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Shimano introduces Tiagra-level hydraulic disc brakes

7 May 2019
Verdict:

Tiagra is Shimano’s fourth road groupset to get a full hydraulic disc brake upgrade

The top four tiers of Shimano’s road groupsets now offer a series-specific hydraulic disc option as technology previously only available at Dura-Ace, Ultegra and 105 trickles down to the Tiagra tier.

Previous non-series components have been replaced with Tiagra-series components, which feature many attributes of models at the more premium end of Shimano’s catalogue.

‘The new Tiagra levers replace the previous non-series ST-RS405 units and now follow the pattern set by the Dura-Ace, Ultegra and 105 groupsets, with a slim body to house the hydraulic disc brake controls and increased adjustability for optimum bike control,’ says Shimano.

The brakes are not the only components in the tier to receive an overhaul as Shimano took the opportunity to refine the shift mechanism too.

‘The Tiagra 10-speed shifting mechanism within the lever body has also been upgraded from the non-series levers to provide quicker rear gear shifts, allowing riders to rifle through the cassette to gear up for a sprint or gear down for a climb,’ says the brand.

The changes should provide genuine performance advantages and are likely to gain favour with competitive riders on a budget.

Shimano will also be offering extra crankset options, with a 48/34 now available, alongside the existing 50/34 and 52/36.

‘This smaller ratio closes the gap to 14T between the big ring and small ring, reducing the number of compensation shifts needed in the rear cassette,’ says Shimano.

The change is also likely to improve the quality of shifting at the front, as it is generally recognised that a smaller jump between rings makes shifting faster and more consistent.

Tiagra is one of Shimano’s more affordable groupsets and is widely specced on entry level road bikes, so having the option of a dedicated version of Shimano’s powerful hydraulic system at this end of the price spectrum is a useful advantage for retailers and consumers alike.

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