I have Shimano RD-5700 105 Rear Derailleur (10-Speed, GS Medium Cage, Black). I bought it to use on my 9 speed bike, but now what to add new shifters (3x10). My bike shop wants to replace the cassette and chain, which I have done. But Rear Derailleur, he wants me to replace as well. I disagree, but I need to show him in writing. Please post the web link or manual. (I am an America in Spain trying to demonstrate to my Spanish bike store).

  • Just match up the 5700 group cycle.shimano-eu.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/nl/index/… And it is typically cheaper to buy the group than components one at a time.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 28, 2014 at 17:57
  • 2
    I'm pretty sure that derrailleurs are dumb and don't care about how many speeds they are used for. The amount of cable pull is all controlled by the shifters. Any derailleur with work with any number of gears.
    – Kibbee
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:01
  • You need to match the cable pull between the derailleur and shifters so indexing works, which is why 9 speed shifters won't work with a dynasys shifter for example. In this case, it should work fine though if the shifters are Shimano road.
    – Batman
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:08
  • If your derailleur is 10-speed and works with 2x9 there's no reason it won't work with 3x10.
    – Carel
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:22
  • @Kibbee Yes the cable pull is determined by the shifter but the derailleur must support the range. You can put 7 speed cassette on a 10 speed hub with spacers. But a 7 speed derailleur most likely will not have the range to go 10 gears.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


There is no modification to be done. You can use a 10spd Shimano derailleur with 9spd or 10spd components no problem. If they're telling you that they need to "modify" your 10 speed derailleur because you were previously using it with 9 speed components, bid them good day and go find another shop. However I don't think that's what they're concerned with.

Since you're going to be running a 3x10 setup, my guess is that the reason your bike shop wants to replace your derailleur is the cage length of the current derailleur that you have. 3x10 gives you the widest gear ranges, but with wider gear ranges come longer cages to account for larger capacity, that is the derailleur's ability to take up or deal out extra chain between gearing extremes (big-big, small-small, or close to either). Too short caged of a derailleur can cause the chain to lose tension when nearing the small-small combination, or cause the bike to be unable to shift into gear combinations approaching big-big at all. Neither one of those are a good situation and can potentially damage your bike's drivetrain.

If you're running a 3x10 setup, you likely need at least a medium cage derailleur. If you're running a dinner plate on the back (read: cassette with very low gearing, likely 29t or larger) you may actually need a long cage derailleur, or a mountain bike derailleur.

  • I appreciate all the comments, especially Joelmdev. I have a RD-5700-GS-L (long) on the rear and a Shimano FC-3503 Sora 30/39/50t as a crank.
    – tim sevard
    Nov 30, 2014 at 11:43
  • I can't imagine any compelling reason why you would need to replace your rear derailleur. That's the one you need, assuming you're running a 28t cassette or less. Details here: bike.shimano.com/content/sac-bike/en/home/components1/road/…
    – joelmdev
    Nov 30, 2014 at 17:44

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