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Shimano Tiagra FC-4700 48/34 chainset



If you don't mind losing some top-end speed this provides a few more usable ratios in the big ring but no extra climbing gears
More usable gears – less changing required
Decent quality
Good value
Small ring is still 34-tooth

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Shimano's Tiagra FC-4700 chainset isn't going to set the world alight, but in this 48/34-tooth guise does make for higher cadence in your top gear and, depending on the terrain, less need for changing to the small chainring. If you live/ride in a fairly flat part of the country and you're in need of a new chainset it's one to consider; personally, I'd prefer a lower climbing gear too.

When we first looked at the newly designed Tiagra back in 2016, David was generally very impressed. His review was about the groupset as a whole, but he had this to say about the chainset: "This is the biggest component in terms of visual appearance when viewing a bike from the side, and it's here that Shimano has made the biggest stride forward. It has taken the same four-arm design as debuted on Dura-Ace all those years ago.

> Find your nearest dealer here

"It's available in 52/36 and 50/39/30 configurations but I suspect the 50/34 compact option I tested will be the most popular chosen by bike brands speccing new bikes. The new four-arm design has a 110mm bolt circle diameter (BCD) and allows you to swap the chainrings to any configuration, which saves swapping chainsets if you want to adjust the gear ratios. Different crank lengths are available too."

Shimano Tiagra 4700 - 4.jpg

What's changed since then is that it's now available in this slightly odd 48/34-tooth pairing, which is what I've been testing.

The chainset went on my 2014 Vitus, which – contrary to what your thoughts might be regarding bike journos and all the new kit we get – was still running its original FSA Gossamer Pro compact 50/34-tooth chainset.

The Vitus had a bit of a mish-mash of parts from new – FSA chainset, Shimano 105 shifters and mechs, Tiagra cassette and Tektro brakes.

I'd changed the 10-speed cassette from the original 12-30 to 12-32 (what a difference those two teeth make), and upgraded the brakes to 105. For a while I ran some secondhand shifters, but 'upgraded' to the latest Tiagra along with new mechs at the same time as fitting this chainset.

The difference in performance between old and new chainset is, I'm afraid, hard to detect. I can't tell whether the chain moves any more or less easily from one ring to the other, and I can't say I've noticed the 93g difference in weight – the old FSA chainset it replaced was 757g, compared with the Tiagra's 850g. The latest 105 chainset is 713g.

The only 'noticeable' difference – and I have to remember to concentrate – is that I don't need to change from big ring to small as often. It depends on the terrain you're riding, of course, but it's given me a more usable range in just the big ring, with the mid-sprocket ratios lower than they were previously.

> How to get lower gears if you’re struggling in the hills

I have to say, in all my leisurely riding I haven't noticed the lower top-end ratio. I don't mind spinning along at speed but I'm not a demon racer type, and 48x12 is fine for my liking.

It didn't occur to me until afterwards, but on one stage of last year's Ride Across Britain I found it a struggle to keep up with a group who had seemed to be riding at my kind of pace, despite it being flattish, and I wonder whether that was simply down to me spinning a slightly lower gear than the rest of them. Good excuse anyway...

> How to get ultra-low gearing for your gravel bike adventures

One thing I do really like is that the new chainset has 165mm cranks, whereas the old one had 170mm (170, 172.5 and 175mm are all available too). My custom-built Paulus Quiros has 160mm cranks, as advised by Jonathan Paulus, and short definitely suits me.

Shimano Tiagra 4700 - 17

Fitting the chainset is really easy – you just need a Liam.

Liam says: "Fitting this chainset is just like fitting any Shimano crankset. It's incredibly straightforward and requires only one special tool. You'll need Shimano's tool for the bearing pre-load cap and a 5mm Allen key.

"Simply slide the driveside part with the attached axle into the bottom bracket, then place the non-driveside crank on the other side. Before you tighten the clamp bolts, you'll need to add some bearing pre-load. That's a fancy way of saying tighten the plastic cap on the non-driveside. Don't go mad, finger tight will do. Then secure the clamp bolts to 12Nm, spin the cranks to check that they're moving freely, and away you go."


Tiagra is possibly the best-value groupset in Shimano's line-up. You're getting great performance for a fraction of the cost of the higher-end ones, with just a little extra weight.

It also compares well with other sub-compact chainsets – the Miche Graff 46/30 chainset that Steve tested is lighter at 789g (though it does have fewer teeth) but costs £130, and the Praxis Works Alba M30 is lighter still at 749g, with 48/32 rings, but costs £150. FSA's 46/30-tooth Energy Modular 386Evo chainset, meanwhile, is £269.95.


Tiagra is good value for what you get, and here that's a nicely made chainset that gives you a few more usable gears in the big ring by sacrificing some top-end speed. It strikes me as quite a niche product, and debatable whether it's worth the effort to change just your big ring without lowering all your gears. That said, if you're happy with your climbing gears and don't find you're using your 50x11 (or 12) combo very often, it could be worth considering next time your chainset needs replacing. I prefer it to my old 50/34 FSA chainset, but ideally I'd like lower climbing gears too.


If you don't mind losing some top-end speed this provides a few more usable ratios in the big ring but no extra climbing gears test report

Make and model: Shimano Tiagra FC-4700 chainset

Size tested: 48/34, 165mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Shimano says: The new SHIMANO TIAGRA FC-4700 crank balances weight and efficiency without sacrificing stiffness. It is offered in 52-36, 50-34T, and a new 48-34T chainring options and 165, 170, 172.5, and 175mm crank arm lengths.

Optimum power transfer motivates riders to pedal further and faster

Optimal balance between stiffness and lightweight

Reinforced 4-arm construction

110 PCD

Optimized gear shape for HG-X chain

Gear combinations to match more riding styles

Additional gear combination: 48-34T

Gear combination: 50-34T, 52-36T, 48-34T

Crank arm length: 165, 170, 172.5, 175

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

Far too early to tell for sure, but Tiagra's not known for wearing out quickly so I'm hedging my bets that it'll be pretty long lasting.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

The latest Shimano 105 chainset weighs a claimed 713g, so a little more heft here.

The Miche Graff 46/30 sub-compact double chainset weighs 789g (but both rings are smaller...).

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

In terms of pedalling comfort... you have more gears to play with in the big chainring, less changing between chainrings.

Rate the product for value:

Cheaper than the Miche Graff 46/30 chainset at £130; and the Praxis Works Alba M30 at £150; and FSA's Energy Modular 386Evo chainset at £269.95.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed well, did the job.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Having lower gears in the big ring than if it was a 50/34, meaning at times I didn't have to change to the small ring. I also like the 165mm crank length, which feels more natural for me than the 170s it replaced.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

That the 34T ring isn't a 32...

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

Tiagra is always seen as good value, offering the performance of 105 but for less money and just a little more weight.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? If I moved to somewhere less hilly – but I'd prefer 48/32.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

It's a well-made chainset that gives you a few more usable gears in the big ring by sacrificing some top-end speed. If you're happy with your climbing gears and don't find you're using your 50x11 or 50x12 very often, it could be worth considering next time your chainset needs replacing. It's typically good value too.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 54  Height: 169cm  Weight: size 10-12

I usually ride: Vitus Venon  My best bike is: Paulus Quiros

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.

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Annie87 | 3 years ago

Does anyone know if the 165mm right hand side crank arm from this chainset can be fitted to the Tiagra 50/34 chainring?

I have the 50/34 on my bike with 172.5mm cranks which I would like to replace with 165mm arms, but Shimano don't seem to sell the 50/34 with anything less than 170mm crank arms. I don't  want to fit the 48/34 as i don't want to lose the top end, so I just wondered if I could buy it and swap the shorter cranks to my existing chainset? 

fukawitribe replied to Annie87 | 3 years ago

The FC-4700 50T chainring would fit fine on this crank - it's the same for all the doubles in the FC-4700 range - but you can pick up 165mm 50-34 in loads of places, e.g. Bike24 have them for under 80 Euro delivered at the moment


Annie87 replied to fukawitribe | 3 years ago
1 like

Oh wow that's super, thank you! I just gave up after searching half a dozen suppliers... I didn't know about these guys. Last one in stock too  1

fukawitribe replied to Annie87 | 3 years ago

No worries, glad you got it. Wiggle do price match to quite a few continental suppliers as well, including bike24 (had really good experience with them), but they didn't have the 50/34 165mm in stock when I checked.

ChasP | 4 years ago

Some good arguments here for bringing back triples...

Joe Totale replied to ChasP | 4 years ago
1 like

At Tiagra level and below they never went anywhere, there's a 50-39-30 Tiagra triple available. 

kevvjj | 4 years ago

48-34 is getting there... Shimano are finally waking up to the fact that the average weekend warrior rarely uses 50-11. I recently replaced my 50 with a 46 and it is a revelation. As mentioned in the article the inner ring really becomes a climbing ring and you can stay in the big ring a whole lot longer. If I'm ever in a situation where the 46-11 is too low I simply stop pedalling - I'm not a segment chaser or a racer.

Joe Totale replied to kevvjj | 4 years ago
1 like

Why is staying in the big ring for longer a good thing? 

The small ring is there to be used! I feel it's better to spread the wear out evenly between the 2 rings. Outer chainrings cost a hell of a lot more to replace than inner chainrings. 

I use a 52-36 because I spin out 50-11 too much. I personally prefer it but appreciate it's not for everyone. 

Secret_squirrel replied to kevvjj | 4 years ago

It's a stupid change IMO.   Shimano should be focusing on a bigger jump between the outer and inner ring - not a smaller outer ring.  I like and want to keep the range my big ring gives me - especially when chasing PB's and maxing out downhills.   That of course would require a re-design of the current inner ring BCD.

But I also want a few more loaded/climbing gears and the only way to currently get that is to slap a gappier cassette on the back.   Although on that note a road 11-36 cassette from someone would be nice.


Welsh boy replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago
1 like


Simon E replied to Secret_squirrel | 4 years ago

It's not stupid just because it's not what you would like to have. Wanting 50x11 at one end and 34x36 is having your cake and eating it IMHO. I'd suggest you would be better off with a triple.

I'd say 48/34 is a step towards providing a sensible set of ratios for most recreational road riders.

zero_trooper replied to Simon E | 4 years ago

What would you think of 46/32 for recreational riders? A smidge too low?

With a 12-36?

I like my cake  1

Simon E replied to zero_trooper | 4 years ago

46/32 sounds good. 46/30 may be better, would give even more flexibility with cassette choice, which is particularly useful for all-road/mixed surface and gravel riding.

I don't mind freewheeling when going downhill, I've never understood why spinning out is a big issue if you're not racing. 50x12 has always been adequate for me, even on sporting TT courses.

Joe Totale | 4 years ago

"Tiagra is possibly the best-value groupset in Shimano's line-up"

I'd dispute that and say that 105 is much better value.

Much stiffer and lighter chainset (I was surprised personally at how noticable it was), 11 gears and better rim brakes is £100 extra well spent in my eyes. 

recurs replied to Joe Totale | 4 years ago
1 like

I have both 105 R7000 and Tiagra4700 on bikes, and I completely agree 105 is the better value. 105 groupset prices hover just above Tiagra, if you look around.

Tiagra is so landlocked, being the only current 10spd road group, and a big pricey upgrade to any 11spd groupset.

This crank does set Tiagra apart a bit, but you could always sub the awesome-looking GRX 48/31 crank in for the 105 crank.

alotronic replied to recurs | 4 years ago
1 like

I think the GRX chainline is different (5mm further out) and in the very least you would need the GRX front shifter as well.

KoenM | 4 years ago
1 like

Why 48/34? It isn't any better than a normal 50/34, it should have been 48/32!

franta replied to KoenM | 4 years ago
1 like

I think you cannot mount anything smaller than 34t on a 110mm BCD.

I agree with you that many road bikes and probably most gravel bikes would benefit from shorter gears.

KoenM replied to franta | 4 years ago
1 like

U can buy a 46/30 from Shimano.

fukawitribe replied to franta | 4 years ago
franta wrote:

I think you cannot mount anything smaller than 34t on a 110mm BCD.

absoluteBLACK do 32T and 30T oval rings for 110BCD, although those are quite pricey. They're intended to go with matching 48T or 46T rings, so ramps might be a minor fudge if you don't I guess... maybe.. maybe not.

kil0ran | 4 years ago
1 like

There's also the FSA Tempo Adventure - 46/30, for a similar price, but needs a square taper BB. Mine's doing pretty good but the finish is showing a fair bit of wear already. That's a winter of gravel for you.

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