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Shimano 105 levers hard to press on the hoods?

bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
edited April 2015 in Road general
I have just acquired a Boardman team carbon 2013 and noticed thats it takes a lot of effort to stop the bike when on the hoods.The leavers and brakes are 105's. It just takes a lot of force to stop and my hands just get tired so quick.I have average size hands. The pads look fine and are aligned properly and there very close almost touching the rims. There is no slack on the cables. The leavers don't actually move that much when you press them but still hard to stop. Theres no 'bite' i feel. I'm almost thinking the pivot point is in the wrong place on shimanos as i had no problem with Campags. If i'm low on the handlebars i can stop no problem but i spend 99% on the hoods. Any help would be great.
Wilier cento uno.
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Posts

  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    How is it in the drops? Are you using the funny shims they come with? Could just need a pad change to the usual suspects.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    How is it in the drops? Are you using the funny shims they come with? Could just need a pad change to the usual suspects.

    On the drops I have much more leverage so easy to stop. Not sure what a 'shim' is???
    Maybe the pads are censored but they don't look too worn??
    I think I may just have to take it to the local service shop and have it looked at. The bike is in new condition also.
    Wilier cento uno.
  • In what way does it take a lot of effort to stop? Does it take a lot of force to pull the lever or is it just you don't slow down when the pads make contact with the rim?
    Having no bite would automatically make me think there is something wrong with either the lever or the cables as especially with the front brake you should feel a definite bite even with the cheapest of brakes, and from the reviews the 105 brakeset is pretty good. (I used 2300 levers and unbranded callipers for 3 years and still the bite point is easy to feel)

    If that is the case then I'd disconnect the brakes and give yourself some slack on the cables and see how free and smoothly the actual levers move, then you can start looking at poor cables, jammed calipers etc.

    If you are just finding it hard to stop do you have any comparisons you can use against it- I assume you're not new to Road bikes! :p
    On the hoods it can take a fair amount of force from the hands which will make them ache if you're not used to it, or on a long descent.

    Otherwise my only suggestion would be to change your brake pads, but that won't improve your brake feel, only the stopping power which isn't very helpful without being able to modulate it!
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    In what way does it take a lot of effort to stop? Does it take a lot of force to pull the lever or is it just you don't slow down when the pads make contact with the rim?
    Having no bite would automatically make me think there is something wrong with either the lever or the cables as especially with the front brake you should feel a definite bite even with the cheapest of brakes, and from the reviews the 105 brakeset is pretty good. (I used 2300 levers and unbranded callipers for 3 years and still the bite point is easy to feel)

    If that is the case then I'd disconnect the brakes and give yourself some slack on the cables and see how free and smoothly the actual levers move, then you can start looking at poor cables, jammed calipers etc.

    If you are just finding it hard to stop do you have any comparisons you can use against it- I assume you're not new to Road bikes! :p
    On the hoods it can take a fair amount of force from the hands which will make them ache if you're not used to it, or on a long descent.

    Otherwise my only suggestion would be to change your brake pads, but that won't improve your brake feel, only the stopping power which isn't very helpful without being able to modulate it!

    It's when it makes contact with the rim. I used to use campaign veloce before and they where great. I've been off the road for about seven months so there may be some strength loss from my hands but these feel tough. I think the pads could possibly be the culprit.
    Wilier cento uno.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    5700 and 5800 come with little plastic inserts in the top of the lever - meant to reduce hand stretch for smaller hands. Optional to use dependant on hand size.

    Are these still in yours?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    I would be inclined to think that there was something wrong in the set up.
    I have 105's on both my bikes, and like you spend the majority of time on the hoods. I find them very good stoppers.
    For the price involved I would be tempted to fit new cable inners just in case they a catching somewhere internally. Other than that I would change the pads.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Loosen the cable slightly to move the pads a bit further away from the rims. That should solve it.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Or what about backing the QR lever off slightly for a check to see if that helps ?

    Maybe the cables are corroded or something ? It could be as something as easy as replacing the cable.
  • I assume we are talking about 5700 10 speed here?

    I had those same ones and I had the same issue, poor braking from the hoods, braking from the drops was ok. I would end up riding on the drops in urban areas just so I could pull the brakes enough. Tried brake blocks, changing the calipers etc and they helped slightly. Then I changed the STIs to Ultegra 6700 which have a different lever system and the braking from the hoods is now as good as from the drops.
  • TheHoundTheHound Posts: 284
    Braking from the hoods on 105 is appalling.

    I've just gone to Veloce which is miles better even with generic brakes and pads.
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  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,362
    I know what you mean about tired hands when the braking isn't great. Did a nice off-road ride yesterday on my 'crosser but the disc brakes stopped working properly half way round so, like you, had to use full force on the drops to get any stopping power. My hands properly hurt by the time we finished! Doesn't help with your 105 problem, but I feel your pain. I'm changing my discs and pads as a result, but think it could still be a cable issue. I once had 105 5600 and thought it was petty good braking on the hoods (just didn't like the shared brake/shifter so I'm SRAM all the way). LBS?
    Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose 1x11 "monster cross" - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    5700 and 5800 come with little plastic inserts in the top of the lever - meant to reduce hand stretch for smaller hands. Optional to use dependant on hand size.

    Are these still in yours?

    5700 needs the rubber shims to adjust reach, 5800 levers have an in-built adjustment screw instead, same as 6800.

    When I had 6700 levers (same lever shape and pivot placement as 5700), I also found braking performance from the hoods to be poor. The newer 11spd. Shimano groupsets are much better in this department.

    Try screwing in the barrel adjuster on the caliper a few turns, so that you have more lever travel before the pads hit the rim. This sometimes helps, as you can recruit more muscle power from your fingers when they are closer to a perpendicular angle to your palms.
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 558
    I have 5700 105 equipped bike to and while I hate the groupset as a whole...I find the braking very good and I ride on the hoods most of the time. I'd unclamp the cables on the front and rear brakes, screw out barrel adjuster screws fully, reclamp the cables and adjust the barrel adjusters as necessary.
  • DKay wrote:
    5700 and 5800 come with little plastic inserts in the top of the lever - meant to reduce hand stretch for smaller hands. Optional to use dependant on hand size.

    Are these still in yours?

    5700 needs the rubber shims to adjust reach, 5800 levers have an in-built adjustment screw instead, same as 6800.

    When I had 6700 levers (same lever shape and pivot placement as 5700), I also found braking performance from the hoods to be poor. The newer 11spd. Shimano groupsets are much better in this department.

    Try screwing in the barrel adjuster on the caliper a few turns, so that you have more lever travel before the pads hit the rim. This sometimes helps, as you can recruit more muscle power from your fingers when they are closer to a perpendicular angle to your palms.
    The 6700 have a different pivot placement to 5700 hence the braking is quite different. I know from personal experience and the tech docs.
  • I run 105 57000 no trouble at all. Even better with a new set of cables.
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    I had my local shop test the brakes and they said they where perfect. He had much bigger hands than me though and that made all the difference. I have average size hands.
    I was wondering would adding high performance pads such as Swisstop make a difference? Herd so many good reviews about there stopping power?
    Wilier cento uno.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Is it 5700 (10 speed) 105 or 5800 (11 speed)

    Because I originally had 5700 and the braking from the hoods was indeed diabolical. Tried the usual things, new pads, even new calipers, no improvement. Eventually so frustrated with it I swapped the STI's for 6700 (which was expensive!) and the braking from the hoods was vastly improved.
  • tehtehtehtehtehteh Posts: 103
    I recently switched groupsets on my bike from sram rival 10 speed to shimano 105 5800, but kept the same brakes (trp spyres), so I have a pretty consistent platform to feel the differences

    I noticed it's harder to brake from the hoods with 105, but also I think the levers move less, so I'm guessing the cable pull ratio is different, but I don't think this is the sole reason, I think also when on the 105 hoods your fingers contact the lever much closer to the pivot point than on the sram levers, at least that's how it felt to me, which made it much more difficult to get any sort of strength into the lever

    good news is I got used to it pretty quickly
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    Is it 5700 (10 speed) 105 or 5800 (11 speed)

    Because I originally had 5700 and the braking from the hoods was indeed diabolical. Tried the usual things, new pads, even new calipers, no improvement. Eventually so frustrated with it I swapped the STI's for 6700 (which was expensive!) and the braking from the hoods was vastly improved.


    5700 10 speed.
    Wilier cento uno.
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    tehtehteh wrote:
    I recently switched groupsets on my bike from sram rival 10 speed to shimano 105 5800, but kept the same brakes (trp spyres), so I have a pretty consistent platform to feel the differences

    I noticed it's harder to brake from the hoods with 105, but also I think the levers move less, so I'm guessing the cable pull ratio is different, but I don't think this is the sole reason, I think also when on the 105 hoods your fingers contact the lever much closer to the pivot point than on the sram levers, at least that's how it felt to me, which made it much more difficult to get any sort of strength into the lever

    good news is I got used to it pretty quickly

    Do you think adding a shim would make a difference?
    Wilier cento uno.
  • tehtehtehtehtehteh Posts: 103
    I don't think so, a shim is only going to change the resting position of the lever to be closer to the bars, it won't change the force needed to stop

    your hands will get used to it, when I first switched to 105 it almost felt like I couldn't stop at all from the hoods, but a month later and braking is fine
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    As others have suggested, it may be counter-intuitive but backing off the brake pads so that they have to travel further before touching the wheel may help. This means that initial pull of the levers is easier and when they make contact with the wheels, you have pulled the lever far enough that your hand is less stretched out and application of force is alot easier.

    That is what I did for my son. Bought the shims but never got around to fitting them because he finds the above really sorted it out and he is now happy.
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    apreading wrote:
    As others have suggested, it may be counter-intuitive but backing off the brake pads so that they have to travel further before touching the wheel may help. This means that initial pull of the levers is easier and when they make contact with the wheels, you have pulled the lever far enough that your hand is less stretched out and application of force is alot easier.

    That is what I did for my son. Bought the shims but never got around to fitting them because he finds the above really sorted it out and he is now happy.

    Thanks, Will try it.
    Wilier cento uno.
  • bluedoggybluedoggy Posts: 279
    tehtehteh wrote:
    I don't think so, a shim is only going to change the resting position of the lever to be closer to the bars, it won't change the force needed to stop

    your hands will get used to it, when I first switched to 105 it almost felt like I couldn't stop at all from the hoods, but a month later and braking is fine

    Yeah, you may be right. I haven't been on the bike for over 6 months so i may just be a strength/staminer thing.
    Wilier cento uno.
  • dgunthordgunthor Posts: 644
    sounds like the brake is not well setup?

    you can set the brake up so you are braking after very little lever movement (this tends to cause more forearm fatigue) or slacken the cable a little so the lever is closer to the handlebars before braking occurs (less stress on forearms/hands)

    you can also set the pads up so they offer progressive rather than off/on braking by setting them at a slight angle (toe in)
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,221
    Bluedoggy wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    As others have suggested, it may be counter-intuitive but backing off the brake pads so that they have to travel further before touching the wheel may help. This means that initial pull of the levers is easier and when they make contact with the wheels, you have pulled the lever far enough that your hand is less stretched out and application of force is alot easier.

    That is what I did for my son. Bought the shims but never got around to fitting them because he finds the above really sorted it out and he is now happy.

    Thanks, Will try it.

    This - I had my campag levers set up in a shop with so little initial travel, that braking from the hoods killed my hands. I added some play back in and it was back to normal.

    Personally, I have the levers set so it's full on with the lever assembly about 5-10mm from touching the curve of the bars. That way, you hand is much further closed when you hit the resistance and squeezing is easier.
  • caradalecaradale Posts: 34
    i had just the same problem and after plenty of good advice from forum members much the same as you have been given here the following things improved my braking no end. I have fairly short stubby fingers so
    First fit shims in the levers to shorten the reach, second back the pads away from the rim a bit so your fist is half closed by the time the pressure comes on, lots more power from your fingers when their not fully extended, thirdly if you you still have the original hard shimano pads in bin them and get some decent pads like swistop salmons.
  • jim55jim55 Posts: 93
    Yeah I'd second that back pads off a bit to start with to get a better easier to pull lever , and if it's still censored it's the pads , change them , I use 105 5700 and its a lot better now after I changed pads , I'm using a much more rim friendly koolstop salmon
  • GiraffotoGiraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Braking with 5700 levers was never a problem for me, but 5800 is a lot better!
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  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,097
    if you are braking from the hoods don't use the index finger. Clamping force is greater if you use 2nd an third finger instead of first and second. An additional bonus is this puts the force further from the pivot point, increasing the moment, hence force at the brakes.
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