11 Speed Rear Derailleur With 10 Speed Shifters: Unfold!

Let’s say you have the 11-speed rear derailleur and 10-speed shifters parts. Or let’s say one of the two components on your cycle is damaged. And you want to buy a new one. 

And you’re wondering just what if… Well, we’ve got you covered. We’ve come up with just what you need. 

But can I actually use an 11 speed rear derailleur with 10 speed shifters? 

You can use 11-speed rear derailleur with 10 speed shifter if the rear shift ratio and derailleur capacity is maintained. This is seen in SRAM and Campagnolo brands. You can use their 11 speed derailleurs with 10 speed shifters. But for Shimano you simply cannot because of the rear shift ratio.

You’ll find the detailed discussion regarding these topics in the entire article. And we’re sure that it’ll help you. 

So, let’s get started. 

Few Things to Consider

There are hundreds of components of a cycle. So, a curious mind wants to ask a few out-of-the-box queries. Like if you can use an 11-speed rear derailleur with 10-speed shifters. Or, if you can use 10 cassettes with a 9 speed hub?

But before moving on to the bigger picture, you should consider a few things. 

First of all, you should consider that not all 11 derailleurs are compatible with 10 shifters. It’s necessary to find out which 11-speed derailleur is compatible with which 10 shifter.

You should also consider which brand your derailleur and shifter are of. Derailleur and shifters of different brands are generally not compatible. 

The derailleur would not shift to the correct position. Why? This happens when the shifter’s cable pull doesn’t match that of the original 10-speed system. This results in a dissatisfying experience.

So, you should always consider the same brand for the derailleur and the shifter. However, being the same brand doesn’t always mean it’ll be compatible. The derailleur and the shifter can be incompatible even after belonging to the same brand. 

Determining Factors

Now let’s have a look at the factors. That is, for the compatibility of the two components. Here are the factors. 

Derailleur’s Capacity: 

There is a fixed cassette size for all derailleurs. This is expressed as the largest cog’s maximum number of teeth. 

For example, you could see a derailleur with a maximum cassette size of 30T. Which means that the cassette’s largest cog cannot have more than 30 teeth in it. So if you go with sprockets larger than 30T, a lower speed shifter won’t work.

11 Speed Rear Derailleur With 10 Speed Shifters: Unfold!

Source: mantel

As a result, without determining the capacity of the derailleur you cannot put in the derailleur.

Rear Shift Ratio:

Now, what is a rear shift ratio? It’s the amount of movement of the derailleur per 1 mm of gear cable movement. It is activated by the shifter. With an indexed shifter, the derailleur travels a predetermined distance every click.

An 11 speed derailleur and a 10 speed shifter have separate shift ratios. When combined together, they might be less than required. Which would have been provided otherwise by a 10 speed shifter.

Under these circumstances, It will feel uncomfortable to pedal. The shifting also won’t be that pleasant either.

Thus, you must ensure a proper rear shift ratio of the derailleur and the shifter. 

Incompatible and Compatible Brands

Now let’s look at some of the prominent cycle brands. And analyze if they are compatible with an 11-speed derailleur with a 10-speed shifter

Let’s have a look.


The rear shift ratio of 11-speed rear derailleurs of SRAM Exact Actuation is 1.3.  

This means that the derailleur moves 1.3 mm for every 1 mm movement of the shifter cable. Simply put, when 1mm movement is triggered by the shifter cable the derailleur moves 1.3mm.

This is the same in the rear shift ratios of 10-speed rear derailleurs. Thus, 11-speed SRAM derailleurs from those series may be used with a 10-speed SRAM shifter.

And not to mention, SRAM’s 11 speed derailleurs are pretty good.

So we know the answer when it comes to SRAM 10,11 speed compatibility. SRAM Exact Actuation 11-speed rear derailleur is compatible with 10-speed shifter. Hence, you can use a SRAM 11-speed rear derailleur with 10-speed shifters.

So now you have the desired 11 speed derailleur. You must be looking for some compatible 10 speed shifters now.As we mentioned SRAM 10 speed shifters will be compatible indeed. So here’s our recommendation on 10 speed shifters from SRAM.


Campagnolo is quite similar to the SRAM. Most of the models of Campagnolo with 11 rear gear derailleur are compatible with 10-speed shifters. 

The Gear shift ratio of the Campagnolo 11 rear speed derailleur is 1.5. Which means that for every 1 mm movement triggered by the shifter cable the rear shift moves 1.5 mm. 

Similarly, the Campagnolo 10 rear derailleur has a rear shift ratio of 1.5. 

So, the rear shift ratio is the same for both cases. Therefore, both of these can be used with the 10-speed shifter. 

Hence Campagnolo 10 and 11 rear speed derailleur is compatible with 10-speed shifters. And you can use the Campagnolo 11-speed rear derailleur with a 10-speed shifter. 

Here’s our recommendation for 11 speed Campagnolo derailleur and 10 speed shifters.


Now let’s ask if Shimano 11-speed rear derailleur is compatible with the Shimano 10-speed shifter

To answer that first we need to look at the rear shift ratio of Shimano. Shimano’s 11-speed MTB derailleur has a rear shift ratio of 1.1. This means for every 1 mm shifting cable triggered the rear shift is 1.1mm. 

Shimano’s 10-speed shifter MTB has a 3.4mm pull. As a result, each click of the shifter pulls the cable 3.4mm.

This shifting multiplies with the derailleur shifting. Which results in approximately 3.74mm of movement in total. 

But the original 10 speed has a rear shift ratio of 1.2. And the total movement of the derailleur is approximately 4.08mm. 

Hence it can be said that Shimano 11-speed rear derailleur with 10-speed shifters is incompatible. Even the best Shimano 10 speed shifters will not work efficiently. 

On the other hand, 9 speed derailleur with 10 speed shifters of Shimano are compatible. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ve curated the most frequently asked questions for your better understanding. 

Will Shimano Chain Work On SRAM?

Yes, the Shimano chain will work on SRAM but not so effectively. The reason for this is that Shimano chains require pins to grip the cassette’s ramp to shift. But SRAM uses chainplates that are sloped to grip the cogs. That’s why it is not recommended to use Shimano chains on SRAM.

Is Shimano 10-Speed Derailleur Compatible With 11-Speed Shifter?

Yes, Shimano 10-speed derailleur is compatible with 11-speed shifter. It’s pretty much interchangeable between the derailleur 10 and derailleur 11. But there is a difference in the cassette cog’s size variations. The 10 derailleurs can host up to 32t whereas the 11 derailleurs can cater up to 42t. 

Do I Need A Spacer For Shimano 10-Speed Cassette?

Yes, it is recommended to use a spacer for the Shimano 10-speed cassette. A 1mm spacer is included with most Shimano 10-speed road cassettes. A spacer is designed to be mounted on the freehub body whenever it’s possible. This spacer is never included or used in mountain cassettes.


Hopefully, now you know if you can use an 11-speed rear derailleur with 10-speed shifters. 

A bonus tip for you is that you should be careful while shifting gears. Shifting too frequently could damage the gears. 

That’ll be all for today. Catch you later!

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