Shimano Tiagra vs 105: Which One Should I Buy?

A close up of a bicycle with a chain and gears.

You may not be a pro-athlete, but that doesn’t stop you from aiming for quality cycling gear to enhance your performance, right? Here’s an important part of your decision-making process: choosing between Shimano’s Tiagra and 105 groupsets.

Overview of Shimano Tiagra and 105 groupsets

In the complex world of cycling parts, Shimano has made a name for itself as a trusted, quality-assured manufacturer of groupsets. Both the Tiagra and 105 variants are popular among cycling enthusiasts. Built for road bikes, the Tiagra is considered entry-level, while the slightly more expensive 105 is seen as a step up, designed for more serious riders.

Importance of choosing the right groupset

The groupset you choose can dramatically impact your riding experience. A better groupset means smoother gear shifting, more durability, and overall improved performance. Sure, the 105 is more costly–but it packs more punch in performance. That being said, the Tiagra is no pushover; it delivers consistent performance that will not disappoint beginners.

Planning for weekend neighborhood rides? Tiagra has got your back. But if you’re going after more challenging terrains or competitive environments, consider the 105 for its resilience and higher performance.

Here’s a quick comparison table to help you out:

PriceLess expensiveMore expensive
Recommended forBeginners, Casual ridesSerious riders, Competitive cycling

Remember, choosing the right groupset is all about your unique requirements. Make the choice that aligns best with your biking goals.

Shimano Tiagra

Three men posing for a photo with their bicycles.
My friend’s Ferrino bike in the middle with Shimano Tiagra groupset

Shimano, a name synonymous with quality cycling components, offers you the Tiagra groupset, a fantastic entry-level offering that brings you close to pro-level performance. Your cycling experience can dramatically improve with this groupset, thanks to its features.

Specs and features of the Tiagra groupset

This version of Tiagra, referred to as 4700, represents significant development from its predecessor. You get ten speeds, as compared to the previous nine, and its ergonomic design is adapted from higher-tier groupsets, giving both enhanced performance and comfort. A highlight of the Tiagra is its consistent and smooth shifting, derived from the redesigned derailleur and shift lever. Not to mention, it’s designed to work perfectly in a variety of cycling conditions.

Pros and cons of using Tiagra

You’ve got plenty to love about the Tiagra! It offers value for money, with stunning features and excellent build quality. The improved ergonomics result in comfortable rides, and the smooth shifting is something never to be underrated.

However, there are trade-offs. The Tiagra, being a lighter version, lacks a little when it comes to all-out performance. Also, it’s not as light as higher-end groupsets, which might matter if you’re keen on shedding every single gram off your bike.

Remember, choosing between Shimano Tiagra and 105 boils down to your needs, preferences, and budget. While 105 may have a slight edge performance-wise, Tiagra holds its ground well, especially considering its value proposition. Don’t forget, either choice gets endorsed by Shimano’s reputation for quality!

Shimano 105

An avid cyclist, look no further than the Shimano 105 groupset for a balance of performance and affordability. This robust product boasts some of the finest technology in cycling gears right now. Since its inception, it has continued to strive to give you an exceptional riding experience at a budget-friendly cost.

Specs and Features of the 105 Groupset

This versatile groupset boasts Shimano’s cutting-edge features and impressive technology wrapped around a mid-range price point. It features Shadow RD (Rear Derailleur) technology, which provides better shifting performance and reduces the chance of catching chainstay in rough riding conditions. The 105 offers a 2×11 speed drive train, presenting nineteen gear options. But what makes it stand out is its quality brake system that ensures stopping power in any weather.

Pros and Cons of Using 105

Pros: Shimano 105 strikes an enticing balance between performance and affordability, making it perfect for keen cyclists on a budget. It’s lighter than cheaper groupsets, ensuring less drag and a speedier ride. Additionally, its braking system is reliable and assured to handle any weather condition – whether it rains or shines, you’re covered!

Cons: Despite the pros, the Shimano 105 does have shortcomings. It’s not as lightweight as the more pro-level groupsets such as the Dura Ace and Ultegra. However, the slight weight difference may not be a huge concern unless you’re a professional racer aiming for the best specifications. Furthermore, its grey and black finish might not be visually appealing to all.

Despite these drawbacks, the Shimano 105 pulls its punches in offering great value for cyclists in terms of price and performance.

Comparison between Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105

When it comes to selecting the right bike gears for your ride, Shimano certainly tops the list with its high-rated groupsets, including the Shimano Tiagra and the Shimano 105. Undeniably, these are quality options, but there are a few differences worth noting.

Differences in number of sprockets and gearing ratio

Shimano Tiagra runs a 10-speed cassette, giving you fewer gear variations. This is suitable if you’re a beginner cyclist or riding in flat areas. On the other hand, Shimano 105 thrusts you into an 11-speed ratio. It simply means you get more gearing options, making it an ideal pick for experienced cyclists or those who usually tackle hillier terrains.

Weight and pricing comparison between the two groupsets

Weight Variance: Let’s talk numbers. Weighing at approximately 2,750g, the Shimano 105 is lighter than the Shimano Tiagra weighing around 3,000g. Even though this might not seem like a colossal difference, avid cyclists often prefer lighter gear.

Cost Comparison: You didn’t think that lighter weight comes for free, did you? Shimano 105, with its additional sprocket and reduced weight, comes at a higher cost than the Shimano Tiagra. However, ensuring the best combination of performance, durability, and price is your highest priority, isn’t it? Your choice ultimately depends on what you value more, your wallet or performance.

Performance and User Experience

As a cycling enthusiast, you very well understand that the kind of groupset you use has a significant impact on your overall biking experience. When it comes to choosing between the Shimano Tiagra and the Shimano 105, it’s all about determining which one aligns best with your cycling preferences, level, and budget.

Shifting performance comparison

Between Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105, shifting performance might be a key factor to base your decision on. Shimano 105 is revered for its crisp, smooth shifting performance. Its shifters are designed to offer light action with a vivid click feedback along with ergonomic controls, ideal for all hand sizes.

On the other hand, with its recent upgrade, Shimano Tiagra also presents a commendably smooth shifting performance. However, it’s worth noting that it may not be as light or slick as the Shimano 105 but competent nonetheless.

Braking performance analysis

Now, coming down to braking, both Shimano 105 and Tiagra excel here. They both offer reliable and efficient braking. However, true cycling zealots might argue that the Shimano 105 has the upper hand due to its slightly superior braking modulation and power, courtesy of its better-quality calipers.

At the end of the day, it’s your decision to make. Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105 each have their strengths and bring something unique to the cycling experience. Consider factors like your budget, performance requirements, and overall cycling style when making your choice. Happy cycling!

Real User Feedback

As an enthusiastic cyclist, you likely want the scoop on which groupset delivers more bang for the buck. Here, we offer you the real-world feedback on Shimano Tiagra vs. 105 groupsets.

Testimonials and opinions from cyclists who have used both groupsets

One common theme amongst users is the noticeable difference in price. However, in terms of performance, the lines blur a bit. Cyclist John thinks that the Shimano 105 groupset has “smoother shifting, a more robust build, and adds that extra bit of confidence on long rides”. On the other hand, another cyclist, Mary, who migrated from a Tiagra to a 105 setup on her road bike said, “Knowing what I know now, I could’ve stuck with Tiagra. Yes, 105 is excellent, but the Tiagra was just as efficient for my needs.”

Recommendations based on user experiences

From the vast responses of cyclists, if you’re a casual or commuter rider, you might not see the added value in the Shimano 105. Generally, the Tiagra strikes a good balance between price and performance. But if you are a more aggressive cyclist looking for an edge or involved in competitive racing, then the 105 would be a better choice due to its slight performance advantage and improved durability.

Remember, it’s not always about having the latest, the lightest, or even the most costly. It’s about what works best for your style and cycling needs.


Throughout your journey of choosing the ideal groupset for you, the process can certainly feel overwhelming. Two powerful options that possibly caught your attention are Shimano’s Tiagra and 105. Both these groupsets offer their unique array of benefits and considerations, but how do you know which one to choose?

Choosing the right groupset for your needs

Your buying decision largely depends on your needs. If you’re focused on maintaining a lower budget without compromising too heavily on performance, the Shimano Tiagra might be the perfect fit. This groupset is known for providing a smooth ride and dependable gear shifting at a relatively economical price.

Yet, if you lean more towards the professional side and don’t mind a slightly higher cost for a better performance, the Shimano 105 might be your go-to. Not only is it lighter than the Tiagra, but it also has additional gears and is favored for its superior durability and responsiveness.

Final thoughts on Shimano Tiagra vs 105

In the Tiagra vs 105 debate, remember it’s not about the “better” groupset, instead, it’s about which caters better to your own personal needs and cycling aspirations. It’s about trade-offs like price versus performance, and weight against durability. No matter which you choose, both Shimano Tiagra and 105 are indeed excellent choices, sure to enhance your biking experience.

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