STI shifters - Tiagra vs. 105

Demiurge Posts: 12
edited September 2007 in Road beginners

I'm stuck between two bikes, and the only difference (that matters to me) is that one of them has 105 shifters and front mech, whilst the other has tiagra shifters and front mech. both have 105 rear mech. The one with tiagra shifters seems to be better for me, as it has eyelets for mudguards and rear rack, whilst the other doesn't, which means a mucky ride.

I know those with tiagra say it's fine, whilst those with 105 wll say theirs is better....

But can anyone offer a truly non-biased, objective comparison between the two shifters only to help me decide?

Thanks in advance!

Wid. :twisted:


  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    I can. I've got one bike with Tiagra shifters and mechs, and one with 105 shifters and ultegra mechs. 105/ultegra is noticeably slicker than the Tiagra. Tiagra still works well though and you can easily upgrade shifters/mechs at some point in the future, where as to add braze-ons to any non-steel frame isn't generally an option. You could get the Tiagra bike, sell the Tiagra shifters on ebay in their nearly new condition and get some 105 shifters for a few pounds more.
    More problems but still living....
  • I'd say get the bike with the eyelets for mudgaurds etc.

    If you say you want mudguards and can't have them you miss them every single day and swearing everytime you end up with a soggy arse and back.

    Unless you are constantly having a direct comparison between tiagra and 105 shifters you won't have the same swearing under you're breath everytime you change gear(even with a direct comparison you prob won't be. And you can always upgrade later
  • Thanks for the advice. Is it easy to swap out STI then?

    Any other viewpoints welcomed! And if anyone can explain in layman's terms what the actual difference between the two is (i.e. not the perceived difference, but mechanical!), that could also be interesting!

    All the best,

  • Dave L
    Dave L Posts: 251
    Tiagra are 9 speed only, and have tacky looking gear indicators on the top of them.
    The 105 bike will probably be 10 speed, unless it's using old components.
    (Not that there's anything wrong with "only" being 9 speed).
  • ash68
    ash68 Posts: 320
    IMO you just get used to the shifters you have on the bike. My summer bike has 9speed 105 shifters while my winter bike has 8 speed sora shifters.Granted 105 shifters are smoother and slicker in operation but the budget sora shifters do a good enough job for me and have a button shift which is easier for me when riding with gloves on.I would also prefer the bike with mudguard s for wet/winter riding , staying dry is more important than top performance IMO. 8)