I have an old 10 speed road bike fitted with (Mostly) Shimano 105 groupset drivetrain.

I'm looking to replace a few parts and I noticed that 10 speed 105 and Ultegra parts are not so easy to find, with the majority of sites I search selling 11 speed. Some UK Bike site have terrible product attribution, so it may just be the 10 speed are misclassified and harder to find.

I'm trying to get a handle on which parts I'd need to replace if I wanted to swap from 10 to 11 speed or visa versa. Which parts can be cross compatible and in which direction (10 to 11, or 11 to 10)

  • Shifters must match cassette
  • Chain - Needs to be thin enough to fit but would 11 chain fit a 10 speed cassette?
  • Crank - Does it need to match the chain?
  • Front derailleur - Not sure why these need to specify 10 or 11 speed at all.
  • Rear derailleur - Not sure why these need to specify 10 or 11 speed at all.
  • Anything else I missed that would need to change?

1 Answer 1


For this upgrade you would need to change the following to 11sp components:

  • Shifters
  • Derailleurs front and rear
  • Chain
  • Cassette
  • Chainrings or crankset

And ensure your rear hub can take the 1.8mm wider 11-speed cassette. If you have a Mavic wheel or a newer replacement that is already 11sp, you are OK, but otherwise your original equipment hub will need updating.

If you are a bodger and don't care how well the system works, you can try the 10sp front derailleur and chainrings.

Shimano have changed the ratio of cable-pull to derailleur movement for the 11-speed and Tiagra 4700 components. It is an improvement and gives better shifting and easier adjustment, but orphans alot of older equipment. The 11sp chain is narrower on the outside and benefits from paired/timed chainrings to get an accurate front shift.

It is said that the new shift levers are designed around a slightly altered brake pull ratio, so for completeness you should also get the matching brakes, though the old brakes will still work adequately for most purposes, the difference is very minimal.

  • Do you know which way they changed the break ratio? I swapped out the old break callipers for another brand because the ones it came with had too little stopping power. It would be good to know if I'm going to gain or lose force. May 13 at 13:03

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