I'm swapping out some parts on an old road bike I have to build it up as a winter/less cared about run around. Looking for what I can on auction sites etc., but the model numbers elude me.

I have a 10sp cassette and a compact double up front.

I need a pair of Shimano STI shifters for 10 x 2, and I'm looking for the models which hide the cables all under the bar tape.

So far I'm looking at 105 ST-5700 pair, and Ultegra ST-6700 pair. Is there a Dura Ace model, which I presume the Ultegra and 105 were originaly designed off, but from the year or so earlier?

ST-7801 appears to have the front inner side exit I don't want, and also the model number doesn't seem right to me but they never all made sense.

I don't know what the term for the cables exiting under the bar tape is to search for that, does Shimano have a particular marketing term for it?

  • 3
    A winter bike, with Dura Ace or Ultegra? Could be a bit expensive for a bike that will be "less cared about"
    – Criggie
    Oct 17, 2020 at 21:12

3 Answers 3


Shimano calls this 'hidden brake and shift cables.'


First on Dura-Ace 7900

There is a list of 10-speed groupsets here:



  • Dura-Ace 7900
  • Ultegra 6700
  • 105 5700
  • (Tiagra 4600 does NOT have the hidden cables and is based on an older design.)
  • Tiagra 4700
  • (Not listed there and irrelevant unless you have hydro disc brakes, but ST-RX400)

7900 and 6700 are almost identical internally (both contain ball bearings). 5700 is a bushing design, as is 4700.

4700 is essentially an R9100/R8000/R7000 design; i.e. the brake cable/lever follows 'SLR EV' design, rather than 'New Super SLR'. It also uses the 11-speed RD pull ratio (along with GRX 10 speed), which pulls more cable and is therefore easier to setup and generally better. So you can use any 11-speed RD with this, or RD-4700/RD-RX400 10-speed RDs. But not the older 10-speed road RDs.

7900 revised the brake pull ratio, so your bike will stop poorly if you mix 7900 with brakes BEFORE 7900/6700/5700/4600/3500/2400, but you can mix it with newer design (symmetrical pivots on the arms, rather than one on the arm and one on the top - symmetrical design is called SLR EV), R9000/R8000/R7100/6800/5800/5810 brakes

I would go for the 4700 brifters rather than any older ones.

In terms of FD, assuming you will use band-on, then 4700 has the long-arm design:

enter image description here

the increased leverage here means it should shift better than the 7900/6700/5700, design

enter image description here

(note that 7900/6700/5700 introduced a new pull ratio, which as indicated above did not propagate to 4600, which was older.)

[also note that the long arm created problems with cable routing on certain braze-on frames, so they updated it again for the current R9100/R8000/R7000 series)


The Wikipedia Shimano page has nice tables of mountain and road groupset series. That should clarify how the series numbers work, and you can identify 10 speed groups

The product codes for drop bar shifters are of the form ST-Series Number e.g. ‘ST-5600’ for 5600 series 105 circa 2006. Use Google image search on those codes, and you’ll easily determine which models have side or under bar tap routing.


105 -- 5700 / Ultegra -- 6700 / Dura Ace -- 7900/

  • thanks! wow, those 7900 still command a real premium hey! Oct 17, 2020 at 13:07
  • They really do. The 105 shifters are good but the ultegras are a worthwhiie step up.
    – Noise
    Oct 17, 2020 at 13:58

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