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4700 Tiagra hydraulic brighter with rim brakes?

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4700 Tiagra hydraulic brighter with rim brakes?

Old 04-28-23, 09:25 PM
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4700 Tiagra hydraulic brighter with rim brakes?

I have a very serviceable Tiagra level road bike, but the 2017 brifters are small and I don't find them comfortable (I think they are ST-4700 model)

I heard Shimano has larger Tiagra brifters, but when I looked on the Shimano site, it says they are for hydraulic brakes (I think these would be ST-4720 or ST-RS405)

Can I use these for cable-pull rim brakes? The brakes are Tektro T731.


...Or if I can't do that, can I update the drifters, rear derailleur, and rear cassette to 105 rim brake version, but keep the front crank Tiagra (for no reason other than to save money)?

Last edited by WT21; 04-28-23 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 04-28-23, 09:50 PM
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They're mutually exclusive. Hydraulic levers push fluid down a tube. As their name implies, your brakes need to be pulled by a wire.

Start by looking for larger cable type levers of any brand. If that fails consider looking for hydraulic rim brakes.

Once you have a possible candidate, then consider compatibility in detailed terms.

Last edited by FBinNY; 04-28-23 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 04-28-23, 10:21 PM
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STI levers designed for Hydraulic brakes do not use cables except maybe for shifting . You could upgrade to 105 if needed be but look at the frame and see if it is a decent frame worth upgrades or if Tiagra was the high end. Or consider a little thicker bar tape wrap underneath the hoods of your current set up. Also consider the position of your STI levers and your bar as yes they could be smaller for your hands but they also could just be poorly positioned and that is causing issues and the easy route is to say it is X when it actually is Y or Z. It is like creaks on a bike "well it has to be the bottom bracket" when in many cases it isn't even close. Consider trying some other positions and a different wrap underneath and see if that helps before throwing money at it.

If you do consider the bike you really want and save up for that. Having multiple bikes in the stable is always a good thing.
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Old 04-28-23, 10:28 PM
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The 405 series are longer, I actually don't like them as I find them awkwardly long for reaching the levers to shift or brake. Otherwise I belive the 4720 are a short reach version though maybe that was 4725? Either way, from my experience, the fit of the 105 levers won't be noticeably different from the tiagra, they're built very similar. And yes, as someone else mentioned, you'll need the cable version for caliper brakes.
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Old 04-28-23, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
They're mutually exclusive. Hydraulic levers push fluid down a tube. As their name implies, your brakes need to be pulled by a wire.

Start by looking for larger cable type levers of any brand. If that fails consider looking for hydraulic rim brakes.

Once you have a possible candidate, then consider compatibility in detailed terms.
I can look for a 10sp cable type lever in other brands, and they could work? I'm assuming because they are just pulling cable (basic mechanical) and as long as they can do 2 speed (L) and 10 speed (R) indexing? I didn't know there were hydraulic rim brakes...but 3rd party brifters would be cheaper.

Last edited by WT21; 04-28-23 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 04-28-23, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
STI levers designed for Hydraulic brakes do not use cables except maybe for shifting . You could upgrade to 105 if needed be but look at the frame and see if it is a decent frame worth upgrades or if Tiagra was the high end. Or consider a little thicker bar tape wrap underneath the hoods of your current set up. Also consider the position of your STI levers and your bar as yes they could be smaller for your hands but they also could just be poorly positioned and that is causing issues and the easy route is to say it is X when it actually is Y or Z. It is like creaks on a bike "well it has to be the bottom bracket" when in many cases it isn't even close. Consider trying some other positions and a different wrap underneath and see if that helps before throwing money at it.

If you do consider the bike you really want and save up for that. Having multiple bikes in the stable is always a good thing.
This is interesting. I suppose I could move them further toward the curve of the drops. The frame is a Domane ALR4, and as far as aluminum goes, it's pretty decent. Upgrading the levers and rear drive train would be cheaper than a new bike, but I'm also tinkering with the body in a number of ways myself, to learn more about bike builds, repairs and fit - not something I have done in the past.

So far, I've shortened the stem and changed around spacers to lower the bar, replaced the cassette and waiting on a new crank tomorrow to reduce the crank length and try that out. So it's a learning workshop as much as a bike right now
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Old 04-28-23, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
The 405 series are longer, I actually don't like them as I find them awkwardly long for reaching the levers to shift or brake. Otherwise I belive the 4720 are a short reach version though maybe that was 4725? Either way, from my experience, the fit of the 105 levers won't be noticeably different from the tiagra, they're built very similar. And yes, as someone else mentioned, you'll need the cable version for caliper brakes.
I've test ridden a bike with 105s. These Tiagra ones are quite smaller. They look like the ones labeled "for small hands" on the Shimano site, and that's not me. I have to put my palms behind the hood, because if I grab the hoods themselves, the tops of the hoods fall in my palm below the joint of my first finger. It's not comfortable. The 105s, when I grab the hoods, protrude out the tops of my hands and I find the grip much better.

Last edited by WT21; 04-29-23 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 04-28-23, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by WT21
This is interesting. I suppose I could move them further toward the curve of the drops. The frame is a Domane ALR4, and as far as aluminum goes, it's pretty decent. Upgrading the levers and rear drive train would be cheaper than a new bike, but I'm also tinkering with the body in a number of ways myself, to learn more about bike builds, repairs and fit - not something I have done in the past.

So far, I've shortened the stem and changed around spacers to lower the bar, replaced the cassette and waiting on a new crank tomorrow to reduce the crank length and try that out. So it's a learning workshop as much as a bike right now
It might be but getting the bike you want is generally cheaper in the totality. Buying a single groupset is expensive but buying 10k of them you get a good break and you can pass that on through to the customer so while one of the two numbers is lower you are getting less for more.

In terms of cranks I don't know that crank length really makes a massive difference beyond pedal strikes and things like that. I think say going from a 180mm crank to a 160mm is a big enough jump but 165 to 170 it is 5mm not much. I am sure some fitters out there will agree with me and others will disagree and that will always be the case but in the end cranks are one of those I wouldn't swap unless having issues that a shorter crank will directly solve which in my case on my e-bike they did I can turn more easily while pedaling and not get any strikes which is helpful on certain parts of my commute and if I went off-road would be extremely helpful beyond that going shorter didn't really make a difference for me.
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Old 04-29-23, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
It might be but getting the bike you want is generally cheaper in the totality. Buying a single groupset is expensive but buying 10k of them you get a good break and you can pass that on through to the customer so while one of the two numbers is lower you are getting less for more.
It's USD$350 US for new brifters and rear wheel drive chain. It's $2-3,500 for a mid-level road bike (aluminum on the low end, CF on the high).
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Old 04-29-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by WT21
I've test ridden a bike with 105s. These Tiagra ones are quite smaller. They look like the ones labeled "for small hands" on the Shimano site, and that's not me. I have to put my palms behind the hood, because if I grab the hoods themselves, the tops of the hoods fall in my palm below the joint of my first finger. It's not comfortable. The 105s, when I grab the hoods, protrude out the tops of my hands and I find the grip much better.



4720 is standard reach - 4725 is short reach

pictured above is 4725
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Old 04-29-23, 08:23 AM
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Yeah. sorry. My mistake. They are actually the mechanical ones. Not sure what I was looking at prior.

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...ST-4700-R.html
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Old 04-29-23, 09:50 AM
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If you pull the rubber covers up on your STI's. It'll have the part number of them embossed on in the plastic of the body somewhere. Then you'll know better what you have.

Your issue though with them might well be fixed after you change their position on the bars to be more comfortable for you. If no prior experience with STI's, then go to a shop and let those there help you figure out what is comfortable for you. Might not be quite what I or any other likes.

And like anything new, maybe you are just holding them wrong. I like to just hook my thumb over the top and my palm is on the side with my wrists straight. Bent wrist is a certain indicator of pain and numbness after 30 or so miles. At leat for me it is.

And... you just might not be use to them yet!
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