Be careful about compatibility when choosing Shimano TIAGRA components

Posted at: Mar. 16, 2021

TIAGRA componentry is Shimano's top entry grade for road bikes. TIAGRA is easy to choose as a 10-speed grade, one step down from the current higher grade of 11-speed, but you need to be careful when choosing components for compatibility.

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Let’s check out the history of Shimano’s TIAGRA components.

Before we look at compatibility, let’s first look at the history of Shimano’s TIAGRA components.

Shimano first released TIAGRA in 1999 with the 4400 series, which had 9 speeds. After that, the 4500 series that was released in 2007 was still 9-speed, and it wasn’t until the 4600 series in 2011 that 10-speed was introduced. The current model, the 4700 series, was released in 2015, and although it is the same 10-speed model, Shimano officially states that the 4700 series and 4600 series are not interchangeable.

Model Number Release Year Number of Speed
4400 Series 1999 9-speed
Series 4500 2007 9-speed
4600 Series 2011 10 Speed
4700 Series 2015 10-speed

TIAGRA Component Compatibility

The problem when looking at TIAGRA component compatibility is that 10-speeds are not officially compatible with each other, and with the 4600 and 4700 series components.

The 4700 series is special.

As you can see from Shimano’s compatibility list, TIAGRA’s 4600 series is officially compatible with the old ULTEGRA 6700 series and the old 105 5700 series, which are also 10-speed systems.

TIAGRA 4600 Series Rear Compatibility Chart
rear compatibility chart">}}

However, only the front derailleur is independent of the 4600 series.

TIAGRA 4600 series front compatibility chart 4600 series front compatibility chart

On the other hand, the 4700 series is quite special. Not only is it incompatible with the TIAGRA 4600 series, which is also 10-speed, but it is also incompatible with the old ULTEGRA 6700 series and the old 105 5700 series, making it a component that can only be used with the 4700 series.

Independent TIAGRA and 4700 series rear compatible

This is true for all drivetrain parts except sprockets, for example, a 4600 series chain will not work with 4700 series components, and all 4700 series parts must be used with 4700 series parts.

For example, a 4600 series chain cannot be used with a 4700 series compo, and all 4700 series parts must be used with a 4700 series compo. In this sense, it is the 4700 series parts that require attention when using TIAGRA compo.

Sprockets, BB, and brakes are shared by all 10 speeds

There is almost no interchangeability between the 4700 series and the 4600 series, but for sprockets, there is no such thing as a 4700 series sprocket, and the CS-4600, CS-5700, and CS-6700 can be used with both the TIAGRA 4600 series and TIAGRA 4700 series.

Also, the 4600 series and later brakes are NEW SUPER SLR compatible, so they are compatible with all NEW SUPER SLR brakes, and the range of compatibility is quite wide.

As for the BB, since the 4600 series is shared, it is compatible not only with the 4600 and 4700 series, but also with the 5700 and 6700 series.

Why is the 4700 series so special?

This can be understood by looking at the history of Shimano’s 10-speed components.

The current Shimano compatibility chart shows the following four types of 10-speed components in 10-speed grade.

  • ULTEGRA 6700 series
  • 105 5700 series
  • TIAGRA 4700 series
  • TIAGRA 4600 series

The chronological order of each release year is shown below.

Model Number Release Year Number of Speed
6600 Series 2004 10 Speed
5600 Series 2005 10 Speed
6700 Series 2009 10 Speed
5700 Series 2010 10 Speed
4600 Series 2011 10 Speed
Series 6800 2013 11-speed
5800 Series 2014 11 Speed
4700 Series 2015 10 Speed

The upper grade ULTEGRA and 105 were 10-speed components from 2004 when they were first introduced until 2013 when 11-speed components were introduced, but TIAGRA was 10-speed in 2011. The TIAGRA 4600 series was released at the “late stage of the 10-speed era” for Shimano components, so it is likely that compatibility with the 5700 series and 6700 series was maintained.

On the other hand, TIAGRA/4700 series components were released one or two years after ULTEGRA and 105 were upgraded to 11-speed, and five years after the release of 5700 series, the latest version of the higher grade 10-speed components, so they can be called “10-speed components released in the 11-speed era.

Considering that the 4700 series is the 10-speed compo that Shimano has improved over the past 5 years, it is only natural that Shimano has separated the compatibility of the 4700 series from the 6700 and 5700 series, which are 5-year old grades.

Looking at it this way, it is no wonder that the highly compatible and affordable 105 and 5700 series are so popular in the used market.

For example, looking at STI levers, the TIAGRA STI lever ST-4700, which is a current model and was released in 2015, and the 105/5700 STI lever ST-5700, which is over 10 years old, are sold at almost the same price.

Even though they are higher grade, Shimano components are said to be “generation > grade”, so it is not surprising that the 4700 series would normally be more expensive, but considering the usability of compatibility, it can’t be helped.

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