Shimano 105 R7000 vs Ultegra R8000 – Which Cycling Set is Superior?

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Shimano 105 R7000 vs Ultegra R8000

Adjusting your bike or changing out the less preferred parts of it for others is what most cyclists who own stationary bikes do. Shimano has for long been the pioneer in production of bicycle parts that are put together into a set. So, which between these two cycling sets is superior?

I love cycling! I wish the whole world could hear me because that’s how big my love for cycling is. This love was cultivated all through my early years and it has stayed with me ever since.

Recently, I found the pedals on my gravel bike have lost their track and this caused my foot to slip off severally. So, I went online to find the best replacement pedals for my beloved bike.

That’s how I came across the Shimano cycling sets that were unlike anything else in the market. Their variety is so vast that it had me confused about the choice to make. I finally settled on these two alternatives and drew up a short summary.

What are the key differences between Shimano 105 R7000 vs Ultegra R8000

 
105 R7000
Ultegra R8000
Type
SPD-SL
SPD-SL
No. of Cleats
3
3
Rotational Float degrees
6, 2 and zero degrees
6, 2 and zero degrees
Weight
265 grams
248 grams
Material
aluminum, nickel plated steel
Carbon fiber, anodized aluminum,
Price

Shimano 105 R7000 vs Ultegra R8000– How they compare

Quality and Durability

Both pedals being of the SPD-SL model of Shimano pedals, these two have been built with extra hardy carbon and stainless-steel metal to keep their shape and form over longer periods. Bike drops, accidents and extreme terrain grazes are normal and expected.

To keep your pedals in the best of shape, you have the option to service them regularly by removing, greasing and replacing bearings if and when they need it.

Cleats on the pedals also wear out with regular use so once the fitting starts to get loose, make a point of getting them replaced. For 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000, it’s easier to get replacements because the cleat system is made of plastic material.

Unfortunately, because these pedals have three cleats on them, walking on these SPD-SL enabled shoes will not be favorable across rugged or slippery terrain. Dirt, mud and grime is easily caught in the cleats which clogs them up and diminishes their receptivity.

The use of plastic on these pedals makes them lighter and as each model has a weight category, the 105 weigh 265 grams while Ultegra pedals are around 248 grams.

Both the Shimano 105 and Ultegra pedals feature a double bearing and a matching length in distance between one crank arm end and the other. 

Cleat Number and Type

Both the 150 and Ultegra pedals have factored in Shimano quality design and build. The differences in pedals is found on their release angle, their weight or their floating rotation angle.

The release angle of these two Shimano pedals is degree which a foot must turn in order to release the SPD shoe from the cleats. If more room is available on the pedal, it gives the rider some relief in foot movement.

If there is no float on the pedal, you can expect to have a rigid foot position you have to keep which needs to be done right for better comfort and maximum safety to the user. As explained, the yellow colored cleats will provide you the most freedom in foot movement wit clipped shoe.

Racers, like myself, mostly pick the blue colored cleats because they offer a perfect balance between some wiggle room, fixed sure footing and improved power transfer. This both reduces chance of knee or joint injury and also maximizes my riding confidence.

Finally, if this is your first pedal change and you are curious about SPD-SL pedals, the Shimano 105 R7000 will give you a great experience and they will last a long time.

Unless you are extremely comfortable with all your other bike adjustments like your seat and handlebars, the red-colored cleats in both 105 and Ultegra models is too restrictive and rigid for the average cyclist.

Trickle Down Effect

Ultegra provides close benefits to Dura-Ace previous versions and 105 does the same.

Shimano’s top-quality cycling pedals are the Dura Ace type and the company has been observed to be creating the Ultegra and 105 R7000 prototypes from the technology basis of the Dura Ace. Currently the three models are separated by weight, manufacturing process and materials used.

It is true that some of the current designs in 105 and Ultegra are technological upgrades from the original Dura Ace, and a lot of riders still appreciate that they can experience the light weight and finely finished qualities of original Dura Ace pedals.

All Shimano pedals have a relation to Dura-Ace design and machination because they have always relied on trickling down technologies from one model to the other.

Shimano 105 R7000 vs Ultegra R8000– A Comparison Overview

Shimano 105 R7000 – Overview

SHIMANO 105 R7000 FH-R7000 10/11-speed Free Hub 130 mm Q/R 32 Hole...
  • Internal O-rings and grease sleeve
  • High quality cup & cone bearing

Uses Dura-Ace technology and cleat as a base to build into these super affordable 105 SPD-SL pedals. They are mostly made of carbon which is great for sturdiness and for protective the spring mechanism which operates them.

Following in Shimano’s color coordinating system, the pedals in these models also come in three different color tips. Yellow tips for 6-degree rotational float, blue tips for 2 degrees and red tips for zero rotational floating degrees.

Aside from acting as category markers, the tipped areas of the pedals are made to be multi-grip to increase your stability off the bike if required to run. However as with all SPD-SL pedals, dirt gets caught under the parts much easier which calls for a loosening of the spring tension with the use of an allen key.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Most affordable
  • Looks good

Cons

  • Not popular

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Ultegra R8000 – Overview

ShimanoUltegra R8000 Groupset 11-28T 52x36T 172.5mm
  • Ultegra R8000 Crankset: 172.5 52/36
  • Ultegra Bottom Bracket: English BB68

These pedals are made of carbon and stainless-steel. In following with their trickle-down structure for upgrades that Shimano like to use, these pedals are like Dura-Ace models but cheaper and lighter.

In this model, they chose to reduce the stack height and increase the width which improves the power transferability and the foot stability in high speeds. The cleats on these pedals is three as is standard across all Shimano SPD-SL road pedals.

To get a distinction of their float angle, Shimano uses the same color coordination system across all its other models. Yellow-tipped pedals have a floating angle of 6-degrees, blue pedals float at 2-degrees and red-tipped pedals have no rotational float whatsoever.

To set your pedals tension, there is a tension spring fitted into these pedals that is activated by use of a 2.5mm allen key. You can expect these pedals to rest pointing downwards and to be only one sided which means you have to get used to them.

Pros

  • Heavier in weight compared to 105 pedals
  • Made into durable pieces
  • Similar to Dura-Ace with better price

Cons

  • Expensive

View Price on Amazon

Verdict: So, which between Shimano 105 R7000 and Ultegra R8000 is Better?

Being that these are models of the same great sporting company, it is hard to pick one over the other.

However, if you are a pro racer and you are making a crucial decision about your next best clipless pedals to use in the upcoming cyclocross championship, I would strongly suggest you go with the Ultegra R8000 pedals.

More specifically, pick out the one’s with blue cleats as they will give you more wiggle room and some manageable control over your power transfer.

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