Compatibility of Shimano Drivetrains

Redvers

Well-Known Member
Location
France
The Shimano 105 chain and cassette on my girl friend’s bike are badly worn and need to be replaced.:laugh:

We’ve been given an almost new Shimano ultegra SL triple chainset and we’re thinking of buying the ultegra cassette and chain to get her back on the road with a slightly improved transmission.

My question is: To what extent are the different Shimano drivetrain ranges interchangeable, ie. will an ultegra SL chainset work with a 105 front derailleur and bottom bracket and will the original 105 shifters match an ultegra cassette and chainset?

Any advise gratefully received before we spend money and get oily fingers!
 

andrew_s

Guru
Location
Gloucester
All Shimano transmissions are compatible with each other except for some older Dura-ace (8-speed and earlier, and aluminium freehub bodies and matching deep-spline cassettes).
 

Svendo

Veteran
Location
Walsden
andrew_s said:
All Shimano transmissions are compatible with each other except for some older Dura-ace (8-speed and earlier, and aluminium freehub bodies and matching deep-spline cassettes).
This doesn't affect your question but brand new Dura ace 7900 and Ultegra 6700 have different brake pull ratios and pull more cable for the front derailleur (Because the chainrings are slightly further apart). However reports are that in practice the brakes are cross compatible, albeit with differing leverage and the front derailleur has enough scope for adjustment to be compatible both ways without problems (caveat being for a triple FD, haven't read anyone trying that yet.)
The cassettes all still have the same sprocket spacing and so are interchangeable.
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
To add to comments above,

1) Since model updates happened to groupsets over time, unless I know for sure I would visually check if the chainset is compatible with the bottom bracket. See the Shimano section here.
2) I would also check if the rear mech has the teeth capacity to handle the change of the chainset and cassette.
 

alecstilleyedye

nothing in moderation
Moderator
RecordAceFromNew said:
To add to comments above,

1) Since model updates happened to groupsets over time, unless I know for sure I would visually check if the chainset is compatible with the bottom bracket. See the Shimano section here.
2) I would also check if the rear mech has the teeth capacity to handle the change of the chainset and cassette.
that's good advice. all new shimano stuff from sora up comes with an external bottom bracket, whereas previously square taper or ocatalink was the order of the day.
 
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