I currently have an older 10 speed Campagnolo Record group set with 52/39 cranks. I would like to get a compact group set. I can't get an equivalent 10 speed compact cranks now but I can get an 11 speed set.

Can I use 11 speed crankset with the remainder of my 10 speed group set?

5 Answers 5


No, Anonymous Donor is wrong, I am afraid - you will find that the chainrings on the 11s cranks are effectively closer together and you may well get issues with the chain touching the outer ring when you are on the inner ring and the smallest 2 or possibly even 3 sprockets (depends on the frame geometry). Sometimes this just causes noise and it's an irritation only, other times the lift pins on the inside of the outer ring will pick the bottom run of chain up & you will get a chain-suck type effect that can do a lot of damage.

Front mech set up is also sightly more difficult although that can be persuaded to work - it won't work as well, though, as a full 10s system and you may get chainn-drop issues going from big to small ring, and "float" issues coming back up from small to big ring.

Compact is available in 10s, in the current range with Veloce and there are still quite a few vendors advertising Centaur 10s if you want a lighter, carbon chainset.

  • 1
    This is a more accurate answer. Because the 10 speed crank uses a thicker chain ring, and is spaced farther sort than the 11 speed. The front dérailleur has a correspondingly different throw length. This combo is very likely to cause you a problem. How severe the problem is will be debatable, but it will cause issues. In my experience, dropped chains become a regular problem.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 16:32
  • I've been using 10-speed crank in 9-speed setup for years. No problems so far, but 11 speed might be different. Zenbike's comments still have a certain FUD sound to them.
    – ojs
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 11:03
  • @ojs - 9 speed and 10 speed are the same width chain on Campa. Not on Shimano, though. 10 and 11 on Campa are very different. Not sure what you mean re: my comments.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 14:35
  • @zenbike I'm sorry to inform you that 9-speed Campagnolo chain is 6.8mm and 10-speed 5.9mm. The difference is larger than between 10 and 11 speed chains.
    – ojs
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 19:09
  • Yes. Meant to say difference in chainring spacing, not chain.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 1:37

Yes, that should work fine. It's typically everything but the cranks that cause shifting incompatibility issues. You will need to shorten your chain.

  • Sorry, but this is very much incorrect. The 10 speed crank uses a thicker chain ring, and is spaced farther sort than the 11 speed. The front dérailleur has a correspondingly different throw length. This combo is very likely to cause you a problem.
    – zenbike
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 16:30

I am certainly not going to say anyone is wrong here as I haven't tried it. What I can say is that total derailleur "throw" is generally much larger than what gets used once limit screws are set properly so this is not the issue (though it would be more so if using a triple crank where indexing needs to hit that middle ring correctly). For doubles you merely shift up, and you shift down, and the limit screws set where the derailleur movement ends.

The 11sp cassettes have closer set cogs and narrower spaces between cogs which must be compensated for by a narrower 11 sp chain. Thus the front cranks then get slightly redesigned to also work best with that narrower chain.

Important here is the fact that one can generally run a narrower higher speed chain on a wider, older lower speed group (but not vice versa) because the inside spacing of the chain is the same, just the outside width has to be narrower (and less durable) to fit between narrower spaces between cogs and rings on a higher speed group. For example, I run 9sp chains on my vintage 6sp Pinarello, but if I ran a 6sp chain on my 10sp Campy equipped Look, the chain wouldn't even fit between the cogs, let alone shift well.

All of the above arguments are saying that a 10sp chain will hang up in an 11 speed crankset but an 11 speed chain WILL work and should work fine on your 10sp groupo too.

All of that said, I run a Campy Chorus 10 speed groupo with a Shimano 10sp compact crank and 10sp KMC chain on a CX bike with no issues whatsoever. Fact is, most front derailleurs and left brifters don't know or care what speed group or even what brands you are using and intermixing. Its chain compatibility that matters most. I bet I could set up a 9sp shimano front derailleur to work fine on my Campy group simply by adjusting the limit screws and trim appropriately. Derailleur design and throw hasn't changed much in 30 years. CX'ers have regularly run 10sp Campy brifters with 9sp Shimano derailleurs because the Campy brifters are more durable and the Shimano 9sp derailleurs are cheap. In fact I just picked up a 7400 series Shimano 9sp DA front derailleur and some Campy Record 10 brifters and will be running that with my 10sp Shimano compact crank so I am mixing both speeds and brands up front! The key point is that you will likely need an 11sp chain to get best performance with a new 11 speed crank. Lastly, Campy used to tell you that you needed a special Campy derailleur designed to work only with Campy compact cranks. This appears not to be actually true since my standard Campy derailleur works fine even on a Shimano compact crank!

  • 2
    Welcome to Bicycles Stack Exchange. Would you please consider breaking that up into paragraphs? The "wall of text" is a bit hard to follow.
    – freiheit
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 22:18
  • 1
    Indeed, it is quite hard to read.
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 21:54
  • Check out the formatting options available using the icons above the answer box. Formatting can make what you write much easier for others to read. I'll make an attempt at editing you answer; check it out as a guide, and make sure I have retained your meaning.
    – Gary.Ray
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 13:00

We’ve been running campy 11 speed chain, shifters, cassette and derailleurs with Campy compact 10 speed crank for 9 years without problems. Basically we upgraded the bike from 10 to 11 speed. Works totally fine. Meaning indistinguishable from same rig with 11 speed crank. The concerns expressed in posts above do not match real world experience. The one about “overthrowing” the front derailleur is just silly.


I have a campagnolo 10 speed set up i was looking for a same but semi compact and could only find in 11 speed so fitted new 11 speed semi compact so as riding i was getting odd creaking sounds through the carbon frame to my saddle thinking the bars on saddle was the problem . I continued to check gears etc. So in the end i put my existing 10 speed back this is 52/39 170 crank . bingo all was smooth all noises went. I hope this helps . Although saying all this my son had a carbon boardman frame and all seemed ok . So it possible a frame can make a difference.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.