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Shimano 105 pedals review

As the brand's third-tier offering, do Shimano’s 105 pedals benefit from trickle-down tech or is an upgrade to Ultegra worth the extra investment?

Shimano 105 Pedals overlaid with recommends badge
(Image: © Peter Haworth)

Our Verdict

Shimano 105 pedals are a package where performance, serviceability, durability, and adjustability combine at a price point that won't break the bank

For

  • Solid and stable pedalling platform
  • Tension adjustment is easy
  • Durable
  • Ease of servicing
  • Availability of spares

Against

  • Can get lighter pedals for less money
  • Cleat adjustment can be fiddly

Shimano 105 is often seen as the entry point to the Shimano performance groupsets. It occupies the third tier in the range, sitting below Dura-Ace and Ultegra, and one step above Tiagra. As the pedal offering for the 105 groupset, we are going to see how the Shimano 105 pedals - also known as Shimano PD-R7000 pedals - compare to their more expensive counterparts.

With a retail price of £124.99 ($150.00 / AU$139.99 / €109.95), the Shimano 105 pedals are at the cheaper end of Shimano's clipless pedal pricing spectrum. They're still not 'loose change', but the wider 105 groupset is known for taking advantage of trickle-down technology to offer an unrivalled ratio of performance to price, so we wanted to find out whether the pedals offered the same incredible value for money. 

With that in mind, we've been using Shimano's third-tier pedals on our road bikes for years, so here's an in-depth review of where they sit in the lineup, how they compare versus similar priced models from Look, and whether or not they are worthy of their place in our guide to the best road bike pedals.

The Shimano 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace pedals side by side

Shimano's 105 Pedals (left) clearly borrow design features from the more expensive Ultegra (centre) and Dura-Ace (right) pedals (Image credit: Peter Haworth)

Design and specs

Updated to a newer carbon composite body with the latest iteration to save weight and keep them in line with the current crop of Shimano groupsets, the 105 pedals are not dissimilar to their Ultegra siblings from a visual standpoint. They are, however, slightly more distinguishable from the range-topping Dura-Ace model, which comes with a unique axle assembly.

A close up of the yellow Shimano cleats fitted to a shoe, showing the cleat's overall size and width

The Shimano pedal and cleat system is the widest of the three main pedal brands, with the cleat extending beyond the width of most cycling shoes (Image credit: Peter Haworth)

Shimano offers the widest platform available when compared to its main rivals, Look and Wahoo Speedplay, and this is immediately notable underfoot with a more surefooted feel while riding and less cross-axis foot roll. Despite its reduced price, the 105 pedals share the same platform width as both Ultegra and Dura-Ace. They also share the same adjustable entry and release tension with a simple screw-until-click adjustment on the rear of the pedal. 

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A single Shimano 105 Pedal on a Park Tools scale, showing the weight at 129g

On its own, a single Shimano 105 pedal weighs 129g (Image credit: Peter Haworth)
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The Shimano 105 Pedals and cleat on a Park Tools scale, showing a combined weight of 148g

Add in the Shimano cleats and the weight climbs to 148g, keeping the total set weight beneath 300g (without screws and washers) (Image credit: Peter Haworth)

On our scales, the Shimano 105 pedals weigh less than the advertised 265g per pair, coming in at 248g, while a single pedal and cleat came in at 148g. Even though this is the entry point to the Shimano ‘performance’ pedal range, this weight places them very competitively, weighing just 12 grams more (per pedal) than the top-tier Dura-Ace model, and making them 18.5g lighter than Wahoo's lightest option, the uber-expensive Speedplay Nano, with the cleat included. 

With that said, if weight is your all-important factor and you're on a budget, it is possible to go lighter for less, with Look's Keo 2 Max Carbon tipping the scales at 145g for pedal and cleat combined. 

Shimano use a three-bolt cleat pattern attaching to the shoe with three supplied bolts and slotted washers. The cleats offer side-to-side adjustment via the cleat and fore-aft adjustment with slotted washers. In addition to position adjustment Shimano offer three different versions of cleat; Red (fixed no float), Blue (small amount of float at rear) and the most popular, included with these pedals yellow. The yellow cleats offer a small amount of float at the rear and a small amount of float at the front. 

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A close up side-on view of the yellow Shimano cleats fitted to a shoe, showing the cleat's height

The yellow cleats offer 6 desgrees of float (Image credit: Peter Haworth)
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A close up side-on view of a shoe clipped into the Shimano 105 pedals, showing the overall stack height

Clipped in, the stack height measures approximately 14mm (Image credit: Peter Haworth)

These cleats are ideal if you are new to clipless pedals with you being able to tune your cleat position with less risk of damage or causing unwanted strain on your knees as you might have with a fixed cleat. 

Performance

In use, the Shimano 105 pedals - like the other Shimano models - offer the most surefooted feel, the extra width of the pedalling platform is immediately noticeable when switching between brands. 

With the easy variable release tension, you can set the pedals from loose all the way up to very tight. If you like your feet to really feel like they are locked in for the best power transfer, Shimano is by far my preference.

Shimano 105 Pedals

Unlike its more expensive siblings, the  small metal plates on the pedal body are replaceable (Image credit: Peter Haworth)

Inside, the Shimano 105 pedals use a loose ball bearing system in the axle, this means that they can be serviced and re-greased if they develop any play, and doing so is a straightforward task that can be performed at home. 

During our long-term testing, they have proved to be incredibly reliable, without developing and creaks or squeaks, or dirt ingress causing problems with the cleats. If you are diligent with replacing your cleats when they are worn so they do not wear the pedal bodies, you can expect them to quietly go about their business without any complaints for years. 

Another benefit of choosing Shimano is that, with their immense popularity the world over, if the availability of spares is a requirement, then you can almost guarantee that any bike shop will have a spare pair of cleats should you damage yours while out on the road, especially useful if you’re touring or bikepacking.

With all of Shimano's pedals, the cleat float is adjusted by replacing the cleat with one of a different colour, as explained above. The downside to this is that to adjust float, you will need to memorise - or mark - the position of the previous cleat when replacing. In contrast, Wahoo Speedplay pedals offer float adjustment built into the cleat - a much faster, easier and cheaper adjustment. 

As with the pedals that sit above it in the range, the Shimano 105 pedals are fitted with an 8mm hex key (no 15mm spanners here), which leaves a nice clean look when installed.  

Shimano 105 Pedals

With 8mm hex key adjustment, the axles look clean and tidy (Image credit: Peter Haworth)

Verdict

If you’re not concerned about having the range-topping pedal or have any specific fit issues, or happen to be looking for a pedal with an exceptionally low stack height then the Shimano 105 pedals are a solid choice for any road going bicycle, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or looking for your first pair of clipless pedals.

They are easily serviceable, offer bombproof reliability, and combine the best features from their more expensive stablemates into a more affordable package. What's more, they are readily discounted by retailers making the Shimano 105 pedals some of the best value road bike pedals out there. 

Tech Specs: Shimano 105 R7000 Pedals

  • Price: £124.99 / $150.00 / AU$139.99 / €109.95
  • Weight: 129g
  • Weight with cleats: 148g