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Shimano's 10-speed groupset gets improved brake levers, better shifting and new chainset options

Shimano has updated its fourth-tier Tiagra groupset with new Dual Control hydraulic brake levers, mimicking 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace, bringing better ergonomics to entry-level road bikes as well as improved mechanical shifting performance.

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Tiagra, Shimano’s most expensive 10-speed groupset, was last updated in 2016 and ushered in hydraulic disc brakes at a new lower price. It used the ill-fated BR-RS405 brake levers with a hood shape taken from 105, universally derided for their looks, even if it was actually comfortable to ride with.

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New Tiagra replaces those ugly hoods with ST-4720-L/R echoing the current design seen on more expensive Shimano groupsets.

Along with improved ergonomics, Shimano has also updated the shifting mechanism which promises quicker rear gear changes “allowing riders to rifle through the cassette to gear up for a sprint or gear down for a climb” says Shimano.

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The updated brake levers now also offer the same short reach lever version as found on 105 and Ultegra. The ST-4725-L/R levers are designed for riders with smaller hands, as well as shorter reach the lever has a more outboard profile for easier access.

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We’re seeing a push towards lower gears on allroad/gravel/adventure bikes and the new Tiagra groupset is now offered with a 48-34T chainset alongside the existing 52-36t and 50-34t options. The new lower ration chainset has a reduced 14t gap between the big and small rings which reduces the number of compensation shifts needed on the cassette.

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The last update to Tiagra is a new 12mm E-THRU disc brake hubset  (HB-RS470/FH-RS470) available in 10 and 11-speed and with 28 or 32 hole drillings.

Availability is expected in June 2019. More info at www.shimano.com

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.