Shimano 105 1x drivetrain considerations (Part 1)

Despite the fact that SRAM has been touting 1x drivetrains for a few years, killing off the MTB front mech and making road shifter compatible clutch rear mechs as well as selling left-hand levers which don’t have shifter internals, Shimano seems to have closed its eyes to this trend, as have all forum discussions on the topic. This has all become more pertinent now that, for the 2018 road season, team Aqua Blue Sport has signed up with 3T to be the first pro team (road) to race on a bike which is unable to use a front mech or rim brakes. This makes road 1x systems a very real present.


In my quest to run a drivetrain where I use all of my available gears efficiently/equally – and after choosing the gearing on our touring bikes which was both arduous and aimed at a specific task, I decided to try a road 1×10. I was given a pair of heavily used 105 ST-5700 shifters, which are what I consider to be 2nd generation 10 speed, or SLR-EV levers, which have a slightly different brake cable pull compared to old Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo. I believe they have an improved ergonomic design compared to the older hoods, and it is nice to have all the cables under the bar tape. I am a little frustrated with the inferior braking performance with the majority of brakes on the market, despite the fact that Shimano launched this cable pull in 2008 with the Dura Ace 7900 series, there are very few fully compatible brake options. Seriously, 10 years later and I am not aware of a single third party brake lever which is labelled as being deliberately compatible with the cable pull of these levers.


My list of tasks were:

1: Select gear ratios that will not be compromising.

2: Remove the shift paddle from the L/H lever

3: Clean/lube shifter mechanism.


I’m going to break this up into separate posts.

Tobias Feltus: