Shimano 105 vs Tiagra [2020]: Should You Upgrade?

Shimano 105 vs tiagra


Road riders are very particular about the function and feel of their drivetrain, braking, and shifting. The collection of components that are designed to be used together is called a group, groupset, or “gruppo” if the movie Breaking Away did not sully your your love of Italian cycling affectations.

Shimano has a reputation for building superb groups with technology that trickles down from one elite generation of Dura Ace components, down through Ultegra, 105 [one oh five], Tiagra, Sora, and the humble Claris line. There is some room for mixing components from various groups, but many of the components only work within their tier.

Let’s focus on the middle of that lineup, 105 and TiagraChoosing one of these options over the other might best serve the discerning and budget-conscious cyclist. The Tiagra line is considered one step below 105 because 105 is a tad lighter has smoother operation. But 105 has its limitations, and not everyone is counting grams and fractions of a second.

Is it worth the upgrade to 105 or does Tiagra fit the bill? Let’s take a closer look. 

Read moreShimano 105 vs Tiagra [2020]: Should You Upgrade?

The Best Mountain Bike Grips for the Money + Complete Buying Guide

The “contact points,” where your feet, hands, and butt touch the bike are the most important fine-tuning component choices one can make. Mountain bike grips come in an array of options that allow you to customize how you control your bike, so let’s consider your options.

If you’re looking for a great all-around set of grips, I’d recommend ESI’s offerings.

Read more

The Best MTB Handlebars For Every Bike + Buying Guide

If you’re looking for an upgrade for any mountain bike, handlebars determine how your bike fits and handles in profound ways. Consequently, choosing and setting up your handlebar is essential unlocking the handling potential of any mountain bike.

Handlebar Features to Consider

Dimensions – The width, height, and angles of a handlebar will determine how it it fits your body and suits your riding style.

Read more

A Grand Unified Theory of Shred: Lee McCormack on Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, Bike Fit and Finding Your Flow

When you ride your mountain bike with skill and confidence, time slows down. Your whole world becomes the few feet of trail in front of you and you just flow. There’s nothing like it.

More time in the saddle only takes you so far in this pursuit, which is where learning from a teacher like Lee McCormack comes in. His book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, classes, and “Lee Likes Bikes” online school exist for those who want to achieve the kung-fu bike skills that lead to this transcendent experience

I joined the Lee Likes Bikes online school to get a taste of Lee’s teaching style and then caught up with the mtb guru later to hear his take on everything from his research to the state of the bicycle industry and how he balances family life with his unconventional career.

Read more

Fix Flats Fast! How to Change a Bike Tire: The Ultimate Guide

fix flats fast! how to change a bike tire: the ultimate guide

There is no bigger buzzkill than a sudden loss of tire pressure during a ride. Learning to remedy a flat tire on your own is absolutely the most important skill that every rider must learn in order to keep riding fun and safe. Here is everything you need to know to be prepared and confident when this situation inevitably deflates your pneumatic fun.

Read moreFix Flats Fast! How to Change a Bike Tire: The Ultimate Guide

Fix It Fast: The Best Cycling Multi-Tools + Buying Guide

The Best Cycling Multi-Tools + Buying Guide

Bicycles have a wide variety of complex components that need tweaking from time to time. Since it is inadvisable to carry an entire toolbox with you, and Bicycle Repair Man has a limited range, it’s best to carry a compact tool.

For a basic multi-tool, go with the Park Tool I-Beam Mini, which covers the basics and slips easily into a jersey pocket. If you’d like to go full on Macgyver, we highly recommend the Blackburn Tradesman, which includes every tool needed for your cycling survival.

Read moreFix It Fast: The Best Cycling Multi-Tools + Buying Guide

Bike Chain Lube 101: How to Choose the Best and Apply It

How to Choose the Best and Apply It

Your chain is the circulatory system of your bike – it transfers all the energy you put out into propelling the bike forward. Just like any other moving part, it requires lubrication of its hundreds of individual pieces.

The chain is entirely exposed to the elements, making it susceptible to contamination, corrosion, and drying out. Keeping your chain clean and lubed is a simple, but often overlooked process, so here is a quick guide to mastering chain lubrication, along with a few recommendations for the best chain lube for the job. Our top pick for lubing chains of all kinds is ProGold Prolink. It continually proves its mettle and has quickly become a workbench staple.

Read moreBike Chain Lube 101: How to Choose the Best and Apply It

How to Tune Up a Bike at Home: DIY Tips to Save Money

How to Tune Up a Bike at Home

Your reliable local bike shop will likely charge no less than $50 for a basic tune, but it can be hundreds if they need to go deep and replace parts. Learning to work on your own bike will save you the time and money involved in taking it to a bike shop, prevent fun-ending (and potentially dangerous) mechanical failures, and provide you with the satisfaction of embracing the DIY spirit.

This guide will cover the basics to get your bike rolling for spring. For detailed guides to specific parts on your bike, consult Park Tool’s Repair Help website for general instructions or the service manual for the specific component, which is often available on the manufacturer’s website. Sheldon Brown’s amazing website is a witty treasure trove of useful technical information as well.

Read moreHow to Tune Up a Bike at Home: DIY Tips to Save Money

Choose Your Own Adventure: How to Turn Any Bike Into a Gravel Grinder

Choose Your Own Adventure: How to Turn Any Bike Into a Gravel Grinder

Grinding gravel is all the rage among the cycling community, but cyclists have always ridden dirt roads, often because those were the only roads available to them. Even the pros are opting for dirty adventures and fatter tires as more cyclists have begun seeking out long dirt road routes and races to “grind” out long miles amid the bucolic scenery, and challenging terrain and away from traffic.

Read moreChoose Your Own Adventure: How to Turn Any Bike Into a Gravel Grinder

Save Your Brain! The Best Mountain Bike Helmets+Buying Guide

Save Your Brain!The Best Mountain Bike Helmets+Buying Guide

Without a doubt, the most important piece of equipment you can own for mountain biking, besides the bike itself, is a helmet. Nothing will ruin your ride – or life as you know it – faster than a head injury, so you know to take proper precautions. All commercial helmets will technically do the job, but if you spend enough time in the saddle, you’ll want something that fits well, is light and comfortable, and offers maximum protection for your riding style.

Read moreSave Your Brain! The Best Mountain Bike Helmets+Buying Guide