Tiagra vs. 105: Major or Minor Difference?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by new_rider, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. new_rider

    new_rider New Member

    Jan 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    As you may be able to tell, it's been a while since I've done any road riding.

    I'm choosing between a bike fitted with Tiagra and others with 105. Is there going to be a noticable difference in shift quality? What about braking power?

  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    Likes Received:
    FWIW. I would say that while the difference between between Dura Ace & Ultegra is small ... and, the difference between Ultegra & 105 is small ... the difference between 105 & Tiagra is comparatively large.

    I presume that the Tiagra shifters are currently 9-speed while the current 105 shifters are 10-speed.

    Supposedly, Shimano made some minor improvements to mechanism their 10-speed shifters, but the 9-speed mechanism is fairly reliable.

    The "finish" on the Dura Ace & Ultegra components is much more refined (but, not necessarily better) than on the 105 components.

    The "finish" of the 105 components may not be that much better than the finish on the Tiagra components.

    If you are truly concerned about the shifting, then whatever you choose (if off the peg), then plan on selling the shifters on eBay and installing a pair of 10-speed, non-QS Campagnolo shifters on the bike.

    IMO, other than some of the brake calipers on bikes sold before the mid-80s, the braking is more a factor of the pads than the calipers.

    Shimano's Dura Ace & Ultegra pads are supposed to be marginally better than any of the others which are available if you are using alloy rims ...

    Having said that, I have found that some single pivot DiaCompe copies of 80s vintage Campagnolo calipers (which were the basis for some over-priced Cane Creek calipers about 10 years ago) which had marginal-by-comparison pads when compared with Shimano pads were just fine in ALL slowing-or-stopping conditions.

    As long as the brake pads are clean and NOT glazed (from extended storage), the brake caliper choice is mostly a matter of cosmetic preferences, IMO.
  3. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Think of Tiagra 2009 and later as 105 for 9-speed. If you want a 10-speed cassette, use 105; if you want 9-speed, use Tiagra.