I still have my Mercian Audax from my college days in the early 90s. It has early 90s 105 brakes and a mixture of 105 hubs, Ultegra gears, etc. Now I'll admit that the gears don't even begin to compare, but the thing is, I cannot for the life of me see how the Tiagra brakes on my Ribble are better than the 105 brakes on the Mercian. They share the same basic design, hinges in the same place, screws in the same place, etc. The only real difference is the brake levers - my old bike has indexed downtube shifters whereas the Ribble has STI levers. So is it all bollocks? Are the rim brakes of today no better than those of 20 years ago? Every year we see new groupsets released, but if there'd been any sort of progress I'm sure we'd see cyclists flying over the handlebars every day.