I own an Scott AFD 709 from the late 90s to early 2000s with an Ultegra 6500 group set. Would it be possible to upgrade to the newest Tiagra 4700 groupset (https://www.vanillabikes.com/products/shimano-tiagra-4700-groupset)?

Which kind of problems would I have to face?

  • The cassette should fit, as it is a 10 speed one, which is compatible to the 9 speed free wheel hub.
  • The bottom bracket and chainset should fit as well.
  • Does the rear derailleur fit? Probably yes, why shouldn't it?
  • Are the brakes compatible? They look a bit longer...
  • My biggest fear is the front derailleur. The bike currently is currently brazed on. It is at the lowest position. Could it maybe fit nevertheless?

Here are some photos of the bike:

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    I'm confused -- why "upgrade"? Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 17:29
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    I'd put on a new chain, a new cassette and new chainrings. You may not be able to get the original ones, though I doubt that, but you'll surely find matching rings from other sources.
    – Carel
    Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 18:04
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    @Carel - Actually, the chainrings appear to be in good shape. The cassette is slightly worn, but probably not to the point of needing replacement. And even the chain isn't real bad, but it's cheap and easy to replace, and good insurance. Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 18:47
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    I think personally I'd try to put an 11 speed 105 5800 series group on this. Commented Apr 21, 2019 at 19:38
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    Do you think the shifting is better with a 20 year old Ultegra or a brand new Tiagra? If the older shifters are in good shape, I'd bet on the 20-year-old Ultegra. Putting the shifter cables under the bar tape makes shifting worse. The best-shifting bike I own is the one with DuraAce 7800 shifters - the last ones that didn't have under-the-bar-tape shifter cables. Just change the crankset to a compact and see how it works. A 50/34 would probably work just fine, even with the FD in the current location. You might need to add a chain catcher to keep the chain from getting pulled off inward. Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 9:50

1 Answer 1


I agree with the folks who suggest that you stick to the 9-spd Ultegra, especially since it already has index shifting and "brifters" (you can brake and shift at the handlebar without moving your hands from the hoods). If it's looks you're going for, you can always clean up the parts, and if the anodizing is a bit worse for wear, you can always use some oxalis acid to take it off and polish the pieces to a mirror finish. Tiagra is second lowest on the Shimano line (above Sora) and Ultegra is still their second highest. The quality of the craftsmanship still doesn't compare, even in 20 yrs. There isn't much of a difference between 9 and 11 on the back, except that 11-sp components last shorter time because they are thinner and more fragile. If you do want easier ratios, why not swap out the front rings for compact ones? Just my 2 cents.

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