Shimano 105 5800 vs Ultegra 6800 – Which Clipless Pedals are Better?

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Shimano 105 5800 vs Ultegra 6800

Pedals could determine how fast and how effective your bike is out on the road. This is the reason why many companies have branched into the replacement group set business to supply users with a variety of valid options. Which of those clipless types is more preferred?

Featuring cleats instead of the more common toe-clips that were common in the standard bikes, these clipless pedals are a cut above the rest in the industry.

While beginners may find them a little daunting to use, there is nothing a few practical tests can’t fix. When I bought my first set of replacement pedals, they were the R5700 type and I hadn’t experienced anything quite like them.

What I loved most about them was their secure footing and with the yellow-colored cleats, there was so much space I had no feeling of restriction. Now that those pedals have been phased out, I need a replacement. Which of these two Shimano is the better pick?

What are the key differences between Shimano 105 5800 and Ultegra 6800

 
105 R5800
Ultegra 6800
Type
SPD-SL Clipless
SPD-SL Clipless
No. of Cleats
3
3
Rotational Float degrees
6, 2 and zero degrees
6, 2 and zero degrees
Weight
256 grams
248 grams
Material
Carbon and stainless-steel
Carbon
Price

Shimano 105 5800 vs Ultegra 6800 – How they compare

Design 

Both these pedals feature the four-arm design providing almost equal stiffness and lighter weight. Circle diameter where bolts for chainrings should be is the same for both and means that all chainring sizes are compatible.

These chain sets are built with unequal spacing to minimize the stress it endures when you pedal. With a bolt diameter fit for working with a standard or compact chainring, swapping one for another is easy with the same cranks.

They both offer the same range in chain sets and crank lengths.

Both Ultegra 6800 and Shimano 105 R5800 could give 11 speeds and you may get up to five different options in the cassette range. The sprocket widths are the same as on a 10-speed system but they are a little closer.

For both, you will need to add a freehub to ensure that they work compatibly with your wheels. This means you can use an 11-speed cassette on a 10-speed hub with no problems at all.

These Shimano pedals both have carbon bodies and stainless-steel plates with three bearing axles which all work to improve durability. 

Performance

The R5800 pedals use caliper brakes with Cranksets featuring the four-arm design with two compact options; 34/50 and 36/52 or a standard option 39/53. Ultegra 6800 has an option between the 50-/34, 52/36, and the 53/39 all with similar bolt spacing.

This design is best because they all use a bolt circle diameter so if you need to replace it, you simply get a new ring instead of a new set of pedals.

A lever is used to control the shifts in Ultegra 6800 and gives reassuring feedback when engaged correctly. As accurate as the shifting is, it is possible to miss a downshift. These pedals feature a support bolt that adds to their stability.

To minimize the effort needed to shift, they have been fitted with a longer activation arm. This guarantees lighter front shifts and great pick-up capabilities from the chain and ramps. The Ultegra 6800 use symmetrical pivots attached to the carrier which is mounted onto the frame in the place of brake bolts.

R5800 offers 11 speeds on three different cassette types; 11-32, 11-28, and 12-25 which promise smoother revolutions with greater efficiency. Shifting gears is done quickly and sharply by the use of the computer designed tooth profiles that do not miss a single shift.

Rear derailleurs on both pedals have been altered to reduce sliding resistance which in turn facilitates for better shifting.

For both pedals types brakes featured are dual pivoted in a symmetrical style which is meant to lower the friction and reduce flex? 

Shimano 105 5800 vs Ultegra 6800 – A Comparison Overview 

105 R5800 Pedals – Overview 

Shimano Road Bike Pedals PD-5800 Pedal Axle Assembly Right - Y46W98010
  • Shimano Small Parts Pedals Road Bike Pedals
  • Small Replacement Part for: Shimano PD-5800 Pedal Axle Assembly Right

This is a mechanical type of pedal that features three cassette options; 11-32, 11-28, and 12-25. They have an easy shift action with a shorter throw at the lever. The shifting is quick and produces a satisfactory click that confirms ever gear change.

Calipers on the R5800 have Dual Pivot design that helps equalize the braking forces transferred to each arm and this facilitates better control and greater power output. To manage the modulation of the calipers is possible by pushing or pulling on a lever.

These brakes are great for tire sizes up to 28mm. Cranksets feature the four-arm design with two compact options; 34/50 and 36/52 or a standard option 39/53. This design is best because they all use a bolt circle diameter so if you need to replace it, you simply get a new ring instead of a new set of pedals.

They are available in length between 165 and 175mm which is suitable for all types of riders. Hollowtech technology is applied to keep the weight of the pedals down and to improve their sturdiness.

R5800 offers 11 speeds on three different cassette types; 11-32, 11-28, and 12-25 which promise smoother revolutions with greater efficiency. Shifting gears is done quickly and sharply by the use of the computer designed tooth profiles that do not miss a single shift.

These pedals do not have spanner flats and so use an Allen key for screwing them in. They use the same SPD-SL clears with a degree of tension adjustment on entry and release.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Multiple float options
  • Good bearings
  • Adjustable tension

Cons 

  • Heavy

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Ultegra 6800 – Overview

SHIMANO 6800 Ultegra 11-Speed Cassette
  • HG-EV 11-speed cassette sprocket
  • Rider tuned wider gearing options

These pedals are 11-speed, they use four-arm crankset, dual-pivot brakes, and redesigned derailleurs. Shifting mechanisms have been designed in a way that provides for Vivid Shifting which means that the power shift from 24 to 28 feels the same with a shift from 11-12 on the cassettes.

A lever is used to control the shifts and gives reassuring feedback when engaged correctly. As accurate as the shifting is, it is possible to miss a downshift. These pedals feature a support bolt that adds to their stability.

To minimize the effort needed to shift, they have been fitted with a longer activation arm. This guarantees lighter front shifts and great pick-up capabilities from the chain and ramps. The Ultegra 6800 use symmetrical pivots attached to the carrier which is mounted onto the frame in the place of brake bolts.

The outer chainring of these pedals consists of two alloy plates put together with a caved center which makes it stiffer and capable of filling the gap between arms two and three.

Several combinations are possible on this set of pedals because the spider is compatible with all Shimano offerings. You have an option between the 50-/34, 52/36, and the 53/39 all with similar bolt spacing. This makes swapping from compact to standard easier by changing the rings only.

Pros 

  • Great connection to SPD-SL
  • Cleats have bindings that keep them clear of dirt and grime
  • 2-degrees of float to either side.

Cons

  • Plastic base wears off quickly

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Verdict: So, which is better Shimano 105 5800 or Ultegra 6800?

Since they both function and look pretty much the same, either model will serve any type of cyclist whether beginner or pro. The only major difference between the two is that with Ultegra 6800 you get more variety in the cassette options and the crankset settings. Otherwise, on both pedal types, you will achieve 11 speed.

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