Shimano 10 Speed Derailleur With 11 Speed Shifter [Explained]

Changing bike components is not an easy task. Even more so if it’s the derailleur or the shifter. These are the complex parts of your mountain or road bike.

It takes a bit of calculation to figure out the perfect compatibility among them. Otherwise, the whole thing just might not work.

So, what about Shimano 10 speed derailleur with 11 speed shifter?

Shimano 10-speed shifters are not compatible with 11-speed shifters. But it’ll work with previous-generation 8, 9, and 10-speed shifters. For 11-speed shifters to work, you’d need an 11-speed derailleur. The only exception is seen in the Shimano Tiagra 4700 and Shimano GRX series.

That’s the sneak peek of today’s discussion. Want to learn the details? Then keep up with us until the end.

Here we begin!

Is Shimano 10-Speed Derailleur Compatible with 11-Speed Shifters?

Shimano 10-speed derailleur is not compatible with an 11-speed shifter. Even if the shifter comes from Shimano. So if you’ve been building hope to interchange these components we suggest you not to.

Shimano 10 speed derailleur-

Source: bike-components

The new generation Shimano 10, 11, and 12-speed derailleurs have different cable pull ratios. So is the rear shift ratio. Unlike the previous generation models like speed-7, 8, and 9 these components aren’t interchangeable.

Why It Won’t Work?

Derailleur and shifters are components that are directly related to different pull ratios. That’s why compatibility between these two matches only happens when the pull ratio is the same.

Although other components like cranks, cassettes, and chains can be inter-compatible. But shifters and the derailleurs aren’t. Interchanging components with different pull ratios will result in poor performance of your bike.

Every generation of bike models has a different rear shift and cable pull ratio. Whether it’s Shimano, Campagnolo, or SRAM all these brands follow this general rule of thumb.

Interchanging components with different pull ratios is not going to work favourably for your bike. No matter what the brand is. Expecting to use a different brand shifter and derailleur is also a no.

Because the pull ratio between different brands varies most of the time. Although there are exceptions, it’s best to use the components from the same brand.

The following chart shows the cable pull and rear shift ratio of Shimano derailleurs. 

AspectsShimano 10-speed derailleurShimano 11-speed derailleur
Rear shift ratio (MTB)1.11.2
Rear shift ratio (Road)1.71.4
Cable pull (MTB)3.43.6
Cable pull (MTB)2.32.7

As you can see their ratio varies from each other. This should explain why Shimano 10 speed derailleurs aren’t compatible with 11 speed shifter.

What Happens When a 10-Speed Derailleur Combines With an 11-Speed Shifter?

Combining a 10-speed derailleur with an 11-speed shifter will cause a mismatched shift between cogs. Depending on an MTB or a road bike the scenarios would be different.

Let’s say, you want to use an 11-speed MTB shifter with a 10-speed derailleur MTB. So, it would run at, (1.2 x 3.6)= 4.32mm with every click.

Similarly, let’s calculate the combination of a 10-speed derailleur road with an 11-speed shifter. The result would be, (1.7 x 2.7) = 4.59mm in every click.

In both cases, the derailleur will over-shift with each movement. This mismatch will cause discomfort and malfunction in your bike. It may also cause bike cassette engaging issues.

Shimano 10-Speed Derailleur Compatibility

The rear shift ratio of a 10-speed road derailleur is 1.7. Although it’s not compatible with an 11-speed shifter, it works with speed shifters from 6-10. 

The only exception you’ll see is the Shimano GRX and Shimano Tiagra 4700 series. Its 10-speed road bike will work with 11-speed road shifters.

This is due to having the same shift ratio in both components. If you’re wondering which shifter to use for a 10-speed derailleur, this chart may help.

In the case of a 10-speed derailleur-

Derailleur Shifter 
Shimano road to 10*, MTB to 9 speedShimano 8 speed road or MTB
Shimano road to 10*, MTB to 9 speedShimano 9 speed road or MTB
Shimano road to 10*, MTB to 9 speedShimano road 10 speed*
Shimano road to 10*, MTB to 9 speedCampagnolo 10 speed
Shimano road to 10*, MTB to 9 speed2001 & newer Campagnolo 9 speed
Shimano 10 speed MTBShimano 10 speed MTB
Shimano 10 speed Tiagra 4700Shimano 10 speed Tiagra 4700
Shimano road to 10*, MTB to 9 speedSRAM road 10 speed

As you can see, 10-speed Shimano shifters work fine with Shimano 10 speed road derailleur. But the 8 and 9-speed derailleur with shimano 10-speed shifter works too.

In case of 11-speed shifters-

Shifter Derailleur 
Shimano 11 speed roadShimano 11 speed road
Shimano 11 speed roadSRAM road 10 speed
Shimano 11 speed roadSRAM road 11 speed
Shimano 11 speed roadShimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed
Shimano 11 speed MTNShimano 11 speed MTB
Shimano 11 speed MTBShimano 11 speed MTB
Shimano 11 MTNSRAM 11 MTN

Converting 10-Speed Derailleur To 11-Speed

If you need to change your bike’s derailleur, changing the speed is an option too. You can change your 10-speed bike to an 11-speed one. It’ll offer you a larger gear range. 11 speed derailleurs are used widely nowadays.

It’ll also offer small gear jumps with smooth pedalling. This makes the bike favourable to maintain a high and improved cycling cadence.

To do this conversion, you’ll need the following components-

  • A 11-speed shifter from a compatible brand
  • 11-speed bike cassette 
  • A 11-speed derailleur
  • 11-speed bike chain
  • New housing, and gear cables (optional)

You can perform the conversion by yourself if you’re knowledgeable on the matter. You must be confused about where to get hold of these components. Not to worry, here’s our recommendation for Shimano components you’ll need.

This policy is preferable when you have other failing gears or simply want an upgrade. Hopefully, your questions were answered.

FAQs

Ready to hear a few more tips to learn more about your bike? Here it comes-

Is an 11-shift derailleur compatible with a 10-speed shifter from a different brand?

For 11 shift derailleurs to be compatible with 10 speed shifters, the cable pull of both components must match. If they match you can use them combined. But there will be chances of bad shifting if your bike. That’s why using the same brand component is preferable.

Are 10-shift derailleurs compatible with an 11-speed cassette?

If the bike is using friction shifting then a 10 speed derailleur will be compatible with 11 speed cassette. But if it’s an index shifter then the pair won’t work. But, exceptions are seen in SRAM 10-speed road derailleurs. They work with both 10 and 11-speed cassettes. 

Is there a downside to derailleur speed conversion?

Performing the speed conversion of the bike involves a lot of components. These components are available in different price ranges. There are high-end components that can cost you more than a prepared budget. The labour work for the service is also expensive. Overall it’s an expensive process.

Conclusion

So, what’s your opinion on shimano 10 speed derailleur with 11 speed shifter? Do you think you’re ready to make a decision now? Hope this helped you to get your confusions cleared.

We hope our conversion was of assistance to you. Don’t forget to check out the warranty of your gears while purchasing. 

So then, happy riding!

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