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2011 Shimano 105 series - upgrading

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
Summer bonus is just around the corner. Truthfully it's just 1/14th of my salary that's withheld by the man for six months. But anyway it's a little spare cash to fund my cheapo trip to California in July and some new bits for the bike.

The 2005 Shimano Tiagra components on my red custom-built steel Panasonic frame have been through three bikes; the first two Y's Antares aluminium frames tore at the BB thanks to my awesome pedaling force. The Panasonic frame meanwhile endured a snapped chainstay after a crash in Kyushu last year. This was welded back together by the LBS in a tiny fishing village at 8.00 a.m. in the middle of Golden Week. (Phew!) It's not a pretty weld, but it's stong and adds character like a tattoo or a scar.

Time for an upgrade - I think I've earned it! I'm going to get the 2011 Shimano 105 series components installed, with a 50/34 compact krank and 11-28T cassette. The new 105 STI levers feature hidden shift as well as brake cables, making the handlebar area tidier.

Although I could probably install them myself, the bike hasn't had a professional service for some time so I'm going to ask Aoyama-san at HiRoad to do the work while I watch and learn.

I toyed with the idea of fitting a 12-32T sprocket array and a Deore MTB derailleur to make climbing much easier. But on balance I think I'll prefer the sleek looks of the 105. Currently my largest cog is 27T so I'll get a slightly lower low gear anyway.

Nothing particularly wrong with the Tiagra parts, so I'll hand them down to a friend who has a bike from 1985 which he still rides as-built. Lovely frame, and with moderner mech it's going to be sweet.

I want to replace the handlebars, too - something 26mm and ergonomic, i.e. with a flat section in the forward drop. I'll find one somewhere.

No questions for you lot really. But if anyone has any observations or abuse to share...

--HF Mike--


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
All I can say is the new 105 is sheer awesomeness!

Basically Shimano have decided to follow the MTB plan that 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace are RACE Level compontes similar to the SLX, XT and XTR range.

It's also 10% lighter than last years 105 and cheaper. I'm seriously looking at it to go on the training bike.
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