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New bike build - help me choose a groupset

  • 29-12-2021 6:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭

    I'm building up a Genesis Equilibrium disc frameset and need to choose a hydraulic disc groupset. I want to do it on a budget but not sure which one to go for.

    I was intending on going for GRX 600 shifters with GRX 810 derailleurs, calipers and crankset 800 - partly because I already have a shifter and the brakes. In theory this should be Ultegra level but there isn't really any weight saving from 105 road and when I went to order the parts, it is coming out at least 100€ more expensive than 105. I do like the 48/31 GRX crankset though.

    105 seems impossible to beat from a price / weight / performance ratio & if I could go for an Easton or FSA subcompact type crankset if I wanted the same as on the GRX.

    I've also considered slightly more expensive options Ultegra R8020 (hard to justify the extra cost vs 105), the new SRAM Rival wireless 12-speed (heavy and looks odd but wireless and electronic shifting could be nice) and Campag Ekar 1x13 (would need a new freehub body which basically rules this out).

    In summary - any reason to go for mainly GRX over 105 for a road build, or any other options that I should consider?

    Post edited by Weepsie on


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,089 ✭✭✭nilhg

    GRX and 105 are not directly swappable, GRX has a 2.5mm wider chainline so a 105 crank may not fit a frame designed for GRX, which probably won't directly affect the OP.

    I can't see any advantage for GRX over 105 for road use, if you want subcompact gearing then as you say there are options either in complete cranksets or just by swapping out the chainrings, I run a set of these on 105 cranks on my Topstone .

    105 hydraulic is a very nice groupset, I've been very impressed with it on my Topstone since I got it, yes sometimes I'd like the clutch on a GRX RD on rough surfaces but mostly it just works, even covered in crap.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Thanks - yeah I've been looking into it and there is no real advantage of GRX 810 over 105 for road use. The only reason to go for it could be lower gearing options as standard.

    I don't think compatibility is too much of an issue - I've used both groupsets before and the only problem I had was using a 105 FD with a GRX crank. Once you have the right FD / crankset combination then everything else seems to work well together.

    That absolute black option would do the job perfectly - but cost is higher than just going for GRX in the first place.

    Stock is still a problem but seems better than it was 12 months ago - we are back in the 550€ range for a 105 disc groupset without the extras (cables, rotors, chain, cassette, hoses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,089 ✭✭✭nilhg

    105 FD with GRX crank can be persuaded to work I think but not ideal, the real compatibility issue would be on a frame built for GRX or 1X in general, the narrower 105 crank could catch the chainstay.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Didn't think about that, thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,244 ✭✭✭saccades

    Avoid SRAM bottom brackets.

    After that you just have to marry shifters to derailuers, so at the moment it's just what's available surely?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    Do you mind me asking where have you seen 550 for a 105 group set? Seems a good price in fairness

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Since this post I've ordered everything aside from the right shifter which looks like it will come into stock in a few other places for a cheaper price. Ordered parts individually from German sites, mainly Bike24 (aside from the calipers which came from FB Marketplace). You still have to shop around a bit and nowhere has a full groupset that you buy as a package, sometimes the places with the cheapest price don't have stock so you can either wait or order slightly more expensive elsewhere

    I went for 105 R7020 but GRX would have been available too. Ultegra 8020 looked more difficult to find. It is my second Christmas in a row putting together a bike but this year stock is much better, last year everything was six months wait.

    It cost me:

    Shifters - 260

    Crankset - 122

    Calipers & hoses (GRX 810) - 88

    Derailleurs - 80

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    Thanks! I see the full groupset on Merlin is about 900. That includes a cassette and chain but think you’ve made good savings by shopping around. I’m on the lookout for a right 105 hydro shifter also so will let you know if I find a good deal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,089 ✭✭✭nilhg

    Groupset prices do seem to be coming down, in theory anyway, 3/4 months for availability puts a fair spanner in the works. €421 for one variation of 105 here if it was available.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,863 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    they can quote as much (or as little) as they want for something they can't sell you, though.

    the cheapest groupset they have they which is available in less than 'about 3 to 4 months' is €4,800!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Appreciate it. 154 delivered is the cheapest I can find it at for now, but both Bike24 and Bike Discount give the impression they have some coming into stock

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    I haven’t seen it cheaper and a lot of the discounted ones seem to be 7025 for small hands. Not sure if that would make much of a difference?

    The original 105 groupset that came on my bike had the ST-RS505 shifters. These were the first generation of 105 level hydro shifters but were ‘non-series’. The left one disintegrated due to a known design fault that causes shift cable to shear through shifter internals. I replaced it with a 7020.

    So at the moment the bike is a bit Frankenstein looking with 2 different shifters. The right one is much larger than left. It works fine but gives my ocd a jolt every time I look down towards the bars. At the same time my ocd may just have to suck it up when it’s 150 euro for a replacement! 😃

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I have small hands but already have the left R7020 on the way to me and as you, my ocd would never allow me to ride a bike with different shifters. I already struggle with different tires or bottle cages, and recently swapped pedals on two bikes because one was 105, the other Ultegra and pedals the opposite.

    I also have those older RS505 shifters on a bike. Mine have held up fine but the new ones are more comfortable. Did you have to change the caliper when changing the shifter? I had considered the change for comfort and I was having problems with one brake that I ultimately solved, but I always thought the change involved calipers and shifters so a 400 euro job?

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    The shop didn’t change the calliper at the time I’m fairly sure although I just looked at page 25 of this and seems to show that 105 callipers not compatible with the BR-S505 that were on it. Maybe it works but not fully recommended? I don’t know.

    The reason that I’m unsure if it was changed together is that the current calliper is Ultegra but I’m almost certain that I changed that subsequently myself. My ocd doesn’t seem to be as strong as yours! I think it’s just the different shifters having very different look and feel, even a different reach to hoods, that bothers me. The cost limit of my ocd seems to be about 100 euro though!

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    Just on the RS505 shifters, it’s worth having a read of this

    The issue is that the main shifter body is two halves glued together on the vertical plane. The cable tension pulls the cable in such a way that it splits the main body along this joint. There’s a little white plastic cable guide to stop this but the cable guide split on mine. For some others the shifter body split without the plastic cable guide splitting. It’s worth taking a look to see if anything is starting to go to see if some preventative action can avoid the catastrophic failure that results in expensive replacement (not to mention ocd dilemmas on whether to replace one or both!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,138 ✭✭✭Paul Kiernan

    Is the cable damage issue just on the LHS shifter or does it apply to both?

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    I think it’s an issue on both according to the thread linked above but only lhs went on mine so far.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,138 ✭✭✭Paul Kiernan

    I must take the hoods off and have a good look at mine! I'm thinking of switching from a x2 to a x1 setup with hydraulic brakes so I wouldn't care if the left hand shifter didn't shift as long as the braking still works!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Final bits now on the way to me, took a lot of refreshing and shopping around to find stock.

    Everything comes from online bike stores (a lot from Bike24) aside from the frameset (bought from a Genesis dealer in the Netherlands) and tires, saddle and calipers (which were bought on FB Marketplace but new), and everything ordered over the Christmas holidays aside from the wheels which have been in my garage since Black Friday 2020. Total build cost of 1418 (before assembly) which I am quite happy with given the price of new bikes these days. Mine is the 2019 frameset but the RRP for the 2021 model is 3129 EUR I think (almost identical although different colour - it was essential for me to have the more modern standards in 12mm thru axles and flat mount disc brakes). 2021 has an almost identical spec although I'd probably prefer my DT Swiss wheels. I did get a very good deal on the frameset but it isn't impossible to find a frameset in the 5-600 EUR price range on sale.

    Individual parts cost in case anyone is interested

    • Frameset - 395
    • Shifters (Shimano 105 hydraulic) - 264
    • Derailleurs (Shimano 105 - long cage rear) - 80
    • Calipers & brake hoses (Shimano GRX 810) - 88
    • Tires (Schwalbe Pro One tubeless 28mm) - 50
    • Wheelset (DT Swiss P1800) - 208
    • Crankset (Shimano 105 50-34) - 129
    • Bottom bracket - 25
    • Cassette (Shimano 11-34) - 50
    • Chain (KMC X11) - 23
    • Stem, bars & seatpost (Deda Zero1) - 76
    • Saddle (Giant SL Contact) - 30

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Built this up slowly - very happy with the outcome. May still swap out the wheelset and put 32mm tires on.

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