I have a 2014 Opus with Shimano Tiagra 10 speed. I have seen Tiagra shifters which don't have this annoying cabling coming out of the shifter and instead, they are together with the brake cables which goes underneath the handlebar grip tape. Can anyone suggest me how to upgrade the necessary components of the shifters to get rid of these cables in the front? I presume I might be able to save some watts on higher speeds as these flaps a lot.

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    I've never seen integrated brake/shift levers that did not have the shift cables coming out more or less like that. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 11 '19 at 22:09
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    You'll have to upgrade to the Tiagra 4700 brifters at least which runs the 4 cables under the tape. It is still 10-speed, so maybe the RD is still compatible and need not be replaced. (The reason I'm not posting this for an answer!) – Carel Dec 12 '19 at 8:17
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    Under-bar-tape shift cables do have some significant drawbacks. Shifters that run the shift cables under the bar tape usually don't shift as well as shifters like you have. The cables need to bend more, and that adds friction. Not only that, Shimano's under-bar-tape shift cables cause the cable to do a sharp bend right where it enters the shifter - and the cable tends to fray at that point because of that bend. So shifter cables don't last as long. And the drag from those cables is very, very small compared to everything else. – Andrew Henle Dec 12 '19 at 10:15
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    @DanielRHicks: Campagnolo had the cables hidden under the tape since the beginning of their brake lever/shifter combinations. Shimano has done so for almost 20 years now. The latest group-set to bury them under the tape was Tiagra last year. Sora and Claris are the only ones left with outside cables. – Carel Dec 12 '19 at 17:04

I believe this would be a straight brifter-for-brifter substitution. You'll also need to change the cabling to accommodate the new run, and you may need new bar tape.


Newer versions of Tiagra brifters route the shift cable under the bar tape. Do be careful though because Shimano has changed their cable pull on some versions. The 4700 series Tiagra uses a cable pull ratio that is different from any other Shimano models. If you get 4700 brifters you would need to replace your derailleurs to be compatible.

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    7400 is also known as the 105 series! – Carel Dec 12 '19 at 8:20
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    Thanks. I transposed. It's 4700, not 7400. I edited my answer. – Noah Sutherland Dec 12 '19 at 16:21

you will have to guide the cable underneath the bar tape. You could re-use your old bar tape if it's still in good shape.

You might need to change the length of the cable housing but judging from the image you should be fine with the current length.

I usually tape the cable housing to the handlebars in order to keep it in place whilst I wrap the bar tape (using some electrical tape). Some handlebars have a built in cable groove, be sure to use it if it is present.

You will indeed have to upgrade to a newer style shifter which does not have the shifters cables exiting from the side, some suggestions for this can be found in the other answers. Modifying your current shifters to route the cable to the back is not very viable in my opinion. This video shows you how to install/guide the cables for the new shifters:

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    The brifters in OP's photo can't be installed with the shift cables under the bar-tape. They are still similar to the first generation of STI levers where the shifting cables ran outside. – Carel Dec 12 '19 at 16:55
  • @Carel yes that is correct the OP will have to replace his shifters with another type where the cable does exit from the back to be able to run the cables under the bar tape. – Maarten -Monica for president Dec 12 '19 at 20:35

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