Shimano 105 is the Japanese giant's third-tier groupset, and enjoys the benefits of trickle-down technology from its two more illustrious siblings. Which is why it's hard to tell at first that the new carbon-bodied 105 pedal is any different to the Ultegra (£149.99) or the top-end Dura-Ace (£229.99).
They share the same wide-bodied platform but it's been dropped closer to the axle and is slimmer than the alloy version. This reduces weight and lowers stack height – the distance from the centre of the pedal axle to the top of the cleat – which in turn increases efficiency.
Our pedals weigh 276g per pair, about 45g lighter than the alloy ones. This compares with 256g for Ultegra and 248g for Dura-Ace – so moving to Dura-Ace would save you just 28g at about a fiver (approx US$8 / AU$9) per gram!
The 105 pedals feature a standard chromoly axle and sealed cartridge bearings. We found the sealing impressively tough and our pedals are still spinning smoothly even after some seriously wet rides. Release tension is highly adjustable, from loose to almost track-sprinter tight, and the engagement action is far more positive than with the alloy-bodied 105.
Thanks to the composite body and the improved shape, the platform holds the cleat better for a truly solid connection. The centre of the pedal has a replaceable stainless steel plate to reduce wear, and we've also found the composite body more resilient to surface wear – we aren't seeing the tell-tale polished strips on the front section that affect our alloy Shimano pedals.
The pedals come with Shimano's standard yellow cleats (SM-SH11), which offer +/-3 degrees of float around the centre of the pedal and 1.5mm of lateral float. If this sounds like a little too much movement for you (it was for us), you can opt for the blue cleats (SM-SH12, £19.99), with +/-1 degree of float around the front of the pedal and no lateral float. This offers great security and power with enough movement to keep your knees comfortable.
The 105s represent very good value. Pedals by their very nature get scuffed, battered and abused, so we'd plump for these rather than Ultegra or Dura-Ace, especially as they come with such a tiny weigh penalty, and save the difference for upgrades elsewhere.