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Brake Calipers Upgrade (from 105 to Ultegra)?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Brake Calipers Upgrade (from 105 to Ultegra)?

Old 01-11-06, 03:56 AM
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quitchat
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Hi,
I'm currently using Shimano 1055 brake calipers and am considering to upgrade to some newer Ultegra Calipers.
Is there any noticeable difference between the two besides the weight?
Or do I just need a pair of good brake pads?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-11-06, 04:04 AM
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Are these really old calipers?

Because the current 105 and 6500 calipers are almost identical. The 6600s might be a gtouch lighter.

I have the 9s 105 calipers and think they work pretty darn good.
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Old 01-11-06, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 53-11_alltheway
Are these really old calipers?

Because the current 105 and 6500 calipers are almost identical. The 6600s might be a gtouch lighter.

I have the 9s 105 calipers and think they work pretty darn good.
Thanks for the quick reply.
Are they not old?
I'm not quite sure.
I'm using some 1055 ones which I believe were introduced in the early 1990's.So I think there might have been some redesigns and modifications.
Since I have not used other brake calipers,I have no idea how big of a difference there would be.
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Old 01-11-06, 04:43 AM
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shhhh...don't tell anybody this, but.....

the actual metal in the calipers is the same. The difference is the coating and the quick release lever. Oh, and the decal.

shhhh....
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Old 01-11-06, 05:47 AM
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I upgraded from 105 to Ultegra a while back and really love the difference. The pad doesn't wear out as fast and the movement of the calipers is smoother. Overall I feel more secure using the Ultegra calipers. They turned out to be a great investment for me.
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Old 01-11-06, 06:00 AM
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I've got Dura Ace on my time trial bike, Ultegra on the bike that I race for crits, and 105's on my road bike....can't tell the difference between any of them..
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Old 01-11-06, 06:37 AM
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I upgraded as well from 105's to Ultegra's. Smoother would be my biggest notice. Slight more stopping power and they look better. Other than that if you can justify $135-$150 new or get a nice used set for around $75 THEN GO FOR IT.
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Old 01-11-06, 08:44 AM
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105 on the commuter and Ultegra on 3 other bikes.

In a recent blind test, the owner (me) of these fine vehicles was unable to tell the difference.

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Old 01-11-06, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
105 on the commuter and Ultegra on 3 other bikes.

In a recent blind test, the owner (me) of these fine vehicles was unable to tell the difference.

55/Rad
No difference between brakes or whole groupset? Brakes I can believe, but the whole groupset involves some serious paradigmes.
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Old 01-11-06, 09:52 AM
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I have noticed the stock brake pads (105 I believe) on my 2006 Trek 1500 leave quite a bit of black gunk on my rims where they make contact. Is this normal? Is there a cheap upgrade for just the pads?
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Old 01-11-06, 10:08 AM
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Is the bike not stopping? I think brakes is one of the last places I'd look to upgrade. But if you got to do it, might as well go Zero gravity.

On a more rational note,if you're really not happy with braking performance, you might try some aftermarket pads, like koolstops
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Old 01-11-06, 10:50 AM
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I went from some klunky looking Tektro brakes that my bike came with (Felt F65) to a pair of Dura-Ace 7700 brakes I picked up slightly used on ebay for about $100. The Dura-Ace pads are much better and the brakes are much smaller in size than the Tektro brakes were. I was very happy with that upgrade.

Oh, and they say Dura-Ace on them!

Edit-I suspect that the difference between 105 and Ultegra is fairly small. If you have a ton of miles on your 15 year old 105 brakes though you might notice a difference. I'd start with upgrading the brake pads though unless you have money just burning a hole in your pocket.

Last edited by SDRider; 01-11-06 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
105 on the commuter and Ultegra on 3 other bikes.

In a recent blind test, the owner (me) of these fine vehicles was unable to tell the difference.

55/Rad
You put on a blindfold, rode down a steep hill and then tried to stop?
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Old 01-11-06, 11:09 AM
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I put a set of Kool Stop shoes and pads on my old RSX calipers for my commuter and they stop as well, if not better, than the Ultegra brakes on my race bike.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:23 AM
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here you go, I just got a PAIR of Ultegra 6500 calipers for 59.99, they just went up to 69.99 for the pair,but it is still a giveaway price....you can't even get a single 105 for that price iirc...

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/125...e-Calipers.htm
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Old 01-11-06, 11:28 AM
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Cheaper to just upgrade to koolstops.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hairyleg
No difference between brakes or whole groupset? Brakes I can believe, but the whole groupset involves some serious paradigmes.
Brakes, given the same pads.


Originally Posted by SDRider
You put on a blindfold, rode down a steep hill and then tried to stop?
Welllllll....maybe it wasn't soooo steep.

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Old 01-11-06, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wizzman
I have noticed the stock brake pads (105 I believe) on my 2006 Trek 1500 leave quite a bit of black gunk on my rims where they make contact. Is this normal? Is there a cheap upgrade for just the pads?

The OEM pads on my '05 105s were complete sh*t. Black Koolstops are worlds better and very cheap.
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Old 01-11-06, 08:50 PM
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Upgrading to kool stops will be much more worth your time.

Can you show us a picture of the calipers in question?
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Old 01-11-06, 09:58 PM
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Thank you all.
Then I'd better just swap the pads and see the diferrence.Hopefully that'll save me some $$.

To ivan yulaev:
I don't have a digital camera around but I believe they look identical to these.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by doco
here you go, I just got a PAIR of Ultegra 6500 calipers for 59.99, they just went up to 69.99 for the pair,but it is still a giveaway price....you can't even get a single 105 for that price iirc...

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/125...e-Calipers.htm
To doco:
Thank you for the link.Seems like a great deal.
Unfortunately,I'm not from the States and I'm afraid the shipment will cost almost as much as the calipers itself.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:48 PM
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What kind of brakes are mine? There is no sticker and even the Trek site only specifies the shifter levers, not the brakes themselves.

http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...id=1442000&f=4

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Old 01-11-06, 11:05 PM
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Wizzman,

Your brakes look very similar to the ones on my Fuji, which are generic stock calipers. They kind of suck. I swapped mine out recently for 105s and donated the stock ones to a shop that builds bikes for inner-city kids. The 105s are so much better!
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Old 01-11-06, 11:35 PM
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kool stops ++
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Old 01-12-06, 12:12 AM
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I upgraded from generic brakes as well.

i found the biggest different to be spring tension. The generic brakes' spring tension was really high... i had to pull harder for the brake to engage. With the 105 brakes, the braking is more crisp and easier. Oh... and I also have kool stops. Huge difference from the generic pads...
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