Shimano 105 goes 11-speed

Mid-level groupset benefits from trickledown technology with lighter shifting action and more powerful braking

by Mat Brett   March 31, 2014  

Shimano has launched a brand new version of its 105 groupset – the most popular road groupset worldwide – that features an 11-speed drivetrain and, says Shimano, improved braking power.

The new 5800 series 105 features technology that has trickled down from Shimano’s high-level Dura-Ace and Ultegra groups.

“The main thing about 105 is that it’s now 11-speed,” said Shimano’s UK brand manager Mark Greshon at the UK launch. “With it being 11-speed it brings many of the functions and features that you get with both Ultegra and Dura-Ace to a much wider range of riders.”

So, 105 follows in the footsteps of Dura-Ace and Ultegra (and groupsets from Campagnolo and SRAM) in going 11-speed. Shimano has redesigned the derailleurs and shift levers and included polymer coated cables to replicate the light shifting of its higher level groupsets – and, judging by the demo components available at the launch, it really is noticeably lighter than previously but still with a very definite click engagement.

Shimano says, “The shift levers have a compact grip which provides more comfort and control during a ride. The lever can be customised for different hand sizes with a 10mm screw-type reach adjust.

“The front derailleur has a longer link arm combined with a new spring mechanism. Also, the rear derailleur has a new spring mechanism and cable pitch, which provides robust adjustability.”

That’s the official line. The four-arm crank has trickled down from Dura-Ace too, with the uneven spacing between those arms that some people like and some people can’t stomach. Visuals aside, Shimano says that this gives the best transfer of power and balance between lightweight and stiffness.

This design also means there’s just one bolt circle diameter (BCD) for compact and traditional double chainsets. In other words, one crankarm fits all chainring sizes.

The standard chainset combos will be 53/39T, 52/36T and 50/34T. If you want to swap from 53/39T to 50/34T, for example, you can do that using the same crankarm – you can just change the chainrings rather than the whole chainset.

There will also be a non-series regular five-arm chainset.

The 11-speed cassette is available with 12-25 tooth and 11-28-tooth sprockets, as before, but there’s also a new wide-ranging 11-32-tooth option.

A short cage derailleur will handle sprockets up to 28T, but if you want to go to 32-tooth you’ll need the long cage derailleur.

Shimano treat the chain with a Sil-Tec surface-plating technology that they say makes it run smoother and wear longer in all conditions.

Shimano also say that they have improved the braking power by 10% over that of the previous 5700 series 105 groupset… and we love a statistic around these parts!

Shimano attribute most of that increased power to the new symmetrical dual-pivot brake caliper. Those calipers have a higher arch so they are compatible with tyres up to 28c – and there’s a general trend towards increased tyre size on the road these days.

The brakes are also available in a direct mount version (BR-5810), direct mount being an increasingly popular choice on road bikes as well as time trial bikes.

The 5800 Series 105 groupset will be available in black and silver from June. We don’t have prices on any of the components yet.

Shimano have an 11-speed flat-bar shifter that you can use with the new 105 components if you like, or with Ultegra or Dura-Ace for that matter.

Shimano has also introduced road hydraulic disc brakes that you can use with an 11-speed mechanical groupset like new 105. Check out our other story for all the details on that.

If you were hoping that Shimano would roll their Di2 technology down from Dura-Ace and Ultegra to 105, sorry, but that's not happening – not for the time being, at least. Electronic shifting will doubtless filter further down the road groupset hierarchy at some stage, but not yet.

Shimano say that 5800 Series 105 will be available from June.

84 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

earth wrote:
Dave Atkinson wrote:

Triple chainset: we've had no indication that there will be one, in terms of range a compact and wide-range cassette is the same, i know some people prefer a triple for the closer ratios. We'll ask.

I now have a double compact with a wide ranging cassette and it can be difficult finding the right gear sometimes. It's generally easier to find the sweet spot using the small ring and the high gears on the cassette. But thats cross-chaining.

If I wanted a wide range of gears I would go for a triple with a narrow ranging cassette.

Yeah, i like triples (esp 52/42/30) with a 12-25 too. But Shimano - and everyone else - are obviously just pushing compacts now. Hence the 11 tooth cassettes. I can see the logic that the same overall gear range is covered, but the 34 ring is very (too) small for general riding. And it takes some effort pushing a 50 tooth up a rise.

I see Dave's comment above about pros leaving 42 tooth rings behind years ago, but it is a shame as that is a great size for general riding. Also, the old 52/42 had a manageable gap between chain rings. 16 teeth is a bit of a big change for my liking.

I can't help but feel that the chain ring and cassette combos still aren't right. 53/39 is only really suitable for flat runs or racing, 52/36 is a decent all rounder (with a big ish casette out back) but suffers from a 16 tooth gap at the front and a 52/11 is an enormous gear most mortals would barely ever use, 50/34 is a bit pants for rolling terrain as you basically have the choice of pushing the 50 or riding in what is effectively a granny ring.

Maybe the 46/36 cyclocross chainset is the most useful of them all?

posted by Chris James [214 posts]
1st April 2014 - 8:52

31 Likes

jova54 wrote:
mooleur wrote:

Does Tiagra still use the little sticky thumb shifters? or is that Sora I'm thinking of...?

My first bike (ridgeback radium 2012) had those.... if they got rid of those it'd be amazing.

My 2014 Marin has Sora and it has double levers. I think the previous incarnation had a lever and thumb button. Not sure about Tiagra

Ahhh perhaps they've got ride of them then, that'd be excellent! Cheers Smile

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
1st April 2014 - 9:13

31 Likes

I agree. I like triples because of the 39 ring, which is good for rolling terrain and when it's windy. I still need the bail out ring though as I can't do everything in the 39. 50 to 34 is a bit of a jump
I'm thinking maybe 50/36 with a 32 cassette, but then you lose out on nice closely spaced ratios of a 12-25...
However, triples seem to be going the way of the dodo, so I'm just going to have to get use to it.

MrC

posted by MrC [14 posts]
1st April 2014 - 9:54

28 Likes

Welsh boy wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
With the debate about longevity of modern chains appearing once again, it's worth reflecting that the late Tommy Chambers, that most eminent Glaswegian clubman who in his lifetime rode a documented 799,405 miles no less, meticulously records in his diaries that he wore out 76 chains.

In other words, a decidedly impressive average of 10,518 miles per chain.

That may be the case but he also rode old steel bikes, fat heavy tyres, baggy clothing, fixed wheel and pedals with toe straps (not even clips on the pictures i have seen) so what exactly is your point? That old technology is better than modern stuff maybe? I, for one, dont think so.

For some purposes, yes it probably was. Commuting to work on a fixed wheel with chain guard, toeclips and fat tyres means I can do it in normal clothes and shoes, comfortably, and cheaply. Maybe I could do the ride quicker on a carbon road bike with high-end Shimano shiny bits, but as a means of converting money into commute miles I reckon my nasty steel fixed wheel wins.

posted by oldstrath [201 posts]
1st April 2014 - 10:09

31 Likes

Also 50/36 doesn't seem to be offered by Shimano, although of course you can buy a separate 36 ring and fit it to a compact, but it drives up the cost.

posted by Chris James [214 posts]
1st April 2014 - 10:35

32 Likes

Chris James wrote:
Maybe the 46/36 cyclocross chainset is the most useful of them all?

Have come to a similar conclusion myself.

Like MrC I like my triple because I find the 39t middle ring ideal for steady riding.

For those asking: Sora dropped the thumbshifter when it went 9 speed (Tiagra with a new badge?)
http://road.cc/content/review/100555-shimano-sora-3500-groupset
and in 2013 Shimano announced the same has happened to 8 speed with the Claris groupset.
http://road.cc/content/news/77271-shimano-unveil-new-claris-groupset

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2057 posts]
1st April 2014 - 10:55

32 Likes

Chris James wrote:
Also 50/36 doesn't seem to be offered by Shimano, although of course you can buy a separate 36 ring and fit it to a compact, but it drives up the cost.

yeah, that does seem odd when it's a simple option to add

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7504 posts]
1st April 2014 - 10:56

29 Likes

talking to shimano it seems that consumer demand for triples has rather dropped off a cliff in the past few years, presumably due to the increasing availability of wide-range double setups. they also don't think that the shifting across a triple and 11spd cassette is up to scratch either, due to the more extreme chain angles over a double.

whether that's manufacturer focus driving the demand down, or manufacturers responding to consumer demand, well...

i suspect that sora/tiagra level groupsets will persist with them them though

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7504 posts]
1st April 2014 - 11:10

29 Likes

Still no DI2 in the 105 range then?

Wesselwookie's picture

posted by Wesselwookie [154 posts]
1st April 2014 - 11:35

33 Likes

yenrod wrote:
I run 9sp. I use about, say, 3-4 gears...when riding/training...

An overly critical person might say that smacks of either poor training or a very dull parcours....

yenrod wrote:
10/11sp. blocks have reduced the choice of sprocket combo's of consumers of Shimano...

Not massively, and the extra gears can actually increase the usability. You can still pick and mix individual cogs for the top 7 (10-speed) or 6 (11-speed) on Shimano, use SRAM (10/11 speed) or even Miche or Campagnolo (11-speed).

....

yenrod wrote:
Whatever happened to 170mm cranks ??? - instead of; compact cranks - another money making idea.

170mm cranks are still about, as are 165mm to a lesser degree. What, pray, was the point you were trying to make here ?

yenrod wrote:
Compact cranks are a con - well and truly - ok you spin but they wear out faster - KMC recently done research that backs this up.

A con ? Seriously ? What are you on about..... and as for wear, yes - because each tooth gets more use as cadence increases the wear rate goes up. Is that a reason to choose a groupset ? Average cadence appears to be going up these days anyway - perhaps you could ask folk to pedal more slowly ?

yenrod wrote:
STi units smaller - thats a retrograde step if ever their was one.

Rubbish, entirely horses for courses.

yenrod wrote:
Shimano chains are well known for being BAD/Failing.

Not really - there are better chains out there to be sure, but Shimano aren't "BAD".

yenrod wrote:
They also used to index GREAT but now they are machined to such tolerances that when they wear after NOT LONG its 'replace time'..

Yeah... whatever... probably a government plot under mind control of the aliens....

yenrod wrote:
Lastly; when are Shimano to do electric shifting on 105 = thats when its'll be MEGA-HEADLINE time !

That would actually be a nice thing, modulo price, particularly for the casual users, commuters etc.

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [540 posts]
1st April 2014 - 12:20

33 Likes

Got to say, 50/36 and 11-32 mechanical, plus hydro discs, all internally routed, sounds like my perfect group.

Whether that's 10 or 11-sp, I care not.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [956 posts]
1st April 2014 - 12:38

30 Likes

Welsh boy wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
With the debate about longevity of modern chains appearing once again, it's worth reflecting that the late Tommy Chambers, that most eminent Glaswegian clubman who in his lifetime rode a documented 799,405 miles no less, meticulously records in his diaries that he wore out 76 chains.

In other words, a decidedly impressive average of 10,518 miles per chain.

That may be the case but he also rode old steel bikes, fat heavy tyres, baggy clothing, fixed wheel and pedals with toe straps (not even clips on the pictures i have seen) so what exactly is your point? That old technology is better than modern stuff maybe? I, for one, dont think so.


You want me to clarify? No problem. Forget about baggy shorts and all that, it's the chain I'm talking about in this instance. Transmission components in other industries seem to be designed not only for better performance, but for increased longevity too.
I think a lot of cyclists would prefer to change a chain perhaps every 5k, rather than 1.5k, and I think many newbies would be surprised at just how long chains lasted, not just in days gone by, but up until quite recently in fact.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
1st April 2014 - 12:39

27 Likes

Wesselwookie wrote:
Still no DI2 in the 105 range then?

The article wrote:
If you were hoping that Shimano would roll their Di2 technology down from Dura-Ace and Ultegra to 105, sorry, but that's not happening

posted by Mr Turning [44 posts]
1st April 2014 - 13:13

37 Likes

Neil753 wrote:
Welsh boy wrote:
Neil753 wrote:
With the debate about longevity of modern chains appearing once again, it's worth reflecting that the late Tommy Chambers, that most eminent Glaswegian clubman who in his lifetime rode a documented 799,405 miles no less, meticulously records in his diaries that he wore out 76 chains.

In other words, a decidedly impressive average of 10,518 miles per chain.

That may be the case but he also rode old steel bikes, fat heavy tyres, baggy clothing, fixed wheel and pedals with toe straps (not even clips on the pictures i have seen) so what exactly is your point? That old technology is better than modern stuff maybe? I, for one, dont think so.


You want me to clarify? No problem. Forget about baggy shorts and all that, it's the chain I'm talking about in this instance. Transmission components in other industries seem to be designed not only for better performance, but for increased longevity too.
I think a lot of cyclists would prefer to change a chain perhaps every 5k, rather than 1.5k, and I think many newbies would be surprised at just how long chains lasted, not just in days gone by, but up until quite recently in fact.

This is exactly what I don't understand about modern bike components. Take a 3-speed auto-box on a car from the 70's or early 80's for example. You'd be lucky if you got 70k miles out of it before it started making (very) expensive noises. However a 6 or 7 speed box on a modern car, a vastly more complex piece of kit, is probably good for 200k miles without major intervention.

How come modern bike components are so much less reliable or at least last a fraction of the time of those from a couple of decades ago? I can only think that most bikes are sold/ridden as recreational 'toys' nowadays rather than the trusty means of transport that they once were. The obsession with saving weight appears to have trimmed components to the point where they have almost become 'disposable'. The strangest thing to me is that most cycling enthusiasts on this forum seem to welcome the idea of spending more money and more time with oily fingers replacing components than ever before. Hmmmph.

posted by Joeinpoole [308 posts]
1st April 2014 - 13:48

36 Likes

drmatthewhardy wrote:
Apparently you can use 11-speed cassette on a 10-speed Shimano freehub.

Easy! Just leave the 1mm spacer on there, and leave out the 14t sprocket, and it fits perfectly well.

So you won't have to throw out your 10-speed wheels

Ah yes, this had not occurred to me, good thinking! I have two sets of Shimano 10-speed clinchers that I very much do not want to throw out.

At the same time, I do buy in to the merits of the new group, the least of whose benefits in my opinion is the extra cog...however I use 39 x 14 a lot, and would have to shift up to 52 x 19 instead. Can live with that.

Which 'end' of the shifter lever do you adjust out, high or low?

harman_mogul's picture

posted by harman_mogul [155 posts]
1st April 2014 - 13:49

27 Likes

Double check compatibility though, apparently a lot of Zipps are proving not to be cross compatible! A load of peeps I know this year have upgraded their groups and bikes to find they're having to flog their wheels.

I had to order a new compatible freehub body for mine to plop on for use with 11sp. Handy as though as how I have a separate cassette for two different bikes. Smile

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
1st April 2014 - 13:50

26 Likes

Joeinpoole wrote:
How come modern bike components are so much less reliable or at least last a fraction of the time of those from a couple of decades ago? I can only think that most bikes are sold/ridden as recreational 'toys' nowadays rather than the trusty means of transport that they once were. The obsession with saving weight appears to have trimmed components to the point where they have almost become 'disposable'. The strangest thing to me is that most cycling enthusiasts on this forum seem to welcome the idea of spending more money and more time with oily fingers replacing components than ever before. Hmmmph.

The answer is long, but short.

• People have more money than they used to.

• Cycling has become a leisure pursuit rather than a need.

• Leisure cyclists want the new new thing and can pay for it.

• Many young adults have no training in manual skills, so can't do bike maintenance.

• Making it easier and more attractive to upgrade than repair...

• ...and the bike industry isn't complaining about that!

harman_mogul's picture

posted by harman_mogul [155 posts]
1st April 2014 - 15:59

31 Likes

While I realise there are some real reasons for these technical developments (at least for those hard-core cyclists for whom their own body isn't far-and-away the primary limiting factor for performance!) I nevertheless find the topic of increasing numbers of cogs always makes me think of this Onion article (once satire but since overtaken by reality).

http://www.theonion.com/articles/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades,...

posted by FluffyKittenofT... [747 posts]
1st April 2014 - 16:56

31 Likes

Yep - 50/36 would mean I need to buy a new chain ring for a compact. I also ride asymmetric crank lengths due to different length in effective femur size, so I'm going to have to stump up even more cash.
Mind you I prefer the look of the silver 105 crankset over the dark grey of Ultegra so I'll save some cash there

MrC

posted by MrC [14 posts]
1st April 2014 - 18:33

33 Likes

harman_mogul wrote:
Cycling has become a leisure pursuit rather than a need.

I suspect there's plenty of people buying bikes mainly for transport. It's just that you don't hear about it so much. I mean, there's no such thing as "Cycle to Work" magazine, is there? And what if you enjoy cycling to work, despite being able to afford the bus? Does that count as business, or leisure?

Whatever the situation, as Tom Simpson once said, "We're all in the saddle".

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
1st April 2014 - 19:27

37 Likes

Tiagra has 'drop shifters', not 'thumb shifters', good budget shifting if a little clunky(9 speed), the 10 speed tiagra feels a lot slicker/sharper and really isn't that far off 105 in the weight and quality stakes...

flexcamp's picture

posted by flexcamp [19 posts]
1st April 2014 - 20:32

27 Likes

Neil753 wrote:
I suspect there's plenty of people buying bikes mainly for transport. It's just that you don't hear about it so much. I mean, there's no such thing as "Cycle to Work" magazine, is there? And what if you enjoy cycling to work, despite being able to afford the bus? Does that count as business, or leisure?

http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/cycle-commuter-magazine
11 issues published to date.

Most magazines push cycling as a leisure pursuit / wannabe racer activity rather than A to B transport. It suits the advertisers. The association with performance is aspirational and helps them sell upgrades, accessories, clothing and helmets while simple utility cycling doesn't.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2057 posts]
1st April 2014 - 21:06

23 Likes

There seems to be an awful lot of talk about gearing.. From what I see there is nothing to tempt me to upgrade to 11 speed. Quite happy with my Ultegra triple 52.39.30 11/28. Perfect range of gears for what I need and it gets me up any mountain.

Having used a compact I was glad when it wore out. I found I never used the 34 ring except for hills, which effectively meant I had a 10 speed for most purposes!

posted by LondonByCycle [9 posts]
1st April 2014 - 21:39

26 Likes

harman_mogul wrote:
The answer is long, but short.
• People have more money than they used to.

Not me mate, and not anyone I know, but perhaps you move in different circles than I.

harman_mogul wrote:
• Cycling has become a leisure pursuit rather than a need.

Always has been up to a point, but the primary purpose of a bicycle remains to get from one point to another and that is what the vast majority of people use them for.

harman_mogul wrote:
• Leisure cyclists want the new new thing and can pay for it.

True of some, also some will be happy to get a cheap used 5700 gruppo, but most people just want their bike to work and spend as little as possible.

harman_mogul wrote:
• Many young adults have no training in manual skills, so can't do bike maintenance.

The same is true of people of all ages, in fact a huge majority of people can't do bike maintenance, I don't know why their fathers didn't teach them, I can only assume it's because they couldn't do it either or didn't think it was important.

harman_mogul wrote:
• Making it easier and more attractive to upgrade than repair...

• ...and the bike industry isn't complaining about that!

No, no they're not. I wonder whether they are motivated by dedication to providing their customers with the best possible products at a fair price or by $?

posted by drfabulous0 [403 posts]
1st April 2014 - 22:19

36 Likes

[snip] comment retracted

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [540 posts]
3rd April 2014 - 8:31

25 Likes

RobD wrote:
On a slightly related note, how long before a new tiagra groupset is announced

Shimano release new groupsets at the rate of one a year normally. It starts with DA, then Ultegra, 105, Tiagra and Sora. So if I was a gambling man I would say new Tiagra will be a 2016 groupset, probably available mid 2015.

posted by mister p [2 posts]
4th April 2014 - 9:29

17 Likes

Where is Shimano 105 5800? June was said to be the date, but no stores have it yet. (18 Aug says CRC.)

harman_mogul's picture

posted by harman_mogul [155 posts]
1st August 2014 - 8:45

1 Like

According to my pre-order with Tweeks, some parts are available for delivery now, still waiting for my midsize chainset though which is due into stock 05/08. Quite excited. Wink

posted by Toast [10 posts]
1st August 2014 - 8:52

1 Like

One thing I did find amusing was the substantial difference in lead times between the front and rear brake calipers..!

posted by Toast [10 posts]
1st August 2014 - 9:08

1 Like

Yes, most of us who used to use a road triple misses the sensible gearing. From my 80s era 6203 with its 30, 45, 50 gearing to 6500s 30, 42, 52 they were immensely useful to us non professional riders. I went to the compact set up as "everybody can't be wrong" in this choice of gearing; and have found myself really missing that 42, 44, or 45 tooth up front. And it is noteworthy-when single speed road riders have to pick ONE single ring up front, they inevitably pick a 44 or 46 tooth!

posted by Kim Chee [16 posts]
10th November 2014 - 13:33

0 Likes