For the 2016 model range, Shimano redesigned its fourth-level groupset, Tiagra 4700, now it includes a new set of cranks, new shifters and internal cable routing.
As a result Shimano managed to improve performance and ergonomics. Comparatively to previous generation of Tiagra, this groupset made a big step forward.
The new Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset not only looks better, but also works more effectively than previous generation.
Previously, Shimano engineers updated their “105” groupset, adding many features that first appeared in the “Dura-Ace” and “Ultegra” level groupsets. Now the company has done the same thing with Tiagra, which now has more in common with expensive groupsets then ever before. However, they decided not to go with the 11-speed drivetrain, limiting themselves to 10-speed cassette.
Changes in terms of style and design should equate Tiagra to high-level groupsets. Engineers managed to significantly improve its appearance. In fact, if you don’t examine it carefully, you won’t distinguish Tiagra 4700 from more expensive groupsets.
Shimano engineers didn’t stop only on updating groupsets appearance. In addition to this, Shimano made Tiagra 4700 more ergonomic and managed to increase its performance.
Nonetheless, this is definitely a very good groupset, similar to 105 and other high-end level groupsets.
Tiagra 4700 is now rigged with compact shifters, just like on 105 and Ultegra groupsets. This means that you will immediately get comfortable with them if you have switched from a bicycle equipped with one of these groupsets.
If you used previous version of Tiagra, new groupset will seem much more advantageous to you. New Tiagra 4700 groupset got rid of gear indicators, but in my opinion, this is not a big loss. Shifters have a nice shape, gear changing is now easy, fast and smooth.
To upshift, you need to press a small lever located behind the brake lever. It is intuitive and very simple. This is a very quiet groupset.
Shimano claims that new Tiagra 4700 groupset, has a completely reworked cable pitch on rear derailleur, and now it provides more accurate gear change. I find it difficult to assess the validity of this statement, without comparing to previous generation Tiagra groupset, but I can definitely say that I have no complaints about the performance of the transmission.
Tiagra remained a 10-speed groupset, eliminating compatibility with higher-level groupsets. But I suspect that this will not bother people purchasing bikes equipped with new Tiagra groupset that much. After all, they get an improved appearance and increased performance at a reasonable price.
Shimano offers a new crank system that borrows its design from Dura-Ace groupset and comes in 53/39, 53/36 and 50/39/30, as well as a compact 50/34 versions.
In addition, you can choose a cassette and a rear derailleur, available with 11-25t and 11-34t, which as you can imagine is quite enough to gain and hold speed on flat terrain and good for climbing.
The cranks are attached to the bike through a tried and true Shimano “Hollowtech” bottom bracket. This system, without a doubt, is better at transmitting force through pedals.
Shimano representatives say that performance of brake calipers has increased by as much as 30% compared with the brakes of the previous generation. However, new brakes do not have a symmetrical hinge design, that is used in 105 and higher level groupsets.
Personally, I found braking performance not as impressive as Shimano claims it to be. To be completely honest, it seemed to me that they lacked power. I found them to be not as good at doing their job when you need to lose a lot of speed in a very short time.
The groupset I used was already mounted on the bike, so I could not weigh the individual components, and Shimano did not publish data on the weight of groupset. Searching on different bike forums, I found that the weight of whole groupset (chain, cassette, bottom bracket, front/rear brake caliper, front/rear derailleur, crank arms, cables/cable housing, levers and chainring) is around 2.600 – 2.800 grams.
Hopefully, I will soon get a test groupset for review and will be able to weigh all of its parts. In any case, in terms of weight, Tiagra obviously cannot compete with more expensive equipment groups.
So, is the Tiagra 4700 a good groupset? In general, yes. It works and looks better than the previous Tiagra. The most notable improvement were updated shifters, which function almost the same way as their counterparts in more expensive groupsets.
But the brake system did not become such a big leap forward, compared with other components.
If you buy a set of equipment for your bike, the difference in 175$ between the Tiagra and 105 may be enough for you to decide to save some money. The retail price of Tiagra is around 560$. And I consider 105 to be one of the best Shimano groupsets in terms of price and quality.
Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset now looks a lot more like it’s older Shimano siblings. Featuring the same design as found on Shimano’s higher-end 105 Ultegra enduro race groupsets.
Unlike it’s older siblings, it still hasn’t stepped up to 11 speed and Tiagra continues to have only 10 speed gears on the rear.
Up front Shimano has dropped the gear indicators on shifters and has changed the design to look a lot more like Shimano 105 system.
Shinamo Tiagra has also joined the modern world of cable routing. Gear cables are now routed under the bar tape rather than sticking out from sides of shifters. This more sensible routing is far more efficient and helps limiting wear and tear.
- Another helpful addition is a built in reach adjustment screw under the hoods. Speaking of breaking, the leavers design shows strong family resemblance to Shimano’s other systems. Dual pivot setup is light, performance is good, has increased braking modulation. Hoods are comfortable to lean on and Shimano increased the leaver range to give the riders an extra leverage when shifting and breaking, both of which are crisp and solid.
For comparison, Tiagra weighs around 2800 grams which is roughly 300 grams more than 105. Chainset is available in a 50:34 teeth compact, or 52:36 teeth semi-compact configuration. If you opt for the triple it will come in a 50:39:30 arrangement. Crank lengths is 165mm or 175mm.
- Meanwhile the rear derailleur can come either in short cage or long cage. The shorter option can handle cassette with the largest sprocket of 28 teeth. The longer cage can take a 34 teeth on a double setup, and 32 teeth option on a triple. This allowes Shimano to match their competitors and also give the option of a sport friendly setup.
The brake pads are adjustable but the are one piece, meaning if the pads are worn out you will need to replace the whole unit rather than just a brake pad.
There are four cassette options with Tiagra 4700 system and the ranges are available from 11 to 25, to 11 to 34. Pair these with the compact chainset and there will be plenty of range to tackle even the toughest climbs.
- Ultimately Shimano’s Tiagra system is a great group set. Has the same high end looks as it’s higher value siblings, and breaking with shifting to match. The only downside is it still is a ten-speed setup.