Ask a Mechanic: Shimano Road 9-Speed to 10-Speed Conversion

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: I am converting a bike with Dura-Ace 7700 9-speed to 10-speed.  I just purchased Shimano 6700 10-speed levers and a SRAM PC-1071 10-speed chain and a PG-1070 cassette. Can I run these new 10-speed items with the Dura-Ace 7700 9-speed crank and derailleurs? From: Rob

SRAM PC-1070 Cassette

Making the switch from 9 to 10-speed with a Shimano road group is easier than you think. All you need are new shifters, a chain, and a cassette. You can even go with SRAM for the cassette and chain and be ok.

Answer: 9 and 10-speed rear derailleurs are interchangeable, so you are ok there. The front derailleur might work great too, but I’m not certain on that. At any rate, I think the 9-speed front derailleur has a good chance of working well, especially with your 9-speed chainrings. Your crankset is definitely fine, the chainrings are the only concern. All in all, I would go ahead and try out your setup with the new levers, cassette, and chain. I think it will work pretty well for you.

With that said, 7700 Dura Ace is my favorite road group ever produced with respect to feel and function, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high on the new setup working as flawlessly as your old setup, even if you had all the matching components.

Response: It works well. I’m moving the 7700 to another bike. Thanks, Rob.

Daniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over a decade 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.