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105 has landed

RC
nice tough cranks

We had a ride around the car park on this group a few months ago. The more observant of you may have noticed we slipped an accidental pic into a previous Shimano ’06 run down. First impressions are very good, it has all the great looks of Dura Ace and the performance has been improved in key areas.

Anyway the new 105 is completely revamped for 2006 – the only thing that hasn’t changed is the name, oh and the price point. It looks set to be THE budget group for 2006. There are a few more new things to come from Shimano and we will let you know as soon as they come clear of embargo.

RC
is silver the new black?

10 out of 10
Ten speed is now fully affordable for Campag and Shimano users. Shimano have made this groupset look stylish and meet a price point so Campagnolo will certainly loose some ground to the cheaper/middle market. That said Shimano were late to the ten speed party and if the Italian engineers can catch up with the Integrated BB design (this should be next for Record?) it will add more choices for the roadies and really hot up the market.

Gone is the Octalink bottom bracket (hooray) and the best news is that they’ve added the excellent integrated bottom bracket to this model range. So weight has been saved and the new chainset has the same flying saucer appeal of it’s big brothers in Ultegra and Dura-Ace groups. It also has the simple to fit and service BB and Hollowtech II crank arms.

RC
they are so simple to fit

The Brake levers are also brought into line with the other groups and they will all use the same shaped hoods so you can equip training bikes with the same feeling controls. The gear/brake combos on 105 do have a more quality feel than previously and although riding around a car park isn’t much of a test, the gear shifting was less clunky than previous 105.

RC
10 speed

105 will be available in double and triple but using the same shift lever, which is welcome if you want to interchange triples and double for challenge rides. The BB makes this a cinch, because the crank arms (with integral axle) dictate the axle spacing and not the BB axle length. The cups may need spacing out from the frame (with a simple BB C-spanner) but it’s still a lot less hassle. So with two chainsets you could change to triple in a matter of minutes rather than hours messing about with BBs and tools. You can also mix Ultegra and Dura Ace components into the group, so bikes can be upgraded easier.
Shimano in ‘making things cheaper in the long run’ shocker…

The chainring combinations are 50/39 and 52/39 for the double and 50/39/30 for the triple. Smaller than the 53/39 of Dura Ace and Ultegra but still plenty of big gears. The Triple will be great for challenge rides and touring too.

RC
better, bigger and stronger…

The 10 speed sprockets (made from plated steel) will be available in 11-23, 12-25 and 12-27 and again these are compatible with the higher groupsets. There’s a narrow 10 speed chain too. Hubs are the usual Shimano cup and cone serviceable units, however there is a new internal grease sleeve system and better weather seals with O rings. Shimano claim that these will have a longer service life and therefore should be better suited to winter training miles in shitty UK weather.

RC
…just like their big brothers

At long last better brakes are promised, in fact Shimano engineers state that the new pads will last 100% longer than previous models and last around the same as Ultegra and Dura-Ace. We’ve never been big fans of Shimano brakes but the latest groups are a massive improvement over the 9 speed versions and we have heard positive reports from the Pro peloton too. The performance can be tweaked with a toe-in adjust facility on the pads and the bolts and fittings have been beefed up for ease of assembly. A test just as soon as we can get a group…

From: Ultimate Pursuits

More information: Shimano

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