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Compatibility [07] Rear shifters

Rear shifters are of course used to shift gears at the back – that is to control the rear derailleur (RD in the future) which then moves the chain from one rear sprocket to the other. In this post first, there will be a short explanation of the difference between friction and indexed shifters, then the compatibility of indexed shifters will be explained by three standards of the three biggest equipment manufacturers: SRAM, Campagnolo and Shimano. For each standard, it will be sorted by the number of “speeds”, that is the number of rear sprockets.
Note 1:
This article is about shifters for controlling derailleurs. Rear gear hubs have completely different shifter standards, so the info given here is not relevant for those.

Note 2:
Before you start, to avoid any misunderstanding:
please take the 5 minutes needed to read the compatibility articles use instructions.

Friction vs indexed shifters

This goes for both front and rear shifters.

Friction shifters work analogously – that is the cable is pulled for the amount that the lever shifter is moved. Changing gears is done by feel (and hearing) – moving the lever until the gear is changed and chain rattling stops. 🙂

Advantage of such system is that it always works without fine tuning. It is the most robust shifter system. Disadvantage is that it is sometimes harder to get it just right manually – it takes some time and practice. They are compatible with all the RDs and numbers of speeds, but if there are more than 8 sprockets at the back, sprockets are more tightly packed, closer together, so it is hard to get the RD to align with the desired sprocket – smaller error margin. That is why they can’t be recommended for more than 8 sprockets.

Indexed shifters have a number of pre-designed positions. One click moves/releases cable by a certain, pre-calculated amount. Number of clicks needs to match the number of rear sprockets (minus one, of course) and the amount of cable pulled needs to move the RD to align with the next sprocket. Additional complication is that various models of RDs move for various distance for the same amount of cable pulled (for 1 mm of cable pull, some RDs move for 1,7 mm, while others move for only 1,3 mm etc.). This needs to be considered when talking about compatibility.

In the rest of this post, it will be explained which indexed shifters can be mixed with which RDs. If it’s not noted differently, it is understood that the number of shifter speeds matches the number of rear sprockets (10 speed shifter with a 10 speed cassette and so on).

Number of speeds RD is designed for is more a marketing term – as long as RD movement and desired cable pull is matched with the shifter cable pull, all will work fine.

Important note

This goes whenever combining shifters with more speeds than the number of rear sprockets. For example: 7 speed shifter with a 6 speed cassette and similar.

Shifter will have more clicks than there are available rear sprockets. To prevent shifting to drop the chain off the cassette, RD movement needs to be limited with limit screws (this should always be done anyway, regardless of the shifter used).

When the chain reaches the end of the cassette, shifter will have more clicks. Every indexed shifter has clicks for releasing and for pulling the cable. When setting up the shifter, it should be set up so that it can pull the cable all the way, leaving one or more click for releasing the cable unused.

For example, 7 speed shifter with a 6 speed cassette should be set so that when it pulls the maximal amount of cable, the RD aligns with one end of the cassette, and after five clicks of cable release RD should be aligned with the opposite side of the cassette. This leaves sixth click for releasing the cable unused – RD will not move at all, since it will be limited with limit screws.

Opposite setup would be so that when cable is released as far as it goes, RD aligns with one end of the cassette. Then, after five clicks for pulling the cable, RD will reach the opposite side of the cassette and the limit screw stop. This will leave one more click for pulling the cable available. Shifter lever will allow one more click for pulling the cable, while the RD will be stuck in place with the limit screw. If shifter lever is pulled for the remaining click, probably nothing will happen but the user will feel the lever not moving, resisting. However, since shifter mechanism is fine and sensitive and the RD can not move any more, pulling the lever could cause the shifter mechanism to break and shifter will no longer work.

Reminder: if RD movement is not correctly limited with limit screws, it could “change” a gear so that chain drops off the sprockets completely, which can be a problem.


SRAM shifters come in four different standars:

  • Shifters compatible with “Shimano 2:1” standard. They come in versions made for 6, 7, 8 and 9 speed cassettes.
  • SRAM 1:1 standard. They come in versions from 7 to 9 speeds.
  • SRAM Exact Actuation. Available in 9 and 10 speeds for both road and MTB (shifter lever ergonomy differs for flat MTB and drop road bars), and in 11 speeds for road only.
  • SRAM X-Actuation. So far only MTB 11 and 12 speeds versions are available.

Each of these shifters works fine with any SRAM RD as long as they are by the same standard.

In addition to that, shifters compatible with Shimano 2:1 standard can work with Shimano MTB RDs for 6 to 9 speeds and with Shimano road RDs for 6 to 10 speeds. Exception is Shimano Tiagra 4700 10-speed RD series – these will not be compatible.

SRAM 1:1 is, judging by data, compatible with Shimano 11 speed MTB RDs, but I haven’t tested this in practice.

b) Campagnolo

Campagnolo has two standards per shift, called old and new. 🙂  Old ones are matched with old RDs, new ones with new. Since the amount of needed cable pull differs for each number of rear sprockets, there is no cross compatibility whatsoever. 10 speed new shifters work only with new 10 speed RDs. 8 speed ones with 8 speed RDs. And so on. Old standard comes in 8 to 10 speed variants, while the new one comes in 9 to 11 speeds.

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.

Newest Campagnolo 12 speed standard (introduced in 2018) is not compatible with any others (as far as I know).

One exception is that old Campagnolo standard, judging by data, should work with Shimano 11 speed road RDs, but I haven’t tested this.

Other exception are the new Campagnolo 10 speed shifters. They can work with Shimano RDs for 6 to 9 speeds (and old Shimano road 10 speed RDs) and Shimano 8 speed cassettes. Cable pull of Campy 10 speed shifters is not the same for every gear change, there will be two unused shifts with an 8 speed cassette, but it can be made to work satisfactory.

If it is any consolation, Campagnolo shifters are more robust, longer lasting and can be serviced, unlike other manufacturers’ shifters.

It is also interesting that not every Campagnolo 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.  🙂

c) Shimano

Compatibility will be given per number of speeds, except for 10 and 11 speed shifters, where cable pull differs from road to MTB models.

6, 7, 8 and 9 speed shifters

Combining with various RDs:

Shimano shifters, whether for 6, 7, 8, or 9 speeds are compatible with all the Shimano RDs for 6 to 9 speeds, and with Shimano 10 speed road RDs (not with 10 speed MTB RDs).

Update: a new exception are Shimano Tiagra 4700 road 10-speed shifters, and Shimano GRX gravel series shifters.

They are also compatible with SRAM 2:1 RDs (that were in fact made so that they match the Shimano standard).

Combining with various rear sprockets:

6 speed shifters will work well with 7 speed sprockets, but they will not shift onto one of the outer sprockets because they don’t have enough “clicks” (5 in stead of 6 needed for a 7 speed cassette). They can be set up so that they don’t shift onto the smallest, or the largest sprocket at the back, with everything else working fine.

7 speed shifters will work with 6 speed sprockets, but one “click” will be unused – will do nothing (read the important note at the beginning of the post if doing this).

They can also be combined with 8 speed cassettes, but some gears might not work perfectly and there will be one unused sprocket at one end of the cassette, or the other. Similar goes for pairing 6 speed shifters with 8 speed cassettes.

8 speed shifters can work with 6 and 7 speed sprockets (read the important note at the beginning of the post if doing this). Since the required Shimano 8 speed cable pull differs slightly from the 6 and 7 speed one, shifting will not be as quick, accurate and there might be some chain noise in certain gears, but most will work fine.

9 speed shifters pull significantly less cable per click than 6, 7 and 8 speed ones. They can be combined with 6 to 8 speed sprockets (read the important note at the beginning of the post if doing this) if the cable is attached to the opposite side at the RD (see position B in the picture below). Then it will all work , but some gears might not work perfectly.

Alternative cable attachment. Position B will cause RD to move more, which helps if shifter doesn't pull enough cable.
Alternative cable attachment.
Position B will cause RD to move more, which helps if shifter doesn’t pull enough cable.

A “hack” if a shifter pulls more cable than it should, when mix-matching, is shown in the picture below, but I haven’t tested that:

Attaching cable in the C position will cause the RD to move a little less per 1 mm of cable pull, than it's "factory" default design
Attaching cable in the C position will cause the RD to move a little less per 1 mm of cable pull, than it’s “factory” default design

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

Shimano Dura Ace shifters for 6, 7 and 8 speeds will only work with Shimano Dura Ace RDs for 6 to 8 speeds. That means each shifter will work with each RD, as long as they are Dura Ace and built in the period from the heading (that is 6 to 8 speeds).

10 speed ROAD shifters

Combining with various RDs:

Shimano 10 speed road shifters are compatible with Shimano MTB RDs from 6 to 9 speeds and with shimano road RDs from 6 to 10 speeds.

Exceptions are Shimano Tiagra 4700 road shifters that work with Shimano Tiagra 4700 RDs and Shimano 11 speed road RDs.

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

Combining with various rear sprockets:

With alternate cable attachment (position B in the picture above), they can be made to work with 9-speed cassettes. Shifting speed and precision will degrade, but it can work (read the important note at the beginning of the post if doing this).

10 speed MTB shifters

They can only work with Shimano 10 speed MTB RDs.

11 speed ROAD shifters

They work with Shimano 11 speed road RDs and with Shimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed road RDs.

By data, they should also work with old Campagnolo RDs, but I haven’t tested this. Old Campagnolo RDs come in 8, 9 and 10 speed variants. They should work with 8 and 9 speed old Campagnolo RDs, as long as the cassette used is Shimano 11 speed road one.

11 speed MTB shifters

They work Shimano 11 speed MTB RDs.

I haven’t tested, but they should work with SRAM RDs of SRAM 1:1 standard. They should work, as long as the cassette used is Shimano 11 speed MTB one.

New 11 and 12 speed Hyperglide+

From summer of 2018 Shimano introduces a new XTR M9100 groupset. New shifters have a switch for 11 and 12 speed operation setup, but only work with new Hyperglide+ cassettes.

Shifter type – amount of cable pulled with each click in mm

For 10 and 11 new Campagnolo, this differs from click to click, the data is given on average.
Also, the given numbers are a result of measuring complete length of cable released (after all the clicks), divided with the total number of clicks – cross referenced with cassette sprocket pitch, and rear derailleur movement ratio (per 1 mm of cable pulled). Not every given value matches 100%, but it’s the best I could source/measure/combine, and it gives a (rough) guide to what can work with what.

Shimano 6 – 3.2SRAM 2:1 n = Shimano nCampagnolo 8 – 3.5
Shimano 7 – 2.9SRAM 1:1 7 MTB – 4.5Campagnolo old 9 – 3.2
Shimano 8 – 2.8SRAM 1:1 8 MTB – 4.3Campagnolo new 9 – 3
Shimano 9 – 2.5SRAM 1:1 9 MTB – 4Campagnolo new 10 – 2.8
Shimano 10 road – 2.3SRAM Exact Actuation 10 – 3.1Campagnolo new Revolution 11 – 2.6
Shimano 10 road
Tiagra 4700 – 2.8
Shimano 10 MTB – 3.4SRAM Exact Actuation 11 road – 3.1 * Campagnolo Revolution 11+ – N/A
Shimano 11 road – 2.7SRAM X-Actuation 11 – 3.5 
Shimano 11 MTB – 3.6 SRAM X-Actuation 12 – 3.45 

* Most probably incorrect number, needs checking. Can’t be the same as 10 speed Exact Actuation, since cassette pitch is different (narrower).

Related post – Bicycle groupset (equipment):

Bicycle groupset (drivetrain)
Bicycle groupset (drivetrain)

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

Bicycle drivetrain compatibility book
Bicycle drivetrain compatibility book

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46 thoughts on “Compatibility [07] Rear shifters”

  1. Can I match a Shimano 10s Road shifter, a 9spd Shimano MTB long cage RD and a Shimano 10s MTB cassette? (I’m trying to put 11-34 gearing on my 10s road bike) I understand how to make sure the chain is sized correctly and the limit screws are adjusted properly.

    • Short answer: It will work unless the shifters are Tiagra 4700 10 speed ones.

      Longer answer (explanation):

      Several components to look out for here. Will use exclusion method – one by one.

      Shimano 10 speed cassettes have the same spacing both for MTB and Road – so that part is OK. Wrote about it in more detail here:

      As for shifters (and their function with the RD): unless the shifters are Tiagra 4700 10 speed, they will work (any other older 10 speed road shifters are compatible, but not the newest Tiagra 4700).
      So 10 speed 105, Ultegra etc will work fine.

      In order to improve this article, is that part not explained clearly enough in the chapter: “10 speed ROAD shifters” of this article? English is not my native – was any sentence not clear enough, or contradictory with other sentences? “Return information” and suggestions are very helpful.

  2. It’s written that friction shifting is not recommended for more than 7 gears. However if you use a SRAM exact actuation RD you get again 3.1mm per gear. I drive 9 gears with an exact actuation RD and friction shifting and it works pretty well.

    • I agree. The longer-cable-pull RD-s are easier to operate using friction shifting (and less susceptible to any housing/cable imperfections when used with indexed shifters).

      Not sure who recommends no more than 7. For example, I draw the line at 8 – though, as you noted, with longer cable pull RDs it can work fine with 9, some use it even with 10.

      Having said that: the fewer the sprocket number, the better/easier friction shifting (and the higher indexed shifter system “robustness” to any housing/cable imperfections) – all else being equal.

  3. Hi, I was just wondering, with all the craze on clutched rear derailleurs for 9 speed MTB transmission, why has nobody gone with a SRAM 9 speed shifter and a 11 speed shimano rear derailleur? I’ve seen many people pair the SRAM 9 speed shifter with a 10 speed shimano rear derailleur, but from the cable pull ratios mentioned in the artscyclery drivetrain compatibility page, 9s SRAM shifter and 10s shimano rear derailleur should not be shifting smoothly.

    From the charts, for SRAM 9 speed shifters and shimano 10 speed derailleurs, we have:
    Cable Pull: 4mm
    Derailleur Ratio: 1.2
    Calculated Cog Pitch: 4.8mm
    vs Measured Cog Pitch (% difference): 10.34%

    Pretty big if you ask me. But I’ve noticed something else. Why has nobody paired the SRAM 9 speed shifters with 11 speed shimano derailleurs? The cable pull looks bang on! Lets explore this:
    Cable Pull: 4mm
    Derailleur Ratio: 1.1
    Calculated Cog Pitch: 4.4mm
    vs Measured Cog Pitch (% difference): 1.15%

    Sees extremely viable from my point of view, what do you guys think?

    • A very, very good question.
      I think your calculations are correct.
      This should work OK. There is no 100% alignment (as you calculated), but there’s a lot more cable pull per shift than with using all Shimano 9 speed setup (shifter and derailleur).
      So, in theory, it might be quite good. Haven’t tried it though so I could confirm.

      It should definitely work better than the SRAM 9 1:1 shifter and Shimano MTB 10 speed RD.

  4. Hi Relja, just an update.

    I borrowed an XTR M9000 GS rear derailleur from my mate and put it on my bike using a SRAM X7 9 speed trigger shifter together with a sunrace 11-40T 9 speed cassette.

    It works great but I had to dial back the clutch force as shifting up was pretty stiff. I think the shifter wasn’t made for clutch derailleurs, thus the difficulty.

    Apart from this, the shifting was great, I also managed to take a video of it indexing through all the gears. Let me know if you want it.

    • Hello Dennis,

      First I’d like to thank you for this information – it’s a great contribution that will help any mechanic and mechanics enthusiast. 🙂
      In those terms, I think the video of the setup could only help, can’t do any harm. Comments containing links often get caught by spam filter, but I’ll make sure to check and (“manually”) approve the publishing, if needed.

      About difficulty when shifting up with the RD clutch “enabled”. Just to confirm we’re thinking of the same thing: shifting “up” – as when pulling the cable?
      If that is the case, my thinking out loud:

      11 speed RD is intended to move for a shorter amount per click, than the 9 speed shifter tries to move it (9 speed sprockets are more widely spaced).
      Vice versa: 11 speed shifter pulls less cable per shift – that is: per similar movement of the lever. Which boils down to it having more mechanical advantage than a 9 speed shifter, making it easier to move a clutch derailleur.

      Mechanical advantage in more detail, explained in terms of brakes:

  5. Hi!
    I have a 10speed 700c rear wheel and I was wondering if I could make it work with a old Fiji 5 speed bike that operates via paddle shifters. I want to use it as a commuter bike.

    Thanks ahead of time!



  6. Same as Dennis above. Fitted 11s Shimano ST505 shifters (similar enough cable pull as 9 speed) with 7-10sp RD5700 rear derailleur with 9 speed cassette. This was to be able to use hydraulic brakes on a road bike.
    Worked fine just had to close out the upper gears. Saved on purchasing 11 speed wheels.
    Although if using 11s 28t or above cassette you can machine 0.85mm off the back of the cassette to use 11sp cassette on 10sp wheels.

    • Hi Phil,

      Thanks for the info – and sharing a great workaround for getting the hydro brakes and levers to work, while keeping an “older” drivetrain.

      The RD movement ends up being just a little bit greater than ideal, but if using RD limit screws correctly, one should be able to make it work – as you apparently have.

      With the RD position probably ending neary 100% spot on aligned with the mid part of the cassette – that often gets mostly used, especially with 2x and 3x cranks, as well as on the largest and smallest sprockets (thanks to the RD limit screws).

  7. I don’t get it, could you please explain. I’m on a small budget and i plan on changing a lot of parts on my old bike.

    My current drive train:
    -6 speed freewheel (generic brand)
    -7 speed rear derailleur (a shimano rd-tz30)
    -6 speed shifter (generic brand but shimano compatible)
    -3 speed chainring (with a chainring derailleur that works fine)

    I’d like to have this drivetrain
    -replace the freewheel hub with a freehub
    -9 speed cassette (either a shimano or shimano alike)
    -9 speed shifter (shimano compatible)
    -keep my 7 speed rear derailleur
    -keep my 3 speed chainring (with a chainring derailleur that works fine)

    Since the rear derailleur (indexed) moves inward or outward as much as the shiter tells it to do it, if i change it from 6 a speed shifter to 9 speed shifter, the rear derailleur should still work fine, right?

    • Yes, correct. Shifter should be just fine. With a few notes:
      9 speed cassettes are more “tightly packed” than 6 speed ones – sprockets are closer together. The system will be more sensitive to any imperfections. So you might see a lower quality in shifting if either:
      – Cables and housing are worn, or not properly routed.
      – Rear derailleur hook, or hanger is not straight (they sometimes get bent from impacts).
      – Rear derailleur has a lot of play in the pivots (is worn).

      6 speed cassettes usually have a range of 14-28, or 32 teeth. While 9 speed ones are usually 11 (or 12) to 32, or 34 teeth (for MTB).
      In case the rear deraileur is not a long cage one, you might end up with some slack chain when running small-small combination (smallest chainrings both at front and back). That’s not a big deal, especially since that gearing combination should be avoided anyway, because of the severe cross chaining in that combo (similar gearing ratio can be achieved by using the middle front chainring and mid-part of the cassette).

      Finally, just in case:
      6 speed cassettes are usually using a freewheel systems, while 9 speed ones require a wheel with a freehub – so wheel (or at least hub) change will be needed.

  8. this article gave me the courage to mix the following:
    SRAM X0 9s shifter
    Taiwan 11-46T 9s cog
    shimano deore 10s with clutch

    worked like a charm

  9. Thanks for writing this, I’m sure lots of people will have found it useful.
    Think it might be worth emphasising that these are average values for cable pull?
    I’m looking to run a gearbox off a 9 speed shifter so was looking at the cable pulls and was shocked at the variation in pull per click. For a Shimano XTR 9 speed I got cable pulls of between 2.3 and 3.8mm per shift. And with a SRAM 9 speed SX5 I got values between 3.5 and 6mm. Both these shifters were a little old but only lightly used so I dont think wear was significant.

    • The vast difference is on the last click, when the cable is completely released?
      Or did you measure it somewhere in between gears?

      Will note that the numbers are an approximation, because manufacturers usually don’t readily provide that data, and it is very difficult (for me at least) to measure it accurately. That’s a good suggestion.

  10. Yes measuring accurately is not easy. As you say there are bigger steps at each end where I think it is safe to assume that the mech will run into it’s end stops. But they also vary through the stroke with the smallest shift being towards the middle. So with the Shimano I had steps of 3.8, 2.9. 2.6, 2.5, 2.3, 2.4, 2.3 and 3.4mm. And with the SRAM mountain I had 6, 4.6, 4, 4.4, 3.5, 3.8, 3.8 and 4.1
    I wouldn’t like to claim that these numbers are spot on but should be within 0.1 or so and the variation is clear. I assume that this is deliberate to compensate for the swing of the rear mech. ie. higher gears will need a smaller angular change in the parallelogram than lower ones.

    • The confusing (and interesting) thing is that I saw poorly set up systems that had it all missed by a single click (never saw more than one click missed though).
      So, for a 9 speed – the second smallest sprocket was selected with the second pull of the lever (second click). While the first click did nothing, leaving the chain on the smallest rear sprocket.
      And then it goes on until the second largest sprocket, when the shifter runs out of clicks, so it can’t be shifted.
      Those setups worked surprisingly well, except you couldn’t use all the gears on the cassette, obviously.

      I also had this configured – with mismatched cassette, and it’s been working flawlessly for over a year and a lot of riding:
      Pairing Shimano 11-speed MTB cassette with a road groupset

      So it seems that slight mismatch in pulls/ratios/cassette pitch is still manageable.
      In fact, the most sensitive system to tune properly is the old Shimano 10 speed road (105, Ultegra) – with the new Tiagra 4700 10 speed they added more cable movement, so it seems to be a lot easier to tune in and is less susceptible to causing problems with small housing and cable imperfections.

  11. Since the Shimano 11 road and 4700 10-speed shifters pull about the same amount of cable as the old Campagnolo 11 and 10, respectively, have there been any experiments pairing S9 and S8 cassettes with the new shifters?

    Also, does the ‘Hubbub’ routing still work for 4700 users with 5800+ shifters as an eventual upgrade path to 11 speeds?

    • The data given for Campagnolo is an average/approximation. Campy shifters don’t pull the same amount of cable for each click.

      I still haven’t tried different cable pinch points to see how they work with the 4700 10, and road 11 speed stuff.

      Also to note:
      – 11 speed road wheels are inherently weaker, for having more “dishing”, as I’ve demonstrated in the video:
      How the number of speeds affects rear wheel strength
      – Chains, cassettes, and other groupset parts are more expensive.

      So I don’t see it as a real UPgrade, at lest for most recreational, and/or utility cycling (i.e. not competitive).

  12. Is it possible to use a hub gear twist shifter such as Nexus 8 with an 8 speed rear mech?

  13. I happen to have an Alfine 8 trigger shifter on my desk.
    Doing a very rough measure I get that the pulls are:-

  14. My 8-speed Shimano Alivio shifter broke – the cable snapped off in the shifter for the n+1th time (where n is the number of times I was able to successfully get it out again, sometimes by disassembling the whole shifter). I read here “Shimano shifters, whether for 6, 7, 8, or 9 speeds are compatible with all the Shimano RDs for 6 to 9 speeds” so I bought a Shimano Alfine shifter, in the hope of avoiding the same thing happening. The cable pull is vastly different – I get only four clicks of the shifter before I’ve travelled the whole of the rear cassette. I will try the pull-reducing hack but it seems like it’s too far out for that to work. Does that statement about Shimano shifters being compatible with all RDs need to be amended? Or have I done something really stupid?

    • Hi Rich,

      I will edit the article as soon as possible.
      The article is related to systems with derailleurs, not to gear hubs.
      Gear hubs have a very different cable pull.


  15. Hello
    Thanks for the article. I was wondering how I would determine if a mt bike shifter would work with my gravel bike derailleurs. I have a Cannondale Topstone Carbon 2 with Ultegra Rx GS 11 speed rear derailleur and want to convert to a flat bar set up. I’ve looked at the Shimano tables but they are not helpful for what I am doing. Any ideas where I can get answers?

    • Hi Jim,

      For that to work, you’ll either need to swap both derailleurs for MTB ones, or to get flat-bar road derailleur compatible shifters, like these:
      Shimano SL-RS700 (Amazon affiliate link)

      Or a cheaper, compatible alternative, like these by Microshift:
      Microshift 11 speed flat bar road shifters (Amazon affiliate link)

      Both of the linked items are currently unavailable, but that’s what they look like, and that’s roughly the price.
      This year is rather hectic when it comes to sourcing bicycle parts.
      Personally (and I recommend that) I try to source whatever’s possible in the local bike shops, but that too is becoming more and more difficult even for the basic parts (at least this year, in Serbia, but also online from what I can tell).


  16. hi
    Is Shimano RD Altus M2000 9 speed works with brifter 105 ST 5700 2×10 ?
    Or it would rather use old SLX 9 speed M662?

    Which one is a better combination.

    thanks a lot for your answer.

    • Hi Handy,

      105 5700 series shifters will work with any Shimano derailleur for up to 9 speeds.
      Along with old road derailleurs for 10-speeds (i.e. excluding Tiagra 4700 and GRX).

      When choosing between Altus and SLX – I’d first choose the one in a better condition (less play in the pivots).
      All else being equal, SLX is way better than Altus.


  17. Hi,

    I’m planning to convert my very old Giant OCR2 – Shimano Tiagra 3×9 – road bike with drop bars to a straight bar for casual weekend cycling.

    I need some help in determining what Shimano MTB shifters would be good as a replacement to the existing drop bar shifters.

    Thanks in advance!


    • Hi Eugene,

      The rear 9-speed Shimano MTB shifter should work fine.
      The front shifter will most likely not be perfect, but with some adjustment and good limit screw configuration, it just might work well enough (depending on one’s criteria for the “well enough”).

      I think it’s worth giving it a try with the front shifter, before replacing the front derailleur for a MTB one.


  18. Hi There:
    I have a Di2 10 spd Shimano system on my road bike. I was given (for free) a really nice set of wheels but the it is for 11 spd Campagnolo.
    I suppose a few extra spacers will solve fitting the 10 speed Campagnolo cassette in the hub. If so far I’m correct, the key question is
    Is the Shimano Di2 shifter compatible with the 10 speed Campagnolo cassette ?
    Thanks in advance, Alex Perdomo.

  19. Hi Relja:
    Short answer is no, they are incompatible after my reading.
    The answer was in one of the links from the page you directed me to,

    Dimensions are in millimetres
    Cassette Cassette Sprocket Spacer Total width
    Pitch Thickness thickness
    Shimano, SRAM 10-speed 3.95 1.6 2.35 37.2
    Campagnolo 10-speed 4.15* 1.7 varies * 38.8

    38.8-37.2 = 1.6mm difference. Big enough to make it incompatible.

    * With some Campagnolo cassettes, cassette pitch changes – increasing and decreasing between different position sprockets. The goal was to improve shifting in the middle part of the cassette.

    Many thanks for you answer. Spot on, clean and elegant.

  20. Thanks a lot Relja for all the work you’ve put in to those articles. It very helpful!

    Could anybody give some advice on my conversion options
    I bought old-ish road bike I want use as commuter (it has 3×10 speed “something” Shimano ). I’m hoping to convert it to flat-bar.
    Based on your research I see there are no options to combine 10-speed road RD with MTB shifter correct ? I haven’t check your other articles yet for the various FD & cassette combinations but what would be the most sensible option for my conversion ?

    -try the MTB 10 speed shifter anyway ?
    -Switch the 10s road RD for MTB RD+MTB shifter (not sure if cassette has to be switched too – will read your other articles now 🙂 )
    -downgrade to 9 speed cassette + MTB shifter

    Thanks for any tips

    • Hi J,

      I don’t clearly see what you have right now and what exactly you wish to achieve. But if my assumptions (the mothers of all the mess-ups 🙂 ) are correct,
      you have an older generation road 3×10 gropuset (shifters, cassette, derailleurs etc.).

      And you want to use flat bar shifters, with minimal costs – converting it to a flat-bar bike.

      For commuting, my first choice would be a new 7-speed cassette (with a spacer made from the old 10-speed cassette 🙂 – as shown in the rear hub compatibility article) and good, steel/aluminium friction shifters. Making it bomb-proof.
      Apart from that, you could also do one of the following:

      1) Look for some 9-speed flat bar shifters.
      This would also require swapping the cassette for a 9-speed one.
      The same principle (shifters + a matching cassette) goes for 8, or 7-speed shifters, whichever you opt for.
      Front shifting won’t be perfect if you go with an MTB front shifter, without replacing the FD.
      If you find flat-bar road-compatible shifters, than front shifting will be fine.

      2) Look for non-Tiagra 4700, i.e. an older generation road-compatible 10-speed flat-bar shifters.
      MTB 10-speed shifters won’t work without replacing the RD, and front shifting won’t be perfect without replacing the FD.
      This lets you keep the cassette (and derailleurs, if you find road-compatible flat-bar shifters).

      3) There are probably A x B more combinations, depending on your choices of which components you are willing to replace and what kind of drivetrain you want.
      But I hope I’ve provided at least some info and help. 🙂


  21. Hello,
    I’ve been planning on building a road bike. I already bought a Shimano Tiagra 4700 STI and got me thinking if should I pair it with a road rear derailuer with the same pull tension as a sram 11 speed because that is what I’ve got as of the moment. The question is, should it work?

  22. Hi,
    I have a 9-speed Campy Mirage RD. I need new shifters but because they’re from the 90s it’s a nightmare to find. Your guide makes me believe there isn’t much cross-manufacturer compatibility (if any). What are my options (apart from changing both the RD and the shifter) ?

    My setup is:
    Rear: Campy mirage 9-speed RD, 8-speed shimano cassette, Campy rear shifter
    Front: Campy dual chain-ring, FD and shifter

    • Hi Fabrice,

      The simplest option is going with friction shifters. Either down-tube, bar-end, or the Gevenalle shifters (with friction shifting). STIs are quite expensive, needlessly heavy and not nearly robust and durable enough for my taste.

      That would make a system that works with practically any cassette (or derailleur for that matter, whatever comes to be needing replacement down the road).

      In terms of ergonomy and the ease of fast shifting with hands on the tops, hoods, whatever, STIs are still unmatched. That’s their biggest pro.

      For STIs, with mid-range derailleurs being moderately priced, I’d look for a shiter/derailleur combo that can easily be sourced (for my country, that’s Shimano). If a bit of extra weight is not a problem, Shimano Claris (8-speed) work surprisingly well in my experience.

      If lower weight and/or more speeds are required, Shimano Tiagra 4700 (10-speed) shifters and derailleurs are very good. Also, they are compatible with Shimano 11-speed stuff (in terms of derailleur cable-pull, you do need an 11-speed cassette, chain etc.).

      An extra option could be the use of shiftmate.

      Finally, if shifters are not physically broken, a liberal spray of WD40 on the insides could clear any built-up gunk and make the old shifters work again. If that helps, follow it up with some fine lubricant spray, because WD40 is not much of a lubricant by itself.

      P.S. There’s also the option of sourcing used Campagnolo Mirage shifters, or sourcing the needed (damaged) parts and servicing them.

      Hope this helps more than it confuses. 🙂 There really is a ton of different options and paths to choose and I understand that different people have different preferences and priorities, so can’t really say which one is the best for whom. I can say that my choice is friction shifters – both for flat bars and drop bars. 🙂

    • Thanks Relja, that’s a very thorough answer! 🙂

      i’ve had my bike since late 90s when i was competing as a teen.
      Looked after it over the years but the frame eventually snapped near the rear derailleur and it can’t be welded.
      I decided to through myself a challenge and rebuild the bike. I managed to source a really good frame for really cheap (thanks ebay). Needed new fork/headset/stem as my old threaded system wasn’t compatible with the frame’s integrated system. So far so good but my shifters look very tired. They do work well still but i thought it may be good to change them until i realised how difficult it is to find campagnolo in the UK nowadays (I was in France at the time i got the bike).

      I definitely don’t want to go away from STI so i guess maintenance will be a good idea. I didn’t know until reading one of your guides than campy shifters were “easily” serviceable!

  23. Hi! I currently have Dura Ace SL-BSR1 bar end shifters and running 1x (indexed) with a GRX rear derailleur on a drop bar mountainbike.

    I am planning on changing the rear derailleur to a Deore 12 speed M6100 model and it’s corresponfing 12 speed cassette.

    Will I be able to use the left bar end shifter (which is friction) with the M6100 rear derailleur and be able to shift to all 12 gears on the rear?

    • Hi Neil,

      Out of all the mix-matching I’ve done over the past decades, I can’t recall ever having tried to use a left shifter for the rear derailleur.

      I would expect it to work, but can’t say with a 100% certainty.

      You can easily test how much your shifters pull by disconnecting the cable(s) from the derailleur(s), setting a starting position with most cable pulled all the way in (lowest gear for the rear, highest gear for the front/left shifter), taping/marking the cable part that is right at the shifter’s entrance, then “shifting” to the position where there’s a maximum amount of cable released. Measure and compare. If the left shifter releases the same amount of cable (or more), then I would expect it to work.

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