's certainly what they look like.

As well as the drop-bar kit, Tiagra will be available with flat bar levers and shifters. The levers look like pretty standard Shimano units and we're not sure they're much changed from previous ones. The 10-speed shifter has a gear indicator window and two-way release on the downshift: you can push or pull the downshift lever to switch gears.

Shimano say the groupset will be available in June, so we'll expect to see it on plenty of bikes come the Eurobike show in September. We don't have UK prices, or weights for any of the components as yet. When we do, we'll let you know.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

46 comments

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Scoob_84 [435 posts] 2 years ago
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glad they kept it 10 speed. I 'd be annoyed if i wasnt ble to buy replacement parts for my ageing 105 5700 groupset

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vonhelmet [848 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

glad they kept it 10 speed. I 'd be annoyed if i wasnt ble to buy replacement parts for my ageing 105 5700 groupset

True, it is their only 10 speed groupset. Dura-Ace, Ultegra and 105 are all 11 speed, and then you've got Tiagra, Sora, Claris and Tourney with 10, 9, 8 and 7 respectively. I don't think they could reasonably get rid of their only 10 speed groupset - they'd have to move everything up a notch and let 7 speed fall off the bottom.

I recently upgraded my 2300 shifters on my hack bike to Claris 2400 8 speed shifters, which was a much easier way to get to proper twin lever shifters than buying old 8 speed Tiagra parts or upgrading the whole groupset.

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KiwiMike [1325 posts] 2 years ago
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"The new lever doesn't appear to carry over the gear indicator window, which some users may miss."

No. No they won't. No-one will miss these. Never, ever. I'll stake the life of my firstborn* on no-one having ever looked at these things in any meaningful, useful, now-I-know-what-to-do-next way.

What a great update. Can't fault it on first think. If the price is around £220-230 in the real world and within 250g of 105, that's a whole new dogfight* right there.

* other mammals are available.

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KAR_Cyclist [9 posts] 2 years ago
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Agree regards optical display. Looks like a neat groupo!

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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The only time a gear indicator is useful is with a hub gears, so you can change down to the right starting gear after braking quickly for lights.

So of course the Versa shifters for Alfine hubs don't have them.  102

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ChrizM [9 posts] 2 years ago
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Does the revised cable pitch now mean it won't be compatible with old Tiagra? Could be annoying and confusing!

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Shamblesuk [167 posts] 2 years ago
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the chainset that would make a Parlee look ugly has been vamped and now looks lovely. Chapeau to Shimano for doing this.

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2 Wheeled Idiot [432 posts] 2 years ago
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It looks like a good vfm groupset.
Does ANYONE still use a triple out of choice?????

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bikebot [2118 posts] 2 years ago
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2 Wheeled Idiot wrote:

It looks like a good vfm groupset.
Does ANYONE still use a triple out of choice?????

Tourers.

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ChrisB200SX [619 posts] 2 years ago
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Am I the only one seeing a colour mis-match of the crank arm?

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Pub bike [258 posts] 2 years ago
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ChrisB200SX wrote:

Am I the only one seeing a colour mis-match of the crank arm?

Optical illusion. The groupset is actually white and gold.

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CanAmSteve [257 posts] 2 years ago
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Too bad about the move to under-tape shift cable routing. I liked the old exposed cable setup (but hated the indicator windows) as it had the look of the classic bikes and made a nice upgrade. Now, 105/Tiagra is less of a difference.

I have noticed recently that 10-spd 105 prices have come down to be only a bit more than Tiagra (no doubt clearing out old stock) so it will be interesting to see the pricing. The Tiagra RD was always the weak spot - this new model looks much better.

And yes, lots of cyclists still use triples and ten speed clusters are more than enough for any sort of normal or recreational rider (two more than enough, in fact)  1

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Skynet [48 posts] 2 years ago
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Agree about the gear indicator, who the heck looks at them?

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Farky [183 posts] 2 years ago
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So a Tiagra triple crackset will replace my old 105-5700 triple?

Need a price now.

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Skylark [200 posts] 2 years ago
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Brakes do not look like last iteration Ultegra. Brakes look more like last iteration Tiagra.

They put in a tighter spring and increased the forging alignment of the pivot arms.

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Ham-planet [112 posts] 2 years ago
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Any weights published? How does it compare to 5700?

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alotronic [538 posts] 2 years ago
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Triples... mmm... yes please. Means I can basically run single-tooth differences in rear cluster AND get a hill friendly lower ratio.

I grew up on 42,52 with 13-18 or 21 clusters so got very used to close gearing - compacts dive me nuts.

Let see, triple setups I have used in the the last year: 28,38,48 with 11-23 block - super tight! 30,42,53 with 13-28 block - hilltastic! Look mum, no fecking great gaps in my ratios.

Added bonus that no one takes you seriously on a triple, so you can ride along at your own pace, not macho pace. So yes, for 'tourers' - or those us us who can think for ourselves  26

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patto583 [57 posts] 2 years ago
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Yes, some of are unfit and ride in hilly areas. The decline of the triple has been annoying me more and more.

As far as the touring bike goes I also dislike the fact that you can't combine road and MTB bits on 10 speed, thus limiting the ability to run properly wide ratios with STI shifters.

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aloadofpants [17 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

"No. No they won't. No-one will miss these. Never, ever. I'll stake the life of my firstborn*

You obviously do not have children - what a stupid, pathetic thing to say on a bike forum.

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KiwiMike [1325 posts] 2 years ago
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aloadofpants wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

"No. No they won't. No-one will miss these. Never, ever. I'll stake the life of my firstborn*

You obviously do not have children - what a stupid, pathetic thing to say on a bike forum.

I have three. Please do clarify your rationale for making your 16th post so abusive. I genuinely can't tell if you are:

a. For real
b. Having a very bad day
c. Totally lacking any appreciation for 'humour' of any sort*

* if it's c. I politely suggest this is the wrong forum for you.

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parksey [342 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks like a decent upgrade to Tiagra, I'm particularly glad they've ditched the awful"dinner plate" chainset design of the previous version. That was genuinely a reason I wouldn't have bought a Tiagra-equipped bike before. Under-tape cabling is another aesthetic bonus too.

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nortonpdj [198 posts] 2 years ago
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not blue and black?

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Welsh boy [464 posts] 2 years ago
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It seems that I am the only one who thinks that the chainset is so ugly that it is untrue. Yes, i know function should be the prime consideration but really, this is Tiagra we are looking at, not race-level kit. At least now you can have a chainset as ugly as DuraAce for a fraction of the price.

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RobD [577 posts] 2 years ago
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Gotta say I really like it, especially the under tape cable routing, that's probably what bugs me most about my Tiagra equipped bike (although not enough to have replaced it with 10 speed 105 ones clearly...)
I think it's a good move, it'll make bikes in the £750-£1100 range that often use Tiagra look a lot better.

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Bez [620 posts] 2 years ago
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Hurrah for the hidden gear cables! I have a world of love for the hidden gear cables.

Stupid irregular four-arm cranksets can get to soddery, though.

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edster99 [339 posts] 2 years ago
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I also hate the exposed cables. 'Classic bikes' ? er no - they had down tube shifters. After that, we moved to under the tape shifting and braking. So for a 'not best bike' group - probably excellent VFM - cheap replacement parts for my 10sp cross bike that has 105 on when I keep breaking things too  1

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aloadofpants [17 posts] 2 years ago
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a.
Nothing wrong with 'humour', but the rationale is that joking about a childs life/death in the context of shimano shifter indicators may be offensive to some readers. We should never joke about the death of children, especially your own..

Anyway, back to the topic of bikes... I miss my Tiagra indicators, since upgrading to Dura Ace.

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Bez [620 posts] 2 years ago
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aloadofpants wrote:

joking about a childs life/death in the context of shimano shifter indicators may be offensive to some readers. We should never joke about the death of children, especially your own..

Having watched my own firstborn go having to go through emergency resuscitation with half a dozen medical staff hurriedly working around him, I really think you might be over-fussing here.

That said, I think Mike did overstep the mark in offering his firstborn in the context of a Tiagra groupset. I'd want hidden cables and disk brakes in return for mine.

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psychle [23 posts] 2 years ago
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You're to be commended for replying so politely, KiwiMike! Aloadofpants needs to do a reality check.

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Lantern [9 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm glad they're keeping it as 10 speed, and it's a well deserved upgrade for this groupset. I'm also pleased with the new chainset- a cheaper introduction to easily interchangable chainrings and it just looks cool.
I've also just upgraded to 5700 shifters with the rest of the components as Tiagra so it's good to know I'll still be able to get decent spares without hassle.

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