Just when it seemed that Shimano was turning its back on mechanical shifting at the mid-to-high end of its range
The world’s biggest groupset maker released two mechanical groupsets on the same day – 105 R7100 arriving alongside several derivations of Shimano’s GRX gravel groupset (see our long-term review of that one on page 140).
Both have made the move to 12-speed, but whereas bigger gearing range was the primary motivator for the change in GRX, closer gear steps was the priority for 105, echoing its electronic counterpart released last year.
In fact, joining 105 Di2 at 12-speed means 105 can do more than just mirror the groupset – it can actually share all its non shifting components.
The chain, cassette, crankset and brakes are the same as 105 Di2 uses, meaning R7100 introduces new mechanical shifters and derailleurs.
Shimano hasn’t claimed any performance improvements in the derailleurs, just that the rear is now designed to shift across 12 sprockets, while the front’s cage has been reshaped to accommodate the path the chain takes when working with the 11-36t cassette option.
The levers’ ergonomics are said to have been tweaked slightly, with the shift action being ‘lighter’ and ‘smoother’ than previous mechanical versions.
Depending on exact setup, claimed weight for 105 mechanical is around 2,845g, so should be about 100g lighter than 105 Di2.
Crucially though, it is a lot more affordable, meaning a far higher proportion of cyclists will be able to access the wide range and closer steps of 12-speed gearing.
AU Pricing $1,685
For more information visit bike.shimano.com/en-au