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upgrading shimano shifters tiagra vs 105

Following a recent crash, I am going to need to replace the tiagra double 9spd shifters on my road bike. I am trying to decide over the following options:
1 - simply replace the tiagras
2 - change to 105 shifters - will probably need to change the cassette at next service anyway (thinking of a 12-27 instead of 12-25 for the Lakeland hills), but will a 10sp cassette fit on in place of 9spd?

What are the benefits of 105 over tiagra apart from slightly lighter weight (which I could easily lose myself) and routed cables?


rear mech 105; front mech tiagra; c/set truvativ elite compact 50-36


  • I've just done exactly that...upgraded from Tiagra to 105, and an ultegra rear mech after I got one cheap off fleabay.

    105 is better shifting, although I've not tuned it right yet so can't notice the difference yet.

    You can use 10 speed shifters with a 9 cassette, as long as you set the limit screws right. I don't think you can do it the other way round.
  • I think this upgrade is well worth it. In most product lines there is often a marked step up betwwen two areas of the range which is bigger than the others. The majority of shimanos ideas have emerged from research and development and gone into the Dura Ace line. For a few years this was a lot better then the majority transfared into Ultegra which seemed at that point to make a lot more sense. These ideas have now dropped down into 105 which is at least as good as the Ultegra groupset of a few years back. Personlly I feel the largest gap now in both value and performance is between tigra and 105.

    With 105 you have 10 speed compatability which means you can mix and match with the groupsets above if needed, see bargains etc. The shifting is a lot sweeter and a bit more positive under load. The cassette probably will depending on the hubs, but as said 105 levers will work fine with your set up, and the best upgrade you can make to any production bike will be with the wheelset so going this way helps futre proof a move in this direction.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Be aware that the 105/ Ultegra left hand shifter can be a bit fiddly... the left hand shifter has a tendancy to break - I know this cause I had one and the forums are rife with complaints about it. So depending if you buy new or 2nd hand then you need to watch. At least if you buy new there is a chance the prob has been fixed or as a min you will have the warranty.
  • Re: Shadowtone's warning, I now have an Ultegra left hand shifter on my bike which was a warranty replacement for the 105 that broke internally (this was certainly an issue which happened often) but this was the older version of 105 and not the current release. My 105 shifters are 5600 and I have not heard anything on any forums about there being a similar issue with the 5700 models (although I haven't done any research on this...).
  • Can anybody explain the difference between the 5600 and 5700 models of 105 shifters? I've also heard that Shimano have changed the actuation ratio on the levers of 5700 so that they work best on similar series brakes. As I have tektro brakes, would this cause a problem with weaker braking?
  • steve68steve68 Posts: 18
    Making sense of what other posters have said, it seems that a 10 speed upgrade is the way to go rather than just replacing the 9 speed shifters. Looking around online, my choice would be to go with
    105 (5700 black) shifters
    105 (5700) cassette 12-27
    105 (5701) chain

    These would need to work with my existing components
    105 rear mech - not sure if 5500 or 5600
    tiagra 9 speed front mech
    truvativ elita 50 -36 chainset

    Would these above components work well?
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