Technical FAQ: 9-speed to 10-speed compatibility

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Oct. 12, 2002
  • Updated Aug. 29, 2010 at 10:40 PM EDT


What’s the compatibility of a 10-speed rear derailleur with a 9-speed drivetrain? If cage or pulley width is an issue, what about swapping the 10-speed pulleys with 9-speed pulleys? Do they fit? Would I need the longer bolts from a 9-speed derailleur? Will any of it work?

– Chris

If you use a Shimano or SRAM 9-speed chain (or a 10-speed chain), it should be no problem (assuming all of the parts are Campy). You won’t need longer bolts, since all of these chains work with Campy 10-speed.


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Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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