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Shimano road hydraulic lever/caliper compatibility

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My RS505 STI lever has eaten itself (again).  Frustrating problem where the gear cable cuts through the body of the shifter, rendering it useless.

As this is the third time I've had the problem, I'm keen to move to a different lever, but need to keep costs down.  Does anyone know if the RS505 calipers are compatible with current 105 R7020 levers?  My internet search skills have failed on this one so far.

 LastBoyScout 09 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

A quick Google says no, even though the RS505 are the older 105 levers - and the ugliest shifters in existence! The RS505 use the BH59 hose, but the R7020 uses the BH90 hose.

However, the difference is minimal and, anecdotally, it's possible and people have done it.

Your other option is to go for the RS685 shifters, which are compatible and a heck of a lot nicer looking than the RS505. I've got a set of them and the RS785 post-mount calipers in a box in the garage, pending whenever I get the time to fit them!

Post edited at 21:28
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Thanks, that's great. I'll keep an eye on eBay for 685s, hopefully cheaper than the used pair that are currently on there for £500.  

 LastBoyScout 10 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

Compatibility chart here: https://productinfo.shimano.com/#/com?cid=C-453&acid=C-499

Looks like I did ok, then, as picked mine up 2nd hand for about £50.

In reply to LastBoyScout:

£50 sounds like a great deal.  They've recently regularly been selling for around £160 on ebay.  £500 is ridiculous, but with new parts in very short supply he may get lucky.

 LastBoyScout 10 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

The left shifter on mine supposedly has a fluid leak somewhere, but from the bit of hose that was still attached to the lever, it looks like the wrong hose and fittings were used - BH90 instead of BH59.

I also paid about the same for the calipers, so around £110 for the set posted.

I agree the £500 used ones on eBay are way over the odds for used levers. For £525, you could get a brand new set, including flat mount calipers and all the fittings! And then sell the bits you don't need.

 Richard Horn 11 Jan 2022
In reply to LastBoyScout:

The older/newer hose types on Shimano are interchangeable, the external hose dimension is the same, its the internal bore diameter thats slightly different - so the most important thing is to make sure you order the correct insert for the end of the hose (assuming you are going to cut it to put a new olive on - the olives should be the same for both).

I recently put new SLX levers (newer hose) on my MTB and paired with 10 year old calipers (using the old hose standard), no leaks. 

 nniff 11 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

You can buy spares for the bits that wear through - SJS cycles do them.  Easy enough job, assuming that it's just the bits of white plastic that are now cut through.  Two pieces per side if I recall correctly.  I think mine were a bit too worn and some of the alloy was damaged too - a bit of araldite to support the plastic instead fixed that.  You need new cables too of course, and fraying cables is probably what wear them through.  Lots of grease in mine these days.

In reply to nniff:

Unfortunately it's gone all the way through the white plastic and then cut through the main body of the lever.  I've got spare white bits, but there's now nothing left to support them.

Cables weren't that old, having had the same problem in the past I do my best to keep on top of them, but they seemed to go very quickly this time.  I think it's just a design flaw, seems to have happened to lots of people.

 Macleod 11 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

Are you using optislick cables? I'm led to believe that they reduce the cutting problem significantly. (no promises though) 

 nniff 11 Jan 2022
In reply to Sam W:

That's a pain.  My 105 bike is off the road anyway because of another design flaw - who'd have thought that 3T would put two bearings in the rear wheel as usual, and another in a freehub body/axle unit that is not replaceable - the replacement axle/freehub unit has not been available for a year now.  Having put my name down for notification  of when they are back in stock, I now find myself on their mailing list for 3T bikes - why would I buy one of those when their wheel are not maintainable?  £64 ex shipping too.  Not best pleased.


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