Bicycle Travel > Gear Talk

Is a tiagra triple the right choice? Are there other options?

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I don't know of any other triples with integrated shifting. I don't want bar ends. And really I would like at least 105 quality.
Any recommendations?

you bet. Sugino has made triple cranksets for eons. Combine it with IRD shifters.

Deore is another great option, used on many modern touring bikes without problems.

Pat Lamb:
I'm not quite clear on the question.  Is OP asking about brifters, cranks, or derailers?

Tiagra triple anything is going to be an expensive hunt for the New Old Stuff (NOS) needle in the ebay haystack.  If you put used gear on an new build, good luck.  It may work fine, or you might find why the seller took it off and replaced it.  Shimano stopped making the rubber hoods that fit Tiagra triple brifters a half dozen years ago, so there's a good chance you'll have to hack something together to keep them usable.

Concur on the Sugino cranks and Deore derailers, at least for the rear derailer.

Microshift has rescued 3x9 systems with new shifters and derailers, at least.  They feel stiffer to me than Shimano, but they're usable and available (or as much as any bike components are right now).

Well, if you are satisfied with "road" triple gearing, it looks like you could put together a 2016 era Shimano 105 10sp drivetrain using brand new, leftover equipment that appears to be available from major online retailers (some bike specific retailers, others well know giant retailers of everything). Shimano 105 5703 series triple "brifters" and triple front derailleurs seem to be available. The GS cage 105 10 sp rear derailleur is still available new, but can only "officially" handle a 30T cog in the cassette when paired w/ a triple. There are some local bike shops w/ web sites advertising the 105 triple crank as still in stock. But if a new 105 triple crank is unavailable, then I presume the FC-4703 Tiagra triple (available from major on line bike retailers) would work.

Personally, I don't consider such road-geared triples as adequate for loaded touring. But plenty of stock touring bikes have come w/ road triples over the horses for courses, depends on where you are riding, your preferences, etc.

You could widen the range of the 105 setup by using a 10sp long cage Shimano XT rear derailleur (would also gain a clutch which I find useful for "all road" riding). To resolve the incompatibility between Shimano road shifters and mountain derailleurs that Shimano introduced in the 10sp era, you would need to run the brilliant Wolf Tooth Tanpan in the inline configuration. The Tanpan works perfectly in my touring setup (Shimano XT 10sp rear, deore triple crank, and Dura Ace 10sp bar ends (the original BS-78s that include index and friction shifting options....Shimano ditched the friction in the later BS-79 bar ends).  Install of Tanpan took 15 minutes, and it's been "set and forget" since then.

Down the rabbit hole of esoteric drivetrains...the IRD Power Ratchet brake levers w/ Shimano bar ends or the Gevenalle (formerly RetroShift) levers featuring MicroShift bar ends provide a different approach to "integrated" shifters/levers. You would not need the Tanpan w/ Gevenalle. They are a niche, acquired taste IMO.

And yes, MicroShift makes 3x9 and 3x10 integrated "brifters." Never used or seen one in person so don's know if they can provide a "105" level shifting experience. My experience w/ 10sp MicroShift bar ends w/ Shimano derailleurs is that MicroShift bar ends are adequate and functional, but fall short of excellence. In contrast, the MicroShift Advent X 1x system is simply fantastic (this is a tangent, but I highly recommend Advent X to bring 1X shifting to an older but excellent mtbs).

Okay, it's warmed up to 17 outside and I have a bunch of snow to remove from the driveway (winter not over yet here in VT). Hope someone finds this rambling useful.


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