Shimano R7020 vs. R7025 – What’s the Difference?

As a professional biker or a hobbyist, no matter what kind of bike product you plan on buying, there are many important considerations that should be taken into account beforehand.

This is especially more accurate when you are shopping for something like a brake.

The Shimano R7020 and R7025 are two of the best brakes on the market, featuring many trickle-down techs from the older Shimano models.

In this article, we will put these two brakes up against each other. Let’s begin!

SHIMANO 105 ST-R7020

SHIMANO 105 ST-R7020

Shimano R7020 is a workhorse equipped with enough upgrade paths and spec choices to satisfy almost everyone unless you are one of those very demanding riders. Rear shifting in this one is fast and light.

The gear is very versatile and offers you a wide range and capacity. You can even run the Shimano gear ratio at the lowest possible setting.

Shifting the block up is not as crisp as it could be, but that being said, it never tugs or skips even under the highest pressure.

Derailleur of the R7020 is not as well built as other top-tier sets of Shimano, but these little issues make no difference to the performance of the brake.

The setup is nothing out of the ordinary compared to similar products.
Putting together the brake can be a bit tricky if you are not familiar with this type of derailleur, but the user manual is helpful, and everything else comes together rather quickly.

You also get a good enough range of adjustment if you wish to fine-tune it.
And the front shifting performs excellent with no hesitation or lags whatsoever between chainrings.

Rim braking with this new line has seen a significant improvement compared to the previous lineups of Shimano, but it lacks a stiffening plate between the pivots, resulting in a less sharp & snappy lever.

Overall, if a very high-end premium feel is your biggest priority, then you should go for a higher-end product.

Otherwise, this brake is very dependable that performs just as good as the high-end Shimano products.


  • Good value for money, competitive pricing
  • Contains all the features of Shimano’s high-end lines
  • Flawless performance that can rival even pricier counterparts
  • An upgraded lever that is easier to control
  • Available in two colors
  • Cranksets can be easily swapped if you prefer other types


  • Breaking and shifting are not as crisp as the high-end lines
  • Crank-length and gearing options are limited
  • Rim brakes do not have stiffening plates
  • The lever can be a bit too big and uncomfortable

SHIMANO 105 ST-R7025

SHIMANO 105 ST-R7025

The R7025 is the first hydraulic disc brake made in the new 105 line of Shimano, featuring the power and reliability of disk brakes at a more affordable price point.

This braking system is powerful and very compatible for the riders of the modern road. It is also very easy to install as well as to maintain.

Improvement in ergonomics for this line is really stellar and comparable to the high-end lines of Shimano, making the brakes more comfortable than ever.

The shifting is also crisper compared to the previous generations. Although it is not quite as crisp as a high-end product, the difference is inconsequential.

This brake setup gains from the trickle-down tech, which is used in the Ultegra range of Shimano; this ensures easy bleeding, better control, and light shifting from this caliper & lever combination. Braking performance, as well as heat dissipation, is very consistent.

And the smaller lever allows riders with smaller hands more comfort. You will find more info on that later.

Other features of this brake are the same as the R7020, which means this brake is an all-rounder that will give you superb performance through and through.

Most of the pros and cons of the R7020 apply to this brake, too, so the list is shorter in this one.


  • Reach adjustment range in increased
  • Slimmed-down hydraulic internals
  • Dedicated lever for smaller hands, more comfortable


  • Price is higher than the R7020

Related Guide: Tektro Orion Buying Guide

Shimano R7020 or Shimano R7025?

Shimano R7020 or Shimano R7025

To put it straight, the R7020 and R7025 is very similar and offers all the same features.

The only main differences between them are the size of the levers and the price. They are explained below–

Lever Blade

The disc brake lever of the R7020 is slightly larger compared to the rim brake lever.

This bigger size can be a plus point for people with larger hands because it provides you with a more comfortable and broader platform.

However, that is not the case for people that have smaller phalanges and smaller hands overall.

The slightly bigger lever can be a bit too uncomfortable for them. This is where the R7025 comes in.

Compared to the R7020, the R7025’s blades are shorter, fairly wider, and pops itself out more.

The R7020’s blade is straighter and longer than that of the R7025. This means that in order to get to the brake lever, your hand has to go further with the R7020, compared to the R7025.

Lever Reach

The lever reach of the shift paddles is shorter in the R7025, a bit more pulled back than the R7020’s. Reach of the lever in R7025 starts 4mm closer to the lever handlebars.

Having a shorter reach makes it much more comfortable for people with smaller hands to reach the shift paddles, who are more likely to struggle with this when using the R7020.

Even if your hand is not that small, rather medium-sized, and you can make do with both of the levers, you might still like the R7025 better because of the comfort and ease of use.

Because of the difference in lever size, the R7025 is also lighter than the R7020.


The price of the two brakes is somewhat similar, but there is one difference. And the price of the R7020 varies as you can select between two options when buying; the difference in the range can be at most $150. On the other hand, the R7025 is sold at a higher & fixed price.

Moreover, the difference between the price of these two products can range between $130-$290 approximately, with the R7025 price higher than the other one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the Shimano products:

Which one of the two brakes is more affordable?

Even though its price varies between a range, R7020 is lower priced than the R7025, making it more affordable.

How is a hydraulic disc brake different from a mechanical one?

In the traditional mechanical brake, a piston is used to transfer force.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHydraulic brakes are a more modern version that uses fluids to do the job.

Are these products worth buying?

Very much so. Both of the products are hydraulic brakes, which eliminates the inefficiency of cables and housing of a mechanical brake; they also compensate for the pad wear and make less friction. This means you will need to make less effort with these.

How do I install the brakes?

Follow the user manuals that come with the product when you purchase.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you are still confused, watch videos on YouTube and check the official Shimano website.

Can I race if my bike has these brakes on?

Both the R7020 and the R7025 are disc brakes, as opposed to rim brakes.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eYes, you can race with disc brakes as they are authorized by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).

Should I buy the R7025 if lever size is not an issue for me?

No. Apart from the lever size, the features of these brakes are the same, and the R7020 is cheaper. So, if you do not care for the smaller and more comfortable lever, get the R7020.


The brakes from the 105 line of Shimano are excellent products with superior performance at an affordable price.

When you compare the R7020 vs. R7025, the main difference that can be found is in the lever.

If your hands are on the bigger side, than you really do not need to fuss much and can buy either of these two.

However, if your hand is medium or smaller sized and you would like better control and comfort from the lever, then I would suggest going for the R7025 instead of the R7020.

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