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It's tempting to refer to Shimano's 105 group as its value-oriented setup. But, that would grossly understate its appeal. From both an aesthetics and nuts-and-bolts standpoint, 105 has it where it counts. Generations of aspiring racers have cut their Cat. Four and Three chops with 105, while many dedicated riders feel no reason to upgrade beyond it. Why? Because it works flawlessly. And year after year, it provides much of the same quality and durability of Shimano's pricier groups at a price that saves room in your build budget for, say, carbon wheels. So, when we look at the Shimano 105 ST-5700 STI Shifters (command central for the next generation of 105), we see a continuation of this impressive legacy.

We've grown accustomed to Shimano's constant drive to reinvent and improve. As such, we're not surprised that the 105 ST-5700 STI Shifters have been re-engineered, and generously endowed, with trickle-down technology from both Ultegra and Dura-Ace. One such element is its Super SLR Design. Basically, Shimano relocated the brake lever pivot to make it easier and more comfortable to brake with your hands on the hoods. This makes sense, given that many riders spend most of their time up on the hoods. Also, like Ultegra 6700 and Dura-Ace 7900 shifters, 105 5700 shifters feature internal cable routing for a cleaner, more aerodynamic front end. Another feature that's been pulled in is the shifters' reach adjustment, which was accomplished with shims that reduce reach by either 5 or 10mm.

Shimano also gave the 105 Shifters aluminum levers instead of carbon fiber levers. This increases its weight a tad over Ultegra and Dura-Ace, but it also knocks a considerable amount off of the price. The left shifter in this set handles a double chainring setup, and the right shifter is designed to work with Shimano 10-speed rear derailleurs.

Shimano indicates that the 105 ST-5700 STI Shifters are upward-compatible with Ultegra 6700 and Dura-Ace 7900 brakes. However, they're not fully compatible with older front derailleurs. Also, while they may function with previous generation brakes, Shimano says that, due to a relocation of the brake arch pivot, a significant amount of braking power and modulation would be sacrificed.

The Shimano 105 ST-5700 STI Shifters are available in the color Lodestar Black. And don't worry, they come with Shimano's cables and housing.

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Value minded and great!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Let's face it..................if you want a great little shifter and don't have $500 + to sink the 105 system is very comparable to the Ultegra which I have had too. In all honesty unless Ultegra loses alot of weight or some significant improvement I would never opt for them over 105! And I have had nothing but great results from Ultegra over the years. The only hangup I have with Shimano is the long shift action...............wished it was adjustable for sure. Someone with short fingers may find Shimano a bit hard to shift without effort. So for that reason they get a 4 star rating..................would give 4.5 but that is not an option here.