Shimano road disc brake component compatibility summary

Posted at: Mar 15, 2022

Shimano disc brake components for road use are difficult to select if you don't know about them. We have compiled a list of parts model numbers and their incompatibility, which can be difficult to understand.

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Disc brake component combinations

Unlike rim brakes, disc brake components for road bikes come in several combinations. Basically, they are divided according to whether they are hydraulic or wired, and the STI and brake combination is determined accordingly.

System STI Brake Connection
Hydraulic STI Hydraulic STI Hydraulic caliper Hydraulic hose
wire type STI for rim brakes mechanical caliper wire

For hydraulic systems, the STI, calipers, and hoses must all be dedicated to hydraulics.

On the other hand, for wire (mechanical) disc brakes, the STI and wires (inner and outer) can be used for rim brakes, and only the caliper brake is dedicated for disc brakes.

Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake Components

Shimano’s lineup of hydraulic components for road bikes includes four grades: DURA-ACE, ULTEGRA, 105, and TIAGRA.

Shimano STI levers for road and hydraulic disc brakes

STI levers for hydraulic disc brakes in Shimano’s current line are STI levers for TIAGRA and above. In other words, they can only be used with 2x10 and larger components.

Note that although the brake construction is hydraulic, the products differ depending on whether the shifting construction is Di2 (electric) or wire (mechanical).

As of February 2022, only ULTEGRA and above are equipped with Di2. STI levers with “hydraulic x Di2” will have a “70” in the 10th place of the model number, while STI levers with “hydraulic x mechanical shift” will have a “20” in the 10th place of the model number.

|Model number|Grade|Type|Brake type|Shift type|Number of gearshifts| |—|:—:—:|:—:|:—:|:-:| |ST-R9270|DURA-ACE|STI lever|Hydraulic|Di2|2x12| |ST-R9170|DURA-ACE|STI lever|Hydraulic|Di2|2x11| |ST-R9120|DURA-ACE|STI lever|hydraulic|mechanical|2x11| |ST-R8170|ULTEGRA|STI lever|Hydraulic|Di2|2x12| |ST-R8070|ULTEGRA|STI lever|Hydraulic|Di2|2x11| |ST-R8020(ST-8025)|ULTEGRA|STI lever|hydraulic|mechanical|2x11| |105|STI lever|hydraulic|mechanical|2x11| |ST-4720(ST-4725)|TIAGRA|STI lever|hydraulic|mechanical|2x10| |ST-RS405|TIAGRA|STI lever|Hydraulic|Mechanical|2x10|

Model numbers in parentheses ( ) are for small hand models.

Brake caliper for Shimano road and hydraulic disc brakes

Shimano’s brake calipers for road and hydraulic disc brakes can be used with TIAGRA and higher components to match STI levers. Shimano road-oriented components are also compatible with GRX brake calipers.

Shimano road brakes have the model numbering rule “BR-RXXXX”, but the caliper for disc brakes has a “70” in the tenth place of the model number.

Model number Grade Type Brake type
BR-R9270 DURA-ACE Brake caliper Hydraulic
BR-R9170 DURA-ACE Brake caliper Hydraulic
BR-R8170 ULTEGRA Brake caliper Hydraulic
BR-R8070 ULTEGRA Brake caliper Hydraulic
BR-RS785 ULTEGRA Brake caliper Hydraulic
BR-R7070 105 brake caliper hydraulic
BR-RX810 GRX Brake caliper Hydraulic
BR-RX400 GRX Brake Caliper Hydraulic
br-4770 tiagra brake caliper hydraulic

Shimano Mechanical Disc Brake Components

Shimano STI levers for road and mechanical disc brakes

For mechanical disc brakes, the same STI lever is used as for rim brakes. Therefore, the available STI levers are “all but the “hydraulic models” of current road STI levers”, so there is a huge choice, from 2x8 to 2x12.

Note that there are two models of STI levers for mechanical brakes, DURA-ACE and ULTEGRA, depending on whether the shifting is Di2 or wire.

STI levers for “mechanical x Di2” have “50” in the tenths place of the model number, while STI levers for “mechanical x mechanical shift” have “00” in the tenths place of the model number (with some exceptions, such as front 3-speed).

|Model number|Grade|Type|Brake type|Shift type|Steps |—|:—:|:—:|:—:|:—:| |ST-R9250|DURA-ACE|STI lever|Mechanical|Di2|2x12| |ST-R9150|DURA-ACE|STI lever|Mechanical|Di2|2x11| |ST-R9100|DURA-ACE|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x11| |ST-R8150|ULTEGRA|STI lever|Mechanical|Di2|2x12| |ST-R8050|ULTEGRA|STI lever|Mechanical|Di2|2x11| |ST-R8000|ULTEGRA|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x11| |ST-R7000|105|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x11| |ST-5800|105|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x11| |ST-4700|TIAGRA|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x10| |ST-4600|TIAGRA|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x10| |ST-R3000|SORA|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x9| |ST-3500|SORA|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x9| |ST-R2000|CLARIS|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x8| |ST-2400|CLARIS|STI lever|Mechanical|Mechanical|2x8|

Shimano brake caliper for road and mechanical disc brakes

The disadvantage of Shimano’s brake calipers for disc brakes is that they are mainly hydraulic, so unlike STI levers, the variety is much smaller.

Model number Grade Type Brake type
BR-CX77 ULTEGRA Brake caliper Mechanical
BR-R517 TIAGRA Brake caliper Mechanical
BR-R317 SORA brake caliper mechanical
BR-RS305 - Brake caliper Mechanical

Since there are only the above four types in the current line, if you use mechanical disc brakes, you should consider calipers from other manufacturers.

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