Will Shimano 10 Speed Shifter with 9 Speed Derailleur Work?

Shifters and derailleurs are important components for MTB or road bikes. But you may not have the same speed shifter and derailleur. That’s a concern because what can you do with the current ones.

Well, you may have something on your mind. Why waste money on some new ones, if you can work it out with the current ones, right?

So, is it possible to use shimano 10 speed shifter with 9 speed derailleur?

In simple terms, yes, the Shimano 10-speed shifter and 9-speed derailleur should work. Being the products of the same brand, the compatibility issue is not severe. However, there are some conditions. Normal road bikes will support these shifters and derailleurs. But MTB bikes won’t.

The question still remains whether your bike will support the shifters and RDs. To take away your concern, I’m here to guide you through.

So, let’s not waste any more time and start!

Will a 9-speed Derailleur Work On a 10-speed Shifter?

Although you got the answer already, there’s still more to know. That’s why, in this segment, you’ll get to learn some interesting facts about shifters and derailleurs.

Most of the Shimano shifters are compatible with different derailleurs. Even your 10 speed derailleur and shifter will fit quite well in your bike. However, there are disputes about how well the 10 speed shifter 9 speed derailleur fits. Let’s talk about that.

Your typical 9-speed RD tends to have more space between the cage. Along with that, the cable pull is slightly different among various shifters and derailleurs. 

Will Shimano 10 Speed Shifter with 9 Speed Derailleur Work?

Source: Protein Burger

So, at times, the cogs might not properly line up with the Shimano 10 speed cassette. 

Because of these things, the compatibility gets misaligned for some Shimano models. 

Oh! Did I forget to mention that MTB bikes won’t fit 9-speed RD and 10-speed shifters? I know it’s quite the bummer but there’s not much you can do about that.

You might be thinking that if there’s any way other than purchasing extra parts? Well, there actually are some workarounds for you. There are mainly two factors that you need to take into consideration while fitting different parts.

Sounds quite doable right? Well, even if you don’t have these parts beforehand, you can always experiment. Hold that thought and check out these 10-speed shifters from Amazon.

Enticed by the sheer excitement of experimenting on your bike? Here I’ve gathered some of the best 9-speed derailleurs as well.

As we’re done with that, let’s move onto the factors that need to be considered before experimenting.

Important Factors You Need to Consider

You might already know how derailleurs work. But there are still many unraveled stories to cover. Cable pull and actuation are included in those bike stories. Without knowing about them, you can’t possibly think about customizing your road or MTB bike.

Cable Pull

Cable pull is pre-determined for a bike and it depends on the shifter. So, the shifter changes the position of the cable to control the derailleur. The cable is triggered by the shifter and then the derailleur moves inward or outward.

Maximum high-performance road bikes use this type of gear system. When you use a Shimano 10-speed shifter with 9-speed RD, you must know the cable pull. If there’s too much difference in cable pull between shifter and cassette, it won’t work.

Now, let’s head on to the next crucial factor.

Rear Shift Ratio or Actuation

Just like your front derailleur cable is important, the rear shift ratio is crucial too! But what exactly is this ratio?

Actuation means how much movement the derailleur makes with a single shifter click. So, actuation is very closely related to cable pull and the moving parts. Actuation helps us to understand how powerful each shifter click is.

Now, why should you know about that? Because Shimano road bikes and MTB bikes have very different actuation in speed shifters. Shimano 9 speed rear derailleur has a 1.7 rear shift ratio in road bikes. The same goes for the 10-speed rear derailleur.

However, the MTB bikes don’t share the same actuation in 9-speed and 10-speed derailleurs. That’s why it’s tough to use a 10-speed mountain bike shifter with a 9-speed derailleur.

The same thing applies to 9 speed mtb derailleur with 10 speed road shifters. Because these mtb derailleur and road shifter don’t have much in common. So, it’s not appropriate to use these two together on a bike.

However, you still have some hope left! I won’t give away all the good news now. Let’s keep some suspense heading on to the next segment. 

Understanding the Shifter and Derailleur Compatibility

As you’ve learned already, it’s possible to fit a 10-speed shifter with a 9-speed derailleur. It’s not that different from a 9-speed hub with 10-cassette compatibility. But there are some differences in this case. 

Basically, you are free to use those two different speed shifters and derailleurs. While the chain width is different in 9-speed and 10-speed, it’s not a major problem. Your 10-speed shifter will feel a little tight in a 9-speed cassette. 

Still, if you align the clogs and chainring well enough, you’re good to go. However, some new Shimano models have a wider space between the chainring. That’s why they are a bit difficult to fit in one go.

Will Shimano 10 Speed Shifter with 9 Speed Derailleur Work?

Source: Biker You

You may encounter some shifting issues from time to time. But it won’t affect your riding experience too much. If you observe severe problems, then you should replace your front derailleur.

Remember that these are only applicable for road bikes. Don’t use these measurements for your Shimano MTB bikes. Those are totally incompatible to run 10-speed shifters and 9-speed derailleurs.

Now that you have a perfect understanding, let’s see how to take care of them!

Maintaining Your Shifters & Derailleurs

Once you replace your 10-speed shifter with a 9-speed derailleur, you can run wild. But if you forget to maintain your shifters, then you’ll suffer a lot. 

So, the job is not finished with the replacement. Maintenance is the key to healthy bike parts.

Even your irregular shifting can be resolved with a proper clean! Start the cleaning process by removing the screws and dismantling the outer frame.

Then use an aerosol degreaser to remove any dirt or grease on the bike. Don’t have any aerosol degreaser with you? Don’t worry buddy. Here are some of the top products-

Go through every inch thoroughly and check multiple times. Before you start covering up the shifter, one last thing to do. Apply some oil or grease to loosen up the mechanical parts.

Now, you are fully equipped with everything. Don’t worry about anything and enjoy your rides!


Will a 10-speed Shifter Work with a 9-speed Derailleur?

Generally, you can use your 10-speed shifter with 9-speed derailleurs. However, the fit or compatibility comes with some drawbacks. Firstly, you’ll need to change your current cassette size to a 10-speed one. Secondly, you may also need to change the chainring. After that, you’ll get a proper fit.

Do My Shifters and Derailleurs Must Match?

In most cases, it’s better to use the shifters and derailleurs from a single brand. Mixing multiple brands is not uncommon but it may end up creating some complications. Generally, chains, cranksets, and cassettes are easily interchangeable with different brands. However, shifters and derailleurs are hard to match.

Can I Use any Shifter with any Derailleur?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to sport any shifter with any derailleur. There are many factors for compatibility. First, manufacturers make shifters and RDs to match their own products. Then comes the different speed and pull ratio factors. So, these things are crucial for compatibility.

Parting Words

That’s probably more than you want to know. Now, you won’t have any problem with Shimano 10 speed shifter with 9 speed derailleur.

Still, I’m always here to assist you in any way possible.

So, go on and try it out yourself and enjoy your thrilling rides!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top