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Shimano 105 Mechanical Goes 12-Speed, Batteries Not Required

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset
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One year ago I was writing about 105 going electronic with more affordable Di2, but maybe more importantly now you can get the latest in Shimano road bike gearing with a new 105 mechanical groupset upgrade to 12-speed!

What more do you need to know than that Shimano has not forsaken mechanical shifting! New 105 mechanical 12-speed is almost as light as 105 Di2, it’s lots cheaper, and battery-free.

Hurrah!

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset

New Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed teaser, shifters & brakes
c. Shimano

First, there were quiet rumblings that Shimano may ditch mechanical shifting for any of their performance suite of road bike groups. That is to 105, Ultegra & Dura-Ace – the three that tend to get the top level of gearing. Then, 105 finally getting its own Di2 12sp upgrade with NO mechanical option last summer certainly didn’t silence those fears. I mean, who doesn’t love wireless electronic shifting, right? (Hint: anyone on a budget, or who doesn’t like having to charge their bike to ride!)

But more rumors started to float around that a new 105 mechanical group was on the way. A recent slip-up in entry-level carbon Bianchi road bikes all but assured us that the new group was about to drop.

New Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed teaser, drivetrain

And now it’s finally here. Luddites, rejoice!

So what do you need to know?

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset, front derailleur

New Shimano 105 mechanical offers all the same 12-speed gear ratios – and trusted brakes – of 105 Di2. So, you don’t have to remember to charge your derailleur OR replace the batteries in your shifters. (Oops, I just had an Ultegra Di2 shifter battery die mid-ride, losing rear shifts, then realized it’s not so easy to replace the less common CR1632 battery.) And it costs a lot less.

How much cash will you save?

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset on Ribble CGR Ti
R7100 mechanical 12-speed on Ribble CGR Ti

In essence, a complete Shimano 105 mechanical group will set you back $1223 according to our accounting.

You save more than 1/3 the cost of 105 Di2. It’s less than half as expensive as Ultegra Di2. On the whole, you could buy 3 1/2 105 mechanical groupsets for the cost of 1 Dura-Ace Di2 setup.

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset, Price & Weight vs. Di2

Interestingly, while 105 mechanical is the most affordable 12-speed Shimano group, SRAM’s latest Apex 12sp offering seems to have it beat on both weight AND cost whether you go for mechanical XPLR (2872g at $987) or wireless electronic AXS XPLR (2890g at $1195) options, according to claims (assuming those figures from SRAM include rotors & a BB).

What’s new?

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset on Ribble CGR Ti front end
c. RIbble

You get all-new but familiar-looking 12-speed mechanical front & rear derailleurs, and subtly updated new 12-speed 105 mechanical shifters with the same trusted brake hydraulics inside.

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset, FR-R7100

FD-R7100 2x Front Derailleur

  • Brazed-on or Band-clamp
  • Fast, precise front shifting for 50-52-tooth big rings
  • Weight: from 96g
  • MSRP: $44.99 / €49.99
Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset, RD-R7100

RD-R7100 12-speed Rear Derailleur

  • Super low profile Shadow RD shape, with single tension construction
  • Direct mount attachment
  • Single GS medium-length cage for 11-34T or 11-36T cassettes
  • Weight: 249g
  • MSRP: $64.99

ST-R7120 12-speed Mechanical Shift / Hydraulic Disc Brake Set (levers & calipers)

  • 12sp Dual control levers
  • New blade shape gives a shorter lever access curve
  • Refined ergonomics and shaping create a new lever position
  • Weight: 612g/pair (levers only)
  • MSRP: $354.99 / €319.99

In summary… what it doesn’t have is an internal battery, electronic wiring, or replaceable batteries in the shifters.

What’s the same?

Shimano 105 R7100 crankset

The beauty of the new Shimano 105 mechanical 12-speed group is in reality… a lot of this isn’t totally new.

Shimano 105 R7100 disc brakes

The R7100 mechanical groupset includes the same compact crankset, bottom brackets, 12-speed 105 chain & 11-34T cassettes we saw introduced last summer with 105 Di2. It also shares the same flat mount disc brake calipers with 10% extra pad retraction, same brake hoses & rotors, too.

Shimano 105 mechanical 12-speed – Pricing, Options & Availability

Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical 12-speed road bike groupset on Ribble CGR Ti all-road gravel bike
c. Ribble

In general, much like we usually see with any new Shimano groupset – pricing varies, options are aplenty, and availability depends. Shimano’s PR didn’t actually include a valid groupset price, and was missing some bits. But, by our calculation, buying a complete new 105 mechanical groupset will cost you $1223 piecemeal.

Your options are essentially the same as 105 Di2 2×12. Pick from 50-34 or 52-36 chainsets, 160/165/170/172.5/175mm long crank arms, and 11-34 or 11-36T cassettes.

Ribble Endurance SL Disc Shimano 105 Mechanical 12-speed
2023 Ribble Endurance SL Disc Shimano 105 R7100 12-speed

As to availability, we’re only really looking at new derailleurs and shifters, so the outlook is good. But in any case, you’re most likely to get ahold of a new Shimano 105 mechanical 12-speed group as OEM if you buy a new bike. There will be many available starting today. For example, this £2199 Ribble Endurance SL Disc carbon road bike, one of five bikes available today from the UK brand.

Bike.Shimano.com

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37 Comments
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Ullulu
Ullulu
7 months ago

Good to see this coming at last. Too bad the shifter hoods still have that bumpy cable exit, there is no mechanical brake option and no smaller crankset than 50/34 (or a 1x option) available.
Hope the prices will come down quite a bit, otherwise I’d rather recommend SRAM.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Ullulu

Definitely always prefer SRAM but the price is more than a fair price increase over 11sp 105

SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

I’ll take Shimano over the the inferior shifting of SRAM seven days a week. Particularly the front derailleur that in SRAM’s case has performed so poorly it forced them to promote the 1X craze. Try to find a SRAM 2X rider riding without a chain catcher. They’ll be the ones with some nice gouges towards the bottom of their seattubes, LOL

Last edited 7 months ago by SteveT
SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago
Reply to  Ullulu

Price is still expensive, but should come down over time. I agree, there should be a mechanical braking option for this groupset, hopefully that follows. And at some point Shimano needs to face the fact there are a good number of riders out there who want a true micro compact crankset option in the 46/30 or 43/30 2X option.

Last edited 7 months ago by SteveT
Ashok Captain
Ashok Captain
7 months ago
Reply to  SteveT

Absolutely agree regarding the mechanical braking option (rim brakes even) and the 46/30 or 43/30 doubles.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago

How much more aluminum got downgraded to steel and metal got downgraded plastic this generation? I suppose we should be thankful Shimano hasn’t trickled down hollow bonded cranks to 105 at least.

thrawed
thrawed
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I thought 105’s crank arms have been hollow for a while? At least that’s how they’re able to have the underside flat vs say grx 600 which have a curved out indentation.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  thrawed

Hollow forged, not hollow bonded. No glue to fail on the hollow forged ones.

The problem with hollow bonded is that there are more failures for very little upside. The failures are rare, but they’re common enough that it’s clear that Shimano hasn’t been able to figure out how to make them as reliable yet. Crank failures are one of the kinds of failures that can cause serious injury or death if it fails while standing, and standing happens to be when cranks are most highly loaded.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

They’re really not rare failures. The climate in your area may make them rare but they’re definitely not rare in places that get regular road salting for snow

SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

And what is your evidence behind that claim? Any failure stats to back it up?

Last edited 7 months ago by SteveT
TheKaiser
7 months ago
Reply to  thrawed

Upper mid range shimano cranks have been hollow for a while, but it uses a different process than Ultegra and Dura Ace. Rather than 2 thin clamshell forgings bonded together, they’re forged as one piece. This requires greater wall thicknesses so they’re heavier, but there’s no seam to fail.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

The outer shell is really more of a sheetmetal stamping than a proper forging. I’m sure the bean counters at Shimano would love to try and make cheaper cranks using this method, but it really doesn’t matter for any group where marginal gains in weight and stiffness are bigger priorities than solid performance and reliability. They can’t even get it right at the DA/Ultegra pricepoint.

SomeGuy
SomeGuy
7 months ago

There is no reason this group should weigh more than the electronic version. No motors, no batteries should remove weight, not add it. Still, this is nice to see. I look forward to putting my hands on it.

Gmundy
Gmundy
7 months ago
Reply to  SomeGuy

Look at the shifter weight jump. Creating internals that manage those cables will always weigh more than an electronic shifter.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Gmundy

Electronic shifters have always been lighter but the derailleurs have always more than made up for those weight savings.

PhysicsFeline
PhysicsFeline
7 months ago
Reply to  SomeGuy

mixing some parts from the ultegra range (rotors, cassette, maybe calipers) nets you a full groupset that it’s both lighter and cheaper than 105 Di2.

SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago
Reply to  SomeGuy

All the weight gain is in the shifters. A pair of Ultegra mechanical 11 speed shifters with hydraulic brake capability weighs 550 grams and these weigh nearly twice as much. A bit surprising they could not get the weight down more, but then again, most people looking to buy these are likely not weight weenie types.

Last edited 7 months ago by SteveT
Jay Ess
Jay Ess
7 months ago

This is a lost groupset. Nobody is buying a drop bar 2X road bike at the pricepoint this will be selling at. Either they will buy a nice upright flat bar bike or they are a fairly serious cyclist and will plump for 105Di2/AXS.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 months ago
Reply to  Jay Ess

A ton of people are going to be buying this And it’s going to be specced on a lot of builds from every major manufacturer.

threeringcircus
threeringcircus
7 months ago
Reply to  Jay Ess

I’ve always felt electric shifting was a bit of a head scratcher at the third-tier groupset level given a big chunk of 105/Rival market is OEM and more price-sensitive. Although I think there is less price sensitivity among the “fairly serious cyclist” lot, I think the stigma of a third-tier groupset, works against a higher priced version of it. These folks will plump for something nicer, but it will be Ultegra/Force/DA/Red/Campy, etc.

SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago
Reply to  Jay Ess

You’d be surprised despite the industry hype regarding electronic shifting everything how many people want a simple non electric drivetrain without batteries to charge or fail. Particularly riders doing long unsupported rides and trips.

Frank Hassler
Frank Hassler
7 months ago

Thank god! Now do Ultegra!

WOY
WOY
7 months ago

Shimano, please release mechanical Ultegra and Dura Ace. And bring me full mechanical with rim brake!

tertius_decimus
tertius_decimus
7 months ago

No rim brake version = DOA.

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

what’s a rim brake ?

Matthew
Matthew
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

The thing that’s on the bike I already own, and don’t want to replace just because a group manufacturer decides I should.

Angstrom
Angstrom
7 months ago

I continue to be impressed by the latest(last?) generation of Shimano rim brakes(R8000 & up). The stiffness from the extra brace in the calipers is well worth the weight. At my weight there’s plenty of braking power, and I like the simplicity.
The biggest disadvantage I see is the limitation on tire size.
No rim brake option also means no upgrade path for a lot of older bikes.

Tim
Tim
7 months ago

“the same trusted brake hydaulics inside” had me scratching my head. I have 11sp 105 and love the shifting, but even after a full bleed, the brake levers have a massive amount of free stroke and no adjuster for getting ride of it. I have seen the same thing on all the shop bikes I have seen with 105 hydraulic brakes.

Angstrom
Angstrom
7 months ago

160mm crankarms! Progress for short people!
It’d be even better if there was a subcompact gearing option.

Michael J Matteson
Michael J Matteson
7 months ago

Looking forward to an article about upgrading from 11-spd to 12-spd rear cogset. Will one be able to use existing derailleurs and/or shifters?

SteveT
SteveT
7 months ago

Very nice. This will likely sell very well.

Ralle
Ralle
7 months ago

For me (and I’m a high-performance racer) the 12-speed groupsets are absolutely pointless and offer no advantages, only disadvantages for me when it comes to gearing.
With 11 speed there are cassettes from 14. Super, that’s why I only drive 11 speed.

Bayard
Bayard
7 months ago

286 dollars for rotors…that is not the high life

Volodymyr
Volodymyr
1 month ago
Reply to  Bayard

It’s 286g and $92.

Tim
Tim
7 months ago

The shifters weigh very nearly twice what Microsoft Sword ones do while costing over three times as much.

TypeVertigo
7 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I’m guessing the hydraulic master cylinder accounts for the added weight. But yeah, Sword is looking very good compared to both 105 and GRX 12-speed IMO, especially if you’re fine with cable-actuated brakes and easier cranks.

Outside!
Outside!
7 months ago

Yay, another black anodized group set.

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