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  1. #1
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    105 5700 rear shift - should I expect better? :(

    Hi everyone, glad to have found this forum - my first post here

    I have a 2012 BMC SL01 Road Racer, 105. I keep it clean and well maintained and it's all in perfect shape, but I've never been impressed with the rear shift, especially coming from the SRAM X9 on my 2011 MTB. (I'm not trying to start the inevitable flamewar here, it's just my empirical observation!). What I'd like to establish is whether my 105 shift is below par and can be improved, or whether "that's just how they are". Any thoughts most welcome!

    Symptoms:

    Having checked (and fixed) hanger alignment and adjusted limit screws, it's still impossible to find any indexing adjustment where it's happy to go all the way up and down the cassette, click by click. The best I can get is to adjust it so that it just about clicks up a gear (i.e. to a smaller sprocket), and then accept that I sometimes need to "over shift" beyond the first click to drop down to a bigger sprocket. Of course that's not possible when doing double shifts as there's no additional movement in the lever after two clicks. It's worse around the smallest couple of cogs, sometimes the first click down from top gear will just be "absorbed" and it takes a second click to get it to next sprocket, which screws up the alignment for the rest of the cassette.

    I had hoped that fixing the hanger alignment would solve it, but there's been little improvement. It feels like the dérailleur is "weak" - as if it doesn't have enough pull against the cable to keep everything really taught. It just seems vague and unsatisfactory and not what I'd expect after 2+ decades of indexing development! In comparison my SRAM X9 shift is so positive and precise, and yet that has a harder life - larger cog gaps, dirt, lower chain speeds... Should I expect better from my 105?

    Thanks for any thoughts!

    sim

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    If the hanger is spot on, I would suspect the cable- a badly cut housing can do a number on shift precision, as can a too-tight curve anywhere along the housing run or any damage to the ends of the ferrules (like a single strand of the housing wire poking through). 105 should be VERY precise.
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  3. #3
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    A little logic goes a long way. The amount the lever moves from gear to gear never changes. The geometry of the derailleur never changes. The cable links them, so any difference in behavior from gear to gear, assuming an unbent hanger and derailleur, has to be due to the cable/housing not transmitting lever movement to derailleur movement.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    FWIW, I'm not overly impressed with my Ultegra 6800. (105 is going there with 5800 this year).

    My expectations might have been too high but I find that it's just..........meh.......shifts no better or worse than the Alivio setup on my hybrid.

    Only thing I can offer is that downshifts can happen 3 at a time (on either my Ultegra 6800 or Alivio 9 speed) and shifting ONE-CLICK is not as precise as on, say the Front Derailer where you've only got ONE-CLICK, regardless. (On my compact double, that is)

    So, I'd say that you SHOULD have good UPSHIFTS (one click at a time cuz that's all the brifters allow) but that there is some rider influence on the downshifts (1, 2, or 3 clicks at a time, thus you have to limit the 1-click yourself).

    I try to make quick & accurate shifts.........(I just hate hearing the chain rumble against either derailer when shifting slowly so I try to be quick about it)...........and that can sometimes get me 1-1/2 clicks or 1 when I intended 2 or 2 when I intended 1. That may not get me the GEAR I wanted but it's just that I over or under shifted by half a click.

    Even Di2 is not perfect all the time!

  5. #5
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    It's the cables. Replace the inner wire and the housing.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
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    I just ordered a 105 group to install on one of my bikes. Someone in another thread mentioned that I should use metal ferruls instead of the plastic ones that come with it. Don't know if that is a major deal but he said it can greatly improve performance
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    It's the cables. Replace the inner wire and the housing.
    Replacement may not be necessary. Check for proper length of housing sections, kinks, contamination first.
    There's no such thing as a routine repair.

    Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

    If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

    Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    If you're using the Shimano chain make sure it's not on backwards.

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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
    Replacement may not be necessary. Check for proper length of housing sections, kinks, contamination first.

    That may be true, but if you're going to take out the inner wire and inspect it, you might as well replace the housing anyway. It's not a big job or a large expense.

    It's possible there is dirt or rust inside the cable, that may not come out even after cleaning. Checking the cable housing ends for a flat even cut, might help too.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
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    sim, Reads like there is some cable drag somewhere. Make sure the rear loop of housing from the chainstay to the RD isn't too tight, the housing may need to be lengthened.

    Brad

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Is the B screw properly adjusted?

    I was having trouble with the upshifts "hanging" on my hybrid.
    Adjust cable tension so that they would shift OK and I'd have to over travel the lever to shift down to a larger cog.
    I'd forgot I'd adjusted the B screw for a larger cogged cassette for my vacation and failed to back it out when I went back to my 12-23.

  12. #12
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    Is the shift wire routed correctly around the anchor bolt? The correct routing is sometimes counterintuitive. Incorrect routing will cause incorrect derailleur movement per shifter click.

  13. #13
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    I also have 5700 and have the same sentiments about the rear shifting. There have been several new threads in the last few months specifically about 5700. I think this was the beginning of when Shimano started routing the shift cable out the back and along the bars instead of exiting from the sides. I've read of similar friction/cable issues on the first generation of Ultegra that used the same routing (6600?), which I assume got passed down to 105. The 9-speed Tiagra shifting on my last bike was a lot more crisp than the 105 on my new bike. Kinda disappointing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    If you're having issues with the shifting it has to be something with your setup because my 5700 shifts flawlessly.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    The only problem that I ever had with mine was corrected by lubing the cable really well in the rear loop.
    Disclaimer: It's just an opinion that I have. It works for me. I am not the forum "Police (Of Anything)". Others may disagree. And....YMMV.
    Don't use up any brain cells thinking that I care, you don't like anything anyway.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    Is the shift wire routed correctly around the anchor bolt? The correct routing is sometimes counterintuitive. Incorrect routing will cause incorrect derailleur movement per shifter click.
    +1 This could easily be the problem. Incorrect routing will change the actuation ratio of the derailleur causing it to move the wrong amount with each shift. Be sure the cable is on the correct side of the RD pinch bolt. There should be a groove in the derailleur for the cable to run through.
    If the pinch bolt washer tab is forcing the cable into a slightly longer route this will also change the actuation ratio and may explain the OP's shifting problems.

  17. #17
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    Just wanted to say Thanks for all the amazing feedback, it's really appreciated. This is the first chance I've had to catch up on the thread since last weekend. Anyway just before doing so I took another look at the bike, indoors this time for "lab conditions" I double-checked the hanger alignment (having corrected it last week) and it still looks good. I did however notice that one of the hanger bolts would not tighten properly as the allen key would turn inside the slot. This meant there was some movement in the hangar. Anyway I replaced the bolts and it's all solid now. I also lubed the cable as best I could.

    BUT

    The shift is no better and remains highly unimpressive! For example in the middle of the block, it's possible to click it up and back down one step and it does almost nothing. I've lubed the deraileur joints (and always have done) and the return spring seems ok.

    I'm going to check the anchor bolt routing now - it makes sense that it could change the actuation.

    The chain is the factory fit KMC, FWIW. No significant chain stretch from what I can tell. Oh I forgot to mention, the bike has around 2500km on it, from new, well maintained. No rain except when caught out occasionally during a ride.

    New cable then?

  18. #18
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    PS: Rechecked chain stretch: 12 and 1/16 inches

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sim303 View Post
    PS: Rechecked chain stretch: 12 and 1/16 inches
    I'd replace the chain though I can't say if it'll resolve your problem or not.

    Brad

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