Functional differences between 105 5700 and Ultegra 6700

cframe Posts: 171
edited October 2010 in Road buying advice
Hey all,

I know I might get told to go search but this isn't just the usual 'which is better' question so bear with me!

I'm wanting to get a set of the new style shifters but I'm wondering if there's any real difference in functionality or performance of the new 105 and Ultegra shifter units. There's only a marginal difference in weight between them (maybe 20g or something) and the only real difference I've read about in the mags is that the ptfe coated Ultegra cables are smoother than the steel ones that ship with the 105.

I'm wondering if I'd be as well with the 105's and maybe getting a set of the Gore sealed cables to smooth things out.

For reference I'm on 105 5600 just now.


How's that for a slice of fried gold?


  • I've got both. I think Ultegra looks better, the left lever rattles a bit, right shifter has more of a click when shifting (not much though).

    105 is very good. If you can afford it go Ultegra, if not 105 is a bloody good compromise.
  • FransJacques
    FransJacques Posts: 2,148
    edited October 2010
    When you say functional, do you mean how it functions? You might need to be more specific. Both pull brake cable when you actuate the brake levers and both shifters pull shift cable when you shift. The brakes have the same geometry and the cog spacing is identical meaning that the shifters have the same cable pul rate. So, in short, they function identically. Is that what you meant? I'm stumped.

    Weight, materials or metallurgy, and finish quality are not "functional" attributes so are quite different concepts. But in case you're interested, inside where you cant see in the shifters Shimano tends to swap out alu in higher spec components for plastic and stamped steel, such as in downshift levers, the inside rear derailleur parallel plate, front der cages, there are probably some others.

    I've ridden a couple 100km rides on new Ultegra and it was great but I hated the shifting - it's plastciky-clicky with a lot off loss of shift "feel" i.e. having confidence the bike i shifting cleanly and quickly. And lever throw was too much - it's part of Shimano's way of being more reliable than SRAM - zero-loss is a crazy concept in the real world b/c sloppy shifter travel which spends 50% of the throw creating the right cable tension "feels" crap but in practice it give you tons of scope for bad set up before the bike becomes unshiftable and you have to stop and tweak barrel-adjusters. This is a Shimano hallmark, they tend to pull more cable than SRAM with their 1:1 concept. Which is silly b/c shifters and derailleurs are apples and oranges so where is it written down how much a rear der has to move for a given amount of lever throw? Silly marketing concept.

    I've never ridden let alone seen new 105. Check out the bike show perhaps.
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • cframe
    cframe Posts: 171
    @Marin Maniac: Cheers!

    @ FransJacques: I guess what I mean is the performance of them or the features that they have. For example if you compare the SRAM Apex and Rival shifters they differ in weight and materials but above that the Rival shifters also have trim on the left shifter which Apex doesn't have.
    How's that for a slice of fried gold?
  • I changed from Rival to Ultegra. Although the shifting is very good with Sram I have to say that apart from shifting to a harder gear, all this shifter throw with Shimano is miles in comparison is pish.

    Shifting to a harder gear with Sram I'll admit the throw is less than Shimano, but nothing to write home about, probably a few mm's.

    In regards to indexing with both systems, if the indexing is quite right with both you can still make shifts, but they'll be sloppy.

    I found getting the indexing spot on was more difficult than the Shimano stuff.
  • they both do exctly what they are meant to do in exactly the same way. they differ in design and materals. although i think you'll find the ultegra is more like over 500g lighter for a full groupset and pedals

    the current 105 is only marginally lighter than the previous version.

    ultega 6700 has lovelly carbon bits :D
    Crafted in Italy apparantly