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correct 105/ultegra set up for sti

dudgedudge Posts: 59
edited March 2011 in Workshop
Gutted..finally getting into road cycling and doing my own build...I have built MTB so not completely useless!. Spent ages trying to find some reasonably priced STI shifters and managed to get a set of 105 10 speed off Exxy new attached to Kona Bars...I am pretty sure they are off a new Jake the snake..but not confirmed.....then I read all the horror stories going on with failing 105 Shifters due to the double/triple functionallity of the left lever. I am sure mine are 5600...which exact model number I can't confirm. I doubt I will have any joy with Shimano if they go wrong so I want to make sure I am completely up to speed with the fitting procedure so I don't mash them!

I saw a few posts where people have blamed the initial set up as the main fault when using a compact double (I am using the same system..Ultegra SL front double compact Crankset and Ultegra SL FD) Not being familiar with the STI's yet..they should be here in a couple of days...I would like to know the following...

The FD is bottom pull so I am presuming the cable will be under tension when over the Big ring...are there 2 definite clicks on the shifters for shifting form the granny ring, on a triple set up, to the large ring? Is it possible that the defective shifters may have been set up so the slack is on a non existant granny ring so people are trying to shift into a large ring that doesn't exist and are straining the shifter and breaking internally when using just a double?

What is the correct procedure for initial set up of a compact double..? I would presume that I should ignore the slackest setting on the shifter and work the cable slack to the middle setting so the shifter effectively only has 1 possible tensioning pull but 2 potential slackening positions? I would have thought it better to have too much slack rather than trying to pull a cable that has no where to go?

As you can see I am trying to get my head round this and actual info on the net can sometimes be a bit contradictory so any help on set up would be great.
Many thanks


  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I have a 5603 triple set up. Installed by Epic Cycles and has been faultless for two and a half years.

    Bottom-pull front mech; the max cable tension is when in the big chainring

    There can be more than 2 clicks going from biggest to smallest chainring or back again because of the trim function, but you can do it in two if you push the lever firmly and fully each time.

    Just download the installation instructions from Shimano tech docs. Pretty simple if you follow it from scratch.

    I wonder if people have come to grief by failing to declick the shifter fully before starting, so they are in effect using the trim clicks to shift between rings?
  • As above. Make sure you aren't in the trim setting.

    Also - top tip: don't remove that plastic widget from inside the front mech until after you've installed it. That holds the mech in position to properly align it with the big chainring. If you have removed it, screw in the H screw as far as it will go, this will save you trying to wrangle about hopelessly trying to align it :)
  • dudgedudge Posts: 59
    I did wonder about the trim setting but from what I understand it is such a small increment that surely it can't be mistaken for a change?

    One of the reasons for the post was the comment elsewhere that if you set it up exactly as Shimano say it makes it very prone to damage? :roll:

    I understand that in triple Ring they are very good but it seems to be that maybe they have made shifters to deal with a triple ring front and then have tried to adapt them for double use..and maybe they just aren't as compatible as they should be? I really hope these work well....our drummer had them on his Boardman until it was stolen and he too had no trouble, but his new Boardman runs SRAM Rival which he reckons are streets ahead in performance..I have to say both my MTB run SRAM and they do have a wonderfully precise change especially the XO set stepping into Shimano is somewhat of a leap of faith...
    Any other tips gratefully received..
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    It's worth giving them a dob of WD40 followed by some heavier lube like chain lube, the internals of these things are not often well maintained.
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  • jomojjomoj Posts: 777
    As an aside to this, I've just received a new boxed pair of 5603 levers and the left hand lever had a difficult to ignore 'for triple use only' label firmly cable tied round it.
  • dudgedudge Posts: 59
    that's interesting...I thought they were supposed to be triple or double. The ones I have bought were advertised as Double and 10 speed so should be covered..Jake the snake is that set up...I did check!
  • These 105 shifters were supposed to be compatible with both double and triple setups. However, they often failed when used on a double chainset. Mine failed on my ridley and were replaced immediately by Shimano with a double only shifter.

    If you are going to use triple sifters on a double then you need to wind in the 'H' setting so that it can't shift beyond the outer ring. Apparently this puts strain on the plastic internals if you try to overshift and results in carnag!

    Hope this helps

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  • jomojjomoj Posts: 777
    Yes, the shop received a pair that had double on the lever but one of the staff was convinced it would also work on a triple. I wasn't having that so asked them to reorder and be sure it was marked triple, which they did. Just fitted them, very nice.
  • dudgedudge Posts: 59
    @ MOS

    My initial thoughts were incorrect set up might have been causing some of the there somewhere on the shifters that donates the exact model number 5603/5601 etc? Do you have a model number on yours and if so which model are you running? Be good to know as you have the correct setup for a double front...

  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    On Shimano STIs the model number is moulded into the black plastic on the side (can't remember if it's left or right) under the rubber hoods. Just roll the hood back to see it. If the STIs are already fitted and the handlebars taped up, the part number will probably be covered by the tape.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I recently had fun installing a new front mech on a 105 triple (9 speed, think it's 5500). Originally it had a Tiagra front mech but I bought a used DuraAce triple crankset and it came with a DuraAce front mech so I thought I might as well install it too.

    So I set the H and L screws and install the cable with a little bit of slack in the granny ring position. It changes to the middle ring OK and goes into the top ring, but I'm sure it needs more force than before to engage the top ring. When I change down to the middle ring it goes OK but to use my lower gears at the back I need to use the front trim function to move the mech inwards a little more, I didn't need to do that before.

    I thought the DuraAce mech (which is the triple version) maybe had a different pull ratio to the old Tiagra so I put the Tiagra back on, exactly the same result. Chainline seems the same as on the old crankset. My tourer has Sora levers and it needs a lot less force to shift into the big ring.

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