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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    Shimano 105 - Adjusting shifter reach

    Hi Everyone! My GF is currently riding a Felt FW-35 with full Shimano 105 group. The question is, can you manually adjust the reach between the handlebar and the shifter? If so, how do I go about doing so?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    ( 8n(|) DOH!! Pwnt's Avatar
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    They make a shim that can be placed between the brake level and the shifter body that will move the lever closer to the bars. Check your LBS.

    *is that a run on sentence. I can't tell. Just seem long.
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    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    I believe there are two different thicknesses of the molded rubber shims available.

    These get thrown away in good numbers, as they are included in the packaging for either the shifters or complete bikes, so shouldn't cost much!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    This is great news! I'll definitely check in with my LBS. I was hoping that I could make the adjustment myself though. As long as we can get it adjusted. Thanks a lot Pwnt and dddd!

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    Shims can help reduce the reach when the rider is in the drops. It does not help when the rider is riding on the tops of the shifters.
    Replacing the brake pads with softer pads like KoolStop salmon colored pads will help stop the bike with less hand force needed.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Shims can help reduce the reach when the rider is in the drops. It does not help when the rider is riding on the tops of the shifters.
    lolwut?

    Using shims the brake reach is reduced, no matter the hand position. How can you claim such a thing?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    I've bought some shims at my local Specialized bike dealer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    lolwut?

    Using shims the brake reach is reduced, no matter the hand position. How can you claim such a thing?
    Simple.
    When riding on the tops you push down on the brake lever from above. Adding shims only means you'll have to reach over the top farther. What's not to understand about that?

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    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    If the brake levers/brifters are mounted way up the bars, they can be difficult to reach from the drops. I never mount my levers this way, I generally put them on the vertical part of the bar. The downside to this mounting is that riding on the tops of the levers isn't really comfortable.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    Are shims required for Ultegra or Dura-Ace too??

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    You can change the position of the levers on the bar in order to reduce reach; usually when you put the levers more towards the middle of the bend the reach is reduced. If the lever is mounted higher up (farther from the middle of bend) the tip of the lever is farther from the bar, the reach increases. However this will not help when riding on the hoods, as this adjustment does not change the pull of the lever. Also as FastJake said this might make for less comfort. Either because of increased distance of the lever from your body, or a less smooth transition from bars to hoods, there will be more of a V between the top of the hood and the bar(which some people actually prefer).
    Last edited by Yemff; 01-10-11 at 05:42 PM.

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    Unless the rider does most of the braking while riding in the drops I think shimming the brakes are a bad idea. Most riders I know spend far more time on the tops than in the drops, even the pros.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    She spends most of her time on the tops than the drops because the reach to the brakes is too far and seems dangerous. She would like to ride in the drops more often so the goal is to be able to apply the brakes effectively in any situation. Reasonable, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mchacon01 View Post
    She spends most of her time on the tops than the drops because the reach to the brakes is too far and seems dangerous. She would like to ride in the drops more often so the goal is to be able to apply the brakes effectively in any situation. Reasonable, no?
    Reasonable but difficult to get with Shimano STI brakes.
    I'm very familiar with the problem because my wife has exactly the same problem. Her WSD Ultegra equipped bike has R600 "brifters" that are suppose to fit smaller hands. The levers are a bit smaller than the standard Ultegras but the reach is no better. You may as well go ahead and try the shims because they're cheap and they do allow the brake lever to be slightly closer to the handlebar. But braking from the tops will not be better, and if fact the brake levers will be slightly farther from her fingers. As I suggested before, consider using softer brake pads for better braking with less effort. New cables and housings may also improve braking.
    If I can get my wife back into serious riding I plan to switch her over to Campagnolo. The Ergo brifters are much smaller and easier to reach from any position.
    Last edited by Al1943; 01-10-11 at 09:26 PM.

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    Last edited by crazy canuck's; 01-10-11 at 11:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Reasonable but difficult to get with Shimano STI brakes.
    I'm very familiar with the problem because my wife has exactly the same problem. Her WSD Ultegra equipped bike has R600 "brifters" that are suppose to fit smaller hands. The levers are a bit smaller than the standard Ultegras but the reach is no better. You may as well go ahead and try the shims because they're cheap and they do allow the brake lever to be slightly closer to the handlebar. But braking from the tops will not be better, and if fact the brake levers will be slightly farther from her fingers. As I suggested before, consider using softer brake pads for better braking with less effort. New cables and housings may also improve braking.
    If I can get my wife back into serious riding I plan to switch her over to Campagnolo. The Ergo brifters are much smaller and easier to reach from any position.
    Seriously.

    Reducing reach, means for people with smaller hands allows them to operate the lever where the hand has greatest control - when it's close to being closed. The shims do this.

    Using better pads, and new cables and housing only reduce the actuation effort. It does nothing for 'reach'. Those are two seperate problems.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  17. #17
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Simply saying they are "Shimano 105" levers is not sufficient detail. All of the new generation levers (105 5700, Ultegra 6700, Dura Ave 7900, which all have the under-the bar tape shift cable routing) have the reach adjustment built into the lever / the pads come with the lever / the pads can be got from most LBS's. For previous generation levers (105 5600, Ultegra 6600, DA 7800, which all have the shift cable sticking out the insdide of the lever) then you need some "Specialized Slim Shims" which can only be obtained from a Specialized dealer (I'm not sure whether these are also available for older models than these also). Unfortunately, they've stopped making the slim shims and some versions are now hard to get. If your LBS can't get them, then some web-stores may have some NOS. Shimano also used to make two special models of lever that were made to take special shims, which were the R700 and R600, the tech doc for the R700 and the required shim are shown by the canuck above. These were put on many female-specific bikes, but are otherwise rare. Hopefully you'll be able to find a solution in your situation.

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    I have a bag of these in my bike bits and was wondering WTF are they for? Thanks for reminding me.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    The bike is a 2008 Felt FW-35. I'll have to double check the actual 105 model but I'm thinking this will probably be categorized as previous generation 105 levers as the shift cable is sticking out on the side of the lever.

    The description for the Felt site shows as follows" Shimano 105 Dual Control with top mount levers

  20. #20
    djb
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    the suggestion for softer pads is relevant as the pressure required will be less, and this would be appreciated if the hand postion isnt great to begin with, and would be appreciated if her hand strength is less than a fellow with big burly hands.

  21. #21
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    It sounds like this is what you need (or Google 105 slim shims, and look for models listed as 10-speed 105 or 5600). Since they're still listed on Specialized's website, maybe they are still available through their dealers.

  22. #22
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
    Simply saying they are "Shimano 105" levers is not sufficient detail. All of the new generation levers (105 5700, Ultegra 6700, Dura Ave 7900, which all have the under-the bar tape shift cable routing) have the reach adjustment built into the lever / the pads come with the lever / the pads can be got from most LBS's.
    5700 105 uses a shim very similar to what he posted, and they default to the smaller shim and include the larger. Still go between the lever and the shifter body.

  23. #23
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchacon01 View Post
    The bike is a 2008 Felt FW-35.
    2008 could be 5500 if they were using previous parts but more than likely it's 5600. Is the lettering black or black and yellow?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Mansram01's Avatar
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    The lettering is white. Says Flightdeck Shimano 105 on the shifter/brake.

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    I recently bought a 2nd hand 2005 Lemond Versailles with 105 shifters. I'd like to shorten the shifter reach a bit.
    I took it to the LBS and they said there wasn't a shim available for it (but I'm not convinced the bike techs there knew their stuff).

    Would 105 shifters from a 2005 be the ST-5500 parts or something else?
    Is there a shifter shim that would fit?

    TIA
    albert.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pwnt View Post
    They make a shim that can be placed between the brake level and the shifter body that will move the lever closer to the bars. Check your LBS.

    *is that a run on sentence. I can't tell. Just seem long.

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