Everything you need to know about the Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset: still the only 10-speed groupset in the brand's stable

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Shimano Tiagra groupset

Pros:

  • High end look
  • Excellent front and rear shifting
  • Good brakes
  • Wider shifting range

Cons:

  • Still only ten speed

Product:

Shimano Tiagra groupset

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£402.00

“Old” Shimano Tiagra 4600 was due an overhaul: it was the oldest groupset in Shimano’s stable and was beginning to show its age both in appearance and performance relative to Shimano’s higher end groupsets.

Buy now: Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset from Chain Reaction Cycles for £259.99 

The new Shimano Tiagra 4700 looks much more like its bigger brothers – Shimano Dura-Ace, Shimano Ultegra and Shimano 105 – and its performance is much more on a par with them too, although unlike  105 which stepped up to eleven speed in its latest 5800 guise, Tiagra remains ten speed.

Although this isn’t obvious in photos, all the components are anodised a rather attractive steel blue.

Shimano Tiagra Chainset

The 4700 chainset adopts Shimano’s newer four-arm design. It’s available in double or triple with four crank lengths between 165 and 175mm.

The double is available as either 50/34 tooth compact or 52/36 semi-compact while the triple comes with 50/39/30 tooth rings.

>>> Road bike groupset buyer’s guide

Shimano Tiagra Rear derailleur

Shimano Tiagra long cage rear mech will handle cassettes with up to 34 tooth sprockets

Shimano Tiagra long cage rear mech will handle cassettes with up to 34 tooth sprockets

As with Shimano’s other groupsets, there’s a long cage and a short cage version of the rear mech. The short cage mech will handle cassettes with a largest sprocket of 28 teeth.

Go for the longer cage and the range expands to 34 teeth for the double, 32 for the triple – again in line with higher end groupsets and competitors’ offerings and also offering a much more sportive-friendly lowest ratio.


All you need to know about road bike groupsets


Shimano Tiagra Front derailleur

The front mech is available for double or triple chainrings, the latter having a different cage design. The look is again much like Shimano’s higher end groupsets and the lever arm length has been increased to provide greater leverage when shifting and a lighter lever feel.

Shimano Tiagra Shifters

New Shimano Tiagra shifters lose the gear window and have under-tape cable routing

New Shimano Tiagra shifters lose the gear window and have under-tape cable routing

Aside from the chainset, the new shifters are the most visible change from the previous Tiagra groupsets. The gear indicator windows have been lost and the size and shape are much like 105.

>>> Shimano 105 groupset review

Whereas gear cables used to come out of the side of the shifter body and arc externally to the frame, the 4700 shifter cables are routed under the bar tape.

The levers’ internals are much like those in 11-speed 105: the cables come straight out of the back of the levers into the cable outers rather than following the crazy routing of the previous 10-speed 105 where the cable executed a series of 90° turns within the lever body, which impacted performance and promoted wear.

>>> Are electronic groupsets necessary?

The hoods are comfortable to perch on and the levers to use, and there’s a solid feel to the shifting and braking.

There’s also a built-in lever reach adjustment screw. A Rapidfire lever set is also available for use on flat bars; this retains the gear indicator window.

Shimano Tiagra Cassette

Shimano Tiagra 4700 offers four cassette options with ranges available from 11-25 to 11-34 teeth. In combination with the compact chainset, the latter should provide plenty of range to tackle up and downhills.

Shimano Tiagra Brakes

Tiagra-brake

Tiagra brakes work well, although the one-piece shoes mean that you can’t just replace the pads

Again, the brakes show a family resemblance to Shimano’s higher priced groupsets and this is reflected in their performance.

The dual pivots provide light, comfortable performance and Shimano claims a significant increase in modulation.

Buy now: Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset from Chain Reaction Cycles for £259.99 

The shoes have adjustable toe-on, although they are one piece, so you have to replace the whole unit rather than being able to swap out the pads once they’re worn.

Verdict

Looks and works like Shimano’s higher end groupsets, even if it remains ten-speed

  • BartR

    The new Tiagra isn’t compatable with other 4-arm Shimano groups. So, if you want to change a front chainring (other than 50T or 52T) that’s impossible! E.g. for CycloCross (46T/36T).

    Even a chainring from BBB, TA or Gebhart will fit, but does not switch properly. The chain can fall between both chainrings, due to different spider thicknesses. (Tiagra 4.75mm instead of 3.5mm for other Shimano groups). It’s a shame Shimano!

  • Jim

    tiagra bottom bracket – rubbish six months? should be well more than that for low mileage rider lightweight as well

  • CanAmSteve

    I think Tiagra is great value. I like to use it when rebuilding old classics as the exposed shift cables give a bit of a retro look (and make cable servicing simpler).

    You can pick up an entire groupset for just over £200. And I run a 32T rear cassette with the medium cage dérailleur (and both compact and triple chainsets) with no problem. I agree swapping in a 10-speed 5700 105 RD is a good upgrade (and they can be had for less than £30).

    Too bad about the dorky shift indicators, though