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  1. #1
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    9 speed/10 speed, Shimano/SRAM, Road/Mountain Compatibility Issues

    In strategizing about getting the most longevity out of four 9 speed drive-trains I had to face the unpleasant fact that 9 speed components beyond the Alvio level are being phased out of the market. Fortunately, the mtbr community has shared their experience in what works and what does not. I highly recommend the Dyna Sys 10 speed compatibility with 9 speed (Shimano systems) thread started by ljsmith which has a current post count of 417; that's a lot of reading. I had to take a lot of notes to compile a reference document for myself. It took many hours to gain a comfort level in the subject. I thought it would be a waste not to share it. I chose to present the information in the original quotes so as not to deny credit to those whom did the ground work. Please do not hesitate to correct anything that may be inaccurate or to add to info that may seem less than complete. So, after a day of reading, forum searches, and organizing....I hope some of you find it useful.

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    9 speed/10 speed Cross Compatibility

    SRAM 9 speed shifters work on Shimano 9 speed front deraileurs
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    SRAM doesn't make Shimano 10 speed compatible shifters
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Zimmermann View Post
    Ten speed Dyna-Sys rear derailers and ten speed Dyna-Sys rear shifters are only compatible with one another. Neither will work with any other type of Shimano component.
    Ten speed Dyna-Sys rear shifters are, however, compatible with SRAM X-series 9 speed rear derailleurs.

    Poor Man's 10-Speed Upgrade

    essentially 9-spd up front & 10-spd in back allowing one to save $ by keeping current 9-spd crankset, front deraileur, and front shifter. And if you already have an SRAM X-series 9-spd deraileur, all the better; as that works with Shimano MTN 10-spd rear drivetrain components.

    Shimano mountain 9-spd/ 10- spd front shifters have the same cable pull, so the front derailleur must be matched to the shifter and crankset. 9-spd crankset gets 9-spd shifter/front derailleur, 10-spd crankset gets 10-spd shifter/front derailleur. A 10-spd chain must be used since a standard rule is to match the chain to the cassette.
    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore View Post
    ... just match the front derailleur to the cranks... so keep your 9 speed no need to use 10 speed chain rings the internal width is still the same- also your front/left shifter still has the same ratio so you will only have to change your rear shifter/derailleur to 10 speed..
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmitch2 View Post
    just finished up a road test up and down some hilly streets with a poor mans
    10 speed upgrade with some parts from CRC
    Changed the rear cassette to a Shimano XT11-36 ten speed.
    replaced the rear derailleur to a XT shadow M773 medium cage
    replaced rear shifter to a XT 10 speed
    and the best, KMC X10 93 10 speed chain with a sram link
    front inner and middle chainrings are action tec ti 8,9 speed stuff
    outer is a run of the mill cheap 8/9 speed ring.
    non of the chain rings have any ramps or pins.

    shifting is spectacular. the new shimano ratio change along with smaller gaps
    of the cogs, gives a very smooth and precise shifting. not quite the
    click and bang into gear of the nine speed shimano, thats ok though.

    also the front derailleur is much easier to dial in with the skinnier chain
    Quote Originally Posted by Teigansdad View Post
    Finally finished my set up...works Great!
    shimano SLX 9 speed cranks: double ring set up with Blackspire super pro 38T and 26T
    dynasys XT shifters F and R
    XT 9 sp FD
    XT 10 sp RD
    XTR 10 sp dynasys chain with wipperman connect link
    XT 11 - 36 T 10 sp rear cassette
    Ridden twice...shifts flawlessly. More to come after a race this weekend!
    Quote Originally Posted by Teigansdad View Post
    So I rode the above set up twice last week then took it out for it's intended purpose...raced on it yesterday. LOVED IT. No miss shifts,no skips, no hesitations on front shifts. Even cross chained more than I had intended in 38X36 combo and it just asked for more! So if any of you are hesitating on making a change hope the above helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    You are correct. A 10 speed chain works great with a 9 speed crank and front derailleur. I actually like the 10 speed chain with a 9 speed front derailleur because it is easier to set it up so it never rubs due to the slightly wider cage.
    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    My experience exactly.

    I had the standard pre-DynaSys 9sp XT drivetrain on a Pivot 429. Left the front derailleur, front shifter, and cranks stock. Switched the rear derailleur, rear shifter, and chain to 10sp XT. The front shifts just like it always did, the rear shifts perfectly, too, and the chain rub issue for the front derailleur is less a problem than before as well.

    Took the pre-DynaSys XT 9sp rear derailleur, put it on my monstercross frame, paired w/ DuraAce 7800 10sp STI shifter, works perfectly as well. Using a compact crankset and 11-36 cassette, freakishly low gear for my monstercross ride.

    Mudge
    Quote Originally Posted by sandfrog View Post
    So I think that I have it all stright. On the way I have the following
    XTR Dyna 10sp RD (The new shadow plus)
    XT 10sp R shifter
    10Sp Chain
    XT 11-36 10sp

    All of this takes care of the rear.
    Up front I have 2010 9sp XT cranks, rings, DR and shifter.

    From what I read the10sp chain should do fine with my front 9sp components...right???
    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    Yep, that's right... I have the EXACT same setup and it works great
    Quote Originally Posted by sandfrog View Post
    So here is what i found that does work and it workes well.
    9sp XT crankset
    9sp XT FD
    9sp XT Front Shifter
    10sp XTR Shadow Plus RD (freakin awesome by the way!)
    10sp XT 11-36 Cassette Dynasys
    10sp XT Rear Shifter Dynasys
    10sp Sram 1031 chain.

    Installed and tuned in seconds! Shifts perfect front and rear. Under hard load up hill and no load down hill. Basically I was able to go 2x10 using my XT tripple and a bash. Set my high limit to prevent the FD from over shifting past the middle chainring. Bought 10speed stuff for the rear and that is all she wrote. Cheap and easy.. if you dont figure in the XTR shadow plus.....


    Using an SRAM 9-spd rear derailleur:

    Quote Originally Posted by g3rG View Post
    I just converted my bike using the following:

    Sram 10 speed chain
    Shimano rear cassette (Dynasys XT)
    Shimano shifter (XT Dynasys)
    SRAM XO 9sp rear derailleur

    It turns out the full pull on the new Shimano 10sp shifter is identical to the full pull on the old Sram 9sp shifter. Assuming everything is linear, that means a Shimano shifter should work with the Sram RD, with the 10 detent positions set by the shifter. I have a Hammerschmidt up front, so nothing to do there.

    I set it up last night, and it shifts perfectly. I intend to torture test it tomorrow on the trails.

    gerG

    Update: I have had this combo on several rides now. It is working perfectly. It shifts smoothly and quickly under low to moderate load, and about like any other setup if do the dumb thing and shift it under high load. I have noticed a slight hesitation to downshift (step to larger rear cog) on one of the middle gears. It is almost like the spacing is slightly off in the cassette. A couple of clicks on the adjustment barrel got rid of it. The only real issue is that I miss the aggressive shifting behavior of the Saint parts that I removed to try this setup. The positives are the lower granny gear, and the lighter chain (less chain slap).
    Quote Originally Posted by g3rG View Post
    Yes.

    Since last November I have been using a Shimano 10-sp front shifter with a Sram 9-sp RD, a Shimano 10-sp cassette, and a Sram 10-sp chain. It works because the full pull of the new Shimano 10-sp stuff is exactly the same as the full pull of the old Sram 9-sp stuff. The Shimano incompatibility engineers must have screwed up.

    Shifting has been perfect, even when I screw up and shift under load. I do a lot of steep climbing, so the system has had some abuse. Since the install I haven't even had to adjust it.

    gerG
    Quote Originally Posted by 2002maniac View Post
    I just put a short cage Sram X.0 9-speed RD on my dynasis 1x10 setup. After setting the high and low limits it shifts just as well if not better than my long cage XT dynasis.
    Quote Originally Posted by frenk View Post
    ... based on what people tried and reported, 9sp SRAM rear ders are in fact interchangeable with 10sp Dyna-Sys units.

  3. #3
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    Cranksets

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight View Post
    9 and 10 speed rings are the same thickness, as are the cogs. So yes you can keep your SLX cranks. 9 and 10 speed chains use the same inner plate width spec, its only the outside width that varies slightly. Most aftermarket road cranksets are listed as 9/10 speed compatible (Ritchey Logic WCS for example).
    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight View Post
    The wider 7mm ring-center to ring-center spacing of 10 speed is ironically the same space that 7/8 speed rings had meaning you can update an older crank if you want with new 9/10 speed rings assuming the bolt patterns are compatible. As to the 10 speed chain on the 9s rings... yes that will work fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight View Post
    ...As to widening the spacing with 10 speed chainrings by 1mm, that could be something only done on the double ring cranksets. On a triple ring, the chainline lines up with the center of the middle ring, and having the inner and outer rings shifted 1mm further apart wouldn't really do anything but slow down the shifts slightly.

    9 speed/10 speed cranksets/drivetrains are cross compatible . Sort of...

    Chainrings should be changed to match drivetrain for full compatability. If using original chainrings, front deraileur and shifter must match that of crankset. ie. 9-spd to 9-spd, 10-spd to 10-spd, with chain matching that of cassette.
    Quote Originally Posted by Too_Fast_46 View Post
    I recently replaced my old crankset leaving me with the following setup:

    Front
    - Shimano SLX M660-10 Dynan-Sys 3x10 crankset
    - Sram X.9 3x9 shifter
    - Shimano Deore 3x9 front derailleur

    Rear
    - Shimano 11-34 9spd cassette
    - Sram X.9 9spd rear derailleur
    - Sram X.9 9spd shifter

    All paired with a Sram PC1031 10spd chain. I was worried about the front derailleur/shifter combo with the crankset, but I have to admit I am very impressed with the shifting- given I do only use the larger two rings (limiter blocking out the granny ring.) In addition, the 10spd chain works beautifully with the rear cassette.

    On a side note: the spacing on the larger two rings is identical on the new crankset compared to my old Truvativ Five-D 3x9.
    Quote Originally Posted by KPH View Post
    I recently fitted an XTR crankset (3 chainrings, for 10 spd system), replacing an old set of XT (3 chainrings, for 9spd system).

    I had to change the front mech to XTR 10spd and also the chain to a 10spd chain.

    My current set up that works very well is:

    Front shifter - 9-spd (sic) XTR 2008
    Front Mech - 10 spd (sic) XTR 2011 - 3 chainring
    Cranks/chainring - 10spd 3 chainring XTR 2011
    Rear Shifter - 9 spd XTR 2008
    Rear mech - 9 spd XTR 2008
    Chain - 10 spd XTR 2011

    Not buying in to all the marketing BS, but I did notice a significant different (for the the better) over the old XT in gear changes to a larger chain ring.
    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    ....A 10 speed chain works great with a 9 speed crank and front derailleur. I actually like the 10 speed chain with a 9 speed front derailleur because it is easier to set it up so it never rubs due to the slightly wider cage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Too_Fast_46 View Post
    I recently replaced my old crankset leaving me with the following setup:

    Front
    - Shimano SLX M660-10 Dynan-Sys 3x10 crankset
    - Sram X.9 3x9 shifter
    - Shimano Deore 3x9 front derailleur

    Rear
    - Shimano 11-34 9spd cassette
    - Sram X.9 9spd rear derailleur
    - Sram X.9 9spd shifter

    All paired with a Sram PC1031 10spd chain. I was worried about the front derailleur/shifter combo with the crankset, but I have to admit I am very impressed with the shifting- given I do only use the larger two rings (limiter blocking out the granny ring.) In addition, the 10spd chain works beautifully with the rear cassette.

    On a side note: the spacing on the larger two rings is identical on the new crankset compared to my old Truvativ Five-D 3x9.

  4. #4
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    Chains

    Chains need to be cassette specific along with rear derailleurs. Shimano Dyna-Sys chains, as well as many 10 speed road chains have an inside and outside face and are directional.

    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc View Post
    ...Even though they are mixing Sram controls with Shimano cassettes, a Sram chain is not being used. They are using either a Shimano chain, or a KMC chain (which BTW manufacturers the chains for Shimano).
    The Shimano cassette cogs are a tad thicker than the Sram cassette cogs, so a Sram chain won't engage the cassette properly.
    Stick with either the KMC chain or the Shimano chain.
    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    Either the Wipperman or KMC 10sp quick links will work just fine. I've got one of each on two different bikes, no problems whatsoever...

  5. #5
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    Road/Mountain

    Shimano 9 speed road/mtn is cross compatible
    Shimano 10 speed road/mtn is NOT cross compatible
    SRAM 10 speed road/mtn is cross compatible
    SRAM 9 speed road/mtn is NOT cross compatible
    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Shimano road 10-speed shifters are not compatible with Shimano MTB 10-speed derailleurs.
    The can use Shimano MTB 9-sp RDs with the 10-sp road shifter.
    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    ...As I said, you can still use Nine-sp mtb RDs with 10-sp road shifters on 10-sp cassettes.
    Shimano MTB 10-sp shifters and derailleurs are compitable only with themselves
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    Easiest fix would be to put in a 9sp. RD. I'm running an XT M770 RD (Rapid Rise) with 10-sp. bar ends and cassette and it works perfect. The DynaSys components have a different cable pull than the 9sp MTB or 10sp road components use.
    The 9 speed shadow(Shimano mtn) rear derailleur will work fine with road 10 speed shifters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Zimmermann View Post
    Ten speed Dyna-Sys rear derailers and ten speed Dyna-Sys rear shifters are only compatible with one another. Neither will work with any other type of Shimano component.
    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    Yes, any Shimano 9 speed derailleur will work with Shimano road shifters with the appropriate number of speeds to match the cassette used (pre-1997 Dura-Ace 740x excepted). Some people have said that non-Shadow derailleurs may not clear 36T cogs on some frames, so you may be better off with either a Shadow mech or with a <36T cassette.
    Quote Originally Posted by ejayt View Post
    awesome! just attached the XT 9 speed M772 with my set of Dura-Ace 10 speed bar end shifters and 10 speed casette and it shifts perfectly! amazing!
    thanks for the help guys it cured my headache

  6. #6
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    Misc.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Get all SLX 10-speed parts and save even more. No functional reason to go XT.
    Quote Originally Posted by deanmachine View Post
    They (SRAM)have a 1090, 1070 and 1050 ten speed cassette in 12-36.
    Quote Originally Posted by MDJ View Post
    Specialized specs Sram shifters/deraileurs, with Shimano cassettes and KMC chains on several of thier bikes.
    Shimano Alvio component group has been upgraded to 9-spd. I'm not sure if this means that 8-spd Alvio has been discontinued.

  7. #7
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    I think this thread is more confusing than the original posts
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hundun View Post
    SRAM 9 speed road/mtn is NOT cross compatible
    SRAM 9-sp road does not exist
    mtbtires.com
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    So, I can use Shimano 10speed road shifters, a Shimano 9speed mtn DR, and a 10speed Shimano cassette?

    My goal is to use 10speed barend road shifters with a 11-36 cassette.

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    9 speed/10 speed, Shimano/SRAM, Road/Mountain Compatibility Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by jerky1280 View Post
    So, I can use Shimano 10speed road shifters, a Shimano 9speed mtn DR (RD), and a 10speed Shimano cassette?

    My goal is to use 10speed barend road shifters with a 11-36 cassette.
    Yes.

    Shimano and SRAM cassettes are interchangeable.
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  11. #11
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    So what I've learned works from people going from 3x9 cranks to 2x10 cranks is:
    Front:
    -2x10 crank (Shimano)
    -3x9 shifter (SRAM)
    -3x9 FD (SRAM or Shimano)

    Rear:
    -9sp. Cassette
    -9sp. RD
    -9sp. shifter

    I am looking to do a similar set up but staying 2x9 using 2x10 cranks
    Front:
    -2x10 cranks (Shimano)
    -2x9 shifter (SRAM)
    -3x9 FD (Shimano)

    Rear:
    -9sp. Cassette
    -9sp. RD (SRAM)
    -9sp. Shifter (SRAM)

    Will this work with a 10 speed chain? Basically all I'm changing is the spacing between the front rings. I have a 3x9 crank with bash.

  12. #12
    NedwannaB
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    May have issues with the chain mis-behaving on the 9spd cassette and rollers on the der.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerky1280 View Post
    So, I can use Shimano 10speed road shifters, a Shimano 9speed mtn DR, and a 10speed Shimano cassette?

    My goal is to use 10speed barend road shifters with a 11-36 cassette.
    That is my exact setup and it works perfect:
    - Monstercross Bicycle Build

    I have about 2 yrs. of riding on the drive train and it still shifts like a dream in indexed mode.
    Last edited by 4Crawler; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:02 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    May have issues with the chain mis-behaving on the 9spd cassette and rollers on the der.
    I got the derailleur set up on the old 9 speed chain as far as cross-chaining is concerned. Just need to tighten up the cable.

    Hopefully the 10 speed chain doesn't cause any problems. I'll post up results this week in case anyone else tries the same set up.

  15. #15
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    Can't shift into big ring, and chain suck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Valtra View Post
    I got the derailleur set up on the old 9 speed chain as far as cross-chaining is concerned. Just need to tighten up the cable.

    Hopefully the 10 speed chain doesn't cause any problems. I'll post up results this week in case anyone else tries the same set up.
    Got the 10 speed chain and now I'm getting major problems.

    I set up the 3x9 shifter to use the second and third stops. The front derailleur is limited to the first and second rings, but I can only shift into the big ring when on the smallest cog, and even then it takes a few revolutions.

    To top it off, when I try to shift into the big ring from another cog, then shift back down when it doesn't work, I get chain suck that I can't seem to solve.

    The new chain was sized using standard procedure of big ring to big ring. I uncounted my shock (coil Swinger 4-way) and tied the wheel as close as I could to the frame. There's some risk of it being too long I suppose because the rubber was actually pressed against the seattube.

  16. #16
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valtra View Post
    Got the 10 speed chain and now I'm getting major problems.

    I set up the 3x9 shifter to use the second and third stops. The front derailleur is limited to the first and second rings, but I can only shift into the big ring when on the smallest cog, and even then it takes a few revolutions.

    To top it off, when I try to shift into the big ring from another cog, then shift back down when it doesn't work, I get chain suck that I can't seem to solve.

    The new chain was sized using standard procedure of big ring to big ring. I uncounted my shock (coil Swinger 4-way) and tied the wheel as close as I could to the frame. There's some risk of it being too long I suppose because the rubber was actually pressed against the seattube.
    What I've learned, the chain "should" match the cassette.......

    You should be able to run a 9spd chain on the new 10 spd rings tho. I think the problem you're having mostly is worn 9spd components with new(er?) chain, and adding a 10 spd chain to the mix. Could be wrong.
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

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