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Ultegra 6700 STI - must you only use 6700 brake calipers?

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Ultegra 6700 STI - must you only use 6700 brake calipers?

Old 12-08-09, 03:37 PM
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Ultegra 6700 STI - must you only use 6700 brake calipers?

I was intrigued with the new Ultegra 6700 group as Shimano has finally hidden the shifter cable under the tape. Not only is this an aesthetic improvement, but it lends itself to touring or rando setups where a front handlebar bag is desirable.

So I'm reading the Shimano tech docs (https://bike.shimano.com/media/techdo...9830670754.pdf and https://bike.shimano.com/media/techdo...9830671291.pdf) and come to find that the mechanical leverage of the new STI brake levers has changed.

They say to only use the new 6700 brake calipers with these levers.

Is this a rigid requirement, or a suggestion for "best performance"?

I imagine someone might want to use 3rd party long reach calipers or even cantis for a tourer.

Thanks
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Old 12-08-09, 07:46 PM
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It's a 'best performance' suggestion. I set up my bike with 6700 components keeping my old brakes, which worked just fine. A hundred or so miles later I installed the 6700 brakes. They worked better; more feel and better modulation but I didn't feel any deficiencies with the old set.
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Old 12-08-09, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Davet View Post
It's a 'best performance' suggestion. I set up my bike with 6700 components keeping my old brakes, which worked just fine. A hundred or so miles later I installed the 6700 brakes. They worked better; more feel and better modulation but I didn't feel any deficiencies with the old set.
Out of curiosity, what were your old brakes? Were they low line calipers or older but good quality brakes?

I'm just wondeering if the new calipers were just much better quality so they feel better or there is a real difference not related to caliper quality.
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Old 12-08-09, 08:12 PM
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The 'old' brakes were black Rival calipers, vintage 2008. I kept the Rivals originally because of the color; my bike was white with all black furniture.

The reasons for the 6700 braking being 'better' is several fold; the 6700 levers have a different pull ratio and the 6700 calipers are matched to take advantage of that. The 6700 calipers are stiffer than most other calipers so you have a more direct 'feel' for what the brakes are doing and the pad compound for the 6700 brakes are better than most other stock compounds.

If you're buying 6700 components, not a group, and if your existing brake calipers are good, probably the single biggest 'improvement' you could make would be to install a set of KoolStop brake pads. I use the salmon KoolStops, which are for wet use but they give such wonderful feel and modulation I use them for all-around conditions.
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Old 12-08-09, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Davet View Post
If you're buying 6700 components, not a group, and if your existing brake calipers are good, probably the single biggest 'improvement' you could make would be to install a set of KoolStop brake pads. I use the salmon KoolStops, which are for wet use but they give such wonderful feel and modulation I use them for all-around conditions.
Agree. The brakes on one of my bikes are 7700-series Dura Ace and another has 6500-series Ultegra, both with Kool Stop Salmon pads. Both bike have Campy Ergo 10-speed brifters and I was told Campy levers won't work well with Shimano brakes. Nonsense, they are both wonderful brake systems and their action and modulation completely indistinguishable from the same Shimano brakes with Shimano STI brifters.
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Old 12-08-09, 09:15 PM
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I've built at 5 bikes with full 7900 dura ace in the last week or so - including retrofitting an 7800 series dura ace bike with 7900 brifters - the brakes are 'acceptable'. I really hate the new internal cable routing - it's a big pain in the ass to change the housing now and routing the cable through the shifter is much more annoying than on the old style STI's.
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Old 12-08-09, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Agree. The brakes on one of my bikes are 7700-series Dura Ace and another has 6500-series Ultegra, both with Kool Stop Salmon pads. Both bike have Campy Ergo 10-speed brifters and I was told Campy levers won't work well with Shimano brakes. Nonsense, they are both wonderful brake systems and their action and modulation completely indistinguishable from the same Shimano brakes with Shimano STI brifters.
I think folks are referring to Campy brakes not working well with Shimano shifters, because the Campy brakes don't have the cable release built-in like Shimano does.

Your 7700 and 6500 brakes will work fine with 6700 shifters.
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Old 12-09-09, 02:52 PM
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I started a thread on this several weeks ago, but didn't get much response. However, I did try to do a lot of research on the topic myself, and posted what I found in the thread:
Shimano 6700 & 7900 brake lever pull ratio: Opinions & info
I'm now pretty happy with my setup. Setting them up so that the bite point, when the pads first touch the rim, are when the levers are pulled quite far in seemed to make a big difference; I believe that in that part of the lever motion, the pull ratio might be the same as the old (7800, 6600, etc.) levers, but I'd be pleased if someone who understands this more could confirm or correct this. You can put the reach adjustment screw in all the way (7900) or put the biggest adjustment pads in (6700) to make it so that the lever doesn't have to be moved much before reaching the bite point. With my setup, there is then still plenty of room between the lever and bars even with the brake full-on.
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Old 12-09-09, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Davet View Post
I think folks are referring to Campy brakes not working well with Shimano shifters, because the Campy brakes don't have the cable release built-in like Shimano does.
True, that particular combination doesn't provide any quick release at all. However, my arrangement of Campy brifters and Shimano calipers provides two qr positions, one on the calipers and another on the brake levers. Together these will clear just about ANY tire.
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