Can You Use Shimano Cassette With Sram Derailleur?

You can often customize your bicycle with mismatched drivetrains. However, it is usually not recommended. That’s because they’re not always compatible.

So, here lies the question, can you use shimano cassette with sram derailleur?

Yes, you can! And it works surprisingly well together, compared to other mismatched drivetrains. So, you can get to know why they are compatible and understand why cyclists use them. Plus, you can also learn how to install them and the tools you’re gonna need for the process!

Just keep reading and you can find out more!!

Can You Use a Shimano Cassette with Sram Derailleur?

At a certain time, cyclists could easily combine transmission parts. But things became very different very soon. 

Especially when Shimano first brought out a revolutionary idea about gear shifts. That they would be indexed. 

As a result of that, very precise shifting was allowed by this system. But the compatibility of derailleurs & drivetrains with the shifters together played a significant role. Currently, as a general principle, it is not advised to mix-match group sets. 

But there are always some exceptional cases. And the pairing that involves mixing shimano cassette with Sram derailleur falls into that! But make sure to get right size cassette for sram derailleur.

Now you know that you can mix them. So, here I’ll introduce you to some of the best Shimano cassettes.

Wait! That’s not it. I’ve picked out some of the best SRAM derailleurs for you here as well.

Now, you know all of the best derailleurs and cassettes from SRAM and Shimano. 

Let’s try to find something really intriguing. Like, what makes cyclists mismatch Shimano cassette with SRAM derailleur? 

Why Do Cyclists Use Sram Derailleur with Shimano Cassette?

Will sram derailleur work with shimano cassette? Yes! This combo works wonderfully.

That is because right now Shimano and the Sram derailleurs can be found to have similar qualities. Let’s go have a look at these qualities!

Can You Use Shimano Cassette With Sram Derailleur?

Source: Bikerumor

Available in Same Speed Ranges

Firstly, they’re both available in 10-speed, 11-speed and 12-speed. 

And that definitely makes it more compatible than it normally would’ve been. So, is shimano cassette compatible with sram derailleur? Certainly! 

But now you must be wondering, can shimano 11-speed cassette work with sram derailleur? Will it require a sram derailleur 11 speed? Or will the sram derailleur 12 speed do? 

Well, to maintain compatibility, it’s best to stick with the same speed values. So, use an 11-speed cassette with an 11-speed derailleur. And a 12-speed cassette with a 12-speed derailleur. 

The same goes with the 10 speed cassette and derailleurs.

Have Similar Gear Range

Next, they both operate over the same range of gear. And to add to that, they even have the same number of cogs. 

With a similar range of gear, it will allow you to ride faster but smoothly. And they will also make climbing hills effortless!

External drivetrains involving the Shimano cassette and Sram derailleur combo can increase your bicycle’s efficiency. So if you use the ones with similar gear ranges, that should work perfectly!

Best Combination

The best shimano cassette and best sram derailleur for mismatching would be the Shimano XTR cassette. Of course with Sram GS AXS derailleur.

And if you’d like to install them for your bike, you can learn that in the next segment!

How to Use a Shimano Cassette with Sram Derailleur?

Now the final question. How can you use shimano cassette with sram derailleur? Well, you’ll need to gather some tools first to get you started!

Tools you’ll need:

Make sure to get one similar to that of your bike. This is because they come in two types, handle-like and cylindrical. 

How to Install Shimano Cassette?: 3 Simple Steps

In order to install shimano cassette, it’s important to get rid of the old cassette first. For this, you need to first get your lockring tool for shimano cassette removal. 

However, if you don’t have the specific lockring tool, then you’ll have to work with a freewheel. And additionally, you’ll also require a crescent wrench. 

Step 1: Positioning the Tools in Place

First, grab your chain whip and tighten it to your old cassette. Next, pull the skewer out and put the lockring removal tool right in. 

Angle your crescent wrench once you’re done adjusting it on the lockring tool. So, imagine your wheel is equivalent to a clock. And based on that theory, you’d want to angle it towards 10 on the clock.

Step 2: Removing the Old Cassette

Hold onto your tire, but ensure that it’s standing upright. After that, put some downward pressure on either the crescent wrench or the lockring tool. 

Can You Use Shimano Cassette With Sram Derailleur?

Source: YouTube

Remember that there are two things determining how tight your cassette is bound to its hub. For one, it is based on the extent you ride your bike. And secondly, how rough you go on your wheels when you do. 

So depending on that, you’ll have to put more or less pressure to loosen your cassette. And you can easily remove it now.

If you’re still confused, then check out this video about cassette removal-

Step 3: Installing the Shimano Cassette

Now, how to fit a shimano cassette

To fit a new cassette, first, grease the newly freehub. Next, synonymously line up all the splines with the cogs. 

Then place the lock ring in its place. And you tighten this simply with your hands. Finally, using the cassette lockring tool, tighten shimano cassette. And you’re good to go!

Check out the previously mentioned video to have a clear idea bout the installation process.

How to Install Sram Derailleur?: 4 Quick Steps

Before installing sram derailleur, you will need to take out the old chain and the previous derailleur. Then you can get on with the installation portion. 

Step 1: Removing the Chain

We’re gonna start by removing the chain first. For this, grab the chain break tool first. 

But if you can’t find that, just use the chain pliers instead. Then go ahead and detach the chain.

Can You Use Shimano Cassette With Sram Derailleur?

Source: Road Bike Action

Step 2: Checking the Condition of the Derailleur Hanger

Before carrying out the installation of a new derailleur, there are things you need to ensure first. Mainly the condition of the derailleur hanger.

  • It should have no marks from stress.
  • It should have undamaged threads.
  • It should look like it’s straight.

However, if any of the points above get unticked, that means your derailleur hanger is damaged. And your new derailleur will struggle to shift the way it is supposed to. 

So if you have a damaged derailleur hanger, get it replaced first!

On that note, I would suggest these hangers for you-

Step 3: Checking the Threads on the New Derailleur

Before fitting a sram derailleur, first, check your threads on the derailleur. Then confirm that those threads come with a type of thread locker.

But why is this important? This is to hold the threads in place and avoid them slipping out. It will also prevent the derailleur from getting loose when you ride your bike. 

Step 4: Installing the Sram Derailleur

Finally, from your set of Allen keys, pick out a 5 mm one. Then use that key to help mount the new Sram derailleur. 

While adjusting sram derailleur, be careful not to tighten it too hard. And now you’re all set! 

Just remember to clean your bicycle parts occasionally and you should be all set now!! 


Can Shimano shifters be used with Sram derailleurs?

No, you cannot use a Shimano shifter with a Sram derailleur. It will simply not work. This is caused by the two systems having different ratios in terms of shift activation. Additionally, they also have varying cable pulls. And that’s why this combo is just not viable. 

Is a road cassette compatible with a mountain bike?

Not all road cassettes are compatible with mountain bikes. However, Shimano and Sram road cassettes can both work with mountain bikes. This is because across the MTB and the road models of both brands, the splines of the hubs are completely similar.

What makes Shimano 12-speed drivetrains different from 11-speed drivetrains?

The space between the cogs in 12-speed drivetrains being narrower is what makes it different from 11-speed drivetrains. When switching gears, narrower space actually means faster shifting. That is because the derailleur won’t need to shift too far.


That’s all we had for shimano cassette with sram derailleur! I hope we succeeded in answering your questions, and rid you of any confusions!

Remember that when it comes to bikes, a higher cadence certainly increases the advantage!

Thanks for sticking with us right till the end!

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