Shimano 105 R7000 is now installed on my Trek 5500. I upgraded the groupo components from Ultegra 6600 to the latest 105 groupo.
The upgrade in the operation of the bike is incredible. Paired with a late fall 2018 wheel upgrade, the old steed now rides like a new bike.
That’s not hyperbole. That is simple truth. I should have done it years ago but better late than never applies here.
105 R7000 Over Ultegra
I talked in an earlier post about my decision to go with 105 R7000 over Ultegra. It was a tough decision as I really like the glamour and snobbery of the Ultegra as an enthusiast rider. But at the end of the day the 105 R7000 was proved to be just as capable (here and here for instance) and far less expensive than the Ultegra groupo. Heck the 105 even compares favorably with Dura-Ace (here).
Removing all of the old Ultegra components from my bike was easy enough. I know it’s controversial but I made an effort to keep my bar end tape in tact for reuse.
I didn’t remove the bottom bracket as it doesn’t have many miles on it and is compatible with the 105. That saved time and money because frankly I don’t have the tools to remove it and I’ve never installed one.
Then again I’ve never installed a full component groupo on a bike either. Thank goodness for You Tube.
It took a few hours to get everything dialed in as perfectly as possible. It was easy enough placing the components in their proper locations but running the cable made me sweat a little. Snipping the cables to length always made me nervous.
Cable Housing Hits a Snag
I used the previous cable housings as a guide for measurement. I don’t think I ran the cable perfectly or even correctly at the handlebars but they turn just fine and the system seems to work perfectly. When I replace the cables next year I’ll revisit how they are run and see if I can do a better job.
One thing about the cable housing is cutting them can be tricky. I used Park cable snippers but it still smashed the end of the housing. When that happens you ain’t getting the cable through. You’ll laugh but I ended up using my Dremel tool to cut the housing. It made a perfect cut.
Once I had the cables run I was pretty amazed at how easy the new 105 R7000 front and rear derailleur are to adjust. I had to use this video to install the cable for the front derailleur as the cable run is a bit tricky.
Cycling Performance Much Improved
The difference in performance between the Ultegra 6600, which admittedly is over a decade old compared with the 105 R7000 system is apparent. The trickle down in technology over the years is amazing. Dura-Ace is top of the line in the Shimano cycling environment but I would bet this 105 componentry stands shoulder to shoulder with a decade old Dura-Ace system.
I am really happy with how the performance of the 105 R7000 is. This Trek 550 is two decades old. Coupled with new hoops and the 105 it literally rides like a new bike.
Sure I would enjoy having a sloped tube 2019 model. However spending $4K on the bike I’d want is just not happening. Spending $600 or so on new wheels and a 105 R7000 groupo was. It was an excellent decision.