Ask a Mechanic: Shimano 11-Speed & 10-Speed Road Compatibility

Welcome to our Ask a Mechanic column where our expert mechanic Daniel Slusser answers your bike maintenance questions. If you have a question for Daniel, please post it on our Facebook Wall or e-mail Daniel directly at 

Question: Will the Shimano Dura Ace 9000 crank work with a Shimano 10-speed cassette? Any thoughts on this would be helpful, can’t find any info on it. Also, will all (English) hollow tech BB’s work, or must it be a 9000 series? Thank you in advance! From: Vincent 

Answer: With the new crop of Shimano 11-speed groups on the market, a whole new crop of compatibility questions have been raised and sent to both me and my associate Lennard Zinn at VeloNews. Lennard has answered a lot of these recently, but this is one that doesn’t seem to have been answered yet.

You don't need the 9000 bottom bracket, but it is over 20 grams lighter and spins a lot better.

You don’t need the 9000 bottom bracket, but it is over 20 grams lighter and spins a lot better.

A call to a friend at Shimano confirmed my suspicion that, yes, the 9000 crank will work with your 10-speed drivetrain. Chains should always match cranks however, so you should use an 11-speed chain to ensure good shifting up front. 11 and 10-speed Shimano chain dimensions are very similar, so you should see little to no difference in the rear shifting with the 11-speed chain. The inner width of the 11-speed chain is nearly identical to the 10-speed chains and the outer width is very slightly narrower.

In response to your second question, all of the Shimano road outboard bearing bottom brackets will work with the Dura Ace 9000 crankset.

DS barrier bunny hopDaniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over ten years of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HSU and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly. When he is not riding, wrenching, or writing he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.