I have a Trek 720 disc which came with a 2x11 Shimano 105 drive train setup.

When it's fully loaded for touring going up steep hills is just too hard - I'm barely heavy enough to push the pedal down.

My idea is to put a triple on the front. I've found all these Shimano 105 triple components available so hopefully compatibility should not be an issue:

My concern is that the chainset and derailleur specifically state 10 speed - and I want to use them with an 11 speed cassette. I also plan to tour in some potentially quite remote areas so reliability is a priority for me.

Do you think this setup will work ok?

  • The short answer is that you can have reliability or 11 speed, not both. 11 speed chains and cassettes only get 10-15Mm under optimal conditions, and remote touring is not that, I've worn out 9 speed components in 5Mm while touring, for example. Admittedly that bike is a lightweight cross bike, you won't be able to load it up without destroying it, and there's really nothing you can do to make it suitable for remote area touring. You'd be better off with a Surly LHT with Rohloff or similar.
    – Móż
    May 23, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    How about another option to get wider range: mtb rear derailleur, 11-42 xt cassette and Wolf-Tooth Tanpan adapter? May 23, 2016 at 10:24
  • Thanks Klaster_1, I had not heard of that product but sounds like a great suggestion.
    – Felix Eve
    May 23, 2016 at 11:22
  • @Klaster_1 I've read the 11-42 is only for 1x11, but the 11-40 is suitable for 2x11. However all the rear derailleurs I've looked at (e.g. Shimano XT) have a totalcapacity of 39t - but this setup would be 45t ([50-34t] + [40-11]). Are there any 11speed rear MTB derailleurs with a 45t capacity?
    – Felix Eve
    May 23, 2016 at 13:00
  • @Felix According to info here RD-M8000 SGS has 47 teeth capacity. May 23, 2016 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


No you would either have to use a 2x11 speed drivetrain or a 3x10 speed drive train. You can't pick and choose and any hacks would reduce reliability.

Using the 10 speed 30/28 is the same gearing as 34/32 on the 11 speed so no advantage on the change.

For remote touring maintenance is as important or more important than gear selection.

For long distance touring 10 speed would likely be more available on the road as 9 speed is being gradually phased out and 11 speed still quite new so would factor in what stock bike shops held.

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