First look: New Shimano 105 road groupset review

5700 series kit looks better value than ever

Shimano have unveiled a new version of their mid-level 105 road groupset which features plenty of trickle-down technology from the company's higher-end groups.

According to Mark Greshon of UK distributors Madison, the new 5700 series 105 is "designed for riders looking for all the technological features of Dura-Ace and Ultegra at an unrivalled price".

This means that it lacks the titanium sprockets or carbon brake levers of its more expensive stablemates, and weight savings over the current 105 are minimal – 2,481g compared to 2,559g.

However, the new groupset is set to be around 10 percent cheaper than the current iteration when it hits shop shelves in May (June for the triple chainset option).

It's available in two finishes, Sterling Silver or Lodestar Black, and with a choice of a double, compact or triple crankset.

Dual Control levers

The 105 levers are a similar shape to the latest Dura-Ace and Ultegra units – with which they are compatible, along with the rest of the new 105 kit – but with aluminium instead of carbon lever blades.

Features include under-bar-tape cable routing, adjustment for different hand sizes and bar bends, and a brake lever pivot that's closer to the rider than before for improved control when on the hoods.

Cranksets

The Hollowtech II chainset is available in double (52-39T or 53-39T), compact (50-34T) and triple (50-39-30T) versions, with a choice of 165, 170, 172.5 or 175mm crankarms. It lacks the Hollowglide outer ring found on Shimano's more expensive road groups.

Derailleurs

The new wide link design rear mech will again look familiar to anyone used to Dura-Ace and Ultegra and is available in SS (short cage) and GS (medium cage, for triple cranksets) versions. The front mech is also available in two versions and now features a wide inner link for extra rigidity and an improved chain guide design. Shimano say the aim was to provide a featherlight downshift.

Brakes

The Dual-Pivot brakes come with improved pads that are said to offer better performance in the wet. Other features include a spring tension adjuster, brake shoes with adjustable toe-in and a redesigned arch that's designed to provide more linear braking.

Chain and cassette

The new 105 chain has a directional design – the right side is apparently optimised for front shifting and the left side for rear, so make sure you fit it with the logos facing outwards. Cassettes, which feature a new lightweight aluminium sprocket carrier, are available in 11-28T, 11-25T, 12-25T and 12-27T configurations.

Other components

The groupset also includes pedals, which are available in the two new colours but are otherwise unchanged from the previous 105, and hubs with improved labyrinth seals. We'll bring you more on the new 105 as soon as we can, including pricing details and full reviews.

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