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Great bikes with Shimano's best value-for-money components

Shimano launched its Tiagra 4700 groupset in 2015, and manufacturers have used it to make some excellent bikes for around £1,000 and up. Here are ten, from £900 to £1,500 fitted with the Tiagra groupset.

Tiagra 4700 is a 10-speed groupset that sits above Sora and below 105 in Shimano's groupset range. The biggest cosmetic change from the previous version was the redesigned chainset, it's now much better looking than the previous Tiagra, and the brake lever hoods benefit from the same ergonomics, with cables under the bar tape, as first seen on Dura-Ace.

It seemed likely that Shimano would announce a revamp to Tiagra in 2019, following its usual four-year cycle, but instead Tiagra for model year 2020 gets some relatively minor changes, with restyled shifters and hydraulic disc brakes, and a 48/34 chainset option. It therefore looks like the current 10-speed version of Tiagra is going to be around for a few more years yet.

- Your complete guide to Shimano road bike groupsets

Tiagra 4700 has the same relationship between shift lever movement and rear derailleur movement as Shimano's 11-speed road components. That means you can fit a 105, Ultegra or even Dura-Ace rear derailleur to a Tiagra-equipped bike. It also means that when they become available you should be able to fit any of the new GRX gravel bike derailleurs for better chain control if you're exploring dirt roads.

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This selection of bikes gives an idea of what sort of new bikes are available with the Tiagra 4700 groupset and includes carbon fibre and aluminium road bikes, endurance road bikes and adventure bikes with disc brakes.

- Shimano Tiagra 4700 first ride review

Pinnacle Arkose D2 2020 — £1,025

2019 pinnacle arkose d2

Pinnacle bikes have always offered great value for money, and the Arkose D2 is no exception, with a wide-range Tiagra transmission and hydraulic brakes, a rare spec on a £1,000 bike. Parent company Evans Cycles departs from the full Tiagra spec with an FSA Omega Adventure 48/32 chainset (46/30 on the women's version) for even lower gears. It rolls on 45mm WTB tyres for go-anywhere capability and it'll take 650B wheels with even fatter tyres too.

Cube Nuroad Pro FE — £1,049

2019 cube nuroad pro fe

You don't get the Arkose D2's hydraulic brakes with this open-road explorer from Cube, but you do get a rack, mudguards and built-in lighting from the front wheel dynamo hub. This is a spec often assembled by dedicated all-year, all-round riders who want a bike for weekend tours and more that laughs at potholes on the office run, but it's a rare combination of features for an off-the-peg bike.

Vitus Zenium Disc 2019 — £800

2019 Vitus Zenium

Bargain klaxon! With £200 off the usual RRP, this might just be the cheapest carbon fibre road bike you can currently buy. Zenium is Vitus' carbon fibre road race platform, so if you want a go-faster bike with a long, low riding position and disc brakes, it's an excellent deal, with plenty of upgrade potential. Out of the box it comes with Shimano wheels and Vittoria 28mm tyres.

Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon — £1,000

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The Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon is a quick and dynamic road bike with practical features that make it suitable for year-round riding, and it offers very good value for money.

In fact it's an absolute corker. Tester Mat Brett wrote: "Every so often in this job you review a bike that makes you think, 'I'd happily ride this one day in, day out.' That's not entirely surprising when you're on a 10 grand superbike, but it's less common at the £1,000 mark. The Boardman SLR 8.9 is one of those bikes."

Read our review of the Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon

Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 — £1,500

2018 trek checkpoint alr 4.jpg

One of the most intriguing bike introductions of 2018, Trek's Checkpoint platform sees the bike maker from Waterloo, Wisconsin finally jumping into allroad bikes with both boots. This is the cheapest bike in the range, with hydraulic brakes and a frame that'll take up to 45mm tyres. Well worth a look if you're planning on adding some trail exploration to your riding repertoire.

Specialized Tarmac SL4 2018 — £1,200

2018 Specialized Tarmac SL4.jpeg

Tiagra's not just for budget bikes, as this eminently raceable edition of Specialized's acclaimed Tarmac series shows. Specialized adds DT Swiss wheels and a Praxis chainset to a package that includes Tiagra shifting, all hung on a frame made from Specialized's FACT 9r carbon.

End of season price reductions make this a bargain, especially as it's basically unchanged for 2019.

Ribble CGR Tiagra — from £999

Ribble CGR.jpg

Cross, Gravel, Road, that's what the CGR initials stand for on Ribble's latest all-rounder. A disc brake-equipped, mudguard-shod 'do a bit of everything' machine that makes a lot of sense for the rider who doesn't always want to stick to the tarmac. Thankfully, this jack of all trades is no master of none.

The CGR is a very easy bike to ride thanks to some neutral and balanced handling. This might make it sound dull but it's far from it, especially when you go off-road.

With a long wheelbase, mounts for mudguards and racks plus being designed for disc brakes, the Ribble is likely to see a lot of use in the wet and cold of winter where the road surface is often less than ideal. A bike that's dependable and trustworthy when it comes to the handling.

There's also a version in Reynolds 725 chromoly steel for £1,199.

Read our review of the Ribble CGR

Merida Scultura 300 2019 — £850

2018 Merida Scultura 300.jpg

Tiagra lends itself well to bikes that aim to satisfy your need for speed like Merida's racy Scultura line. This model has a 6066 triple-butted aluminium frame with a full carbon fork. The Scultura 300 is a softer prospect than Merida's more expensive carbon fibre Scultura models, with a longer head tube for a more upright riding position.

GT Grade Carbon Tiagra 2017 — £1,020 (limited sizes)

2017 GT Grade Carbon Tiagra.jpg

If you want a tough bike that can handle the poor state of the roads, whether for daily commuting or winter riding, with disc brakes and space for big tyres, then the GT Grade is a good choice. This model features a carbon fibre frame and fork, with the distinctive triple triangle design that is a hallmark of GT bikes. GT has used the new Tiagra 4700 groupset but mixed it up with an FSA Vero Compact chainset and TRP Hy-Rd mechanical disc brakes. It rolls on 32mm Clement Strada USH tyres. This is a 2017 model, so not all sizes are available, but if there's one that fits you it's a serious bargain at this price.

Cannondale Synapse Alloy Tiagra Disc 2019 — £800

Cannondale Synapse Alloy Tiagra Disc Women's.jpg

The Synapse has been a hugely popular bike since it was completely redesigned a couple of years ago, and the large model range offers a bike for most price points. This model combines an aluminium frame, carbon fork and most of a Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset. It has an FSA Omega chainset because the frame uses a BB30 bottom bracket. As this is the disc brake version, it uses Promax Render R mechanical disc brakes.

There's a men's version in dark grey as well as the blue women's model above.

Trek Emonda ALR 4 2019 — £1,200

2018 trek emonda alr 4.jpg

Like the BMC TeamMachine ALR01, the new Trek Emonda ALR is based on the more expensive carbon fibre road bike that shares the same name. It’s one of the lightest aluminium frames currently available, with Trek claiming 1,050g for a size 56cm frame. Very impressive. This model gets a full roster of Tiagra 4700 parts, with a compact chainset and 11-28t cassette. Mat reviewed the 2016 model and loved it.

The 2018 version is still available in limited sizes for £1,000.

Read our review of the Trek Emonda ALR 4

Giant TCR Advanced 3 2019 — £1,299

2018 Giant TCR Advanced 3.jpg

Giant’s excellent TCR frameset now comes equipped with Tiagra 4700. There’s no cutting corners here though, with a full carbon frame and groupset, the TCR Advanced 3 is a super bike at a super price.

The combination of a 34/50 up front and 12/28 in the rear make this a hill climbing machine. The addition of 25mm tyres is a welcome feature for even more comfort.

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David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

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timb27 [139 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Have to say the 'Dale Supersix Evo Tiagra currently on sale for £780 at Sigma Cycles (sizes 56/58/60) looks to be a cracking deal

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ianguignet [37 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

£699 for a Dolan Preffisio on 105.. 

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Vejnemojnen [289 posts] 2 years ago
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jlebrech [69 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

you can get a Triban 540 with 105 groupset for £679

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jaysa [157 posts] 1 year ago
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timb27 wrote:

Have to say the 'Dale Supersix Evo Tiagra currently on sale for £780 at Sigma Cycles (sizes 56/58/60) looks to be a cracking deal

Yep, bought one of those last year and it's been fab. Thrilled to bits with the Supersix's handling.

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Tom_in_MN [19 posts] 1 year ago
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The FD-4700 front derailleur can be replaced with the 105 FD-5801 if you want the new design that the latest 105 and Ultegra use to replace the hard to adjust and stiff action of the long arm design. Tiagra 4700 uses 11 speed pulls so it's a bit of an odd ball.

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recurs [35 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The best intentionally crippled groupset out there.

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Duncann [1488 posts] 1 year ago
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Nothing wrong with Tiagra but I'm not sure you'd really want to spend over £1000 on a bike equipped with it, would you? 

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kil0ran [1690 posts] 1 year ago
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I think Tiagra is pretty much all you need in a groupset now. Ergonomics are identical to 105/Ultegra/Dura-Ace and all you're losing is one cog and a bit of braking performance for the rim brake bikes. That's easily and cheaply remedied and a job anyone should be able to do themselves.

To my eyes the mechs and chainset look better than 5800 too.

Until R8000 arrived it was also the only option out there with an 11-34 cassette.

I've got it on two bikes that would have cost in the region of £2.5k each if I hadn't self-built. Sure it is slightly heavier than 105 but unless you're racing that really shouldn't be a concern. What I particularly like is because the pulls are the same you can mix and match components or upgrade in stages as bits wear out. I've got the latest 105 front mech on my best bike to improve mudguard clearance and shift performance. 

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inicholson [45 posts] 1 year ago
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Cheapest Tiagra equipped bike on the market (£375 for the 53cm)...?

https://www.sportsdirect.com/muddyfox-race400-933309?colcode=93330944

Not sure I'd risk it but incredibly cheap for full carbon and Tiagra (think it's the old spec Tiagra rather than new).

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michaelsmith22 [5 posts] 7 months ago
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 I have the Merlin Malt G and it's a lovely bike, worth every penny. 

However, tyres were not to my liking so I swapped them for 35mm Scwalbe G One and it is sooo wonderful to ride, the riding position suits me perfectly.  Couple of niggles,

1. Positioning of the rack/mudguard bolts is crazy imho had to do some serious fettling to get mudguards to fit; and by fettling I mean straighten out a stay completely and re bend it so that they would fit. I am yet to find a rack that will fit. 

2. The rear mech cable doesn't follow the stay and I clip my heel on it from time to time. 

3. Cable disc brakes could be better but they will get me to a stop as quickly as any rim brake.