Shimano 105 or Tiagra, What’s the Difference?

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Claire Achen wants to know the difference between Shimano 105 and Tiagra components. Both are quite similar, not top end equipment, but both very workable. We go through what we think

Question: Can you tell me the difference in quality between the Shimano Tiagra and 105 components, especially derailleur’s? Practically, what difference would a person notice as she shifts/rides?



Hi Claire,
Let me start with the statement that Shimano Tiagra is not as good as Shimano 105! Why? Well, the Shimano 105 is lighter and it is made better quality materials, in saying this, the Tiagra maybe more durable and hard wearing, but it has the one big draw back, it is only 9 speed at the moment.

As to the actual gear change, the 105 could feel slightly smoother, but both are as accurate in their change. The Shimano 105 has the same sleek lines as the Dura-Ace and has the same efficiency, but at a very nice price.

Obviously it’s 10 speed and comes with the Hollowtech II bottom bracket; the brakes are of Dual-Pivot design and give a solid braking feel. The Shimano 105 group is brilliant for the price, you could just about race on this stuff, not because of any lack of functionality, but just that it is heavier than Dura-Ace and Ultegra.

The Shimano Tiagra set has some of the same attributes as the 105, except the main draw back is that it is “only” 9 speed. The chainset is also Hollowtech design, as is the chainset. The brakes are also Dual Pivot, so no problems there and the rear gear derailleur is compatible with compact chainsets, the Tiagra is a good group, well made and very efficient.

So to answer you question, would you notice any difference? No you would probably not notice any difference with the gear change and everything else would feel much the same. The weight difference would be marginal unless you are racing where that little extra always helps.

The big difference and the one that would make me decide not to but it and go for the Shimano 105 has to be the 10 speed gears. Its maybe only one gear, but 9 speed will be obsolete very soon. So you can either buy the 105 group set now or wait until Shimano bring out the 10 speed Tiagra, which for sure they will.

Check Shimano 105 price and availability here

Check Shimano Tiagra price



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