Shimano‘s mid-range 105 groupset is a cycling institution: a component collection that offers of the features and much of the many performance of its upscale cousins but at a significantly reduced cost. This enviable reputation is likely to flourish with the latest 5800-series iteration; an offering that moves 105 to the 11-speed platform previously only available with the more expensive Dura-Ace and Ultegra groups.
Like its senior siblings, the new Shimano 105 setup uses polymer-coated cables, intended to offer lighter shifting. The centrepiece, however, is the four-arm chainset, first unleashed by Shimano upon the cycling world two years ago with the release of the Dura-Ace 9000 group The sleek design supports six chainring sizes from 34 to 53 teeth. A new dual pivot brake caliper is the other main item of note, with a claimed ten percent increase in stopping power, while the caliper is also a response to the trend towards fatter tyres with a high arch’ caliper to accommodate 28c rubber. The aero, direct-mount version offers the same accessibility for wider treads. Components are priced individually.
Prices: Shifters £174.99, Chainset £119.99, Front derailleur £25.99, Short cage rear derailleur £36.99, Medium cage rear derailleur £39.99, Cassette £37.99, Chain £21.99, Front brake £34.99/direct mount £39.99, Rear brake £34.99/direct mount £39.99.