I know that I can't run an 11 speed cassette (SRAM/Shimano) on a 10 speed freehub (Shimano). Regretting not getting Mavics instead of RS80's!

But does anyone know whether it's possible to run an 10 speed freehub and cassette, with 11 speed shifters and derailleurs?

I'm looking at a new 11 groupset (to provide an element of future proofing -  21 ), but want to be able to run a set of 10 speed wheels for the time being.



SpeshRider7287 [73 posts] 3 years ago

Unfortunately, although you could certainly fit a 10spd cassette and freehub along with 11 speed shifters and derailleurs to your bike, his would not work properly or safely.

This is because the 11 speed cassettes are a fraction wider and there's an extra cog to squash in. This means that the cogs have to be a little closer to each other for everything to fit in (hence why chain is narrower for 11spd) As a result, every shift would go a fraction further than it should each time you shift.. You may find 2 or 3 gears (best case scenario) where the chain sits in place but I wouldn't advise using this setup.

This is where Mavic and a few others have the win. That little 1mm spacer means they can fit 9, 10 or 11 speed cassettes on their wheels simply by leaving it on or removing it..

If you're considering going from a 10 spd group to 11 spd, buy the derailleurs, cranks etc. first as they can be used with 10 spd shifters.

Hope this helps,


chris masters [2 posts] 3 years ago

Thanks for the really helpful explanation.
While I realise that backwards compatibility is always a thorny issue, the current rate of change in the bike industry, coupled with the number of different standards and customized components that we're now seeing is making me very reluctant to open my wallet.
It's actually looking fairly academic at the moment anyway because as far as I can see none of the online discounting retailers have a Force or Ultegra group in stock in the config that I need. Looks like that my new build is going to have to go on hold for a while