2011 Shimano 105 – Unboxed, Weighed and Photo’d
Shimano has revamped their workhorse 105 group to take advantage of technologies developed for the higher end groups, and for 2011, it gets a new Lodestar Black color option that’s very classy.
As a whole, the group is now 30g lighter than its predecessor, chainring spacing is slightly wider to reduce cross-chaining issues, and there are a wide range of double, triple and compact gear options. Clearly, the introduction of SRAM’s Apex has them moving quickly to keep 105 relevant on the touring, commuting and entry- and mid-level road bikes it’s largely had to itself for many years. This set is getting mounted up now for a full review, but we just couldn’t wait to share the weights, specs and photos with you.
Jump past the break for individual component weights and details…
The crankset weighs in at 723g for this model:
Normally, I’d run a 175, which has me thinking we’ll end up putting this on a ‘cross bike once we’ve tested it for a bit on a normal road bike.
The black cranks get a very high-end looking matte black crankarm and rings with a glossy polished center section…perfect for a stealth bike or those that don’t like to see the grime on the chainrings. If only there were a black chain and cassette option!
The spacing between the two rings has been increased to reduce chain interference, which is more of an issue with a compact setup like this. To improve shifting further, the triple chainrings mount the smallest ring directly to the spider rather than the middle ring, which improves stiffness (not shown here). Because they don’t use the hollow big rings of the higher end groups, the chainrings should be much cheaper to replace, too.
The chain borrows the asymmetrical directional layout from Dura-Ace and Ultegra, with modified inner and outer plates to maximize shifting performance in both directions. Based on our tests with the directional XT and XTR mountain bike chains, this should be a very, very good thing. Weight: 271g.
The bottom bracket is a new BB5700 unit with new seals and steel alloy bearings. It’s available in 68mm BSA and 70mm Italian sizes, and will work with any Hollowtech II road crankset. Weight: 90g.
The cassette has an aluminum carrier sprocket and is available in 11-25, 11-28, 12-25 and 12-27 options, all 10-speed. The 12-25 shown here weighs in at 244g.
The photo here doesn’t represent the color well, it’s a pretty standard gray in real life.
The 5700 shifter levers come with new PTFE lined brake and shift cables, housing, a bottom bracket shell cable guide and two spacers to adjust brake lever reach by 5mm or 10mm. For 2011, the levers use a new pivot location to provide better leverage from top hand positions and better access to the pivot locations for servicing them if necessary.
The levers average 246g each. The big news with these is the ability to run the shifting cables under the bar tape. Critics point out that since Shimano went to hidden shifting cables, they’ve lost some of the super light action they’re known for, and in casual tests we can feel a slight difference, but there’s no denying the appeal of a clean cockpit. And now you can have it at their entry level price point, along with a flatter hood shape that is similar to their higher end offerings.
One interesting thing about the 105 levers is that virtually all of the mechanics are exposed. What you’re looking at here is what you get…there’s no cover to keep water, dust or dirt out. We find this interesting because this parts package is commonly spec’d on cyclocross bikes, which see their fair share of crud. By comparison, my older Dura-Ace shifters are much more protected:
The 105 rear derailleur is available in both short- and mid-cage designs to work with the range of cranksets offered. It shares the wide link design of Dura-Ace and Ultegra. This design provides a more stable ‘base’ for the pivots, which Shimano claims offers crisper shifting and better durability. Note that all of the parts in the Lodestar Black option color match, keeping things lookin’ tight across your frame.
The front derailleur is tweaked slightly to accommodate the new chainring spacing; the plates are slightly wider apart. This also aids clearance when cross-chaining. The chain guide shapes get updated to improve shifting under load, and the inner link design borrows the wider format of Dura-Ace for better stability. This is the direct mount, and there are clamp band versions available, too, both in double and triple formats. Weight: 86g.
No changes claimed for the pedals.
Weight per pedal is 165g. Add in the cleats at 17g each and about 35g of hardware and you’re looking at a package around 399g for the pair, installed.
The brakes have a new shape and new pad compound. They’re compatible with the new Ultegra levers, in case you wanna mix and match or upgrade selectively in the future. Shimano says the new pad compound doubles their wet weather performance, but they’re still a shoe versus a cartridge (correction: they are cartridge pads).
The front brake (left) comes with an assortment of mounting hardware to fit any size fork. Weight without hardware is 176g. The rear brake with the mounting bolt attached is 177g (right).
The new 105 group also has hubs in the family, however even Shimano’s website doesn’t call them out and none of the PR mentions anything new about them.
As a group, the new Shimano 105 looks impressive and continues to take the technology from it’s more expensive brothers and refine it. For 2011, it’s done all of this while also dropping in price. Compared to the former 5600 series, the new 5700 group comes in less expensive overall (we’re working on getting actual numbers).