It may be April 1st in Japan, but the new Shimano 105 is no joke. Equipped with many of the features that blew us away with the new Dura Ace and Ultegra mechanical drivetrains, the 11-speed 105 5800 group is sure to bring budget performance to the next level. Shifting is lighter, braking is better, there are more gearing options, and even a new asymmetric chain. The outgoing 105 group was an impressive workhorse, but the new 5800 group makes it even harder to justify spending more.
However, the 105 group isn’t the only news here – there is an entirely new shift/brake system. One that offers hydraulic disc brake performance without having to pony up for electronic shifting.
See the new 105 group plus the first mechanical/hydraulic road system from Shimano next…
Shimano 105 5800 11 Speed
When Shimano introduced Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical, it’s safe to say it changed the way people viewed Shimano’s mechanical drive trains. The shifting was incredibly light and crisp, and provided some serious competition to the company’s own electronic groups. That same light action shifting made its way down to Ultegra, and now 105. The 5800 series borrows the compact lever shape of its more expensive siblings with shorter shift strokes that deliver what Shimano calls the “lightest and easiest front shifting Shimano has ever made. ” Like the rest of the group, shifters will be available in black or silver and include the same polymer coated shift cables from Ultegra 6800.
In order to meet their shifting goals, both the front and rear derailleurs have been tweaked not only to allow for 11 speeds, but lighter action as well. To get there Shimano added a new spring balance and cable pitch for the rear derailleur along new derailleur geometries for “robust adjustability.” Rear derailleurs will be offered in two cage lengths, the SS which allows for cassettes up to 28t, and the GS gets you up to a 32t. The front derailleurs are equipped with a redesigned pull arm and spring mechanism for improved shift accuracy and an extremely light touch. Like the other 11 speed groups, the FD-5800 has a new lower trim position that will help decrease chain drop.
There is more to the new 105 level HG600 chain than just 11 speed compatibility. The chain is going back to an asymmetric design with outboard plates designed specifically to aid front shifting, and inboard plates to improve rear shifting. The new chain design, which will also find its way into the new Ultegra level HG700 chain, is based off of the HG-X 10 speed mountain bike chain design and has been shown to offer better shifting while also running quieter thanks to the Sil-Tec coated inner links. The HG600 and HG700 will be compatible with all 11 speed road groups.
The new HG600 chain will ride on the new CS-5800 11 speed cassette that will be offered in 12-25, 11-28, and 11-32.
Going forward, it looks like the asymmetric 4-bolt chainring bolt patten will become standard with Dura-Ace, Ultegra, and now 105. The standard makes running compact and standard chainrings on the same crank possible, and also means 105 rings will fit Dura Ace cranks and vice versa. Chainrings will be offered in 53-39, 52-36, and 50-34. Something that hasn’t been covered much is the new bottom bracket tool standards for Shimano’s Dura-Ace and Ultegra cranks. Both require an adapter that fits the old standard outboard BB tool and fits over the BB cup, but Ultegra and Dura Ace require two different adapters. The new 5800 105 group apparently doesn’t have its own BB, so it will use the Ultegra SM-BBR60 which has slightly bigger cups than the DA 9000 BB.
Under your feet the PD-5800c pedals get updated for “increased lifespan,” which must mean internal changes because they look extremely similar to the 5700c.
11-speed means new hubs, so fans of the Shimano cup and cone design will be happy to see both black and silver 5800 hubs.
Shifting isn’t the only area that got some attention with the redesign, as the 5800 group now offers the same impressive braking found on Ultegra and Dura Ace. The new SLR-EV calipers use a symmetrical dual pivot design with twin bearings at the pivots for reduced friction. They also offer a 10% increase in power in a package designed to clear high volume 28mm tires.
Shimano 105 brakes will also be offered in the BR-5810 aero brakes, which use a direct mount twin post front brake, and the under-the-chainstay rear brake caliper.
The new 105 group will be available for order this coming June, so you won’t have to wait until 2015!
Shimano RS685 Mechanical Hydraulic System and new RS785 Caliper
For even more power and control, Shimano is expanding their hydraulic brake options with the new RS685 mechanical hydraulic system. Yes, Shimano’s hydraulic road disc brakes are no longer Di2 only. If you’ve been holding out on upgrading to Shimano’s hydraulic road stoppers because of the price, the RS685 offers a mechanical, 11-speed alternative. The 11 speed part is key though, since this isn’t an E-tube electronic system, you can’t just program it to work on 10 or 11 speed cassettes. RS685 is 11-speed only, but will work with any Shimano 11 speed road system. Like the ST-R785 shifters, the ST-RS685 are a non-series component but are considered Ultegra grade.
Shimano says the lever shape is based on the ST-9000 shape, and is impressively slim for a hydraulic lever. The lever includes 10mm of reach adjustment to fit a variety of hand sizes.
The RS685 levers will be paired with the new RS785 caliper, a completely new part distinct from the R785 and arguably a more road-specific unit. The caliper gets a new inboard, in-line connector in lieu of an outboard banjo fitting to make cleaner routing possible. The caliper is backwards compatible with the ST-R785 Di2 levers and includes resin ICE Tech brake pads. Metallic pads will be available after market. Resin pads of course offer a quieter, smoother braking, but metallic pads offer increased bite, especially in wet/muddy conditions.
Like the R785, the RS685 caliper is designed to work with the RT99 Freeza Centerlock rotor in 140mm size front and rear, regardless of rider weight. More stopping power can be had by fitting 160mm rotors as well. The Freeza rotors take the Ice Tech concept up a level with the aluminum extending from its steel clad surroundings to form a cooling fin on the inside of the rotor. Shimano claims the rotor alone reduces heat by 150 degrees.
The updated BR-RS785 caliper is expected to be available in June 2014. The ST-RS685 levers won’t be available for order until August 2014 – hopefully just in time for ‘cross season.
5800 MSRP BR-5800 Brakes $104.99 CS-5800 Cassette $69.99 FC-5800 Cranks $199.99 FD-5800 Front Derailleur $39.99 RD-5800 Rear Derailleur $64.99 ST-5800 Shift/Brake Levers $289.99 CN-HG600 Chain $34.99 SM-BBR60 Bottom Bracket $29.99 TOTAL $834.92 Road Hydraulic Disc Brakes BR-RS785 Caliper Only $74.99 ST-RS685 Brake/Shift Lever Only $549.99 ISTRS685 + BR-RS785 Kit Brake/Shift Lever + 2 Caliper Set $699.99