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Shimano marries hydraulic disc brakes with mechanical shifting

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Mar. 31, 2014

Hydraulic disc brakes are coming to Shimano’s mechanical road shifting systems, the company announced on Monday. The new shifters, dubbed ST-RS685, will be compatible with all of Shimano’s 11-speed mechanical groups, and will pair up with a refined version of the R785 hydraulic disc caliper introduced last year, called BR-RS785.

The new RS685 shifters sit outside Shimano’s branded groupsets — Dura-Ace, Ultegra, 105, etc. — just as the Di2-enabled R785 hydraulic shifters do, and feature subdued graphics and design intended to fit in well with any of Shimano’s road groups.

The system retains the hydraulic disc brake technologies introduced with the R785 last year, including the use of 140mm ICE tech rotors and finned brake pads to improve cooling, and 10mm of brake lever reach adjust to help dial in fit.

The new hydraulic caliper will be compatible with the R785 Di2 levers, but gains small improvements via new inboard hose routing and a refined bleed nipple.

New Shimano 105 group

Shimano’s high-value 105 group will see a significant update for 2015, gaining an extra cog, improved brakes, a redesigned crankset, wider ranging gear options, and the light-action shifting found on Dura-Ace and Ultegra groups.

The move to 11-speed is the most obvious change with the new group, combining with an increase in gear options that should help Shimano compete with SRAM’s popular WiFli wide-range system. The 105 11-speed cassettes will be available in 12-25, 11-28, and a new 11-32-tooth option.

The cranks move to Shimano’s proprietary four-arm design, like Ultegra and Dura-Ace, allowing riders to swap between compact (50/34, 52/36) and standard (53/39) chainrings on the same arms.

Shifting will be lighter thanks to redesigned shift levers and derailleur linkages, borrowing much from Shimano’s high-end groups, and the addition of Shimano’s slick polymer-coated cables.

The new shift levers are compact in design and will feature 10mm of lever reach adjustment.

New dual-pivot brakes are not only more powerful, but also feature a higher arch so they are fully compatible with tires up to 28mm.

The 105 group will be available in black and silver, and will hit shop shelves in June. Prices are not yet available.

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