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Gravel Newbie - forgive my elementary 105 vs GRX question

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Gravel Newbie - forgive my elementary 105 vs GRX question

Old 07-19-22, 06:44 PM
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Plainsman
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Gravel Newbie - forgive my elementary 105 vs GRX question

Just started riding gravel, and just completed my first event. My alloy gravel bike has 105 shifters (R7000) and brake calipers. I have the opportunity to swap out the shifters to GRX 600 and the calipers to GRX 400. My question being, all things being equal (cost / availability) is it worth doing? Not sure there is any difference between the GRX 400 and R7000 series calipers. The GRX 600 shift levers appear to be flatter and not as slick as the 105. Does that translate into true better performance/handling? I also read that the pull on the GRX 600 is slightly different than the 105, but not sure how so. If cost were not a part of the equation, would there be any appreciable benefit to going GRX? or mix an match - GRX levers with 105 calipers? Thanks! Glad I found this sub-forum! (I did try the search function, so my apologies if I missed where this was previously asked and answered).
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Old 07-19-22, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Plainsman View Post
Just started riding gravel, and just completed my first event. My alloy gravel bike has 105 shifters (R7000) and brake calipers. I have the opportunity to swap out the shifters to GRX 600 and the calipers to GRX 400. My question being, all things being equal (cost / availability) is it worth doing? Not sure there is any difference between the GRX 400 and R7000 series calipers. The GRX 600 shift levers appear to be flatter and not as slick as the 105. Does that translate into true better performance/handling? I also read that the pull on the GRX 600 is slightly different than the 105, but not sure how so. If cost were not a part of the equation, would there be any appreciable benefit to going GRX? or mix an match - GRX levers with 105 calipers? Thanks! Glad I found this sub-forum! (I did try the search function, so my apologies if I missed where this was previously asked and answered).
Seems not worth the trouble to me. Not really much of an upgrade.
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Old 07-19-22, 09:42 PM
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Of you like the look or design of grx levers more than your 105 levers and it's enough to want to switch then switch.
If your 105 levers are comfortable, then dont switch.

To me, you are looking at a very lateral move. And if anything, the calipers are a step down since 400 is equal to Tiagra. But really it's overall the same quality/usability.

I use 105 levers and disc calipers on my gravel bike, so there is some bias perhaps. I have yet to think that either is lacking in any way.
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Old 07-21-22, 08:51 AM
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I'm 99% sure that R7000 hydro brake calipers and GRX400 brake calipers are the exact same part with (slightly) different paint jobs. If there is any difference here, it's trivial.

The difference between GRX600 levers and 105 levers is mostly the grippy coating on the lever itself. There may be some minor differences in hood shape. The grippy levers are nice, but the finish is peeling off of my GRX levers after 2 years.

I've owned both 105 and GRX 600 and from a performance perspective they are indistinguishable. I see zero benefit from making this change unless you really like the grippy shifter texture and enjoy tinkering (and cost is really not a factor).
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Old 07-21-22, 08:57 AM
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Polaris OBark
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The GRX levers supposedly offer improved ergonomics. I can tell they are different, but if it is an improvement, it is very incremental. Save your money for a super-bike if you really get into it. Meanwhile, don't buy upgrades, ride up grades. (If only I could follow that advice.)
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Old 07-21-22, 10:10 AM
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shiamno grx 810 would be an upgrade. the 810 series has servo wave.
Is it worth the cost is up to you. I have two gravel bikes. Giant revolt adv 2 and Ibis MX. The Ibis has the 810 with servo wave. It seems I can modulate the brakes just little better on descents on lose gravel. 99.9% of the time I notice zero difference.

If don't need that little extra finesse/control while going down hill on loose surface you will not notice the difference. At least I don't




https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...T-RX810-L.html
https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/techn...ve-action.html
When you pull a SERVOWAVE brake lever, initial pad travel is fast, so little lever movement is needed to bring the pads into contact with the rotor. The power multiplication factor then increases rapidly at the pad-to-rim contact so more of the lever stroke is used to apply greater braking power with improved control.
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Old 07-21-22, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
shiamno grx 810 would be an upgrade. the 810 series has servo wave.
Is it worth the cost is up to you. I have two gravel bikes. Giant revolt adv 2 and Ibis MX. The Ibis has the 810 with servo wave. It seems I can modulate the brakes just little better on descents on lose gravel. 99.9% of the time I notice zero difference.

If don't need that little extra finesse/control while going down hill on loose surface you will not notice the difference. At least I don't
I definitely notice the difference. My gravel bike has 810 and it is my primary ride. I do take my road bike out a few days a week and it currently has 105 11spd. No servowave means the pads are closer to the rotor so it's more likely to rub after long hard descents, the power is much deeper into the lever pull, and as you say less modulation.

I've ordered the new 12 spd Dura Ace for my road bike, but who knows when it will come in. The newer 12 spd Shimano groups have the improved servowave which should be even better. I almost feel like just ordering some 11spd Ultegra shifters and calipers temporarily until the DA comes in, but I know that's a little silly.
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Old 07-22-22, 10:52 AM
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sean.hwy
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Originally Posted by KJ43 View Post
I definitely notice the difference. My gravel bike has 810 and it is my primary ride.
That makes me a feel a lot better for the trouble and cost I went to convert my Ibis MX to 2x. It's pretty easy and cheap to get a 400 or 600 grx left shifter but it's expensive and very difficult to get grx 810 left shifter. Since the right was grx 810 from the factory I wanted the left to match. Most places only sell a left grx 810 brake only or left grx 810 brake/dropper post combo.
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Old 07-22-22, 11:20 AM
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Nothing wrong with 105 on a gravel. My 2019 Topstone came with it, they did do a 30/46 FSA crank, which when combined with the 11-34 is enough low gearing for my needs. The shifters and brakes work perfectly fine. C-Dale moved to GRX for its more recent models mostly as it became available and allowed a Shimano crank , which for some strange reason the didnt use, sticking with FSA on the Topstone 1. Cost likely.

I wouldnt bother changing your stuff out, not worth the effort or cost.
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Old 07-23-22, 07:34 PM
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I know this was not on your list, but it should be; get the GRX rear derailleur though. That is a big improvement in chain management on rougher roads! I do prefer the overall feel of the GRX levers in my hand.
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Old 07-24-22, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
I know this was not on your list, but it should be; get the GRX rear derailleur though. That is a big improvement in chain management on rougher roads! I do prefer the overall feel of the GRX levers in my hand.
Thanks! Iím actually already running the Ultegra RX derailleur.
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