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Old 08-23-11, 04:43 PM   #1
Barrettscv 
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Shimano rear derailleurs: any difference between 5600, 5700, 6600 & 6700?

I’ll be installing a new rear derailleur on a new bike build. I’ll be using Shimano 5603 Brifters and a FC-5600 standard crank with 50 & 39t chainrings. I might use multiple cassettes including the new ten speed Tiagra 12-30.

I know that Ultegra is lighter with a better finish than 105.

I know than 5700 & 6700 is newer, lighter and has better fit & finish than 5600 & 6600.

I have heard that the 5700 & 6700 short cage fits a 30t cog with a bit of a safety margin while a 5600 & 6600 short cage rear derailleur may not. I installed an 11-32 Sram Apex ten speed cassette with an Ultegra RD-6600 GS rear deraillier on my old road bike, so I’m willing to exceed the published limits.

Is there anything else that’s better or different about the old series or new series?

Why should a person spend more for Ultegra over 105?

Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-23-11 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 08-23-11, 07:07 PM   #2
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Why should a person spend more for Ultegra over 105?

Bling. That being said, I have plenty of Ultegra parts.
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Old 08-23-11, 07:15 PM   #3
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Bling. That being said, I have plenty of Ultegra parts.
Me too. And we rationalize it as lighter weight, better finish and (we hope) better durability. 105 is good stuff and you can't go wrong using it and saving the cost difference.
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Old 08-23-11, 07:15 PM   #4
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regarding shifters hidden cable routing is a HUGE aesthetic improvement in my opinion regarding function, not sure about the deraileurs. I have 6600 RD and the FD, they work great for me but I also bought them used so cost wasn't a big deal.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:30 PM   #5
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Upper pulley: Ultegra uses the very durable ceramic bushing, 105 uses steel. Significant difference in life expectancy and mid-life precision.

Lower pulley: Ultegra uses a sealed cartridge bearing, 105 uses a steel bushing.

Parallelogram: Ultegra has two forged aluminum links with brass bushings, 105 uses a stamped-steel rear link.

Pulley cage: Ultegra uses aluminum inner and outer plates. If I recall correctly, 105 uses a steel rear plate.


The 5700 and 6700 were tweaked a little to officially handle 28-tooth cogs maximum, versus 27 for the 5600 and 6600. I hear Shimano is now revamping 105 again to handle 30-tooth cogs on an official basis, so it could be worth waiting a month to see how the chips fall. Or get Tiagra 4600, it's awfully close to 105.
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Old 08-24-11, 06:57 AM   #6
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Upper pulley: Ultegra uses the very durable ceramic bushing, 105 uses steel. Significant difference in life expectancy and mid-life precision.

Lower pulley: Ultegra uses a sealed cartridge bearing, 105 uses a steel bushing.

Parallelogram: Ultegra has two forged aluminum links with brass bushings, 105 uses a stamped-steel rear link.

Pulley cage: Ultegra uses aluminum inner and outer plates. If I recall correctly, 105 uses a steel rear plate.


The 5700 and 6700 were tweaked a little to officially handle 28-tooth cogs maximum, versus 27 for the 5600 and 6600. I hear Shimano is now revamping 105 again to handle 30-tooth cogs on an official basis, so it could be worth waiting a month to see how the chips fall. Or get Tiagra 4600, it's awfully close to 105.
Thanks for the complete analysis. I used a RD-6600 GS on my 2x10 roadbike and on my 3x10 CX/sport bikes. The RD-6600 GS had no problem with a 50 & 34t compact and a 11-32 Sram Apex cassette.

It's becoming difficult to find the RD-6600 GS at a bargain price. It looks like I'm going to buy a RD-6700 GS for my new road bike.

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Old 08-24-11, 07:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Upper pulley: Ultegra uses the very durable ceramic bushing, 105 uses steel. Significant difference in life expectancy and mid-life precision.

Lower pulley: Ultegra uses a sealed cartridge bearing, 105 uses a steel bushing.

Parallelogram: Ultegra has two forged aluminum links with brass bushings, 105 uses a stamped-steel rear link.

Pulley cage: Ultegra uses aluminum inner and outer plates. If I recall correctly, 105 uses a steel rear plate.


The 5700 and 6700 were tweaked a little to officially handle 28-tooth cogs maximum, versus 27 for the 5600 and 6600. I hear Shimano is now revamping 105 again to handle 30-tooth cogs on an official basis, so it could be worth waiting a month to see how the chips fall. Or get Tiagra 4600, it's awfully close to 105.
4600 looks good (except for the shifter design). Since you say it's close to 105 do you think the gap between Tiagra/105 is smaller than that betwen 105/Ultegra?
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Old 08-24-11, 07:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for the complete analysis. I used a RD-6600 GS on my 2x10 roadbike and on my 3x10 CX/sport bikes. The RD-6600 GS had no problem with a 50 & 34t compact and a 11-32 Sram Apex cassette.

It's becoming difficult to find the RD-6600 GS at a bargain price. It looks like I'm going to buy a RD-6700 GS for my new road bike.

I've done the same with ultegra gs and 32 tooth big cog with no issues. In rereading your initial post, it sounds like your aiming a bit more for function rather than fashion. If that is the case I recommend going with a low level MTB RD like an acera or deore, especially if you know your always keeping a triple and want to run big cogs in the back. Also, check out Microshifts rear MTB RD, it actually looks really nice in person and functions very well and it's only $40
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1_10000_202432
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Old 08-24-11, 07:19 AM   #9
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I've done the same with ultegra gs and 32 tooth big cog with no issues. In rereading your initial post, it sounds like your aiming a bit more for function rather than fashion. If that is the case I recommend going with a low level MTB RD like an acera or deore, especially if you know your always keeping a triple and want to run big cogs in the back. Also, check out Microshifts rear MTB RD, it actually looks really nice in person and functions very well and it's only $40
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...1_10000_202432
I have a new RD-5600 GS derailleur that I was going to use. If the only difference between 105 and Ultegra was finish and tighter tolerances, I would use 105. I'll spend $85 to get better design, but I won't spend money just to get a premium name. The Ultegra is a better item and worth the money.

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Old 08-24-11, 09:38 AM   #10
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4600 looks good (except for the shifter design). Since you say it's close to 105 do you think the gap between Tiagra/105 is smaller than that betwen 105/Ultegra?
I agree about the Tiagra/105 gap being smaller when it comes to the rear derailleur; other parts vary (for example, the 105 and Ultegra cassettes are identical other than surface finish, whereas I believe 4600 varies from them by not having a spidered cassette).

I frankly prefer the externally-routed cables on the 4600 shifters, because external has lower drag and it's possible to slide the housings down the wire to lubricate the cable. If I bump my road-commute bike to 10-speed, it's getting 4600 shifters.

Last edited by mechBgon; 08-24-11 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 08-24-11, 09:58 AM   #11
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Upper pulley: Ultegra uses the very durable ceramic bushing, 105 uses steel. Significant difference in life expectancy and mid-life precision.

Lower pulley: Ultegra uses a sealed cartridge bearing, 105 uses a steel bushing.

Parallelogram: Ultegra has two forged aluminum links with brass bushings, 105 uses a stamped-steel rear link.

Pulley cage: Ultegra uses aluminum inner and outer plates. If I recall correctly, 105 uses a steel rear plate.
You are correct about the 105's steel pulley bushings but they are very durable and give accurate shifting for a long time. I have a 9-speed 105 rd with 25,000 miles on it and it still shift well. Also, unless Shimano changed the construction for their 10-speed components, my 9-speed 105 rd has aluminum inner and outer cage plates.
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Old 08-24-11, 09:58 AM   #12
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I agree about the Tiagra/105 gap being smaller when it comes to the rear derailleur; other parts vary (for example, the 105 and Ultegra cassettes are identical other than surface finish, whereas I believe 4600 varies from them by not having a spidered cassette).

I frankly prefer the externally-routed cables on the 4600 shifters, because external has lower drag and it's possible to slide the housings down the wire to lubricate the cable. If I bump my road-commute bike to 10-speed, it's getting 4600 shifters.
I just got a Tiagra ten speed 12-30 cassette and was shocked to find at 340 grams, it's no lightweight. It's heavier than a Sram 11-32 PG-1050 by 40 grams, and heavier than an Ultegra 11-28 by 110 grams. I'm also sticking with the externally routed 5603 (or 6603) brifters. They shift very well and you can drop 3 cogs with one sweep of the shifter, the 5700 & 6700 only drop two cogs.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-24-11 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 08-24-11, 10:00 AM   #13
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Ahhh, yeah that's another thing I like about the external-cable shifters. In traffic, I often need to row down through the gears fast when I hit a red light.
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