Shimano Tiagra Vs Shimano105 | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • Shimano 105 offers superior performance and lightweight components, while Tiagra prioritizes cost-effectiveness with reliable functionality.
  • Despite the 105's more advanced features, both groupsets are interchangeable to a degree due to their shared gear cable pull-to-rear derailleur movement ratio.
  • Tiagra and 105 serve different cycling needs and preferences, with Tiagra being suitable for beginners and budget-conscious riders and 105 catering to more experienced, performance-oriented cyclists.

If you’re looking at bikes, the groupset is a key feature worth considering. This is when we can consider the Shimano Tiagra Vs. 105 to choose the best option.

The main difference between the Shimano Tiagra Vs. 105 is the number of gears and overall performance. The Tiagra has 10 gears and a 10-speed cassette, while the 105 has 11 gears with an 11-speed cassette. The 105 groupset offers better performance and lighter weight compared to the Tiagra.

With this in mind, we'll delve deeper into the specifics of each group set, comparing their components, technologies, and real-life performance on the road. Whether you're a casual weekend rider or an ambitious long-distance cyclist, our goal is to help you find the perfect fit for your needs and preferences. So let's dive in and explore these two excellent Shimano groupsets together.



Shimano Tiagra Vs. 105 (Complete Shimano Guide)

The Tiagra is considered Shimano's entry-level performance groupset. It's a 10-speed groupset that uses technologies trickled down from the higher levels but with an eye on cost-effectiveness.

Meanwhile, the Shimano 105 is the starting point of Shimano's upper-end, race-ready groupsets. It's an 11-speed groupset with some of Shimano's latest technological advancements.

There are a few key differences between these two. But before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at each of these groupsets and how they work.

What Is The Shimano Tiagra?

The complete Shimano Tiagra groupset is a 10-speed groupset designed for road bikes. It is known to be more affordable yet still offers satisfactory performance for many cyclists.

It features a 10-speed cassette, making it a popular choice for riders on a budget or just starting with road cycling. The Tiagra groupset is heavier than the Shimano 105 but offers reliable shifting and braking performance.

Many riders find it suitable for their needs, and it is commonly seen on entry-level and intermediate-road bikes. The design also includes unique Tiagra shifters, Tiagra components, and a Tiagra front derailleur.

What Is The Shimano 105?

On the other hand, Shimano 105 is an 11-speed groupset that offers a more refined and lightweight option for road cyclists. Many riders often consider it the best value due to its balance between performance, weight, and cost.

The extra gear in the Shimano 105 groupset provides closer-ratio gearing, making it easier to find the perfect gear for a smoother and more efficient ride. The better chainset and shifters also result in a more enjoyable shifting experience.

The 105 design has a similar build because of the mountain bike derailleurs and dual-pivot brakes. Both Tiagra and 105 bikes incorporate dual control levers into the bike’s build too.

Key Differences Between Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105

There are plenty of minor differences that make these two different. Let’s review the key differences below in more detail.

Cassette Sizes

Shimano Tiagra groupsets have a 10-speed cassette, while Shimano 105 groupsets come with an 11-speed cassette. This extra gear on the 105 allows for smoother, closer-ratio gearing, making it easier to maintain a consistent cadence while shifting gears.

Bike Price

Bikes equipped with Tiagra groupsets are generally more affordable than those with 105 groupsets. However, the price difference isn't as significant when you purchase components separately.

This is why many people start with a cheaper bike and upgrade the components as they gain experience instead of spending all the money upfront.

Number of Gears

As mentioned earlier, Tiagra has 10 gears, and Shimano 105 has 11 gears. This extra gear on the 105 provides a better experience, especially for those who ride on varying terrains and want smoother transitions between gears.

The Shimano Tiagra groupset has Tiagra front derailleurs and 10 speeds. One thing we did notice about the Shimano hierarchy is that both the Tiagra and 105 rank ahead of the Dura-Ace too.

Braking Performance & Brake Type

Both groupsets offer reliable braking performance, but differences do exist. Shimano 105 generally has a better braking experience, partly due to using higher-quality materials in the brake calipers.

The 105 groupset has hydraulic disc brakes, providing better-stopping power and modulation than Tiagra's mechanical disc and rim brake options. Plus, the 105 brakes are relatively a bit heavier than Tiagra brakes,

Chainset Type & Weight

Shimano 105 groupsets are known for their lighter and stiffer chainsets than Tiagra. A lighter chainset can positively impact a rider's overall bike weight, improving acceleration and climbing performance.

Are The Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105 Interchangeable?

To some extent, yes these two are interchangeable. Both Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105 use the same ratio of gear cable pull to rear derailleur movement, allowing you to fit a 105 derailleur in a Tiagra system if desired.

However, it's essential to remember that there are still differences between the two groupsets. Firstly, Shimano Tiagra has 10 sprockets on the rear wheel, while Shimano 105 has 11 for closer-ratio gearing.

So, remember that selecting components from both groupsets might lead to different performance levels. Meanwhile, if you're a triple chainset fan, Tiagra is the highest-quality Shimano option.

Regarding quality and performance, Shimano 105 is positioned higher than Tiagra in Shimano's road bike groupset hierarchy. While Tiagra shares many similar features, it generally weighs more and costs less.

For example, you can install a Tiagra 10-speed on a bike with brake levers, shifters, and flat handlebars. It will perform similarly as if the 105 had been installed because the bike is of higher quality.

Can You Tell The Difference Between The Shimano Tiagra and 105?

Outside of spotting the extra gear or difference in braking, it’s unlikely you’d notice the difference between both the Shimano Tiagra and 105. They’re similar, and only an experienced rider would catch on.

The primary difference between Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105 is that Tiagra features a 10-speed rear cassette, while the 105 boasts an 11-speed cassette. This additional gear on the 105 offers closer-ratio gearing, which can be a game-changer for maintaining a smooth cadence while cycling.

Apart from the speed difference, both groupsets have their own appealing features. Tiagra groupsets tend to be more budget-friendly, making them a popular choice among entry-level cyclists.

On the other hand, 105 components tend to be lighter and offer slightly better shifting performance, appealing to more experienced cyclists who value these factors in their rides.

When it comes down to it, the choice between the Shimano Tiagra and Shimano 105 depends on your personal preferences and riding habits. Considering both groupsets are well-regarded in the cycling world, we're confident that whichever you choose, you'll be pleased with the performance.

Shimano Tiagra Vs. 105: Which Lasts Longer?

The Shimano Tiagra is not as durable as the 105, so if we had to decide who wins the Tiagra vs 105 durability battle - it’s the Shimano 105. However, both chainsets are above average in quality, durability, and performance.

The materials used for the main levers and brackets are quite similar - both use aluminum and glass-fiber reinforced plastic for the brackets, ensuring good durability for both groupsets.

There isn't a significant difference in durability between the two groupsets. Each groupset is designed to endure regular usage and meet the demands of both beginners and experienced cyclists.

However, since the Shimano 105 has one more gear and often features more advanced technology, it might provide a slightly better shifting experience when compared to Tiagra. The marginal durability differences favor the 105.

Shimano Tiagra Vs 105: What's The Right Choice For Me?

Shimano Tiagra is known as a budget-friendly mid-range groupset that offers a good balance between performance and affordability. It features a 10-speed cassette, making it a dependable option for those looking for a reliable groupset without breaking the bank.

Weighing slightly more than its counterpart, Tiagra remains a solid choice for recreational cyclists and those just starting out in the world of road biking. On the other hand, Shimano 105 boasts an impressive 11-speed cassette and is considered a higher-end mid-range groupset.

It offers more advanced features such as smoother shifting, better chainsets, and superior performance compared to Tiagra. This groupset is a favorite amongst serious cyclists and those looking to step up their cycling game.

If you're willing to invest more for higher performance and better features, Shimano 105 might be the right pick. It’s more durable, provides more versatility, and tends to be the more premium choice.

Shimano Tiagra Vs. 105 Pros & Cons

The Shimano Tiagra and 105 groupsets are popular choices for various road bikes. The Tiagra sits just below the 105 in Shimano's range, and there's a significant difference in technology, performance, weight, and price.

Shimano Tiagra


  • Cost: The Tiagra is less expensive than the 105, making it a good choice for beginner riders or those on a budget.
  • Durability: It is known for being durable and reliable. Perfect for long, intense rides where you don't want to worry about maintenance.
  • Simplicity: With fewer gears, it may be simpler for a beginner to handle and operate.
  • Compatibility: It is compatible with a broader range of older and lower-end bicycles.


  • Weight: The Tiagra components are heavier than the 105 components. This could slow you down if you try to maximize speed or frequently climb steep hills.
  • Performance: Generally, the shift quality, smoothness, and speed are not as good as the 105.

Shimano 105


  • Performance: Generally, the 105 shifts more smoothly and quickly than the Tiagra. It's a race-level groupset that's been trickled down from Shimano's higher-end Ultegra and Dura-Ace lines.
  • Technology includes advanced features like the Shimano Shadow rear derailleur design and a full 11-speed drivetrain.
  • Weight: The 105 components are lighter than the Tiagra, which can make a difference in ride quality and speed.
  • Aesthetics: For some, the sleeker design of the 105 is more appealing.


  • Cost: The 105 is more expensive than the Tiagra. If you're on a budget, this might be a consideration.
  • Compatibility: Due to its advanced technology, it may not be compatible with some older or lower-end bicycles.