Use a 10 spd cassette on a 11 spd bike, just for indoor

I’ve turned my old CX bike into a trainer only bike. It is currently using a Simano 11 spd groupset in 1x setup. I plan to keep it 1x.
The problem is, it is a disc brake bike with quick release wheels. So 135 mm spacing. These wheels are becoming difficult to get. And the current rear wheel is pretty bad, it has a fair bit of wobble. So i’m looking for new cheap wheels, because it will only be used indoors and for maybe 2x 45 minutes max.

Another issue here is these wheels will have 10 spd hubs. I can get the 11-34 cassette, which fits on the 10 spd hub, but why not try this:

I can get a rear MTB wheel in 26" for 50 Euros And a 10 spd cassette for 25 euro., include a trainer tire for 18 euros and i can have a trainer only bike for a small budget.

Otherwise i need to try to find another 29/28" wheel which is compatible with a 11 spd cassette and 23-622 tire etc. Which will be 2-3x more.

So…the question is:
if i put a 10 spd cassette on the wheel. And use a 11 spd shiter + derri. Adjusting the limit screw so it wont fall of behind the cassette, will that work?

Assuming since this is a wheel-on trainer, that it isn’t ‘smart’? If that is true then you will need to shift gears to adjust your resistance. I would not recommend using 11speed shifters with a 10speed cassette if you need to actually shift. The shifting will be terrible and you won’t get many of them indexed because the cable pull is different from 10 to 11.

Now if you have a smart trainer and only use ERG mode, then you could get away with this since you wouldn’t need to shift gears. You could find a gear that is aligned and just leave it there. You would just need to make sure you are using a 10speed chain to match up with your 11speed cassette.


If you use it in Erg, it will work. If you want to use the shifters, it won’t work well. You can find a few usuable gears, but most won’t align well.

But you can put an 11 spd cassette on a 10 spd hub.


This is a dumb magnetic trainer, so similar to a smart trainer in resistance mode. so shifting is required.
I also have another very good wheel, but its 130 mm hub width, I will just use that with some spacers to make it fit the 135 mm aluminium frame, i did this before and it worked. I dont need brakes or whatever, this bike will only be on the trainer from now on.

yes, Shimano has a 11-34 cassette that fits on 10 spd bodies. Or any 11 speed MTB can fit on the 10 spd bodies. But i want to go to a closer ratio cassette. like 11-28. On the trainer i do not need a wide gear range. But that means it would not fit the 10 spd body. But i have a solution now.

Can you not fix the current wheel? Where does the wobble come from? It might just need truing, or new bearings?

Also…you don’t really need a disc brake wheel on the turbo, you won’t use the brake anyway. I’m not sure about the axel spacing, but otherwise a rim brake wheel might be easier to get?

The wheel is out of true and i cant get it right anymore. I got hit by a dear which hit the rear wheel, so it was a lot worse, but this last bit is just not happening. It was a cheap wheel anyway, so what can you expect. The other very good wheel is a rim brake wheel, but you are right, i already took the brakes off the bike. I will use the rim brake wheel instead.

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I’m running an 11sp 11-28 shimano cassette on several sets of my wheels that ran 10spd with my old bike. An 11-28 11spd will fit a 10spd hub; it wasn’t until shimano went 12 speed that you had a problem unless you had early wheels which had a 7,8,9 spd hub, they wouldn’t take 10s. Shimano’s next jump was a 9,10,11 hub which will take all those speeds.

I actually have a 10 speed cassette and an 11 speed shifter on my commuter bike, oops… :zipper_mouth_face: I would not advise it for serious training. About half the gears work fine, but the other ones sit between gears and skip. I think you could easily break something if you put actual power down.
(One day, when bike part become available again, I will fix it…)

You can still use 11 speed cassettes on your 10spd hub. You just drop out one of the cogs.(shimano)


That doesn’t solve the problem with the 11 speed shifter though.

Adjust the limit screws and put the spare click at the bottom. I used this configuration for about 12months with R8000 and a set of 10spd Dura ace wheels.


I run Shimano 11 spd road cassettes on 10 spd hubs all the time. Works just fine. You just have to remove the spacer from behind the cassette.


Are the chains different widths for 10 and 11sp?

Yes, you should run an 11 spd chain.

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It depends in the hub I think. Most newer 10-speed hubs can take an 11-speed cassette, but some older ones can’t. I tried with mine, it’s just a tiny bit too short and I can’t engage the lockring. (And yes, no spacer involved).

If a body can accept an 11 spd ROAD cassette, then it is a 11 spd body.
11 speed MTB cassettes are 10 spd widht, but use a “dish” for the largest cog to create room to fit on a 10 spd body.

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Outside only, the 11spd has narrower side plates. I think its the same with all chain speeds, its only the plate thickness are different. If its of relevance I use to run an 11spd chain on a 10 sp cassette after reading a tip on a cycling site (they claimed it was better), and just now with my 11sp crank failing I’ve replaced it with my old 10spd crank temporarily and it is running fine with the 11 sp chain and derailleurs.

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true the wheel, problem solved.

He already tried, this is apparently not a “normal” problem: