Remember Shimano’s 105-level disc brakes, announced back in April? They’re on sale now, priced at £399 for the set (US and Aus pricing to be confirmed). This includes front and rear brake calipers (flat mount), RS-505 shifter/brake levers and gear cables – but not the 140mm Ice-Tech rotors.
The system is also available in the older post mount format at a slightly dearer £425 for the complete set of front and rear. We expect both incarnations to be widely specced by bike manufacturers in 2016 – and if performance is anything like the existing RS-685 brakes then they’ll definitely be a popular upgrade choice for riders with mechanical 11-speed Shimano drivetrains.
For comparison, the existing RS-685 shifter/brake levers and levers cost £479 for the complete system, again not including rotors. That makes the new 105-level brakes around £80 cheaper than the lauded RS-685 brakes, which were Shimano’s first foray into mechanical shifting/hydraulic braking for road bikes. The top-end RS-785 system has also received acclaim if you want hydraulic braking with Di2 shifting.
Shimano's new 105 ST-RS505 will use a flat-mount brake and Ice-Tech finned pads
Shimano says that the RS-505 brake levers are 11-speed compatible and weigh roughly the same as the non-series RS-685 brake levers. However, the new RS-505 levers have a different construction to reduce cost, hence why they have a slightly different and larger shape. The new RS-505 brakes are also supplied with a lower-spec gear cable.
Like every other Shimano hydraulic brake, they will use Shimano’s mineral oil and work with the funnel bleed option. The existing RT81-SS 140mm rotors are the matching rotor for the new brakes. These use ICE heat management technology, sandwiching an alloy core between steel braking surfaces.
UK riders should head to the Madison website to order a set of 105-level disc brakes – or send your loved ones some not-so-subtle hints, if you've been good this year.