Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

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Psamathe
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Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Psamathe » 22 Jul 2016, 9:05pm

For 11,000 miles I've had 10 speed Tiagra STIs (compact double and 12-30T cassette). They have never shifted properly. Best achieved would be for 5 miles after a shop has reset everything. Several very capable (excellent reputation) LBSs have tried, one gave-up unable to get it changing decently, another did "the best they could". Swapped everything except the STIs (including cables and sleeving, several times). It was a matter of click once (on rear) and you'd get no change, one cog or two cogs and often a lot of noise and you'd have to click back. To change one cog you'd need between 0 (sometimes it would just change gear on its own) and 2 clicks (sometimes 2 up and one down or up one and then down one).

Then I spotted that the 10 speed 105 STIs were being sold off pretty cheap (old discontinued product) so I purchased a set.

Been running on the 105 STIs for over 200 miles and not a single bad change. One click=one immediate and precise cog change and no subsequent noise. New cables have not needed any adjusting yet and still working perfectly.

Tiagra problems had been mainly on rear, though the front small "paddle" would sometimes not "engage" and you'd push it several times and it would just do nothing - not a major issue as pause, take a breath and try again and it would engage.

BUT, prior to the STI swap, the bike had done a fair mileage and the transmission was pretty worn though it had worn together and no slipping (large chainwheel 11,000 miles, cassette 10,000 miles, chain 5000 miles). These parts were also changed at the same time which would have helped (incl. upgrade chainset for 105 one, Ultegra cassette).

BUT the rear change issues have been there from day 1 on the bike purchased new from a major UK retailer (shop) - so I don't put the improvement down to the other parts being replaced.

Interestingly, disk brake pads were changed at the same time (LBS estimated 2/3rd worn out but I changed them anyway). Engineer test rode bike and commented that the brakes were "rubbish" but would bed-in. 1st time I used the brakes I realised I'd have to be careful as they stopped like never before - much better which I put down to the different hinge position on the levers (so when I braked my pull had a much better mechanical advantage)

SO, I'm impressed, love them. Wish I'd swapped sooner (even paying the higher price as they would not have been discontinued product then). Apart from the fact they work, the motion/click feels much nicer, "more solid". Front change is now much easier than on the Tiagras, feels like a lot less movement required to change onto the 50T.

Observation: I asked the engineer to put the 105 STIs in the same place as the Tiagra ones had been on the drop bars. I quickly realised that the hood angle was completely different between Tiagra and 105 and the ride position on the hoods badly out for me so the STIs needed moving up (higher) on the bars to get the hood angle better (closer to the Tiagra ones).

Ian
(Who is not particularly experienced; the 11,000 miles being my distance since taking up cycling again)

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TrevA
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby TrevA » 23 Jul 2016, 9:46pm

Interesting.

I have 10 speed Tiagra STIs. They were OK from new, but I broke my frame last year and had it replaced under warranty. The shop swapped everything over, but the gears were a bit out of kilter and no matter what I do I can't get them right. I'm fine with adjusting the 9 speed Tiagras on my other bike, but just can't get the adjustment right on the 10 speed ones.

Psamathe
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Psamathe » 23 Jul 2016, 11:51pm

TrevA wrote:Interesting.

I have 10 speed Tiagra STIs. They were OK from new, but I broke my frame last year and had it replaced under warranty. The shop swapped everything over, but the gears were a bit out of kilter and no matter what I do I can't get them right. I'm fine with adjusting the 9 speed Tiagras on my other bike, but just can't get the adjustment right on the 10 speed ones.

One engineer from a national bike shop chain played around trying for a fair time and ended-up saying that some bikes were "just like that" and he came across them occasionally (no idea about the experience and reputation of said engineer). Another LBS with an exceptionally good local reputation spent ages and got the changing right at the top and bottom end of the cassette but could not get it going decently in the middle cogs. In both places when I asked about upgrading to 105 STIs neither shop pushed the idea (which made me think well of them as they were not just trying to separate me from my money).

But I enjoyed riding my bike so gears that were not 100% whilst not ideal, my pleasure was riding the bike. But they seem fantastic now with the 105s.

But only relating my personal opinion and inexperienced impression - not trying to persuade others to sped loads pf money and complain that they don't see the same improvement.

Ian

reohn2
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby reohn2 » 24 Jul 2016, 9:33am

It seems MickF's right there is a problem with with Tiagra10sp STI's which is cause for concern,very un-Shimano-like on a product line they've been manufacturing in one form or another for some 20 odd years.
Bad batch or bad design on just Tiagra STI's,hard to tell.
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Flinders
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Flinders » 22 Aug 2016, 12:48pm

Definitely sounds like there is something wrong with some of these. I have older 9speed Tiagra shifters and they have never given me the slightest problem in several years; even I have adjusted them once or twice, and if the are meproof they have to be pretty tolerant, as I know nothing about how to adjust them other than 'tweak, observe the result, think a bit, then retweak until right'.

bazzo
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby bazzo » 12 Feb 2017, 5:46pm

I've got 10speed Tiagra on one bike and find it fine. On another bike I have Sora 9 speed and that's OK as well, just the occasional problem changing down when my hands are cold. Which at the moment is quite often.

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cycleruk
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby cycleruk » 14 Feb 2017, 9:27pm

Did you change the chain when swapping to the 105.?
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Psamathe
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Psamathe » 15 Feb 2017, 9:53am

cycleruk wrote:Did you change the chain when swapping to the 105.?

Changed chain, chainwheels and rear cassette at the same time (although with the Tiagra set-up I'd previously changed chain and rear cassette to no improvement).

But the chain and rear cassette (and chainwheels) were changed was because they were all rather beyond being worn out (but had worn together so I was getting away with it). It was having that work carried out that prompted me to "bite the bullet" and go for the STI change at the same time (and the LBS who fitted but did not supply the STIs were "neutral" to "should not make much difference" regarding the improvement I was seeking - but it made a massive improvement, dramatic beyond my expectations and I regret not upgrading sooner (and will avoid Tiagra stuff in future)).

Ian

Username
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Username » 6 Mar 2017, 5:00pm

Is there a possibility that the shifters were for cassettes of a different spacing between sprockets? The symptoms sound like an incompatibility somewhere.

Psamathe
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Psamathe » 7 Mar 2017, 8:45am

Username wrote:Is there a possibility that the shifters were for cassettes of a different spacing between sprockets? The symptoms sound like an incompatibility somewhere.

It was on a mainstream new Genesis bike (Croix de Fer). All the LBSs that tried to get it working properly never suggested Genesis had mixed-up their components (beyond my experience to be able to check this).

Ian

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cycleruk
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby cycleruk » 10 Mar 2017, 7:54pm

I don't know the exact difference and only going of what has been reported on the Forum :-
10 speed Tiagra has a different cable pull than other 10 speed STI. So the possibility is it is a mismatch with the STI and the rear dérailleur. So changing to the 105 could have restored a proper match to the RD.
Just a theory and maybe look at the RD model number to clarify.
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 27 Apr 2017, 9:48am

I run 105 on my Winter road bike and Tiagra on my Summer bike, both 10 speed, and both give tight, slick, dependable shifting. I actually prefer the Tiagra a touch because the bigger levers and slightly longer throw suit my big hands, but other than that there's zero between them in use. I run decent gear cables and neither system requires anything other than the most occasional tweak of adjustment.

I would suggest Psamathe's problem is not due it being Tiagra per se, but simply due to a faulty or mismatched shifter.
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Psamathe
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Psamathe » 27 Apr 2017, 10:17am

Lance Dopestrong wrote:....
I would suggest Psamathe's problem is not due it being Tiagra per se, but simply due to a faulty or mismatched shifter.

I've not enough experience to comment myself but 3 highly regarded LBSs (plus some not so highly regarded ones) all failed to get the Tiagra system working and failed to identify any mismatched shifter (they were all as supplied by Genesis on the new bike). Pretty well everything was swapped out and problem was immediately solved when the last component was swapped (the STIs).

Ian

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 27 Apr 2017, 10:18am

Sounds like a faulty shifter then.

And proof that 105s are equally fallible viewtopic.php?f=5&t=114112
1978 Elswick Hopper racer
1983 Claud Butler tourer
1996 Alpinestars MTB
1996 Saracen MTB converted to tourer
2011 Pinnacle Dolomite 105
2011 Giant Trance X
2014 Felt F75
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TrevA
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Re: Tiagra vs 105 STIs (I've Upgraded)

Postby TrevA » 12 May 2017, 8:52am

I've got a full Tiagra 10 speed groupset and can't get the STIs to index properly. I can get it to work fine one way (coming down the cassette), but then it doesn't work the other way (going up the cassette). I have to shift 2 up and one down to get it to change. It can't be a mismatch because it's all Tiagra.

The 9 speed Tiagra on my other bike works fine.


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