Experiment: Old Tiagra 4600 Shifters and New Tiagra 4700 Derailleur

What better way to start a blog about cycling than a “Tale of Two Derailleurs”

As a person who struggles with the hills I had thought the advent of a new Tiagra  4700 derailleur would be all that was needed to gain some sort of mechanical ease with climbing the hills. The upgrade promised the availability of use of a 34T rear cog.

The major flaw with this plan is that the actuation on the new Tiagra 4700 rear derailleur is not the same as the actuation on the Tiagra 4600 shifters. According to some reports it behaves more like Shimano 11-Speeds. So this meant that existing 4600 shifter’s would not work and thus give me a degraded performance.

So what happened when I tried to install a 4700 derailleur with 4600 shifters?

In real terms what this meant was that for my install the best performace I could expect from just replacing the derailleur was 9 out of the available 10 cogs were available. Adjusting\Loosening the tension in the cable meant that I could either get the 34T cog on the rear or the 11T cog but not both because of the actuation differences. The only option is to get the Tiagra 4700 shifters and all actuation issues go away. Theoretically 11-Speed shifters work, but if you go down that rabbit hole then I think it’s better to 11-speed all the way.

Quite disappointing venture overall and I would have felt just for cross compatibility reasons I feel the actuation for ten speed should have remained as it was, but that’s just me being a little bitter. I am presuming the new actuation is needed in order to get the range of gears.

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