This year the 105 group gets hit with the trickle-down stick, getting updated with the technology and refinements first release on Shimano’s Dura-Ace and Ultegra groups. With wide range cassettes with 11 gears, asymmetric crank arm spiders, and new brakes, not a single part is untouched. It will be available in black or a polished silver finish.
Also new is the pairing of mechanical shifting with hydraulic braking – a first for Shimano’s road groups. The ST-RS685 levers and BR-RS785 calipers bring Shimano’s hydraulic braking system to the mechanical-shifting masses. Just like the Di2 shifters with hydraulic braking, they do not fall into any of the traditional product lines, but are considered to be Ultegra-level in quality and spec.
New 11-speed 105 group
Obviously the jump to 11-speed is the big news, but more importantly, the cassettes are available in some great sizes: 12-15, 11-28 and the wished for (at least by me) 11-32. Match this up with a 53-39, 52-36 or 50-34 crankset for everything from road racing to dirt road exploring. All chainrings will fit on the standard crankarms. Gone are the different bolt spacing of compact and traditional cranksets.
Shift action is claimed to be lighter, with a shorter stroke. Both front and rear derailleurs are engineered with this in mind with new linkage geometries. There are two rear derailleur options: one for cassettes up to 28 teeth, and one for larger cassettes up to 32 teeth. The front derailleur is built around the long lever arm first seen on Dura Ace and Ultegra. The new 5800 group will shift with the Ultegra 6800 polymer-coated cables for even better shift feel.
The HG600 chain is an asymmetric design that is designed to run only in one direction. The Ultegra 6800 group also gets an updated version of this chain.
The completely redesigned brake levers now have 10mm of reach adjustment, a bonus for riders with small hands. The lever shape is optimized for use from the hoods. The calipers are still dual pivot, but designed to have more clearance for 28mm tires. Also available are direct-mount brakes.
Finishing off the group is the new SPD-SL pedals, now with a carbon body and durable stainless steel plate.
- 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
The 5800 105 group will be ready to order in June.
Mechanical shifters with hydraulic braking
The RS685 levers are based on the well liked ST-9000 shape, and work with any Shimano 11 speed drivetrain. These levers also have 10mm of reach adjust.
The RS785 caliper still uses Shimano’s signature mineral oil, and comes stock with resin pads with Ice Tech cooling fins. Aftermarket metal pads are available for those wanting more power.
Shimano recommends its Freeza Centerlock rotor, which uses aluminum fins to increase cooling. Proof of Shimano’s confidence in this system? No weight limits on 140mm rotors and 160mm rotors only recommended for more power. Impressive.
- 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
Look for the calipers to become available in June and the levers to be available in August.