Using A 10 Speed Cassette On 11 Speed Hub: Is It Possible?

A bike can serve many purposes, like wandering, exercising, mountain climbing, etc. Still, bikers must rely on different combinations of cassette and hub for the bike’s smooth and reliable function for each purpose. 

And the possibility of installing a 10 speed cassette on 11 speed hub remains a question for many bikers. The answer is down here! 

Can You Use A 10 Speed Cassette On 11 Speed Hub?

Yes, it can. In fact, the 10-speed cassette is narrower in width compared to the 11-speed one. But the difference can be compensated by using spacers. How many spacers and at what size will depend on whether you are working on a road or MTB cassette and hub.

Typically, bikers assume that a cassette’s width will be varied due to their gears, like an 11-speed cassette will be wider than a 10-speed one. This is true, but there will be some exceptions, and the width difference is also not the same among different cassette types.

Bike manufacturers want to ensure that a hub can fit diverse cassettes, so they maintain the cassettes’ width even when the number of gears included may be altered.  

10 speed cassette on 11 speed hub

The secret of making a versatile cassette lies in the size of the cogs. Despite the increased number of gears, the cassette’s width can remain thanks to the thinner cogs. For this reason, some cassettes can consist of more gears while preserving their dimension to fit numerous hubs.

Pros & Cons Of Applying A 10-Speed Cassette On An 11-Speed Hub

The Advantage

You should install a 10-speed cassette on an 11-speed hub due to the following reasons:

  • Budget saving: If you want to change the cassette of your 11-speed hub bike, you can choose a 10-speed drivetrain instead of paying for another hub. Not to mention, a 10-speed one is always lower in price than 11-speed parts.
  • Versatility: Now, you can use a 10-speed cassette on either a 10- or 11-speed hub. Sometimes, if you have a 1mm spacer available, fitting it on an 8- or 9-speed hub just works in a pinch. You can also switch back to 11-speed cassettes anytime you want.
Drivetrain compatibility for 10- and 11-speed

The Disadvantage

Everything has its positive and negative side. Applying a 10-speed cassette on an 11-speed hub is not the opposite:

  • The need for extra parts: To ensure the combination of cassette and hub works properly, bikers must install 2 suitable spacers (1 mm and 1.85 mm)
  • Gear jumps become bigger: A 10-speed cassette will result in bigger gear jumps, so bikers may find it more challenging when preserving the optimal cadence. 

If you haven’t heard of cadence, cadence is a term mentioning how many times the crank rotates every minute. The higher the cadence is, the higher a biker’s speed becomes. Besides, high cadence can reduce a biker’s fatigue and make cyclists’ joints more relaxed. 

Riding a 10-speed-cassette bike won’t be a tough experience if you take riding a bike for casual exercise or recreational moments.

How To Ensure The Fit Of 10-Speed Cassettes On 11-Speed Hubs?

Applying a cassette for a hub with different speeds can be more secure when you rely on a spacer. There are four cases of installing a 10-speed cassette on an 11-speed hub, and only one case won’t involve a spacer for better functioning.

#1 Combining An 11-Speed MTB Hub With A 10-Speed MTB Cassette.

Bikers don’t have to opt for a spacer when installing a 10-speed MTB cassette on an 11-speed MTB hub. 

#2 Fitting A 10-Speed Road Cassette With An 11-Speed MTB Hub

Since the 11-speed MTB hub isn’t as wide as bikers believe, choosing a 1.85mm spacer is not compulsory. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to opt for a spacer for the combination. 

The appropriate size for a spacer needed for the 10-speed road cassette and 11-speed MTB hub combination is 1mm. By adding a 1mm spacer, you can turn the 10-speed road cassette’s width equivalent to the width of 8 and 9-speed road cassettes.

#3 Installing A 10-Speed Road Cassette With An 11-Speed Road Hub

This installation will require two additional spacers, a 1mm and a 1.85mm spacer. The 8 and 9-speed road cassettes are larger than the 10-speed ones, so the 1mm spacer is suitable to increase the 10-speed cassette’s width akin to 8 and 9-speed cassettes’.

Furthermore, you must equip a 1.85mm spacer to ensure the 10-speed road cassette can go well with the 11-speed road hub.

10 speed cassette

#4 Matching A 10-Speed MTB Cassette With An 11-Speed Road Hub

In fact, an 11-speed MTB cassette is about 1.85mm narrower than an 11-speed road cassette. As a result, it’s appropriate to opt for a 1.85mm spacer when combining a 10-speed MTB cassette with an 11-speed road hub. 

Many bike manufacturers include a 1.85mm spacer with their 11-speed road hub bikes to save budget for their customers in case of a needed alternation.

Why Is The 11-Speed MTB Hub Different From The 11-Speed Road Hub?

Every bike hub consists of an element called the freehub body, and this is the section where cassettes slide on. Commonly, an 11-speed road hub’s freehub body is 1.85mm larger than the freehub body of an 11-speed MTB hub. The reason for the difference depends on the type of cassette applied for each hub.

Since road cassettes consist of more gearing, the spoke will be too close to the largest sprocket. Consequently, the friction from the chain on the sprocket will damage the spokes in the long run, and you’ll likely see the bike chains falling off frequently. The only solution to this issue is to increase the width of the road hub.

On the contrary, the MTB cassettes have a lower gear with a larger cog. Besides, the number of cog teeth in MTB cassettes is higher than those in road cassettes, preventing them from contacting the spokes. Therefore, the MTB hub can remain the narrower width but still function properly.

Bottom Lines

It’s possible to install a 10 speed cassette on 11 speed hub, and you can secure the installation by adding an appropriate spacer. Riding a bike is a recreational activity, but using an improper bike may result in a terrible experience or, more seriously, a risk to your safety. Keep that in mind!

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