Ultegra front shifter

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by wyre forest blues, 4 Feb 2018.

  1. Tenacious Sloth

    Tenacious Sloth Über Member

    Huntingdon, UK
    Just installed one of these on my Merida and it’s very easy to set up. The built-in cable tidy is a nice feature too.

    SpokeyDokey likes this.
  2. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    @Tenacious Sloth


    My new bike has a 105 FD 5801 (which is the precursor to the just announced 105 R7000 FD) and has the same adjustment system/features as R9000 Dura Ace & R8000 Uktegra FD's.

    LBS failed to set it up properly (low position missing ie only three positions not 4) so I tried to do it myself - 4 hours of cursing later I gave up. In my defence some of the 4 hours were spent throwing sticks at some Corvids who were harassing a Collared Dove in the field behind the house!

    I think I have it sussed re where I was going wrong. I managed to get the cable tension markers lined up and then when I did the top and bottom adjustment I (stupidly) expected the markers to stay in the same place. They didn't. Thinking this was wrong I restarted the process several times and not getting anywhere.

    I think (hope) this is the process in a nutshell:

    Set low adjustment so outside of cage is parallel and lined up with the flat outer edge of the large chainring.

    Attach cable and set cable tension with the 'onboard' adjuster (I also have a Jagwire barrel adjuster) inline so that the two markers line up.

    Set top adjustment (ignoring what happens to the tension markers).

    Set low adjustment (ignoring what happens with the tension markers).

    Does this sound right from your experience?

    If not - where am I going wrong/

    Hope you can help!
  3. Tenacious Sloth

    Tenacious Sloth Über Member

    Huntingdon, UK
    I just followed the steps in this Shimano installation guide, paying careful attention to ensure my shifter was in the correct position at the tensioning stage.



    Edit: sorry, just noticed that you linked to the same document. I’ve now installed the R8000 FD to two bikes now following this document with no problems. I’m away now for a couple of days but will check your steps when I get back if you’re still having problems.
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2018
  4. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    Thanks for replying Graham.

    I did follow that guide and did have the correct shifter position for tensioning but I think I screwed up when doing the top and low adjustment.

    I was going to have another stab today but got involved in something else.

    Will try again tomorrow.
  5. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    Well! I am totally defeated with this new fangled mech'.

    I've never not been able to dial a front mech' in and I've had a few over the years.

    Another 1.5 hours wasted today and still it won't work properly. I can either have top trim and no low trim or low trim and no top trim. I can't have both it seems.

    Back to the LBS although they set it up with top trim and no low trim so they seemingly must've had trouble too.

    As a last resort I think I might ask for the slightly older 5800 instead of this new 5801.

    Will keep you posted as I'm pretty sure as these get more common more members will be asking questions.
  6. Heigue'r

    Heigue'r Über Member


    How did you get on with the advanced pro
  7. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    Ended up with a Trek!
    Heigue'r likes this.
  8. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    Chatted with Trek Technical this evening and they conceded that the 3 FD's (105/Ultegra & Dura Ace) with onboard tension adjusters are very difficult to set up and gave me the stock answer of taking the bike back to the dealer (who set it up wrong in the first place).

    How very helpful.

    Just venting! ^_^
    Ajax Bay likes this.
  9. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    Went back to LBS today and mechanic spent 40 minutes on it and the best he could do was set the two low positions ie on small chainring and the top two positions had only 1mm difference in cage position with the four largest cogs at the rear all exhibiting chain rub.

    He said it was very difficult to do and the best he could do was a halfway house compromise position and that it wasn't very satisfactory.

    So the FD 5801 has been swapped for the longer arm older FD 5800 and a new cable FOC - so great service from them.
  10. Tenacious Sloth

    Tenacious Sloth Über Member

    Huntingdon, UK
    I’ve had both bikes on the maintenance stand today for a clean and lube so thought I’d have a close look at the front shifter operation while I was at it and report back on this thread.

    On the CAADX it seems the high trim is working correctly, but the low trim now causes no movement on the cage at all. Although I do most of my miles on this bike I won’t have noticed this as I spend 95% of my time on the big ring, only using the small ring for climbs of over 8% or so. I never use the trim position on the small ring.

    Anyway, I checked the cable tension which was ok as the two white lines were still lined up when the changer was in the high trim position. I would imagine the low trim operation is very sensitive to cable tension, whereas the high trim relies on the spring in the front mech. I decided to leave things as they were as all changer positions that I use were functioning.

    Next I put the Merida in the stand and noticed it had the same problem, although when I checked the cable tension it was out so I re-aligned the white indicator marks again. Upon re-checking all four changer positions I found that once again both the low and high trims were working correctly. Why this should be I don’t know as both bikes were set up in an identical manner.

    On the whole, I think I prefer the 8000 mechs over the 5800s they replaced as the change from small to big ring seems to take less effort and the cable tidy is a nice feature. I also like having a nice clean run on the cable outer with no inline tension adjuster. The low trim seems to be a bit flakey, but it’s a feature I never use anyway.

    SpokeyDokey likes this.
  11. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey 20% through Decade 7. Yikes! Moderator

    As a finale from me - I informed Trek technical dep't of the outcome with my LBS (different guy that I had chatted to the other day) and he said his own bike (the carbon version of mine) with the new style FD was causing him a headache and that he too was looking to revert to the older version with the long swing arm!

    I wonder how history will remember these new mech's?

    First one I have ever given up on and my fettling goes way back to the 1970's when Simplex, Sachs Huret and Mavic adorned my bikes. :rolleyes:
    Tenacious Sloth likes this.
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