Next year will see 10-speed gearing trickle further down the hierarchy of Shimano componentry with the recently announced 2012 Tiagra 4600 groupset.
The mid-range gruppo gets a massive facelift, gaining the newer STI lever shape, matching everything from 105 upwards.
A light-action shifter feel is maintained – despite the cheaper cables at this level – thanks to the retention of external cable routing for the gears. External tension adjusters allow on-the-fly adjustment.
The new-shape levers move Super SLR brake calipers. This opens up the possibility of fitting cheaper brakes to a winter bike without losing feel, as well as bringing improved braking power to Tiagra level.
Three chainset options should offer something for everyone. Rather than offer a super-wide-ratio cassette and compact crank for the low-gear crowd, Shimano prefers the closer gear ratio and usable spread of the triple option. A compact is available, but it is recommended to be mated to the 12-30 cassette.
A standard length 2012 Tiagra rear mech will cope with this just fine and not look at all out of place. For those with more sporting aspirations, a standard 52/39 chainset is also available. The double chainset users will also benefit from claimed quieter running and a smoother- shifting directional chain.
At present it is due to come in around 15 per cent cheaper – yes cheaper – than nine-speed Tiagra. More gears, less money: cheers Mr Shimano!