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I just bought the Wahoo Kickr, but I have a compatibility question. I have a Trek Madone 4.7 fitted with a Shimano 105 11-28, 10 speed cassette. Just when I think I understand whether I can make this work, I get myself confused again. Will the Kickr cassette work with my existing drivetrain?

If it won’t work, I was going to buy a 10-speed cassette to put on the Kickr, but instead, I’m thinking of upgrading my bike to an 11-speed cassette (plus shifter, chain, etc.). My husband’s bike is an 11-speed, so I was thinking it would be better to keep the cassette the Kickr comes with.

Is there a way to make the 11-speed cassette work with my 10-speed setup? Sorry if my question is confusing!

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    One remark if you want to have a solution that is working for you and your husband: you need to check the cassette, but also the width of the rear hub, some bikes have 130mm (probably those that come with 10 speed cassettes) other have 142mm. Then you also have the locking system: quick release vs thru-axle.
    – Renaud
    Jan 10 at 7:09
  • Could you add more info about your rear wheel? Jan 10 at 14:09
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You're right - something has to change. 11 will not work properly with 10, and vise versa.

Ideally, you're going to have to standarise on 11 speed on both bikes. That means new shifter, chain, cassette, and maybe rear derailleur. This is probably the most expensive solution, though you can sell off the 10 speed parts to recoup some funds.

Your other option is to move your 10 speed cassette to the trainer for your bike, (or have a second 10 speed cassette spare) and swap an 11 speed cassette onto trainer for the other bike. THis is faddly and will add wear and inconvenience.

Your third option is to find a third bike and leave it on the trainer permanently to share, though that bike is unlikely to fit both of you. Or buy a second trainer and configure for 10 speed (though this is a ludicrously expensive solution)

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  • Criggie - thank you so much for the quick reply! You’ve helped me confirm the direction I was leaning towards. Now to decide which components to buy! 🤣 I’d like to start using that new trainer!!
    – user54612
    Jan 10 at 6:59
  • @oneillg Thanks. It looks like you've accidentally created a second SE account. Please use the original account instead, which has 40 + points of reputation already.
    – Criggie
    Jan 10 at 21:50
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If you're going to be using ERG* mode primarily I suspect you could have a working solution today by staying in a single gear on the rear.

This assumes that a wider 10s chain will be ok on a 11s cassette, which IMO is likely in a single speed application. If not I'd suggest using the largest cog on the cassette to (completely?) mitigate the potential for issues. (may require using the barrell adjuster and/or lower limit screw to align it).

Next level (but still less cost/hassle) is a 11s chain, your front chainrings and rear mech should be ok with the thinner gauge. Use quick-links for the 11s chain, don't ride out of the saddle (thinner chain quicklinks warn against re-application). With a bit of faff around the FD you could bundle up the 10s chain out of the way with zip-ties (I.e clear the front chainring, but don't remove it from the rear frame triangle).

I am a Kickr user, and 8s, 10s and 11s across Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano so I've realised compatibility issues aren't as concrete as parts of the internet suggest.

*ERG = mode where the Kickr provides virtual gearing for you such that you're outputting a constant wattage that your training regime warrants. IMO it's what really makes a smart trainer 'smart'.

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  • that’s only really a solution to being in workout mode, it’s not going to help OP if they just want to ride around in a virtual world or do group / race in a virtual world
    – Dan K
    Jan 11 at 6:54
  • Correct regarding racing. But it is possible and still immersive enough IMO to 'ride around' in ERG mode. If trainer 'difficulty' is set low in Zwift for instance or if rubber-banding is activated in groups then it's approaching ERG mode anyway... OP wanted to ride asap, my answer would allow them to do so 👍 Jan 11 at 18:17
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You'll barely notice switching from 10 to 11 on your Trek. In general groupset upgrades aren't worth the cost and effort. The difference in shift quality between 105 and Dura Ace and 10 - 11 is barely noticeable.

I'd recommend just buying a cheap 10-gear cassette and throwing it on the wahoo - cheapest and easiest option.

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    I tend to strongly agree with this. Unless you know someone willing to do an upgrade for a lot less than a bike shop would charge, the cost to do an upgrade from 10 speed to 11 speed is going to be a substantial fraction of the cost of a new, equivalent 11-speed bike - offhand I'd guess about 1/2 to 2/3, if not more. Right now, the cheapest 105 R7000 minigroup I can find on eBay is about 400 $US, and most are significantly higher than that. New 105 R7000 bikes can probably be found for 800-1000 $US. Jan 14 at 16:01

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