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Compatibility [04] Rear derailleurs

This post explains bicycle rear derailleur compatibility, i.e. what derailleurs can work with which number of rear sprockets (cassettes) and which rear shifters. For explanation of other rear derailleur functioning and limitations, such as chain wrap capacity, read this article: Rear derailleur.

Before you start, to avoid any misunderstanding:
please take the 5 minutes needed to read the compatibility articles use instructions.

If you have any questions (or additions and corrections), please use the BikeGremlin forum’s compatibility section:

Table Of Contents (T.O.C.):

  1. Basic terms and what to pay attention to
  2. Shimano
  3. SRAM
  4. Campagnolo
  5. Rotor’s hydraulic derailleurs
  6. Table of rear shift ratios for various standards
  7. Problems preventing you from EVER tuning your derailleurs properly – video
  8. BikeGremlin’s comment – explanation

0. Basic terms and what to pay attention to

Most modern bicycles have index shifters, that work with a certain number of clicks. One click per gear change. That is moving the chain from one sprocket/chainring to another with each click.

In order for this to work, these things need to be in tune:

  • Length of cable that shifter pulls/releases with each click. This is called shifter cable pull.
  • Distance that rear derailleur (RD in the remainder of this text) moves laterally per 1 mm of cable movement. This is called rear shift ratio. E.g. if RD moves for 2 mm for 1 mm cable movement (pull or release), then the rear shift ratio is 2.
  • Rear sprocket spacing.

Not directly related to shifter-derailleur compatibility, but it is also crucial to use proper cables and housing. I wrote a post explaining shifter (and brake) cable and housing standards.

When RD compatibility is mentioned, it is all about it’s tune with the shifter cable pull and rear sprocket spacing. When it is all set up correctly, one click of the indexed shifter shifts exactly and correctly one gear (i.e. one sprocket) at the rear. Compatibility will be explained per number of gears and per manufacturer. If it is not noted otherwise, it is understood that shifter make and number of gears match the RD make and the actual number of rear sprockets. There are three major RD and shifter manufacturer standards (and at least one exotic – by Rotor):

  1. Shimano
  2. SRAM
  3. Campagnolo
  4. Rotor’s hydraulic derailleurs

– T.O.C. –

1. Shimano

6, 7, 8 and 9 speeds

Rear shift ratio is 1.7, that is for 1 mm of cable pull/release, RD is moved left/right by 1.7 mm. Shimano calls this 2:1 ratio for marketing reasons.

All these RDs are compatible and any 6 to 9 speed RD will work perfectly with either 6, 7, 8 or 9 speed shifter. Regardless whether it’s a MTB, or road shifter, or RD. They are also compatible with Shimano 10 speed road shifters, except the Tiagra 4700 series.

Shimano Dura Ace from 1984 to 1996 period (6 to 8 speeds)

Rear shift ratio is 1.9. They are compatible only with Shimano Dura Ace shifters from the same period (that is for 6, 7 and 8 speeds).

10 speed ROAD RD

Rear shift ratio is 1.7, so it’s compatible with all the 6 to 9 speed shifters, as well as road 10 speed shifters. Same rear shift ratio. MTB 10 (and 11 speed) shifters won’t work well.

Exception is Shimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed road RD – it has the same shift ratio as Shimano road 11 speed RDs, so it will work only with Tiagra 4700 shifters and Shimano 11 speed road shifters.

Another exception is the new “gravel” group (with hydraulic brakes): Shimano GRX. Caple pull wise it’s the same as Tiagra 4700.

10 speed MTB RD

Rear shift ratio of this RD is about 1.2. It is only compatible with Shimano 10 speed MTB shifters and nothing else. Shimano calls this system Dyna-Sys.

There are a few caveats here. See below, my comment on 10/11 Shimano MTB RDs.

11 speed ROAD

Rear shift ratio is around 1.4.  Only compatible with Shimano 11 speed road shifters.

The same shift ratio is used for Tiagra 4700 10 speed groupset, so it’s compatible with it as well, but not with other 10 speed road groupsets.

Rear shift ratio of 1.4 matches old Campagnolo ratio, but I haven’t tested this in practice.
Update: According to Peter’s feedback, it won’t work with Campagnolo.

11 speed MTB

Rear shift ratio is around 1.1. Compatible with Shimano MTB 11 speed shifters. Shimano calls this system Dyna-Sys, same as 10 speed MTB, but they’re not compatible! most current models are compatible and will work with Shimano MTB 10-speed RDs in practice.

It has similar rear shift ratio to SRAM 1:1 standard (explained later in this post), so it should match it as well, but I haven’t tried it yet!

11 and 12 speed MTB – Hyperglide+ (XTR M9100)

From summer of 2018 Shimano introduces a new Hyperglide+ 11 and 12 speed MTB standard. It comes with a new XTR M9100 rear derailleur, that only works with a matching shifter (which has an integrated 11, or 12 speed operation switch!) and Hyperglide+ 11 and 12 speed cassettes.

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– T.O.C. –


SRAM has four RD families, with 4 different amounts of RD movement per cable movement (actuation ratios). So the only thing to pay attention to is actuation ratio. As long as the RD matches shifter’s actuation ratio (and vice versa), it will work fine.

First, less popular family of SRAM RDs are the ones compatible with Shimano 2:1 standard. Rear shift ratio of 1.7 means they will work with Shimano (and SRAM 2:1) shifters for 6 to 9 speeds (both road and MTB) and road 10 speed ones, except Tiagra 4700 10 speed road shifters.
RDs made in this standard were marketed as 6, 7, 8 and 9 speed models, though this is determined by the shifter – RD doesn’t care how many rear sprockets there are.

Second, more popular SRAM standard is 1:1, with rear shifter ratio of 1.1. This shift ratio is the same as Shimano MTB 11 speed RD (and shifter), so they should be compatible, but I haven’t tested this yet.
RDs made in this standard were marketed as 7, 8 and 9 speed models.

Third, newer standard is Exact Actuation. Rear shifter ratio is 1.3.
Marketed as 10 speed road and MTB , as well as 11 speed road.

Fourth family is X-Actuation, with 1.12 ratio for 11 speeds, and 1.01 for 12 speeds.
Available as 11 and 12 speed MTB RDs 

EDIT: Based on this comment (on this very article) and provided links to SRAM’s website, Exact Actuation and 1:1 are the same thing. Will have to measure, check and confirm this.

– T.O.C. –

3. Campagnolo

Campagnolo has two standards of rear shift ratio. Old 1.4 and new 1.5. Also, not every shifter pulls the same amount of cable with each click. With 10 speed for example, there is more cable pull for “slower” speeds, than there is for the others.  2.5 mm pull five times (from smallest 1st to the 6th sprocket), 3 mm for 7th and 8th, then 3.5 mm for 9th and 10th. 2.83 mm average cable pull per click.  🙂

Apart from that, as of 2014 (don’t take my word for the exact year), campagnolo introduces another 11 speed standard. Previous Revolution 11 and the newest Revolution 11+. They are not compatible.

Since Campagnolo cassettes sprocket spacing differs from other manufacturers’, it is hard to combine Campagnolo RDs with anything but the appropriate Campagnolo shifters and in most cases cassettes too.

In 2018, Campagnolo introduced their own 12 speed standard – not compatible with any other.

– T.O.C. –

4. Rotor

Rotor’s hydraulic rear derailleurs are only compatible with their hydraulic shifters.

– T.O.C. –

5. Table of rear shift ratios for various standards

Shimano standard – 1.7SRAM 2:1 – 1.7Campagnolo old – 1.4
Shimano 10 MTB – 1.2SRAM 1:1 – 1.1Campagnolo new – 1.5
Shimano 11 road – 1.4
* Including Tiagra 4700 10 speed road
SRAM Exact Actuation – 1.3Campagnolo Revolution 11+ – N/A
Shimano 11 MTB – 1.1SRAM X-Actuation
11-speeds – 1.12
Shimano Dura Ace 6 to 8 speeds – 1.9 SRAM X-Actuation
12-speeds – 1.01

– T.O.C. –

6. Problems preventing you from EVER tuning your derailleurs properly – video

Problems preventing you from EVER tuning your derailleurs properly
Common derailleur tuning problems that often get overlooked

– T.O.C. –

7. BikeGremlin’s comment – explanation

This was originally posted as a reply to a comment, but there are almost 200 comments to this article now, so I’m moving it here:

Due explanation:

I had managed to get some things working OK, even though they don’t match looking by the manufacturer’s specs.

When it comes to specs, this is what Shimano says:
First they say (said) 9, 10 and 11 are all non-compatible with each other.
Now, on the very same page, they claim otherwise, under 10 speed rear drivetrain compatibility section.

Their Zee (RD-M640-SS), and Saint (RD-M820-SS) RDs are noted as 10 speed only.
While the Deore you noted does say 10/11 speeds.
To make things more interesting (and confusing), Deore 11 speed series has:
RD-M5100-SGS that says 1×11, and RD-M5120-SGS that says 1×10, 2×10, and 2×11.

My goal when writing this series of articles was to help myself, by having all the combos that work (in spite of the manufacturers’ specs. stating otherwise) in one place.
The no-go stuff was written down to help when mix-matching, to know what to rule out from the start.

A problem I face is, even when I make a combo from this no-go zone to work, I can’t say with enough certainty that it works on most bicycles.
Like here, when pairing an 11 speed MTB cassette with an 11 speed road groupset.
For me, it would take at least 5 more bikes, tried and (field) tested to be able to say: 11 speed MTB cassettes work with road 11 speed shifters & RDs, in spite of the obvious and measurable differences in pitch.

The above noted Shimano tech. and product specs. certainly don’t make things less confusing (at least for me).

Also, with so many what/ifs and gotchas (by Shimano), it seems the only thing to do is make a database driven app where you enter your shifter, and cassette models, to get a list of RDs that work with those.
Same goes for other combos (cassette, and RD to get a matching shifter model).

Because stating all the possible combos on one page would make it very, very long and almost unreadable (shifter models x cassettes x RD models… it grows exponentially for each new combo, even if only listing the combos that work).

Bottom line:
Combos that are noted here to work – do work, i.e. I’m yet to find a case when they don’t (poor tuning by the user/mechanic aside, of course).
Combos that are not noted to work – sometimes they work, more or less perfectly. If the differences are slight enough, it’s usually worth giving it a try (as we did with the MTB cassette and 11 speed road shifters, noted above).

Having said all this, I do try to keep this as correct and up-to-date as possible. So will add notes regarding 10/11 MTB RDs (and shifters) in the matching sections/articles. Even if not providing a definite answer.

Adi’s comment, regarding SRAM:

This too was originally a comment to this article, but now there are almost 200 comments, so it got “lost” and I’m copying it here:

SRAM Exact Actuation is actually 1:1 as stated by SRAM on their web site on almost all EA RD products.
Just a few examples:

MTB RD 9s,10s
MTB RD 10s

From one of their product description page…don’t remember exactly which one:


1:1 Actuation is superior by design. Every unit of cable you pull moves the derailleur the same amount. Actuation stays precise and fluid slogging through mud, bouncing off rocks, rutting through roots wherever you find yourself, whatever conditions you’re in. It’s dependable. Tolerant. Easiest to set up. Easiest to adjust. And, not coincidentally, the top choice of the top MTB riders. Got it? Good.

Exact Actuation™
When we launched our road technology from scratch we reapplied our MTB proven SRAM 1:1 actuation ratio (shifter cable travel : derailleur movement) for 10 speed rear shifting. EA helps to simplify/stabilize the uneasy act of balancing rear derailleur hanger design, tight cog spacing and exact cable tension. The result: the easiest index shifting system to set up and it stays that way.

I can’t find any 1.3 pull ratio SRAM RD…it seems that Exact Actuation is just some marketing BS for their medium / high end 1:1 RD (non eagle X-actuation).

Related post – Bicycle rear hub compatibility:

Compatibility of bicycle rear hubs - which can accept what kinds of sprockets (cassettes)
Compatibility of bicycle rear hubs – which can accept what kinds of “sprockets” (cassettes)

Compatibility posts are also available in eBook (printable and Kindle) and paperback editions on Amazon:

Bicycle drivetrain compatibility book
Bicycle drivetrain compatibility book

If you have any questions (or additions and corrections), please use the BikeGremlin forum’s compatibility section:

– T.O.C. –

189 thoughts on “Compatibility [04] Rear derailleurs”

  1. Thanks for great article. How about chain compatibility? Is a 10-speed RD compatible whith a 8-speed chain? Does the cage width and pulley wheel design differ between 8 and 10 speed or is it the same?. Thanks again for good work ☺

    • Since all the multi speed chains have the same inner (roller) width, special pulley design won’t know what kind of chain goes over the pulley wheels.

      As for cage width, differences aren’t enough to cause problems. Especially from 10 to 8 speeds. Haven’t tried a 6 speed chain with an 11 speed RD, but I doubt even that would cause problems.

    • You can run into problems between chain and cage widths, but you have to go real extreme, as passing 6 speed chains through newer 11 or 12- speed cages (e. g. Campagnolo 12 speed pulleys have a width of a mere 8.0 mm.).

    • I agree, Alberto: 6s chain with 12s derailleur cage might be too tight, though I’m not certain it won’t work with all cages, especially Shimano (up to) 11 speeds – would take some testing to confirm (outer width of 6 speed chains is below 8 mm). For example: 8 speed chains work perfectly fine with 10 speed derailleurs.

      It’s the inner cage width that could cause a problem, not the pulley width, believe that’s what you meant.

    • Hi, Relja.
      You’re right: I couldn’t find the cage inner width so I assumed it is quite the same that the pulley width as stated in official Campagnolo docs (unfortunately I have no access to a 12-speed rear derailleur to put it to test, only old-style friction gear and some Shimano 7-speed RD).
      Noticed that 12-speed pulleys are 8.0mm wide, but 11-speed ones are already 8.4mm, so plenty of extra room for a 6-speed chain, usually less than 8mm wide.
      May I ask if you are aware of some compatibility between pulleys of different makers, or at least where to find pulley width and pulley bolts diameter?

    • Alberto,

      Unfortunately, the only way to gather such info is by measuring personally and writing it down.
      I have not yet come to a problem with RD cage dragging the chain (unless damaged), so didn’t find the use of gathering such info. Having said that: never tested 6 speed chains with 11, or 12 speed RDs.
      In fact: thanks to the poor living standard in my country, I’ve only ever seen 12 speed stuff in the pictures. 🙂

    • “… more popular SRAM standard is 1:1, with rear shifter ratio of 1.1.”
      If it’s 1:1, shouldn’t the ratio be 1.0?

  2. @fhfr436
    It makes perfect sense technically to call it what it is, but SRAM’s marketing department obviously didn’t think that is a good idea. 🙂

  3. This article implies that only Campagnolo has variable cable pulled per shift, when this is actually true for everything that I’ve taken the time to measure. The shift ratio is derived from the average cable-pull per shift, not the individual measurements.

    If you look at the appropriate wikibooks page where those variables are listed, I think I posted the individual pull measurements I’ve taken in the comments/edits-log.

    • Thank you for posting this. Any corrections are more than welcome. I’d check the data, re-measure and correct the info after it’s confirmed.

      In terms of compatibility, with other brands (Shimano and SRAM) using a different speed count shifter than derailleur (8 speed shifter with a 9 speed RD, or vice-versa, for example) works fine, as long as the RD pull ratio is the same and matches the shifter’s “original” (intended matching) RD pull ratio.

      From my measurements, the amount of cable pulled by the shifter is the same for each click, or at least not an easily measured difference.

      What are your measurement results (and which systems have you measured)? Have you measured cable directly as it exits the shifter, so any housing play, or RD limit screws don’t affect the measurement?

      Also, if you have any relevant links confirming otherwise, I’d be happy to include them in the article(s). I’ve sent you the direct e-mail, in case the reply gets completely blocked by the spam-filter (it usually notifies me to double check relevant comments from spam, but just in case – links in a comment are “spam-red-flags” for the filters).

  4. Thanks for the great article.
    I want to ask about mixing RD with cassette,
    Will 11 speed Shimano 105 5800 rear derailleur work with 10 speed Shimano Tiagra HG 500 11-32 cassette?
    Thank you.

    • As long as a compatible 10 speed shifter is used – in case of 105 5800, it would need Tiagra 4700 shifter to work with a 10 speed cassette.

      Shimano claims the short cage (SS) 105 derailleur won’t take more than 28 teeth, so you’d need a medium cage one (GS). However, I’ve had good results with short cage ones for up to 34 tooth cassettes – though this depends on RD attachment position. Also, a thing to watch out for is chain wrap capacity. If you have a triple, or “compact double” cranks, short cage won’t be able to take up all the slack chain when using small-small (front and rear) chainring combinations.

  5. This is a great article, but, the Tiagra 10-speed compatibility is still confusing for me. My wife’s bike has Tiagra 10 speed shifters, cassette, and derailleur. I wanted to change the derailleur out to an XT/XTR in order to accommodate a larger cassette. On my Ultegra 10 speed I used a 9-speed XTR which has worked fine. If I understand this article correctly it seems that the Tiagra shifter is not going to work with a 9 speed XT/XTR of which I have another one available. What would be the compatible XT/XTR derailleur for the Tiagra 10 spd shifter?

  6. For all I know, Tiagra 10 speed (4700 model) will work with the 4700 rear derailleur (of course) and with Shimano road 11 speed rear derailleurs.

    In my opinion and experience, It works better (more precise) than the old 10 speed stuff (including Ultegra and Dura Ace). But it is not compatible with any MTB and older road rear derailleurs.

    The upside is that chain wrap capacity and largest rear sprocket the new RDs can take is very close to those of older MTB ones – so one can use a MTB cassette with them, if lower gearing is needed.

    • Thanks – upon further inspection of the small print I realize it is a 4600 derailleur which should be compatible with the 9 speed XTR derailleur if I read all this correctly. Thanks-you!

  7. Does the new Sora R3000 (which is 9 speed) have any compatibility “gotchas” one should know about? Thanks! Great article!

  8. Wouldn’t you mind add cable pull for Tiagra 4700 derailleur, which *should* be about 1.55? (Derived from 11 speed road pull 1.4, multiplied by 10/9 as there is 9 clicks instead of 10.)

    • Tiagra 4700 Rear Derailleur has exactly the same cable pull ratio as Shimano 11 speed road rear derailleurs, which is 1.4.

  9. Not sure I understand the compatibility so here goes: 1-handed rider (right hand). Standard fitment 11-speed right/rear 105 setup uses Shimano SL-RS700 shifter. Already swapped Shimano left/front for upside-down SRAM 2×11 GX GripShift. Works well. Converting brakes to SRAM TL to mount levers under-over on RH of bar, inboard of GripShifter.
    Question please for the experts out there: If I want to use a SRAM 11x thumb shifter (say GX or XX1) to replace the Shimano RS700 shifter (to use the MatchMaker facility for it on one of the SRAM TL brake lever clamps), would the shifter cable pull be correct for the Shimano 105 rear cassette (Shimano CS-HG700-11, 11×34)? Any help very much appreciated.

    • Sram 11 speed GX and XX1 shifters have X-actuation cable pull.

      That is 3.48 mm of cable pulled/released with each click.

      Shimano 11 speed road cassette has sprockets spaced at 3.74

      For that to work, RD movement ratio (name it M) would need to be:

      3.48 times M should equal 3.74

      M = 3.74 / 3.48 = 1.075

      Shimano 105 11 speed road RD movement ratio is 1.4.

      SRAM and Shimano 11 speed MTB RD movement ratio is 1.1.

      So that is a bit off, but closer. I tried the reverse: using road shifters and RDs on a MTB cassette – and it worked. Haven’t tried the other way round.

      Anyway, the safe, 1:1 aligned choice would be to swap both the RD for a SRAM X-Actuation one. And get an 11 speed MTB cassette (either SRAM, or Shimano).

  10. Relja,
    I truly value this most helpful response which makes total sense and I understand. Thank you too for the suggestion about swapping the RD & cassette. Once I’ve settled on final positioning of the brake levers & bled the systems I’ll get started on the back end & shifter.

  11. Thanks! How bout for the sora FD? is it compatible w/ Alivio front shifters?

    • MTB and road FDs generally aren’t a 1-1 match. In practice, it depends on your riding conditions, your preferences and criteria. While it might not work just perfectly, shift as fast and as accurately as possible, I’ve had quite satisfying results mix-matching those. This especially goes for double (as in not-triple) chainring cranks. There, FD movement has 2 basic positions, that can be limited using the limit screws. So it’s easier to set it up to works satisfactory.

  12. Thanks, was thinking of converting my road bike w/ drop bars to flat bar, I have a Sora 9 speed at rear and triple crankset w/ Sora FD at front, just want to know if Alivio shifters would be compatible as front & rear shifters.

  13. My Mt bike was 10 speed XT shim shifter with 11 speed XTR RD. So how did that work when the 10s pull is 1.2 and the 11s 1.1? All I did was a straight swap between 10s RD and 11s R.

    • I can only guess it is close enough to not cause problems – while shifting might not be perfectly fast and precise, it is, apparently, good enough. Here’s a video of another miss-match that works OK in practice:

      Which components are you using now (rear shifter, RD, cassette and the chain)?

  14. this is amazing. best article ive read on the issue. straight to the point. thank you so much

  15. I have a RD SRAM APEX exact actuation with Sram apex 1x brifter.
    Now, I want to change my setup into flatbar. What shifter i need to, if with :
    1. 10 speed cassette
    2. 11 speed cassette

    *hard to find sram apex 1x shifter in my place.

    • 1. SRAM Exact Actuation 10 speed shifter should work, either MTB or Road type.
      2. Same as 1, except the shifter must be 11 speed. The problem with that, however, is that I don’t know of any SRAM Exact Actuation 11 speed MTB shifters – only road.

    • Yes, and it’s all compatible with 11 speed road derailleurs as well.

      Old 10 speed cable pull, even for road (i.e. not muddy) riding conditions just wasn’t precise enough, too little cable pulled per shift.

      With MTB 10 speed they went for more cable pull right away (though not the same ratio as for road and this new gravel groupsets).

  16. SRAM Exact Actuation is actually 1:1 as stated by SRAM on their web site on almost all EA RD products.
    Just a few examples:

    MTB RD 9s,10s
    MTB RD 10s
    ROAD RD 10s
    ROAD RD 11s

    From one of their product description page…don’t remember exactly which one:


    1:1 Actuation is superior by design. Every unit of cable you pull moves the derailleur the same amount. Actuation stays precise and fluid slogging through mud, bouncing off rocks, rutting through roots wherever you find yourself, whatever conditions you’re in. It’s dependable. Tolerant. Easiest to set up. Easiest to adjust. And, not coincidentally, the top choice of the top MTB riders. Got it? Good.

    Exact Actuation™
    When we launched our road technology from scratch we reapplied our MTB proven SRAM 1:1 actuation ratio (shifter cable travel : derailleur movement) for 10 speed rear shifting. EA helps to simplify/stabilize the uneasy act of balancing rear derailleur hanger design, tight cog spacing and exact cable tension. The result: the easiest index shifting system to set up and it stays that way.

    I can’t find any 1.3 pull ratio SRAM RD…it seems that Exact Actuation is just some marketing BS for their medium / high end 1:1 RD (non eagle X-actuation)

    • Looks that way from those links. The problem is the exact actuation (pun not intended) ratio numbers have always been very hard for me to find – goes for Shimano and Campagnolo as well.
      Thank you for taking the time and pointing this out.
      I will measure to confirm the next time I get a hold of SRAM groupset (pretty exotic commodity in Serbia, Shimano is 99.9 % of the available and used equipment).

    • I’m running an x7 9 speed trigger shifter, that should be 1:1, with an x9 10 speed which should be Exact Actuation, both according to what I found on the product info and confirmed in your writings.

      I recently found out that I was accidentally (yeah I know, dumdum) using an 8 speed cassette after the derailleur got caught in my spokes. Had to replace the mech with a non clutched variant.
      Just yesterday I installed a 9 speed cassette hoping to maximise the payoff for this sweet setup, but alas.

      I’m only hitting 7 out of 9 gears, and if I could add an extra two cogs onto the casette, I could probably hit those too….

      So what I’m really saying is, my experience is telling me that 1:1 and Exact Actuation are not the same at all

  17. Regarding SRAM EA pull ratio (and EA shifters cable pull):

    some simple math:
    pull ratio x shifter pull = cassette pitch

    SRAM 10s MTB EA
    1.3 x 3.1 = 4.03
    1.1 x 3.1 = 3.41
    should be 3.95, so both 1.3 and 1.1 pull ratio are wrong or (most likely) your shifter cable pull data is wrong

    SRAM 11s Road EA
    1.3 x 3.1 = 4.03
    1.1 x 3.1 = 3.41
    should be 3.74

    And ,by the way ….(as you can notice) you just CAN’T HAVE same RD pull ratio AND shifter cable pull for different pitch casette

    my best guess is both have 1.1 pull ratio and your shifter cable pull data is wrong

    3.95 : 1.1 = 3.591 (3.6 must be the correct EA 10s MTB shifter cable pull )
    PS: can be tested with a shimano 10S MTB shifter (3.6 cable pull) and the 10s EA SRAM RD

    3.74 : 1.1 = 3.4 ( 3.4 must be the correct EA 11s ROAD shifter cable pull)
    PS: can be tested with a shimano 11S MTB shifter (3.4 cable pull) and the 11s EA SRAM RD

    What do you think ?

    • Derailleur movement ratio per 1 mm of cable pull is one set variable.
      Shifter is designed to match that, based on the cassette pitch.
      I believe it is (implicitly, if no other way) explained in the articles on shifter and derailleur compatibility.

      With known either derailleur movement ratio, or shifter’s cable pull per click (preferably measured across 5 or more clicks to minimize measurement errors), and cassette’s pitch, the other can be calculated (shifter’s cable pull per click, or derailleur movement ratio).

      To make things more interesting, even when using manufacturer’s data (when available), when added to the formula, doesn’t align 100% (perhaps intentionally, since top and low derailleur position is limited by limit screws, not sure).

      So, for me at least, the safest method is to double check using some samples.
      Which I will do the first time I get a hold of SRAM groupset again.

      With a few notes:
      – Derailleur has movement ratio (relative to cable movement), while shifters have cable pull (per shift). That is how I would define it to avoid confusion (it’s complicated enough already 🙂 ).
      – The figures for cable pull and RD movement ratio are rounded in most instances.

      The latter note still doesn’t get close enough to work with both 10 and 11 speed. It is an obvious mistake.
      I’ll have to take the time and double check the data definitely – well noticed and noted. The mistake is most probably with SRAM Exact Actuation road shifter cable pull. Still, as I like to say “one good measurement is better than a 1000 expert opinions”, this calls for re-measuring to check and confirm.

      P.S. This kind of feedback is invaluable – in order to make all the info as accurate as possible. Thank you very much for taking the time and pointing it out.

  18. Keep in mind that shifters cable pull measurement can only be used to approximate with a rather large error and is only ok just for having an idea about it, because the err % is huge at that small dimension (unless you have extremely high end tools for measurement with very very good calibration )

    I have 1×12 sram eagle on my both MTBs (one HT and one FS) so i`v been extremely interested in SHIMANO – SRAM 12 speed cross compatibility. I spent ALLOT of time googling, reading forums , watching YT movies about hybrid setups etc.

    No official data from SHIMANO 🙁 . But lets take a look at the new 12speed SHIMANO. They should be pretty close to SRAM Eagle as ANY combination of casette + RD + shifter (SRAM+SHIMANO) seems to work ( some better than other, but all combination are usable)

    When using SRAM casette and SHIMANO RD and shifter the only dimension that maters is the cassette pitch.

    The only thing that seems to be generally accepted is the shimano 12 speed cassette pitch: 3.55 (a full 0.1mm lower than SRAM Eagle’s 3.65 pitch ).That explain why a shimano 12 speed RD + SHIMANO shifter perfectly aligned on center of a 12 speed SRAM Eagle cassette seems to not shift perfectly on cassette ends ( there will be an misalignment of about 0.5mm on both ends….but still seems to work well enough for most ppl )

    But when combining SRAM shifter with SHIMANO RD or when combining SHIMANO RD and SRAM shifter and it still work the things become more interesting. That means SHIMANO numbers must be verry close to SRAM (most likely both a bit smaller because of cassette pitch being a bit smaller)

    I`v seen quite a few measurements for the SHIMANO 12 speed shifter cable pull and the errors seems to be kinda big…ranging from less than 3mm to more than 3.5mm, but seems that most people are closer to 3.20-3.25 (pretty close to SRAM 3.26)

    pitch / shifter pull = RD pull ratio
    3.55 / 3.20 = 1.11
    3.55 / 3.23 = 1.1
    3.55 / 3.25 = 1.09

    HERE IS WHERE I REALLY WANTED TO GET when I start writing this post: See how much the RD pull ratio error is ? for only a 0.05mm error in shifter cable pull measurement there is a 0.02 difference in the RD pull ratio (as big as the the difference from 1:1(1.1) to X-Aactuation(1.12))

    lets use some of the values: 1.1 and 1.11 RD pull ratio and 3.23 and 3.2 shifter cable pull for SHIMANO 12 speed

    SRAM shifter + SHIMANO RD and SHIMANO shifter + SRAM RD seems to working abysmally better with a SRAM cassette than pure SHIMANO RD + SHIMANO shifter with same SRAM casette

    possible SHIMANO 12 RD + SRAM eagle shifter ( RD pull ratio * shifter cable pull = cassette pitch )
    1.1 * 3.26 = 3.586
    1.11 * 3.26 = 3.62

    SRAM eagle RD + possible SHIMANO 12 shifter ( RD pull ratio * shifter cable pull = cassette pitch )
    1.12 * 3.23 = 3.6176
    1.12 * 3.20 = 3.584

    All values are bigger than 3.55 and closer to SRAM cassette pitch (3.65) so ALL OF THEM MAKE SENSE , DIFFERENCES ARE SO SMALL THAT we have no idea which MEASUREMENTS are closer to the REAL THING, but we already made too many assumptions, used to many bogus measured and approximated data, and then used some logic to round it the way it will make sense for the facts we observed in practice.

    I MEAN IF WE MEASURE A 3.23mm SHIMANO 12 speed shifter cable pull, IN REALITY IT CAN ACTUALLY BE BOTH 3.20 OR 3.25

    I do hope we will find soon some “official” SHIMANO data for their 12 speed RD pull ratio and shifter cable pull ( and maybe a confirmation of 3.55 cassette pitch) , so people can better understand and tune the hybrid setups.

    PS: in previous posts I used ” x ” instead of ” * ” for multiplication and ” : ” instead of ” / ” for division

    • For me, since I’m not planning to manufacture any shifters, or derailleurs, rounded up/down numbers are fine, since it’s easier to logically compare. As long as the same value is used always for the same system.

      I have used manufacturer stats and published literature (Leonard Zinn’s to note one) to cross-check and compare. However, as far as manufacturers are concerned, of course, compatibility is usually restricted to using their complete groupsets from the same generation, most of the time (from what I could gather).

      And, just to make things even more interesting, take a look at this, a combo that “shouldn’t work”, but has been working perfectly fine for months now: 🙂

      It is my personal impression that it’s all marketing, with very little engineering – manufacturers are fighting among each other and, at the same time, trying to practically “force” people into buying new stuff. Taking my city (flat, like Amsterdam) for example, most people are served perfectly fine with 1×6 friction shifting drivetrains. Yet I have to source 2nd hand Shimano friction shifters, since they aren’t making/selling any new ones. Works in the summer, works in the winter – works always. With next to zero worrying about maintenance. While the newly made systems are all (at least “officially”, “on paper” incompatible with other systems, even from the same manufacturer).

      For one example: while SRAM’s 1:1 (1.1 RD movement ratio) is a great improvement – making shifter cable less susceptible to any housing/cable imperfections (with a lot more cable pulled per shift), the X-Actuation 1.12 is just nonsense in my opinion – should have been made to fit the 1:1 standard, if it wasn’t for marketing and pushing people to buy new stuff.

      Same goes for Shimano, with the 10 speed MTB going for 1.2 RD movement ratio, instead of at least trying to be compatible with SRAM.

      It’s a disservice to the customers, mechanics, even ecology – making it harder to combine and re-use older stuff.

      They are all (not just Shimano and SRAM) either silly, trying to “re-invent the wheel”, or (more likely in my opinion) trying to sell new, “revolutionary” equipment at all costs. Can’t say I blame them – they have to make a living. Just calling it out for what it is – excellent marketing, not excellent engineering.

      P.S. The main use for all the compatibility pages is to help me with mix-matching, for myself and the customers. Writing down combinations that have worked and having easy to compare reference charts. Still, I think it’s outright silly that it is that way in the industry, without a commonly used standard. Same goes for headset bearings, bottom brackets, through axles – needlessly many different standards (better named “standards”).


    I have already seen your YT video, kinda surprising …if you used the 11 speed road RD and shifter without any “hacks” ( like altered RD cable attachment point to increase the RD pull ratios) and not altering the 11speed MTB cassette in any way (like using few narrower spacers from the road cassette for the smaller cogs for example ) you should have a full 1.6mm wider cassette space to cover. With the RD perfectly aligned on cog number 6 there will be an misalignment of about 0.8mm on both ends, which is actually bigger than 0.5mm misalignment of 12 speed Shimano RD+ Shimano shifter on SRAM Eagle cassette. Counting that 11 speed chain is 0.37mm wider than 12 speed chain, this it may also help allot with the shifting to bigger cogs by better engaging the “glide” gates machined onto the outer cog surface.

    Great to know that still works 😀

    • Worked straight “out of the box” – to both the bike owner’s and my surprise.
      The only “trick” used was derailleur hanger extension (Chinese copy of Wolf Tooth), to make the road derailleur fit an MTB cassette.
      Chain inner widths are not that much different – so I have no idea why it works, it shouldn’t! 🙂

  20. Hi,
    One big doubt: What is the shift ratio for the trekking XT derailleur RD-T8000 SGS ? Is 1,2 or 1,7?

  21. Wow this post is amazing.

    I’m switching my SRAM 1×11 drop bar setup to horizontal bars. I have a SRAM Rival 11 speed RD – Exact Actuation. I bought the SRAM GX 11 speed shifter (X-Actuation) before reading this article. I have been having trouble setting this up, and this is why!

    Is there a horizontal bar shifter that will work with my SRAM Rival RD? I’m tempted to buy a Shimano 11 speed MTB shifter based on your conversation with Adi T above. Do you think this might work?

    Thank you so much!

    • Thank you for the kind words. The post (as most other on the website) is primarily intended to help me keep track of all the catches and gotchas of the cycling industry and mechanics. But all the others are welcome, to both use it and add suggestions, corrections, additions…

      For your setup, it boils down to RD and shifter having matching cable pulls / cable pull ratios.
      So it’s either X-Actuation shifter and RD, or Exact Actuation shifter and RD.

      Note: Adi T’s noticing SRAM’s claim (on previous comments page) that 1:1 and Exact Actuation are the same seems viable, but I haven’t confirmed that yet, so can’t claim that too will work (Exact Actuation and 1:1 combo of shifter-derailleur).

      So, in your position, I’d see the local shops and/or google and swap whichever is easier to find (or cheaper) – either getting a shifter that matches RD’s cable pull ration, or get a new RD that is compatible with the shifter.

      An additional “trick” is that 11 speed MTB and road cassettes aren’t compatible. So, if changing the RD to match the 11 Speed X-actuation MTB shifter, should not work perfectly. The tested combo that did work, to my surprise, is Shimano’s. Haven’t tried that with SRAM. You could give it a go, but don’t be amazed if you end up needing to replace the cassette as well (and add a spacer before mounting the cassette, since 11 speed road cassette freehub is a bit wider than needed for 11 speed MTB cassettes). Explained that (spacer) part here:

  22. Hi Relja

    Fabulous site. Wonderfully clear and precise. I have a question which I hope would be easy for you to answer but which I cannot solve (not a bike mechanic or indeed a mechanic of any sort!).

    I have a 1×11 Dolan gravel bike with a 170 Force1 bb30 42t x-sync crank set, rear derailleur Force1 long cage type 3.0 and a 11-42 11-speed (11-42) cassette. These are linked to SRAM Force 22 mechanical shifters.

    The question is relating to the rear cable. On my bike, for the cable not to be overly acutely angled, I have a large loop extending behind the frame. This is not normally an issue but when I pack the bike to travel (about twice a month) I must either bend the cable sharply or remove the front forks to fit it into my case. None of my other bikes require this.

    This is not ideal, for obvious reasons.

    The SRAM 22 shifters have 1:1 Exact Actuation (I understand from my reading) but most of the SRAM RDs I’ve seen have either a 10sp description or have an X-actuation description which seems to be different. As I feel that the cable loop issue is related to the position of the cable entry point on the derailleur, I wonder if I can use any of the other derailleurs which have either a pulley offset or some other attachment point which would not require the loop to avoid cable pinching. Ideally I do not want to change any of the other equipment fitted to the bike. The choices seem to be extensive across both road and mtb and thus confusing!

    Any guidance is gratefully received.

    • Sram Force 22 are Exact Actuation shifters, so in order to not have to change them as well, you need an Exact Actuation rear derailleur.
      It can be a 10 speed one, that’s not a problem, as long as the cable pull ratio is the same (i.e. Exact Actuation).

      According to the comment of Adi T, on this comments page:
      it seems that a 1:1 derailleur could also be used, but I haven’t checked, nor confirmed that yet.

      Another “angle” to look at and try to find a solution is to take a look at the cable routing article:

      The main takeaway from it is that large loops and avoiding acute angles is not always the best, definitely not the only, nor obligatory way to route cables.

  23. Thank you for this page !
    I’ve found very interesting and I’m looking forward to knowing all the movement ratios, cable pull etc. in order to choose components independently of what manufacturers would want us to do 🙂

    I have no measure, but I can confirm that a road 11s Exact Actuation shifter (Apex flatbar) works OK with a “10s” EA MTB RD. I’ve done this on 2 bikes, one with a 11-40 HG 11s cassette (and GX 2×10 RD), and the other with a 10-42 XD 11s one (and X7 2×10 RD).
    I just thought that “exact actuation” components were compatible, but it looks that I’ve mistakenly forgotten to take into account different pitches for 11s road and MTB cassettes ?

    • It can get a bit complicated, that’s for sure. The easiest way for me to comprehend it all is dividing into “logical groups” to put it that way.

      Cassette is the most “stupid” component in the whole drivetrain “stack”. It has a number of sprockets and the pitch (distance at which they are lined up relative to each other).

      Derailleurs are a little bit “smarter”. Their job is to move left-right when the control cable is pulled-released. The only thing they need to “worry” about is by which amount they will move per (1 mm of) cable pull-release. However, the number of speeds printed on the derailleur is more a marketing thing (to put it simplified, without going into fine details that don’t make much of a difference anyway). Since the number of speeds is not something derailleur needs to “think” about. Hence we come to the next link in the drivetrain chain (pun not intended 🙂 ):

      Indexed shifter. The “brains” of the whole operation. It has a bit more complicated job. It needs to pull-release an exactly pre-defined amount of cable per each “click” (shift) to make sure that the derailleur (with its pre-defined movement ratio per 1 mm of cable travel) moves exactly the same amount, to match the cassette’s pitch.

      So both the cassette pitch, cassette number of cogs and the derailleur movement ratio are what shifter needs to “have in mind” when doing its job (pulling/releasing the shifter cable).

      10 speed road and MTB cassettes, for example, have the same pitch. As long as the shifter is a 10 speed one, it only needs to match the (rear) derailleurs movement ratio and one single pitch and number of cogs.
      With 11 speed cassettes, on the other hand, since MTB and road ones have (very slightly) different pitch, in addition to matching the RD movement ratio and the number of cogs, shifter also needs to “know” whether it’s working with road, or a MTB cassette.

      This is why 11 speed ExactActuation road and MTB shifters don’t pull/release the same amount of cable per shift.

      Having said all this, the difference in 11 speed MTB and road cassette pitch is not very large. Tested with a Shimano drivetrain, 11 speed road shifter and RD combo worked fine with an 11 speed MTB cassette (to my surprise). Haven’t tested this with SRAM though.

  24. Thanks for that 🙂
    Yeah, I knew that the “number of speeds” of a derailleur had no technical meaning, it was just marketing. Hence my builds with 11s shifter and so-called “10s” RD’s.
    And I also have two other “Frankensteins” : 1st with a Dura-Ace “10s” road RD & 9s SRAM Plasma twister “2:1” and the 2nd with a Gevenalle 10s CX shifter & 9s Hone RD.
    I had heard of many builds with 11s MTB cassettes plus road shifter/RD, so I didn’t even considered that the cogs were not spaced the same distance. My bad 🙁 But it works OK !

    So that would be so great if 3 tables with data for Cassettes pitches / shifter cable pull / RD ratio could be set up. I know it’s hard work because manufacturers don’t want that their nebulous marketing argumentation could be scratched and reduced in so simple figures 😉

    • Yes, that’s clear since you had mentioned the “Frankenstein” (like that 🙂 ) builds. The answer was made “more thoroughly” then necessary for two reasons:

      1) In case anyone else with a similar dilemma, but less experience, reads it.

      2) For my own reference, since I think, as you have suggested, that an article that explains how all that stuff works together, but in a simplified way, needs to be added (still not sure how to put it to not miss anything important, but still not be too complicated).

      I’m happy to hear that MTB-road cassette swap works with SRAM as well. 🙂

      The suggestion you made is great by the way. Thank you.

      For now, I have made tables with all the data (cassette pitch, shifter cable pull etc.) – each post in this Compatibility section has the relevant table.

      Combining it all in one table would not look too nice on most screens, but I could make a separate article that has all the tables/charts in one place.

      I could start with 3 tables:
      – Cassette pitch
      – RD movement ratio
      – shifter cable pull

      All one below the other.

      Then add the rest of the tables (chain width comes to mind first).

      How does that idea sound?

  25. I don’t know exactly how to show that as simple as possible…
    Maybe a table with Shifers standards listed horizontally (or vertically) and RD standards listed vertically (or horizontally), and in the matrix, showing the calculated pitches and the possible matching cassettes standards ? (with colours, for instance to distinguish “official” compatibility and other degrees of compatibility)

    • That sounds like a perfect candidate for a small database. To pick shifter and derailleur options from a drop-down list, then it would show the closest matching cassettes.
      But there is a problem there, most of my data is rounded (up/down) to make it easier to see and refer to.

      Table would have to be nicely designed and thought of.

      Anyway, this is added to my (rather long 🙁 ) to-do list.

  26. this article and #7 rear shifter gave me the courage to mix the following:
    SRAM X0 9s shifter
    Taiwan 11-46T 9s cog
    shimano deore 10s RD with clutch

    worked like a charm

  27. Just wondering, to make use of my very light SRAM X0 9s RD with a 12-36T 9s cog hanging around, can I use a shimano 11-speed rear shifter? it will be for a weight weenie bike build.

  28. Shimano MTB 11 speed RDs have the same movement ratio as SRAM 1:1 (according to my information).
    Hence, I would expect a Shimano 11 Speed MTB shifter to work with SRAM 1:1 RD on a Shimano 11 speed MTB cassette. Though I haven’t tested this yet.

    However, on a 9 speed cassette, it should not work. Since you’d practically be using an 11 speed shifter with a 9 speed cassette. I.e: derailleur movement ratio should be close enough, but the shifter is “all wrong”.

    Shifer’s cable pull per click should move the derailleur to match the cassette’s pitch (cog spacing).

    So the formula is:
    – Shifter’s cable pull per click – call it P
    – RD’s movement ratio – call it D
    – Cog spacing – call it C

    P*D = C

    Or whichever way you want to mathematically transform it (depending on what’s known). For example:

    D = C / P, or
    P = C / D

    To make things more complicated, most of my info is rounded to one, maximally two decimals – for easier noting which ones are the same. However, when using the rounded up/down figures, the results don’t match exactly. While not even I can now tell (from the calculation alone) whether the mismatch is because a combo is incompatible, or because of the number rounding.

    But it is not all black! 🙂
    I have listed for each standard what it is compatible with. Most of the noted compatible combos have been tested (when that is not the case, I explicitly note it – as is the case with the beginning of this comment).

    • woah.. thanks for the elaborate reply and explanation.
      It is all clear to me now. .
      If i have same pull ratio rear shifter and rear derailleur (RD):
      rear shifter count = cog count, with RD capacity >= cog count, thats why my set-up work.

      The SRAM X0 9s shifter + Taiwan 11-46T 9s cog + shimano deore 10s RD with clutch.

      Guess i found a $10 solution for my spare SRAM X0 9s RD and 12-36T 9s cog. I found a Taiwan brand “LTWOO”, that has 9 speed rear shifter model “A5” with 1:1 pull ratio.

  29. Ah ha!

    > Is there a horizontal bar shifter that will work with my SRAM Rival RD
    For posterity sake…there is! I didn’t realize the SRAM Apex shifter was different than the SRAM GX shifter. SRAM Apex 11 speed is Exact-Actuation!

    It works with my SRAM Rival RD, yeehaw!

  30. If this statement is true: “Exception is Shimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed road RD – it has the same shift ratio as Shimano road 11 speed RDs, so it will work only with Tiagra 4700 shifters and Shimano 11 speed road shifters.”

    Then would you also safely assume that Tiagra 4700 shifters will work with an 11 Speed Shimano Road Rear Derailleur? Specifically looking at the R8000 RD – GS model. Thanks!

    • Yes. To avoid any misunderstanding – for Tiagra 4700 rear shifters to work properly, you need:

      1) A 10 speed cassette – they generally won’t index properly with 9, or 11 speed ones.

      2) An appropriate matching rear derailleur. Either Tiagra 4700, or a Shimano road 11 speed derailleur. They have matching movement ratios.

      So yes, R8000 (Ultegra, 11 speed) should work fine, as it is a Shimano 11 speed road derailleur.

      It all boils down to matching the RD movement ratio that a shifter has been designed for, as well as matching the cassette cog pitch that the indexed shifter was designed for. Mismatching either one will cause poor performance.
      With one theoretical exception: if both cassette cog pitch and RD movement ratio are misaligned in a way to match what’s being used, it could work fine.
      That is: Shifter cable pull times RD movement ration must match the pitch of the cassette being used. For many users, getting the match close enough (not 100% exact) gets the system to work acceptably well (for their use).

  31. Hi Relja
    Thank you for great article.

    I have 2007 specialized epic 3×9 model. quite old 26in MTB
    Trying to change 1×9 by using with 11-50T chinese cassete.
    Still using SRAM X7 shifter and X9 RD. it’s required to use hanger extender.

    I can imagine it would be misery situation, when its changing on high gear due to gap becomes wider, and also increased risk the long-gauge extended down will hit the stone… So I am wondering to know whether it works 11 or 12 speed RD(50 cog capacity) with using exist 9s shifter and chinese 9s large cassette.

    On your article per my understanding, it’s said that Shimano MTB 11s RD like deore or SLX/XT serires (M8000/7000/5100) should be compatible with SRAM standard 1:1 (x7,x9,x0 etc..).

    So does it work on this combination?
    1. SRAM X7 shifter + chinese 9s 11-50T cassete + Deore M5100 (or 11s 2018 XT RD)

    addition, I have little doubet to use folowing combination…
    2. SRAM X7 shifter + chinese 9s 11-50T cassete + SRAM NX Eagle RD(12s)

    This poses a challenge for gradual component upgrade (27.5in wheels with hubs, 12s XD Hub or MSpline or 11s FreeHub and 11s or 12s cassette and shifter corresponds to its) and investment in the future.

    • Hi, what i used is deore m6000 the 10s and a SRAM x0 9 speed 1:1 on a China 9 speed 11-50T cog.

    • 1. should work – but, I haven’t tested it personally.
      As @PJ Sinohin said – he tested with a 10 speed MTB RD (if I understand correctly) – 11 speed MTB have cable pull that is even closer to that of SRAM 1:1, so, again, I would expect it to work.

      2. NX Eagle uses X-actuation, which is quite close to 1:1 – it could work.

      3. Third option/opinion:
      2x and “even” 3x drivetrains are quite cheaper, and tried & tested.
      I wouldn’t even bother with 1x systems without a good reason – especially if a wide range of gearing is required.
      My opinion & experience on 1x drivetrain systems pros and cons.

    • yeah it was a
      Shimano Deore M6000 RD 10s
      SRAM X0 9s shifter (1:1)
      China 9s 11-50T cog

    • Thank you for your prompt reply. It will be very useful.
      It’s amazing that 10s Deore can be used, especially it is applicable to 50T cog size without extender.
      The difference between 1.2 mm of Dyna-sys and 1.1 mm SRAM 1:1 standard looks just insignificant error.

      My priorities considered in discarding 3×9 are as follows.

      1.Avoid drop chain, when jumping, drop-off, sudden change in descending or climbing
      2.Requires outer/second gear ratio level with 3×9 in high speed
      3.Requires gear ratio of around 0.7 at low speed

      My style is mainly going to trail, fun, sports ride and join marathon race like exterra.
      Now I am using 36t front single with the rear is 11-34t “default” 9s standard. The chain/gear mechanism system is very stable and very comfortable, I love narrow wide chain ring.
      However sometimes it’s still difficult to climb.

      Maybe if I can chose 9T cog, I can use a 32T front single and I can make it lighter and high speed as I wish. my best setting 32T/9T-46T would be my ideal. In current cassete market and my option is 11T as smalllest, then I can use 50T on the rear, and use 36T on the front to achieve my ideal gear ratio.
      Wide ratio chinese cassette is likely to have reliability problems such as back pedal and unusual practice of extender. I don’t think to need up to 12s as cross ratio per me, but may be, I want about 10s or 11s after wide ratio 9s experienced.

      I will try the cassette with default group set currently being transported on the china post, first. then if there is stablitity issues, will consider 50 cog supported RD with 1.1 compatible.

      Really appreciade your advice!

    • Thank you, PJ
      It is very good to know your experience, it would be my good reference.

    • Hi
      I have tried to use SRAM x9 (9s)RD with extension for 11-50t Chinese cassette. It does work. However shifting performance was poor. Slow changing on higher cogs, and sometime skip down to 3rd from lowest cog even though carefully configured. So I try to buy Shimano RD-M8000 (11s) XT RD for it, and have tested to work with following sets;

      SRAM x7 (9s)Shifter + Shimano RD-M8000 (11s)RD + Chinese (9s)11-50t cassette + 9s Chain
      Looks working well with those index and derailleur movements. However, it should be required to use extension due to (shadow type) cable puller interference with 46t 8th cog. I’ve offset the extension diagonally back to avoid this. Shift feeling is more than better old SRAM x9 RD.

      No delay of changing on higher range of cogs, performance is back.
      Cheaper upgrade: Chinese 11-50t 9s cassette $50, narrow wide chain ring $10, 9s Chain $10, Shimano RD-M8000 $80, total $150
      No chain drop when back-pedal chain on the lowest cog using 9s huge cogs, unlike 11s’s lowest.
      The clutch helps reduce the inertial rotation of the huge cog cassette when the pedaling sudden stop on the top/2nd cogs chain
      Also clutch can be expected to contribute to be stabilize chain line preventing chain drop.

      Chinese cassette is little heavy, 520g
      RD-M8000 (250g) is 50 grams heavier than old style (no clutch) SRAM x9 (200g) for clutch

      Good enough, but not a perfect. Choose all 11s group set may be better. I thought the Shimano free body for 11s and the free body for 9s would be different lengths. (So I thought all hub, wheel should be changed for 11s) However it looks same, seemed my misunderstanding with difference of 11s free body for Road against MTB’s. So it had been better to replace it with an 11s group set from the beginning. but I am satisfied with this upgrade, like #9isfine that is premium 9speed group sets, and as a cheap Franken Set.

    • Cool and informative feedback – definitely appreciate it, thanks. 🙂
      Still haven’t tried personally, but would expect (as noted in the article) for Shimano 11 speed MTB RDs to work with SRAM 1:1 shifters (and vice-versa)
      – as long as the shifter’s number of speeds matches the cassette’s number of sprockets.

  32. Hi,
    if you’re considering buying a new cassette and new RD (possibly 12s), IMO that wouldn’t be a great expense to buy also a new 12s shifter (along with a 12s cassette)… You would have a proper and all new 12s drivertrain with less big gaps throughout the cassette than with a 9s 11-50. Shimano SLX is pretty good, cheap and reliable. For the cassette, something like a 11-50 Sunrace for HG body or another chinese equivalent.

    • From my experience, an X9 RD (albeit 10s), can cope easily with a 42T big cog (11-36 cassette + 42T range extender), so with a hanger extender, a 50T cog should be OK with your existing X9 RD (I also have experience with such hanger extender with a DuraAce GS RD + 11-34 XTR cassette). Then you’ll be only buying a cassette and a chain (and a hanger extender but that’s just 3$)

    • some just like to keep it simple & stick with the 9s. some don’t mind the gaps or cadence unconscious.

    • Hi Fbi
      Ideally, it is best to have a complete group set of 12s with avilable 9t. A little grading down and the NX 12s set would be nice too. Deore 12s also come up! so it’s excited. But I don’t feel like investing that much in my old MTB 13 years ago. It’s also interesting to make it considering configure in less budget…

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s good to know. Yes, I ordered 9s 50t cassete with hanger extender and new chain. 🙂 I’m waiting for those. also I will consider SLX for future set!

  33. Hi Tettera,
    indeed, full 12 speed is an investment, by not by so far expensive than mixing&matching components if you consider to buy everything but a shifter 😉
    I would avoid the NX cassette, it’s made of lead 😉 The Chinese market has cheaper and lighter alternatives.

    On the other hand, the solution with only a wide range 9s cassette and a hanger extender (with your existing RD and shifter) should work and would be on a reasonable budget.
    If you ordered those, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed ! For the budget, it’s a great upgrade.
    Also consider a narrow/wide chainring for the front, it’s only about 5$.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t be so focused on 9t sprocket.
    IMO, upgrading to a proper 12s drivetrain, even not high-end, will perform already really well. Ultimate top speed when pedaling downhill isn’t a major point, and a 9t has a low efficiency. Better stick to 11t with your existing wheels and freewheel body, and fit high volume/low rolling resistance tyres. Upgrading from 26″ to 27.5″ makes a really small difference (26 = ETRTO 559 ; 27.5 = ETRTO 584 ; 29 = ETRTO 722… that’s a bigger gap)
    Cheers 😉

    • Typo obviously, but in case anyone else reads it: 29 = ETRTO 622.

      For the 9t part, I’d add: sprockets below 13 teeth are less efficient, while 10 and 9 toothed ones are even more so.

  34. On my bike I have sram 7.0 esp 8 speed grip shifter with shimano 10 speed rear der. m610 (dynasys) on a classic shimano 8 speed cassete (11-34 megrange). It works perfectly.

    • Thanks for the feedback – it is appreciated. 🙂

      Sram 1:1 cable pull ratio is close to dynasys (1.1 compared to 1.2).
      8 speed cassette has 7 shifts across it. With good tuning, it can be set for RD position to go from -0.35 mm to +0.35 mm, compared to dead-centre over a sprocket. But the two most outward postitions can be limited using RD limit screws – practically making the “tollerance” vary from -0.25 to +0.25.

      8 speed chains are 2.38 mm wide in the middle (between the inner plates). Sprockets are 1.8 mm wide. So enough “room” for it to fit in spite of a bit of mismatch.

      Chain outer width is 7.1 mm, while sprockets are spaced at 4.8 mm (having distance between adjacent ones at 3 mm). So the chain gets caught by the adjacent sprocket when shifting with no problems.

      So it might not be perfect, but it makes sense for it to work.
      I was more surprised to see the 11 speed stuff, with less margin for error, work when mismatched – in this case it was a cassette mismatch, of 0.16 mm!

      I included widths and cable pull ratios in all the compatibility articles – so these things can be compared and experimented with. Things that closely match can work OK, especially depending on one’s criteria of OK and their riding conditions.

  35. Here is a video i made ( It s not perfect (i have to hold a cellphone in my hand so i can t turn pedal and shift simultaneously). I have this setup for about 4 years and it never let me down. It shifts uphill no problem. Doesn t need adjustments after short or long period of time. Works in winter, summer, etc. This setup is cheap, reliable and funky.

  36. Hi ,
    I am looking to replace my Shimano 105 RD-1050 . One of the links is broken. I am told a Claris RD-2000 SS 8 speed derailleur will work . I was wondering if a Sora RD-R3000-SS 9 speed derailleur would work or even a 105 RD-5701 ?

    • Shimano 105 10 speed RDs (5700 series) is compatible with Shimano road and MTB RDs for up to 9 speeds (among other compatibilities), so it should work fine.

      So would the Sora 9 speed RD. And the Claris RD.

    • With the combinations I’ve tried, at least 2-speads fewer on the chain than what they are on the derailleur, there have been no problems (like 7 speed chain on 9 speed derailleurs).
      Haven’t tested the extremes, like a 6, or a 7 speed chain on an 11 speed derailleur. If I had an 11 speed RD laying around, I’d mount it and test, just to know. 🙂

    • Hi,

      I just finished the upgrade on my older Peugeot steel bike bike. It already had Shimano 105 group but it was a 6 speed free hub and the rear derailleur link failed so had to be replaced. Upgraded from a 6 speed free wheel to an 8 speed cassette on a new rear wheel. I used a 10 speed RD-5701 with an 8 speed cassette / chain and had an old Sora 8 speed shifter. Works great !! I bought an extra rear 105 10 speed derailleur ( just in case) since they seem to be phased out and the 11 speed have a different ratio 1.4 instead of 1.7 .

      Thanks for you help. None of the bike shops mechanics I spoke to said it would work . Great info here and proved it does work .

    • Glad to hear it has helped. 🙂

      Sourcing (new) parts is both complicated/difficult and rather expensive compared to average local pays in my country.
      So we have to find ways to improvise with most things.

      A lot of the combinations I have tried and confirmed to be working are against manufacturers’ recommendations.
      I believe manufacturers make recommendations a bit more “strictly”, both in order to avoid any potential law suits, and to make more profit – “forcing” people to buy the new stuff.

      As far as mechanics go – it makes sense for them to recommend what manufacturers recommend – to avoid any complaints, or law suits.
      Also, it is practically impossible to keep track of all the different systems and “standards”. The word “standard” has become meaningless in the cycling industry, since even one same manufacturer keeps making new stuff to be incompatible with the old stuff.
      I write everything down, but most “normal” mechanics I know are not as inclined to do so (I’m a systems administrator, working on bikes as a hobby). So even in my city, even though colleagues know about my website, I get a call from time to time about certain combinations – “just to check with you if it would work”. 🙂

      Wouldn’t blame the mechanics – it’s the industry, the manufacturers, that is making things as difficult as possible.
      With the discontinuing of good quality older stuff, as you mentioned – practically forcing us to “shut up and buy newest stuff”.
      I find that unreasonable, not very eco-friendly, and probably not very good for the industry in the long run. As a mechanic, for bottom brackets alone, one needs about 10 different tools now. Same complications face home mechanics, in case they get a new bicycle, or have more than one bicycle, from different eras. Training staff at shops also takes a lot more time, because of a huge number of different, incompatible parts. It seems to be getting worse every year.

      Anyway – sorry for the long rant/explanation – the bottom line is, it’s normal, in my opinion, even for good and competent mechanics, to not know everything.

  37. @Relja, so based on the compatibility information you provided, my bikes that run Shimano Dura Ace 7900 10-speed and 105 5700 10-speed shifters would work with the older Dura Ace 7700 9-speed rear derailleur?

    • That’s what think as well.
      The total number of permutations is huge (all the RD models times all the shifters times the number of rear cog combos).
      Si no way for me to test and confirm every possible combination.
      Which is why I noted all the pull ratios – so I too can easily see what matches with what (even when there is a slight mismatch, it’s often worth a try). In the combo you mentioned it is a 100% match for all I know and I’d give it a go.
      In other words, I’m yet to find a combo that should work by my charts, and doesn’t work in practice – if I do, will make sure to correct the provided info.

  38. Hi there
    I am converting a road bike to hybrid. So looking for a 9 or 10 speed twistgrip shifter that will work with a Shimano Ultegra road bike derailleur. I know something like the Shimano SL R770 thumb shifter is widely recommended but I specifically want a twist shift. Is this possible? Thanks.

    • This should work with Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur, unless it’s an 11 speed one (so, works with 10, 9, 8…):
      Grip Shift 3×9 Shimano compatible shifters
      (Amazon affiliate link)

      Haven’t tried that particular model, but it’s what I could Google that is grip shift, and works with Shimano RDs.

      SRAM grip shifters are more widespread, but most would require a compatible (SRAM) rear derailleur.

    • If it is in fact 2:1 (the Shimano compatible), then it will work with all the Shimano rear derialleurs for 9 and fewer speeds, as well as with 10 speed Shimano road derailleurs, except Tiagra 4700.

  39. Running campy 10’s shifters with 11’s shimano der. & 9’s Shimano cassette
    Works spot on, This would make derialleur more like 1.5 ratio ??
    as I agree with pull ratio average

    • Or the shifter cable pull is not (completely) accurately measured.
      Also, for Campagnolo 10 speed shifters, cable pull differs along the stroke – increasing as the gears are changed towards the larger sprockets.
      I’m not able to measure 100% accurately, and tell whether it is similar with Shimano as well.
      The fact that manufacturers don’t publish the data isn’t helping either.

      Might find this discussion interesting:
      Rear shifter compatibility discussion

  40. Thank you! This is the most useful page of rear derailleur pull ratios I’ve found. And I’ve been looking.

  41. Hi, this sounds pretty straightforward. However, I have a Shimano DA 7700 9x shifter and the manual states explicitly that it can ONLY be used with Dura-Ace derailleurs. If all Shimano groups sub 10x have basically the same pull ratio, why could that be? Currently I use it with a Deore 9x and it doesn’t work well for all gears. Searching for an alternative.

    thanks in advance, Ralf

    • Hello,

      – Short answer –

      I’m not sure, don’t know.

      – Longer answer –

      As far as I know Dura Ace has different cable pulls for older 6 to 8 speed systems (as noted in this article), while 9 speed DA RD has the same cable pull/movement ratio as the other Shimano 9 speed RDs. However, I haven’t tried the combo so can’t 100% confirm it.

      On the other hand, Shimano is quite conservative with their compatibility charts, so many combos that I’ve tested and confirmed to work well, are not recommended according to their compatibility charts.

      – Even longer answer –

      I still haven’t made a detailed article, nor a video on derailleur tuning, but shifting problems can be due to many different factors, such as:
      – cable and housing quality, choice and routing
      – RD hanger alignment (“straightness”)
      – B-screw, and H(igh) and L(ow) limit screws setup
      – Chainline
      – Chain and/or cassette wear
      – Shifter and/or RD wear/damage

      These things are sometimes missed even by experienced mechanics. The term: “not seeing the forest from the trees” comes to mind.

      So it might, but it might not be due to any RD incompatibility. The exact troubleshooting procedure also depends on when (pedaling hard, pedaling normally, or also on the working stand), and in which gear combos the problems occur.


  42. Hi Relja,

    I am planning to make a partial upgrade for my RB due to budget constraints. I am using a 9-speed shimano sora gear set and wondering if I can start upgrading to a 105 gear set by replacing each components one/two at a time, eg: sprocket and RD, and then FD and crank set, and then brake/shifter and so on.

    Thanks in advance

    • Rear shifting: if 105 is a 10, or 11 speed group (the newest one is 11 speed), then shifter, derailleur, and cassette need to match each other. So those three must be installed “in one go”.

      Rear wheel: 11 speed road cassettes also require a different (wider) freehub.
      Note: this makes the rear wheel weaker, since it is severely dished to one side. For example: Mavic Aksium rim with an 11 speed road freehub requires right hand side spoke tension to be around 160 Kgf, in order for the left hand side spoke tension to not go below (rather slack) 60 Kgf (and so they don’t go loosening over time). It’s crazy, in my opinion.

      Front shifting: front shifter and derailleur for 11 speeds also need to be matched. 10 speed 105 front shifter will work with the current FD, and vice-versa.

      Cranks are most likely to work with either setup.

      Finally, a more “philosophical” thing: what are the problems with the current setup? What is it lacking? In other words: what is the goal of the upgrade?
      Those are the things I usually suggest people ask themselves before deciding on any upgrades.

    • Wow, thank you for the insight. I never actually thought about the 11 spd hub will make the rear wheel weaker but it does make sense.

    • Wow thanks for the insight. I would never thought the 11 spd hub will make the rear wheel weaker.

      My current setup has start making noises here and there and basically I just wanna treat myself to an upgrade LOL.

    • I plan on writing an article about the whole “upgrades” and “future proofing” topic. It is what many people ask and consider. Hopefully within a month I’ll get it done – hectic schedule this summer.

  43. Your edit/update links to a comment about 1:1 vs. Exact Actuation but it didn’t seem to work. It is confusing, but 1:1 was used to market 9-speed and older stuff. and Exact Actuation came out for 10s road and mtb and had a different cable pull. It’s still 1:1 but not compatible with the older 1:1 stuff. Cable pull changed, but the derailleur movement also changed, so it still can be 1:1, if that makes sense. Hope that helps. Thanks for a useful article.

  44. Hello Relja, good day to you.

    Could You please advise me :

    I am having gravel bike with Shimano rearhub SHIMANO TIAGRA HB-RS470 (10/11 speed), Shimano GRX 10 speeds shifters and also RX-400 10 -speed rear deraileur, working on Shimano 10 speed 11-42 cassette. Even max. range for derailleur is declared 11-36 only , it shifts nicely to 42 – just by setting without any further components.

    Once existing cassette is worn -out, I speculate on the following:

    as I do not need 11th cog – too fast for me/almost never used, I evaluate possibility to use 11-speed cassette 11-42 (pricewise not much different from 10-speed) so , to mount it on existing hub and re-use the existing shifters and rear derailleur….
    As I would use only 10 cogs from 13-42 range, leaving 11-th cog not used.
    As the Tiagra hub is usable for 11 speed as well , and you say that GRX 10-speed and Tiagra rear deraillaurs are having the same shift ratio as 11-speed rear derailleurs….would it work ? or , where am I doing wrong assumption ? 🙂

    Thank you for advise

    • Hello Eduard,

      From what I could gather (you’ve provided all the relevant info in the comment):

      11 speed cassettes have different pitch, compared to the 10 speed ones (see the table in the cassette compatibility article). So I would not expect such setup to work without using 11 speed shifters (and 11 speed chain – see chain compatibility article for the explanation why).

      The problem with cassettes being sold starting with 11, maximum 12 cogs (apart from super-expensive road cassettes marketed for “junior racing”) is something that doesn’t cease to amaze me.
      Most people I know don’t really spin out 48, or 50 – 11 combination. Sure, it can be used to add some speed on a descent, but I’d much rather ride 53-39 with a 14-34 cassette, than 34-50 with 11-28 (or 11-34 one for that matter). Apart from a bit of extra weight, drivetrains with more teeth involved last a lot longer. And make much more sense (at least in my opinion, for recreational riding).

      Not to mention that 11-42 cassette could be avoided if they continued to make triple front chainrings, for road, and MTB groupsets (they can still be sourced, but only for the “lower end” stuff).

      So, unfortunately, we all end up with a few unused sprockets, and chain more crossed when riding on the big chainring. Industry, marketers, and many buyers seem to love this. I have no other explanation.

  45. hello Relja,

    thank you for prompt reply and useful info.

    however, I would like to ask you if (at least) i could replace the smallest cog on mine cassette 11-42, which is CS-HG500-10 10-speed by
    new 12T sprocket of the same type cassette – HG500
    I found on Shimano support pages that :
    Sprocket Wheel 12T (Built in spacer type) for 12-28T – in their nomenclature = Y1Z81201N would pass to 12-28 cassette…
    Mine GRX RX400 10-speed derailleur smallest cog is declared 11T, however I do see sufficient distance between 11T cog and RD now and I suppose it can handle 12T bravely.
    The cost is not so high – about 7 Euro + I would have check delivery with Shimano dealer in SVK to minimise shipping costs.
    anyway, there are specialized sites for such ” little things” e.g. in Germany, however shipment is rather high.
    Do you think – will it work=shift properly/smoothly ? Will not these splines on the newest technology cassettes somehow interfere ?

    Thank you for reply – have a good day
    Kind regards

    • What Fabrice said – you will need a (slightly larger than 11) lockring for 12T sprocket.
      Apart from that, since you are swapping the smallest for another smallest sprocket, I would expect all the teeth to be perfectly aligned and shifting to be as good, if not better (since the jumps in tooth count from the smallest to the 2nd smallest will be reduced – 12 to 13 I suppose).

  46. Hello Eduard,
    It will be OK. I’m not sure whether the shifting will be just acceptable or perfect, though.
    Anyway, you will also need a lockring for 12T cog.

  47. Hi guys,

    indeed – this one :

    Y1RB98020 Lock Ring for 12T Top Gear

    thanks for reply.

    well, I have just to count expenses if it is really value….
    2 x items , each about 7-8 euro + shipment, mhmmm…for only slightly lower gearing.
    will see…better if man could customise cassette under such supplier conditions…no such option found by me .
    Sometimes Miche was offering this, however not up to 12-40/42 …
    Thank you
    kind regards

  48. Has anyone tried using a 10 speed Dyna-Sys shifter with an exact actuation 10 speed sram rear derailer? The ratios are close 1.2 and 1.3 respectively, surely it would mostly kinda work?

  49. Hi,

    you and some other sources on internet say that Shimano MTB 10 and 11 (Dynasys 10 and Dynasys 11) are not compatible, but latest Deore rear derailleurs RD-M5120-SGS and RD-M4120-SGS have in its specification that are compatible with both 10 and 11 speeds, so the incompatibility is most likely not correct and some one incorrectly measured sable pull on 11 shifter. Can you please verify that and possibly fix that on your website?


    • Hi,

      First of all -thanks for the feedback. It is highly appreciated.
      Secondly – to put it plainly: I’m really not sure.

      Due explanation:

      I had managed to get some things working OK, even though they don’t match looking by the manufacturer’s specs.

      When it comes to specs, this is what Shimano says:
      First they say (said) 9, 10 and 11 are all non-compatible with each other.
      Now, on the very same page, they claim otherwise, under 10 speed rear drivetrain compatibility section.

      Their Zee (RD-M640-SS), and Saint (RD-M820-SS) RDs are noted as 10 speed only.
      While the Deore you noted does say 10/11 speeds.
      To make things more interesting (and confusing), Deore 11 speed series has:
      RD-M5100-SGS that says 1×11, and RD-M5120-SGS that says 1×10, 2×10, and 2×11.

      My goal when writing this series of articles was to help myself, by having all the combos that work (in spite of the manufacturers’ specs. stating otherwise) in one place.
      The no-go stuff was written down to help when mix-matching, to know what to rule out from the start.

      A problem I face is, even when I make a combo from this no-go zone to work, I can’t say with enough certainty that it works on most bicycles.
      Like here, when pairing an 11 speed MTB cassette with an 11 speed road groupset.
      For me, it would take at least 5 more bikes, tried and (field) tested to be able to say: 11 speed MTB cassettes work with road 11 speed shifters & RDs, in spite of the obvious and measurable differences in pitch.

      The above noted Shimano tech. and product specs. certainly don’t make things less confusing (at least for me).

      Also, with so many what/ifs and gotchas (by Shimano), it seems the only thing to do is make a database driven app where you enter your shifter, and cassette models, to get a list of RDs that work with those.
      Same goes for other combos (cassette, and RD to get a matching shifter model).

      Because stating all the possible combos on one page would make it very, very long and almost unreadable (shifter models x cassettes x RD models… it grows exponentially for each new combo, even if only listing the combos that work).

      Bottom line:
      Combos that are noted here to work – do work, i.e. I’m yet to find a case when they don’t (poor tuning by the user/mechanic aside, of course).
      Combos that are not noted to work – sometimes they work, more or less perfectly. If the differences are slight enough, it’s usually worth giving it a try (as we did with the MTB cassette and 11 speed road shifters, noted above).

      Having said all this, I do try to keep this as correct and up-to-date as possible. So will add notes regarding 10/11 MTB RDs (and shifters) in the matching sections/articles. Even if not providing a definite answer.

  50. Building up a 1990 Gary Fisher Sphynx as a flat bar gravel bike. RD is GRX810 . I would love to use something like an old deore friction thumb shifter . Is there enough movement to reach all 11 cogs ?

    • The number of sprockets won’t be a problem.
      The amount of cable pulled could be:
      11 speed rear derailleurs require more cable pulled per 1mm of RD cage lateral movement – compared to 8, or 9 etc. rear derailleurs.

      Having said this, friction shifters can pull a lot of cable, across their entire movement range, so I would expect it to be fine, but I haven’t tested it personally.

      One could use a 9 speed RD, but the very fact it needs less cable pull for each mm of lateral movement would make it very difficult to tune using friction shifters on a tightly packed 11 speed cassette (with sprockets very close to each other). So I would definitely give an 11 speed RD a try with such system. Feedback I got is that it works, but, again, haven’t personally tried it with an 11 speed cassette.

  51. Hi Relja, great article. I’m looking at replacing my old Sora 8 speed brifters with the latest gen Claris as they will work better with the dual pivot brakes that I’ve got. From what I can tell, as the cassette width and number of gears is the same I shouldn’t have any trouble and should hopefully get better breaking performance along with comfier levers. You don’t happen to know if the leverages in the front/rear derailleurs have changed over the years and would make this incompatible?

  52. Hi, Relja, great article thanks a lot! Between marketing “technologies” and reality it’s easy to get lost.
    I’m still a bit at a loss however – would a SRAM 7-speed shiftgrip 3.0 shifter be compatible with a Shimano Altus RD-M310? Looks like not, but I couldn’t find information on the shifter ratio.

    Thank you!

    • Depends on the particular model. If it has no other marks (like “MRX”), then it’s probably SRAM 1:1 cable pull compatible.

  53. I converted my 2006 stumpjumper fsr to a 1×9 setup (with a bigger cassette, obviously). I have the original sifter with a 11speed sram gx x-actuation derailleur, and it works perfectly

  54. I am looking to upgrade a gravel bike combination and wonder if this will work. The bike comes with the Shimano GRX 11 speed shift/brake lever and RX 812 rear derailleur, 11-42 cassette and 44t chainring. As I understand it, this has the same 1.4 pull ratio as the all of their road derailleurs. I am hoping to switch to an E-Thirteen TRS plus Gen2 9-46t 11-speed cassette, swapping the front chainring from a 44t down to a 36t. The problem is getting a rear derailleur that can handle the 46t cog. 1. Will the RX 812 R.D. handle this “as is” or will a Wolf Tooth RoadLink make this possible?
    If not, 2. Which Shimano 11 speed clutch-type MTB R.D. will work with this, I assume it will also need the Wolf Tooth Tanpan to match the 1.4 shifter to the 1.1 Mountain bike derailleur?

    • Hello Rich,

      11-speed MTB RDs won’t work very well with GRX shifters.
      So yes, you would need a matching travel-adapter.

      Shimano GRX RD-RX812 derailleur is designed for up to 42-teeth rear sprocket size.
      So if you stick with that RD, then yes, you will most likely need a hanger extender, like the Wolf Tooth RoadLink.


  55. Hi,
    I’m pretty sure that this RD will work with a 46T cassette.
    Shimano has always been very cautious with their specs (as opposed to Sram… but that’s another debate).
    For instance, a have a 9s MTB RD officially for max 34T and I run it with a 11-42 cassette ! (single chainring).
    For the GRX RD’s, I’ve read that the double (810) works OK with a 40T cassette (not 42) when its spes says max 34T.
    So there a reasonnable chances that the 812 works with a 46T instead of 42T.

  56. Will a 9 speed alivio shifter work with deore 5120 rd, 10 speed cogs, and chain?

    • 9-speed shifter won’t shift over all the 10 speeds (only 9).

      Will it work properly over the 9-speeds?

      I doubt it – the 10-speed RD requires a lot more cable pull per shift, than the 9-speed shifter does, per each click.

  57. So… using simple friction shifter without indexed clicks and without cable length pull limitation is compatible with all RDs? Shifting just by listening to RD noise and chain vibration so nothing rubs. This should work perfectly fine right? of course it will take longer to shift.

    • Hi Jozef,

      Basically – that’s it.

      Getting the rear shifts just right using friction shifters is a bit easier on the systems with 8, or fewer rear sprockets.

      Another thing that helps are rear derailleurs that require more cable pull per 1 mm of lateral derailleur movement, such as shimano 10+ speed MTB derailleurs, Shimano 11 speed road derailleurs, or SRAM 1:1, Exact Actuation, or X-Actuation.

      Allegedly, such derailleurs help a lot when using 9, or more rear sprockets with friction shifters, otherwise shifting to a particular sprocket can be a bit more tedious, since you need to move the shifter lever by just the right amount (because the rear sprockets are more tightly packed). I haven’t used this myself, because I prefer using cheap 7, or 8-speed cassettes with friction shifters.


  58. I have reasonable success with the following combination:

    Sunrace 11-40 8 speed cassette
    SRAM X5 8 speed shifter
    Shimano Deore M5120 11 speed derailleur
    SRAM PCX1 (GX?) 11 speed chain

    It can be a little be lazy shifting up to a bigger cog the middle of the cassette and the X5 shifter doesn’t feel very precise anyway. A 9 or 10 speed chain might fix that, but I don’t have one to try. The 8 speed chain didn’t really work. Shifting down the cassette (big cogs to smaller cogs) is pretty crisp.

  59. on the cheap 10spd. bike is an old mid 80’s univega alpina uno. the setup did not work with a ztto extender, i think the mount is slightly bent. i went direct mount with the derailleur.
    old octalink v2 xt crank, with 38t narrow wide chainring. i had to file out the chainring to fit the middle position.
    shmano 105 rd-m5071 [ 10road/9spd 1.7 pull ratio]
    ztto 11-36 silver 10spd cassette
    microNew 11 spd shifter, yes 11 spd. from aliexpess around $15. microNew does not state the pull ratio.
    ztto 10spd chain.
    works for me.

  60. I wanted to update my 70’s puch road bike to a 1×10 speed. 1st problem was the 120mm “OLD” which I opened to 130mm. 2nd was the wheel, I changed a deore hub from 135mm to 130mm and swapped the hub for the current one. At 76 years I went for an 11-40 ztto cassette. I tried the newshift 11 speed shifter with the shimano acera m360 derailleur that was on the bike. All the gears worked except the #9 low gear which kept dancing in and out of gear. Next I used a newshift 10 speed optical shifter and all was well. I swapped the road bike front triple for a vuelta mtb triple to use as a 1×10. I had to line up the middle chainrings and file the new narrow wide 36t oval chainring to make fit the middle position. With all the pieces in place did a 12mile ride, shifting was perfect, the gearing was good for the hills and dales I ride.

  61. Thank you very much, the passion you put in this is encouraging.

    I am building my bike and I am quite fussy in the stuff I want and in what I have already.

    Let’s see if I can explain:

    What I have:
    TT frame, tiagra crankset double(I wanted 165mm with 48T, I couldn’t find anything else) stated only for 10 speed, I don’t understand why it cannot work with 11…is it for the chain thickness? No idea

    What I want: a shifter for a flat bar not ugly, then no-no for the shifters with the gear visual indicator. Then I have been left with few chooses: 105 but it is 11 speed, nothing else from Shimano road

    The fact is that I would buy (and happy) RD, FD, shifter and cassette for MTB no problem, maybe I like them more but my question is….can I put a MTB cassette on a rod hub? Can I mount a MTB front derailleur on a road/TT frame? Or the distance from the base of the FD is going to be different from road?

    My problem is not match different stuff(a part the tiagra 4700 double) but to know if the MTB part and mech fit a road frame. If anyone could help me it would be very appreciated. I am getti crazy.

    Last note I designed a bar for carbon steerer fork that it makes it virtually undistructible, as soon as I produce it I will post Hou if anyone interested

    • Hi Nick,

      The Tiagra cranks should work fine with 11 speeds. I think it’s mostly marketing (could be wrong, but I doubt it).

      You can mount a Shimano MTB cassette on a hub that takes a Shimano road cassette. You might need to add some spacers if it’s a hub for Shimano 11-speed road cassettes, but apart from that, it should work.
      An exception (they made sure there’s always some 🙂 ) are the latest XTR M9100 cassettes with a “Hyperglide+” mounting interface.

      Derailleur mounting. Good question. This article explains front derailleur mounting standards (among other things it explains – use the table of contents for “quick jumps” to the parts of interest 🙂 ).

      Depending on your frame, you could be able to find an MTB FD that fits.

      Rear derailleur should fit – I suppose the frame uses the direct-mount system and there are only two rear derailleur mounting standards (as far as I know), and the “hook-type” one is only used on really budget frames and derailleurs (generally speaking).

      I’m looking forward to seeing that bar, and hearing what combination you went with – and how well it performs. 🙂


  62. Thank you very much for the estensive and complete comment, for now the thought is to go(attempt) with just the rear derailleur (I bought a SRAM GX 10 SPEED and his shifter) and I hope I can use all 10 with the big ring of my tiagra crankset (London is mainly flat I don’t need the small ring) if the big ring works properly with all 10 the sprockets in the cassette, is going to be perfect 1X10.

    I will post a picture of bar and bike as well as soon as I have it here(and I have painted it) busy autumn.

    And being a physiotherapist, I would like and I will study to fit bikes and prevent and revert injury due to poor bike fitting, this will interest me.

  63. I measured the cable pull of a Sram x7 10s shifter to be 2.98mm and calculated the SRAM Exact Actuation shift ratio to be 1.3.

    Boring details of how I did so:

    I shifted into 4th gear and marked the raw portion of the shift cable where it entered into the derailleur body. I then shifted 5 “clicks” into the 9th gear (2nd smallest cog). I then measured the distance from the derailleur body to the mark on the shifter cable. This was approx. 14.90mm. Averaged over 5 clicks is 2.98mm of cable pull per click of the shifter.

    The published cog pitch of the 10s SRAM mountain cassette I have on the bike is 3.95. (I measured to confirm this. I had a bit of vairance measuring, but generally numbers were between 3.87 and 4.1mm. Therefore, I assume the published 3.95 to be accurate). Since:

    Cable pull * Derailleur shift ratio = Cog pitch

    Solving for derailleur shift ratio I got:

    Derailleur shift ratio = Cog pitch / Cable pull

    I plugged in 2.98mm and 3.95mm for cable pull and cog pitch, respectively.

    Derailleur shift ratio = 3.95mm / 2.98mm

    Derailleur shift ratio = 1.33

    This seems to support the 1.3 ratio for SRAM Exact Actuation shown above. I know there was some suspicion that Exact Actuation and X Actuation were the same based on SRAM’s site, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. How SRAM justifies publishing exact actuation features is another can of worms. (liberal rounding?)

    Hope this helps someone!

  64. Hi Relja,
    I just wanted to draw your attention to another interesting shimano incompatibility.
    As most shops are still out of stock concerning spare parts for drive trains, Ibought what I could get.
    Therefore I tried to combine Shimano’s Deore 10-speed RD-M5130 and shifter SL-M5130 with a standard Shimano Deore 10-speed cassette and Deore 10-speed chain.
    Unfortunately I did not succeed in adjusting the RD properly, although I was only using brand new parts, all Shimano Deore series.
    I could not find any information concerning the incompatibility, neither on Shimano’s homepage, nor at the shops which offer the M5130 RDs and triggers.
    Finally I found the following page (sorry, just in German) which confirmed what I suspected: although all of the parts are 10-speed Deore group, they are not compatible, because Hyperglide does not match Linkglide.

    Thanks for your helpful page!
    Regards Michael

  65. Hi Relja,

    I found your fantastic page last night trying to figure out what’s going on with my RD. I read through the comments but couldn’t find anything similar.

    I picked up a second-hand Merida Big 7 20 2015 last year. The previous owner had upgraded the RD from a Shimano Acera-X 8 speed to a Shimano Deore 9 Speed and Alivio 9 speed shifter. It’s still running on its original Shimano M131 42-34-24 chainset/cranks and FD.

    All the gears change fine and there’s no chain rub but when it’s on the largest front clog, the RD ‘clunks’ like it’s going to change speed and then doesn’t, through speeds 4 – 9 EVERY 18th full turn of the peddles. This happens only when under force (aka actually peddling the bike along) and if I stop peddling and roll or brake etc during any point within those 18 full turns, the time in-between errors lengthens.

    It doesn’t happen on the smallest or middle centre FD clogs. Only on the largest one. I’ve tried adjusting the cable at the shifter ( 3 clicks in both directions), but nothing changes.

    When I look down at what’s happening (not so easy when you’re cycling!! LOL), I can see the RD moving outwards, like it’s only to change speed, but then it clunks back to its original position. In that moment you lose some momentum and speed.

    Before reading your site I thought the Shimano M131 might not be compatible with the 9 speed upgrade. But now I’m not so sure.

    I just wondered what your thoughts on what might be causing it were?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Rebecca,

      These kinds of problems are down to eliminating one possible cause at a time until the “culprit” is found. 🙂

      First thing – just to be on the safe side – are the cassette and the chain now also 9-speed?

      After that, I’d start by asking whether the shifter cables are going under the frame’s bottom bracket shell. If they are – is there a guide for them, or are they sliding on the metal? If they are, that could be causing some “ghost shifting” (you can Google this term for more info, until I get down to writing an article 🙂 ).

      Since the sound happens when pedalling hard on the largest front chainring (a lot of torque is produced probably), it is also worth checking whether the chainring is torqued (tightened) properly.
      (Though, if the cranks are Shimano M131, then there is no bolt, the chainrings are fixed at the factory and can’t be unscrewed – on that note, I don’t think the cranks are the problem, even though they aren’t “officially” 9-speed)

      I wrote an article on the topic of bicycles making (strange) sounds, with a full understanding of how frustrating that can be.
      There, I put all the tips and explained the process I use for figuring it out.

      Another thing to look at is which gear combos cause the noise (front largest, but with which rear ones?).
      If it’s with the smallest few rear sprockets, I’d try tightening the FD cable (unscrewing the High limit screw and adjustment barrel by a few turns).
      If it’s with the largest few sprockets, I’d try loosening the FD cable (unscrewing the Low limit screw and adjustment barrel by a few turns).
      Note that either of those options is likely to cause the chain to drop, so it’s only for testing with caution:
      if they eliminate the noise, we’ve found the culprit and then need to properly adjust and fine-tune the FD.
      if they don’t help, then we haven’t found the culprit, but the FD will need to be re-adjusted (since it’s been deliberately misadjusted by a relatively large margin).

      Hope this helps,

  66. i have had this exact problem on several bikes,one bike i adjusted the rear mech screws and it fixed the problem,on another bike i tried everything and still could not fix the problem so i just went and bought a new long cage rear mech and that fixed it,i have better results running long cage rear mechs,if you have 3 cogs up front or any rear cog bigger than 28 teeth than a long cage rear mech is the way to go,rear mechs that get too old not worth bothering with

  67. Hi Relja

    I tried and failed to swap a claris rd-r2000 with a altus rd m2000(9-speed) . I have a claris flat bar shifter.
    The Altus have the newer shadow profile and gives a much cleaner look with a thru axle frame. Unfortunately i was able to index them properly. This suprised my as according to your chart this should be compatible. Is there a difference with the newer models?
    As a sidenote; I have done the same with a sora rd and that worked perfectly with the claris shifter.

    • Hi Jon,

      As far as I know – RD-M2000 is compatible with Claris shifters (both the STI, or flat bar ones).
      Of course – since Claris shifters are 8-speed, it should be used with an 8-speed cassette.

      Potential problems could be caused by several different things. Starting from the simplest – cable not attached at the right place. That is explained in page 19 of Shimano’s RD-M2000 dealers manual. The linked manual also covers other mounting and tuning aspects.


  68. All i can say I tried it and It didnt work for me and I was really hoping it would work.

    The setup is a full claris 8 speed groupset. I just wanted to swap the rear derailleur. it seems to me as the ratio don’t match. I can’t say for sure, as there are as you say, many potential issues that causes index problems. I did however conduct a control test with the claris rear derailleur on the bike with the altus 9 speed shifter and it also was not able to index that properly either. Which supports my theory about different ratios. I ended up putting back the original claris rear derailleur and it shifts perfectly.

    Maybe the latest generation mtb derailleurs have a different pull ratios then the road derailleurs?

    • As far as I know, pull ratios haven’t been changed for the 8 and 9-speed stuff, either road or MTB.

      You say it’s a full Claris 8-speed groupset.
      When testing with an Altus 9-speed shifter, did you use a 9-speed cassette?

      9-speed shifters need 9-speed cassettes to index properly.
      If an 8-speed cassette was used – I’d be surprised to see it shift properly.
      But if it doesn’t work with a 9-speed cassette, then it’s definitely worth further looking into the pull ratios.

  69. Yes, When using the altus 9-speed shifter i used it with a 9 speed cassette. It didn’t shift properly with the claris rear derailleur.

    In the end it is not a big issue for me, as i have two bikes that function perfectly. One 9-speed and one 8-speed. I was curious if i swapped the rear derailleurs if it would work. As i enjoy this types of “hacks”. So i tried this experiement and it didnt work for me.

    • Hi Jon,

      That’s interesting. Thanks for the feedback.
      I have mixed road and MTB shifters and derailleurs with no problems – including Claris STIs.
      But haven’t done any mix-matching with the most recent models. When I do, I’ll be able to confirm if something has changed.

      Edit: What I mean is – for now, I still can’t exclude the possibility of a tuning error causing the malfunction.
      Especially for the stuff that goes against all my previous knowledge and experience. In fact, even if I do face a problem, I think it would be wise to ask a fellow mechanic to double-check so we could exclude any mistake I may have made, before considering it confirmed. 🙂

  70. Hi Relja

    An update about my issues, I had to fiddle a bit reinstalling the altus derailleur and that got me thinking i might have done something wrong with my other installations. And as you said it could be a tuning error so I attempted the swap again and i was able to make it work this time! It was user error from my part in the end.
    Happy to make it work in the end. Thanks for the help 🙂

  71. Hi. Great site!
    Do you have any info on cablepull ratio for the new Shimano Linkglide?

  72. Thank you very much for the professional good article.

    (Shimano mtb 11 speed and 12 speed) Do you know the cog height of the sprocket?

    What is the distance from 1st pitch to 11th pitch in mm?

    What is the distance from 1st pitch to 12th pitch?

    Or can I know the distance that the inner bundle of the 11-speed or 12-speed shift cable moves?

    The ratio of 11 steps is 1.1.
    12 steps have a ratio of 1.12?

    Is there any page where I can find more information above?

    thank you.
    It is Korea. I used papago translator. Please understand
    [email protected]

  73. Good Article!

    Used to own a set of Shimano 6703 shifter with XT772 RD for a 3*10 spd drop-bar touring bike, and currently riding a set of Force 2*11 shifter with X0 Type 2.0 10 spd for a 2*11 spd gravel bike.

    I’m a fan of combining road shifters with MTB RDS, as MTB RD is stronger and tough by all means. I do have a GRX 810 full set gravel bike (Merida Silex), however compared to X0, it’s still missing something.

    I’m thinking of building a 2*12 gravel bike with mountain frame, idea would be full SLX M7100 set with a comparable road shifter. My friend is using XX1 shifter with M9100 RD and it works perfect. If I can locate a road shifter with correct pull ratio to work with sram, should be fine with SLX as well.

    I’ve searched on YouTube and apparently there is a Chinese brand called Sensah which has the same ratio to pull a Sram MTB RD, I may give a try for that.

    Do you have any suggestions about 12 spd buildup? Any alternatives for 12 road shifters?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Alex,

      Microshift BS-SR-M12 (Amazon affiliate link) bar-end shifter should be compatible with SRAM Eagle GX 12-speed RDs.
      The fact those shifters can also be set to run in friction mode is a plus in my book.

      Note that it is designed for 1×12, so you’d have to find a separate solution for the front derailleur if building 2×12. My choice would be any budget friction shifting bar-end shifter, even 2nd hand (preferably 🙂 ).

  74. i have widened the cages on some 9 or ten speed rear mechs to fit a wider 6 or 7 speed chain,you just need a longer steel bearing and a longer bolt,i have a few older rear mechs laying about and i modify those shimano ones all the time.

  75. and dont forget to put in the slightly wider jockey wheels,they do vary in thickness,the jockey wheels should have a very slight movement side to side,its not much movent its very very slight just enough to make the jockey wheels go round,if there is no play they wont spin

  76. throw a dab of grease on that steel bearing and you should not get any more squeaks

  77. Really want to turn my mtb into drop bar with brifters. Has a 1×10 slx derailleur. Is the possible while keeping my derailleur?

  78. What an amazing resource you are! Thank you Relja!! I just found your site. I’m considering buying a secondhand bike with SRAM Red:
    Chainrings: ROtor 46/36
    Shifters: SRAM Red 22
    Cassette: SRAM Red 22, 11-speed:11-28
    Front Derailleur:SRAM Red 22
    Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red 22

    I’d want to have an 11-34 or 11-36 for rear cassette – can you suggest any compatible ones? Will I have to change any other part of the drive-train to achieve this?

    • Hi Margie,

      2 things to consider here: finding a compatible cassette, and, as you’ve mentioned, drivetrain considerations.

      Before I dive in, I’ll give a very brief answer:
      Any Hyperglide Shimano or SRAM 11-speed cassette with 34 or fewer teeth on the largest sprocket should be fine, just avoid shifting to the largest two rear sprockets while on the larger front chainring.

      Now, for a more detailed explanation and options:

      1) A compatible cassette

      I would expect any Shimano 11-speed cassette (including their MTB cassettes) to work fine.

      SRAM XD cassettes will not fit a road freehub (different mounting standard – see the article on rear hub compatibility for more details).
      The “normal” (Hyperglide) SRAM cassettes should work fine.

      Likewise, any other Hyperglide 11-speed cassette should work fine – SunRace, microSHIFT, Miche etc.

      If one is not concerned with weight, choosing the cheapest matching cassette available is perfectly fine in terms of function and durability – apart from the really cheap “Chinese”/”No-name” models.

      2) Drivetrain considerations – again, two things 🙂

      2a) Chain length
      If your chain is optimally sized, with a larger cassette, you’d need to either get a longer chain, or avoid shifting to the largest few rear sprockets while on the larger front chainring (otherwise, the rear derailleur could get damaged).
      I’ve explained this in the article about the optimal chain length for bikes with derailleurs.

      2b) Rear derailleur capacity
      Not every rear derailleur can handle a 36 T cassette sprocket.
      Most road bike RDs are labelled as up-to-32 teeth.
      In my experience, 34 teeth cassettes are often fine in practice, but 36 can be a stretch and require a derailleur hanger extender.

      Here’s what a road bike RD with a hanger extender looks like, paired with an MTB cassette (my YouTube channel link):
      Pairing Shimano 11speed MTB cassette with a road groupset

      I hope this has helped you more than it has confused you. 🙂

      P.S. I was reluctant to list any particular cassette models because I’m not sure which bike shops or online stores offer good prices (and cheap/free shipping) in your area. And my vote always goes to supporting your local brick & mortar bicycle shop. However, just to be on the safe side, here are a few models from Amazon (affiliate links):
      Shimano 11-34
      SRAM, with an 11-36 option
      If you happen to be in Europe, here’s a lower price from a German online store – Shimano CS-HG700 Cassette 11-speed – 11-34 Teeth

  79. Awesome, thank you for this. Big help! Merci beaucoup. It’s an older gravel/crossbike.

  80. Question on Campagnolo. I believe Campagnolo 1.5 rear derailleur ratio was introduced in 2009 when Campagnolo issued its first ever 11 speed groups with Super Record, Record and Chorus. But all 10 speed group’ rear derailleurs are still Campagnolo 1.4 till the end of 10 speed era in recent year. Is it correct?

    So, all 8, 9, 10 speed Campagnolo Rear Derailleurs are interchangeable. Correct?

    • Hi Bill,

      As far as I know, there is some overlap.
      Old (1.4) was built for 8 to 10 speeds.
      New (1.5) was built for 9 to 11 speeds.
      Revolution 11-speed is different from those.

  81. Great article and video, Relja. I have a 1989 Trek 420 road bike, 3 x 7 speed with Shimano Sport LX derailleurs, original cassette, and friction shifters on the down tube. I’d like to convert the down handlebars to flat bars. Is there any kind of index shifters that will work with my derailleurs?

    • Update: I installed the Microshift TS39 3×7 shifters. The rear shifter is working well. But I’m having problems with the front. The shifter seems to pull more cable than the front derailleur wants. Shifting to a bigger chain ring, the “big” thumb lever needs to travel a long way before it moves past the “little” lever and clicks it into the next gear–and it hurts my thumb to push it hard that far! I can get the derailleur to go from the small to the middle chain ring and stay there. But to get it to go up to the big ring and have the shifter travel far enough to click into 3rd gear, I have to adjust the derailleur H-limit screw pretty far out, and sometimes the chain falls off onto the pedal crank.

      Going back down, sometimes the “little” thumb lever moves the derailleur from the big to the little chain ring all in one click (instead of two). And sometimes the cable housing just gets pushed out of the socket on the shifter, and the derailleur doesn’t move off the big chain ring at all.

      Do you have any suggestions of what to try?

    • Hi Brian,

      The first thing on my mind is to check the cable and housing routing and cable tension.

      For me, tuning derailleurs usually boils down to an elimination process. Starting with the most obvious (and/or the easiest to check).

      If it helps, I wrote articles about high-quality shifter (and brake) cables & housing, and how to route cables and housing.

      I also made videos about the most common derailleur tuning pitfalls, followed by a very long, in detail video about how to tune the derailleurs.

    • Hi Chris,

      I believe not.
      I think RS700 is a “road” standard shifter, just designed for flat bars (so should work with a Tiagra, 105, Ultegra etc.).
      Saint requires a MTB shifter.

  82. “Their Zee (RD-M640-SS), and Saint (RD-M820-SS) RDs are noted as 10 speed only.
    While the Deore you noted does say 10/11 speeds.”

    Is the Zee noted a 10 speed only because in the Shimano MTB range, 11 speed cassettes have bigger range than 11-32 which is what Shimano advises for Zee?

    The Altus M310 derailleur is specced for 8 speeds 11-32 and yet, I run several of them on 9s 11-34/ 9s 11-36 an 9s 11-40 (Really on the limit).

    I want to try a Zee derailleur with road shifter and a jtek adaptor but, I have yet to find a 10s shifter other than R4700.

  83. Hi, and thanks for the great article.
    I am considering converting my 3×9 setup to 1×10, while keeping my rd-m592 (for a mountain bike).
    I think I am left with the only option of buying a Shimano 10s Tiagra sl-4600, as it is the only road shifter that I can find for a flat handlebar currently. Do you think it will work out?

  84. Hello Relja,

    Greetings from Slovakia 😊

    I am speculating again how to get lower gears into mine gravel bike and I find by chance this chinese producer : S-Ride. or

    They also received nice review on this rather known magazin : as well on Youtube.
    I was attracted by them by „incredible „ official capacity of 49T, that might enable me to use 11-48 or even 11-50 cassette keeping current 46-30 chainrings, if they limits are conservative…as Shimano’s are.
    I am using now complete GRX 10 speed groupset (cassette 11-42 pas used even Shimano „allows“ 11-36 only.)

    Query: could I use instead mine GRX RD RX400 derailleur a chinese RD-GR580C Rear Derailleur 12/11-spd (Formerly named RD-M520c) ?

    They say : Compatible with Shimano 105 ST-5800 and GRX 600/810 road shifters.

    However, what I have studied on Your site and other sites :

    • GRX 10 speed shifter shall pull the same amount of cable as 11 speed and Tiagra 4700 ones
    • Shimano 11 speed and Tiagra 4700 and GRX rear derailleurs have the same translation of cable pull from shifters
    • Shimano 10 and 11 speed „road and MTB“ cassettes have the same width and about the same pitch of
    • 10 speed chain is only about 0,5 mm wider than 11 speed one, so derailluer has much more play on pulleys, so it shall work as well

    So, it shall work I think ! 😊 or, is there logical trap I miss ?

    Thank You in advance for Your kind help here.
    Kind regards, Eduard.

    • Hi Eduard,

      If that RD says it is “compatible with Shimano 105 5800” – I would expect it to work fine with Shimano GRX 600 and/or 810 shifters (if using an 11-speed cassette, as those shifters are designed for 11 speeds).

      I would also expect it to work with a 10-speed GRX 400 shifters, if paired wit ha 10-speed cassette.

      The things to consider are:
      How much a RD moves per 1mm of cable movement (on average) – that’s the same for Shimano 11-speed road and Tiagra 4700 (10-speed).
      How much cable does a shifter move per click – that differs for 10 and 11-speed shifters, and needs to match the cassette’s pitch and the RD’s movement ratio (as stated above).

      Hope I’ve helped you and haven’t confused you. 🙂


  85. Thank you for this. I want to figure out what my options for upgrading the derailleur on my “frankenbike” are and you are the only one with clear and concise information on this!

  86. What’s the full cable pull required for the 11speed dynasys? I have converted an old 8 speed bar end shifter to a friction shifter but would like to calculate the entire cable pull required before fitting.

    Eg cable length required to get from 1st gear to 11th gear… TIA

    • Hi Scudders,

      I haven’t got an 11-speed RD at hand to measure that.
      But you could easily measure that upon mounting the friction shifter – mark the cable at one end of the cassette, shift to the opposite end, and measure the length.


  87. on SRAM 1:1 and Exact Actuation

    The setup I’ve been running for about 4 years now is:
    – an X5 9-speed thumbshifter, which should be 1:1 with
    – an X9 10 speed RD, which is Exact Actuation (had both the clutched and non clutched variant)
    Something to keep in mind is, my bike is a special kind of cludged together beater. I came to this setup thinking Exact Actuation and 1:1 is the same thing, as is vaguely alluded to on this page, as well as SRAM’s website itself if I recall correctly.
    For years this setup ran fine, almost smooth even, on both 8 and 9 speed casettes, because the derailleur hanger is worn out and the mech just hangs in there for dear life, and because I don’t THAT much. At some point I had to zip-tie it in place, but when that failed I decided to fix it proper. A bolt through the whole thing and a couple of washers secured the mech to the hanger, and eliminated all play. Gone were the days of stable gear selection! Whichever way I tweaked the settings, it would always skip a cog somewhere down the casette.

    So, today I decided to fix it proper-proper.
    With the assumption that exact actuation is 1.3 pull ratio and I need to reduce it to 1.1, I worked out that the 22mm lever should be extended by 4mm (1.3/1.1*22=26). Problem is that this derailleur is not a lever, but something like a half pulley with a little gutter that the cable runs in.
    I managed to MacGyver a thick piece of ziptie and a bit of shifter outer cable into an approximately 4mm stack along that gutter thingy, and Presto, smooth shifting is restored!

    In short, my experience is that at least the x9 exact actuation RDs must therefore be 1.3 ratio, confirming the original info on this page, and debunking “Adi’s Comment.”
    If not, I must be missing something else

  88. Hello, I am interested in 9100/8000/GRX/4700 Shift Lever with M8130/M5130 RD. It will be good if these 2 parts are compatible
    (M8130 and M5130 RD is new linkglide groupset, they are compatiable with Shimano CUES U8000/U6000, Their pull ratio is totally different from old 11s shimano mtb 1.1. 4700=11s-1s While M5130=M8130-1s.)

  89. “Rear shift ratio of 1.4 matches old Campagnolo ratio, but I haven’t tested this in practice.”

    I have. It’s not the same. When using 10-speed Campagnolo Chorus shifters with the older Campagnolo 1.4 derailleurs I can get perfect shifts with a Shimano 10 speed cassette. When I tried doing that with a Tiagra 11 speed derailleur I found that it shifted so-so on a Shimano 9 speed cassette and not at all on a 10-speed cassette. It came up a little bit short to shift across the entire 9 speed cassette requiring me to tune for the high or low side but not both. I moved the cable to clamp onto the fixing bolt directly to decrease the pull ratio at the derailleur and now it works pretty good on a 10-speed cassette but it’s not perfect.

    • Was this done correctly? If I read CTC correctly, C11 matches the cable pull (approximately) of S11. Using a 1.4 derailleur which I count should theoretically shift a 3.64mm spaced cassette.

      That spacing is much closer to 3.74mm, or S11. It sounds like you were attempting an S10, cassette spaced I think is 3.95mm.

      I can understand the confusion, as Tiagra is 10 speed. However, it seems like C11 + Tiagra should be used to shift an S11, not an S10.

    • Michael Wong’s point – if the shifter is 10speed, with the same total lateral movement across the casette, the absolute amount of cable pulled should be more, presumably approx 10S cog-cog distance (5mm?) / 1.4

      An 11 speed shifter that assumes a 1:4 ratio on the RD would pull the cable ightly less distance each click, about 4.8mm/1.4 I guess.

    • Using Campagnolo 9-speed shifters designed for the old 1.4 ratio with a Shimano RD-9100 and a Campagnolo 9-speed cassette, the shifting is much better than it was with the original derailleur (which was admittedly a bit worn). I can’t help but feel that Peter’s non-standard setup is causing his problems. I have tried his version before, Campag 9s Derailleur, Shimano 10s Cassette and Campag 10s shifters: It didn’t work for me. But no problem substituting a new Shimano derailleur into an otherwise correct 9s system.

  90. What about Deore 10/11 speed rear derailleur? How it can wor on both 10 and 11 speed? And it work!

    • Hi Kirill,

      According to Shimano too, it is compatible (their 10 and 11-speed DynaSys stuff).
      I need to (re)test, to confirm it and update the article.
      The same goes for the 12-speed stuff.


  91. I don’t know if it had been mentioned before. But I’m successfully running a 3×9 Setup on my touring bike with:

    – SRAM 9-speed shifters (I think its an X.9)
    – Deore 11-speed MTB derailleur (RD-M5100 I believe)

    It’s working flawlessly as the ratios match. The reason I’m doing this is on the one hand the clutch on the much more modern derailleur which is fairly noticeable. The second and probably more important reason to me is that I can use much bigger cassettes. I’m running a Microshift 11-42 cassette which was only possible to use using an extension for the derailleur hanger before (which resulted in a lower shifting performance than now). Last but not least, the Deore derailleur ist about 25 Euro (here in Germany), whereas a decent SRAM 9-speed derailleur (without clutch) is about 35-40 Euro.

    I know that running a 3x is bit outdated and there is one flaw that cannot be fixed in this setup, which is the chain length. If I have it in the correct length and tension I cannot shift biggest chainring in the front (48t) to biggest cog in the back as the chain is too short and it all blocks up. Since I shouldn’t be doing this “cross pattern” anyway, I’m fine with it and never got into this situation 🙂

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