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Recently my Shimano 105 (10 speed, RD-5700) jockey wheels have started squeaking during shifting, so they'll be getting replaced. I'm thinking about moving up to Ultegra jockey wheels for the ceramic bearings/bushings, but I don't know if they're compatible.

What are the general factors that define compatibility? Is it more than just tooth count? Anything specific to keep an eye out for?

  • I've replaced Shimano 9 speed jockey pulleys with generic/cheap pulleys several times with very good results (MTB, Various Deore models). Never had major issues with shift tuning. So I guess they are not as critical as marketing says they are. – Jahaziel Sep 25 at 17:28
  • Ceramic bearings are overkill in this situation. Power gain would be below 1 Watt. They'd make sense if all bearings are ceramic. Generic jockey wheels will be amply sufficient. – Carel Sep 26 at 9:15
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They are often compatible between different companies. Certainly between different groupsets of the same companies. The manufacturer normally states where they can be used and often that is multiple systems (like both Shimano and Campagnolo, some provided spacers may need to be used and may only work for some range of speed counts). Of course, if you buy a Shimano product, they will tell you it is for Shimano only. 10 speed Shimano should be compatible with other 10 speed Shimano.

But before replacing the wheels, I would try to service the current ones. I think 105 generally has pulley wheels with bushings. They can be easily services and likely need that more often than pulley wheels with bearings. How to do that is in the video below

You can of course consider ceramic bearings but the jump from bushings to any sealed bearings is likely more important than the jump from metalic bearings to ceramic bearings.

  • Good info. I do service the wheels periodically, but at this point after ~7k miles they're pretty much goners. – Ross Sep 25 at 15:25
  • I would expect that after 7k miles the teeth will be quite abraded too. – Vladimir F Sep 25 at 15:45
  • @Ross : Abrasion depends a lot on the state of the chain, the riding conditions and on cleaning! Even after 10k miles they may look like on day 1. – Carel Sep 26 at 9:20
  • The teeth are generally fine. The bushings, not so much. – Ross Sep 26 at 12:03

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