Shimano reveals entry-level wireless shifting for road bikes

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Shimano’s budget-friendly 105-series drivetrain now has 12-speed gearing and electronic shifting. (Photo: Shimano)
Shimano’s budget-friendly 105-series drivetrain now has 12-speed gearing and electronic shifting. (Photo: Shimano)
  • Shimano brings wireless shifting to a broader road bike audience with its latest 105 groupset.
  • The Japanese component brand has deep experience in electronic shifting systems, with its Di2 technology.
  • Riders who have resisted the opportunity to move towards electronic shifting due to cost, might finally be swayed by this new Shimano offering.

Japanese engineering and product legacy can be deeply mindful of tradition. And on the 40th anniversary of Shimano introducing its entry-level 105 road bike groupset, the company might finally have made electronic shifting available for many more riders.

As battery capacity and wireless signalling has improved, electronic bicycle drivetrains have enjoyed interest, if not broad adoption. Cost is a factor, with electronic drivetrains being expensive.

Shimano wireless
Riders with existing 11-speed freehub bodies on their rear wheels, will find the new 12-speed system compatible. (Photo: Shimano)

The move to electronic shifting

For early adopters, the benefits have been immense. An electronic drivetrain can produce better and faster shifts, without the annoying 'ghost' shifts that afflict cable-operated systems.

Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting debuted in 2009, but it has never been present in an entry-level groupset. With Shimano’s latest 105 R7100 system, that changes.

Although South African pricing is unconfirmed, the 105 R7100 groupset prices at nearly half of Shimano’s premium Dura-Ace system.

Shimano shifting
You can use a Smartphone, to help configure your Shimano 105 R7100 drivetrain perfectly, instead of misusing hand tools by guessing. (Photo: Shimano)

How electronic is it?

What do you get with Shimano's 105 R7100 road bike groupset? The promise of perfect shifts, thanks to battery-operated levers up front and electronic gear actuators at the derailleurs. Riders can also use their Smartphone to help set and adjust the 105 R7100 system, ensuring perfect shifts and great DIY bike mechanic convenience.

Beyond the novelty and benefit of wireless shifts, the 105 R7100 system also brings a wider spread of ratios to more riders. Shimano has upgraded the gearing configuration of its 105-series groupset from 11- to 12-speed.

The available cranksets are 52/36 or 50-34, matched to 11-34- or 11-36t rear cassettes. Those options allow riders to ride at gear ratios below 1:1, making Shimano’s latest groupset even better at taming at those steep climbs.

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