Shimano Shame

I’ve just had to spunk £185 on a new right hand hydraulic shifter for my Ribble. That follows another £60 for a new front caliper a couple of weeks ago.

Shimano 105 used to be the go to groupset. A workhorse, faultless. I’ve had loads of 9, 10 & 11spd incarnations of it over the years yet the first time I buy hydraulic it falls short, very short. From day one the levers rattled. Normal according to other users complaining online. Then came a sticky piston which I’m pretty sure damaged a seal and lead to constant contamination of my pads. I got the piston working with some oil and manual attention but my pad contamination just got worse to the point I replaced the pads recently and took them back out only to find a ring of oil on the back of them. Ever since I’ve had them the lever pull is far too much with very little adjustment available. The back is ok but I’d like them firmer. Not good enough. I’ve effectively no front brake at the moment as it slows rather than stops through a lack of power.

Shimano 105 R7020 – don’t bother, its crap

So I fitted the new front caliper which I hoped would fix the issue but now my brake lever just gradually pulls back more and more to the bars. I can bleed it everyday and the same amount of air, approx 6-8 bubbles always pop out when I pump the lever with the funnel & oil on. Too many, too often to be a bad bleed, must be a leak, so now I’ve bitten the bullet and ordered an entire new lever.

PPP – piss poor performance

This is in stark contrast to my Dolan equipped with a GRX groupset which has been faultless. No rattles, no hydraulic issues, just pure stopping power and a nice, slick gear change. All you need. Probably one of the best groupsets I’ve ever used. The flattened front on the blade of the levers are a revelation for comfort and braking application.

GRX lever blades – superb

I’ve heard the Ultegra groupset is much better so if I ever do get another road bike, thats where I’ll probably be. Don’t get me started on SRAM! 🙂

Rant over


5 thoughts on “Shimano Shame

  1. Interesting post. Start of the year I built a road bike with disks and have the same problem and they are Ultegra. Front is not too bad rear is useless, far too much travel, bled a few times and evidence of oil on the pads but not a leak as such. In terms of stopping no better than rim brake but haven’t tried them in the wet.
    I have Sram on my CX bike, and the travel is minimal, really quick stopping which is the obvious benefit for CX. Having said that if you’re used to Shimano the double tap business is rubbish!
    I hope there is a way of improving the travel of the brake lever before engaging, otherwise to be frank the Shimano disc brake system is a waste of time and money, far more inferior to rim brakes. Also if you’re not mechanical savie the things are a nightmare as you will be forever going back to the shop for adjustment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My last bike was 105 manual with rim brakes from trx (I think?). No issues over 4 years apart from general maintenance. New bike is Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes. Have that a year now and haven’t touched them. Slight rub at times on the discs but that’s usually crap off the road and temporary. Maybe I’m just lucky or Joe has been unlucky?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. Very interesting! I’m still on 10 speed 105 and Ultegra for each of my road bikes and they’re still in great shape (though I did have to replace the 105 rear derailleur after seven years of abuse).


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