For all the joys of top end innovation, wireless shifting, smartphone integration and all the other amazing advances in the last 12 months, it might well be that Shimano’s fourth-tier groupset, Tiagra, is the thing everyday cyclists everywhere should be raving about.

Because as much as we all want to be riding Dura-Ace, common sense dictates that a two grand groupset might not be the wisest investment. But fortunately, the quality Shimano offer through their groupsets is such that no matter whether you choose 105 or Ultegra, you still keep a huge amount of the functionality of the top-end group.

Better than that, though, is that those technological improvements have now trickled down to the fourth tier with Tiagra, which has taken a step up in both function and aesthetic terms with the latest release – Tiagra 4700.

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 derailleur

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 derailleur

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset, crank arm

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset, crank arm

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset, brake, brake pad, caliper

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset

RCUK100 - Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset, brake, brake pad, caliper

Technological improvements have now trickled down to the fourth tier with Tiagra, which has taken a step up in both function and aesthetic terms with the latest release

The first big change is the cassette. Tiagra 4700 has taken the step up to ten-speed, adding another cog to the cassette from its predecessor. It might not seem like a big deal but what that means is Tiagra is now, in effect, the old 105 which was an excellent groupset in its own right.

The crankset has changed too, moving to a four-arm design that fits right in line with the three groupsets above it. It’s more of a superficial change than anything, but one that makes Tiagra look every bit the modern groupset, whereas the predecessor looked very dated indeed.

Another aesthetic change, but one grounded in functionality, is the cable routing. One thing marking out a Tiagra bike in years past was the gear cables coming straight out of the inside of the shifters and looping down into the guides in great arcs making for a very messy front end.

Now, though, Shimano have given Tiagra the same under-bar tape routing as their other named groupsets, and they say shifting and braking have improved as a result.

One mechanical touch riders will definitely appreciate is the rear derailleur will work with up to a 34t cassette and that, matched with the 52/36 or 50/34 choices of crankset, means you have plenty of choices when it comes to gear ratio.

A last thing to note is, even with the updates, Tiagra still has the option of a triple crankset should you want one, and there are shifting options for flat bar bikes as well, making Tiagra a very versatile groupset indeed.