10 Speed Vs 11 Speed Chalange [A Complete Comparison]

There is a common misconception that a higher gear ratio means a higher top speed. While it is true that the higher the gear ratio, the higher the top speed, this doesn’t always mean that a vehicle has a better top speed. Sometimes it is even the other way around.

Let’s get to the comparison of 10 speed vs 11 speed. For example, some vehicles have lower top speeds but very high gear ratios which improve acceleration and fuel efficiency at high speeds.

10 Speed Vs 11 Speed

The 10 speed is the current standard on the road. But it’s not perfect, and there are some limitations to consider when shopping for a new drivetrain setup.

Although 11-speed chains are faster than 10-speed chains, they are not necessarily more reliable. They can become easily damaged, and their component parts are often more expensive.

While most riders are familiar with 10 speed, 11 speed is gaining popularity in the mountain bike world. It’s the best way to get a wide range of gearing without having to change your chains too often.

Here’s why 11 speed is better than 10 speed and how you can decide if it’s right for you.

When We Use 10 Speed?

When We Use 10 Speed

10 speed is the standard drivetrain on many of today’s mountain bikes. Environmental, legal and engineering considerations have led to its widespread use for excursions.

Regardless of what bike you choose, 10 speed transmissions are usually paired with a cassette that has widely spaced sprockets (the teeth) on each side of the chainwheel – typically 32 or 34 tooth at least.

This extra spacing allows higher overall gearing but also makes it difficult to successfully out-carrry the slot of a cassette.

Most mountain bikes use 10 speed, but there are also nearly as many designs available for touring and performance road riding – dropping any coincidence with low gearing – which uses 11 possible ratios (e.g., 9:1).

The same thing can be said about Performance Bikes that utilize triple 12 tooth or even 8:1 drivetrain systems making it more expensive and complicated than a mountain bike.

If you have a 10 speed drivetrain, especially if it’s been several heures of use , check to make sure the chain is in good condition and not damaged or corroded – which can cause increased friction and damage your drivetrain faster than just watching hours of Netflix!

The Surly Nitemare SS Easy Street uses a 9 tooth cogset to save weight but also has an 11 tooth out-front option.

The big difference between 10 speed and 11 speed transmissions is the number of speeds on the cassette. It uses sets of cogs with sprockets that are wide enough toout-carrry one or more ranges within your drivetrain but not wider,

Which causes higher engagement for easier pedaling in most cases than a similar looking 8 tooth cogset (e g., Shimano XTR M9000) can offer easily without giving up speed.

As I’ve already said, modern 10 speed drivetrains are very reliable – more so than the few that use 11s . However they do come with some trade-offs though.

The system runs at a gearset frequency of about 3000 or 3600 revolutions per minute (RPM) on average, whereas an 8 tooth cogset might be 900 x 30 = 2120 RPM units although there are fewer teeth contacting each lever.

If you change the size of your cogs, this will drop to an increased rpm but it’s not so drastic as on some other systems (e g., SRAM XG which is generally put up for sale at 1200 RPM).

When We Use 10 Speed?

Why are most riders content to have an 11 speed drivetrain regardless of their need for efficiency, the weight savings or capability they can bring?

The short answer is because it gives them more choices at any particular time without changing the gearing ratio between one extreme and another.

Typically you designate which gear range is being used by its position on your cassette – e g., up front would be single, second down back-pedal select , less gears down or between two chainrings would be middle up.

If you’re using fewer cogs (like on an hybrid bike like I often use), then this selection is presented to the rider by their handlebar computer which allows them to flip through different selections,

Including randomizing where in the range they are being used so that when it comes time for a break or gear change something will work out well for everyone equally even if only one or two people were even feeling like that particular day.

If you use more cogs, then the computer knows which road conditions will be encountered by its owner and presents this choice to them via their stem/bar interface so it can still provide appropriate choices at any given time.

Relatedly because of these same systems, I’ve found myself making fewer gear changes than before – not really breaking away from my strong desire for simplicity.

The other issue is that 10 speed drives are perpetually useful for doing bigger shifts because it allows you to get bigger jumps in gear size if needed, potentially without jerking the rider off their line.

This then goes to changing the very nature of riding subtly. Hauling big gear ratios takes a lot more effort and typically requires a concerted effort from yourself that typically tends toward pulling harder than pedaling itself,

So this is often quite an obstacle for beginner/intermediate riders who are probably always using [generally] the smallest rings on their drivetrains since it’s easier to get up hills in low gears without actually seeing them coming down without pedaling.

So not only can you use your gears less, but also merely by increasing the engagement from 1-15% or so of a range becomes more necessary for normal riding due to comprehension and awareness periods being shifted toward higher gear blocks during climbs –

Which makes these shifts much easier at any given time – instead of throwing full force left/right on turns because you have exhausted yourself trying to climb in 30 speed gearing with 1:23 lower front rings.

This is not necessarily a change of what to limit or don’t ride, but it makes riding in higher gears much more intuitive and smoother while also being able to choose lower gears on occasion for some benefit during relatively smooth ups if needed.

How To Upgrading Your Bike From A 10 Speed Vs 11 Speed Cassette?

The first thing to realize about any kind of assembly is that you should always buy the right parts, and if you’re doing a retrofit (as we often need to do) then this means not just buying an 11-speed cassette or other part but also your entire drive train apart from wheels.

So as not only can the rear derailleur roll on over with minimal hassle but avoiding changing frame and other components breaks down barriers for scaling up what else might have been a simple upgrade.

In some cases you’ll just need your previous rear derailleur, but many times the housing is either too wide or has some other issue that compromises performance.

Being incompatible with new 11-speed cassettes for certain crank lengths and/or cog sizes if using an 11spd cassette – especially eTap cranksets where the drivetrain length was compromised by these type of shops to make installation easier .

What You Might Be Considering As Too Long or Shaft Length

With the Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed cassette you’ll be limited to a megaTRAM system, but I’m sure at this point your mind is already racing ahead toward something like SRM.

If so then check out these other parts for relevance: 12/26mm spindle (titanium) 46 to 52 teeth 110 BCD 13T YES (comes in sizes other than just 26mm) 14T YES (comes in sizes other than just 22.2/45t ).

Race face half-step spider & 8 shims 54T YES 11spd cassette Campagnolo MegaEXOcla alloy 50-17 to 49-39 52t SRM crankset I mentioned the 12/26mm spindle briefly above.

And if you check out LBS’ Threadless Crossmax conversion kitted out with a race face bling FMOT setup, you’ll see more of them – the M5 12-26 spindles I’ve spotted have Deda’s “titanium” alloy heads although they’re not quite as tough as Campy’s equivalent 17/25mm titanium set.

This is LBS Threadless Crossmax conversion platform sporting Raceface half step spider and 8 shims, clearly designed for granny gearing if you’re not using the optional LBS fixed ring.

As discussed above, many people are perfectly happy to settle for non Shimano level performance with their pre-Shimano crankset by chosing certain setups that aligns nicely with existing gear ratios without requiring too much effort if they have a bit of the cycling gene in them – but this is where SRM comes into play!

This part may even be compatible, since it has the same rating as Campy’s 17/25mm titanium spindle (24t), and is 110 BCD – or even 13T like LBS’ post-shimano 11spd CS base.

We’ll see. Cyclingmaniac welcomes anything that pushes us forward into a new era of wheel contraction ratio awareness, so if SRM really does have this next generation cassette you’re expecting then I’m currently doing my best to measure my spindle in order to dial in my granny gear range on this one!

I’m expecting it soon, since SRM have already extended their old school CS cassette with the C2 versions. They are also making some pretty cool new stuff for non Shimano based systems though!!! Especially when they finally roll out their 5/10 speed hub too…

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between 10 Speed And 11 Speed?

The difference between 10 speed and 11 speed is that the former has one gear while the latter has two. 10 speed bike also known as single-speed bike, is a bicycle with only one gear ratio.

It was first used in 1869 by Gustav Otto to develop his design for bicycles that were faster than conventional bikes of the time, which had three or more gears. The original single-speed bike had three chainrings with a chain running over them to form an endless loop.

Is A 10 Speed Bike Enough?

There are two types of bike:

  1. Cruiser Bike
  2. Mountain Bike

A cruiser bike is a type of bicycle that has a relaxed geometry and wide tires with low pressure, designed for speed and stability over flat terrain. A mountain bike has a stiffer frame and more aggressive geometry with knobby tires designed for traction in rugged terrain.

If you want to go on an easy ride or get around town quickly, then a 10-speed cruiser bike will be enough but if you want to do off-road biking or need something more durable, then get yourself a mountain bike instead.

Can I Change My 10 Speed To 11 Speed?

This is a common question that people ask themselves and it can be answered in two ways.

One way to answer this question is whether or not the 10 speed bike has a gear for 11th gear, if it does then you can change your bike into an 11 speed one.

The other way to answer this question is by considering the benefits of changing from 10 speed to 11 speed bikes. In this case, if you have been riding a 10 speed bike for years and want something with more gears.

Then going from 10 to 11 would be beneficial because it will help you ride faster without having any difficulty when riding on hills or flat ground.

Does 11 Speed Really Work?

Speed 11 is not really a speed. It is just the maximum speed you can achieve with your current bicycle’s gearing system. Some bikes may have gears that are less than 10, which means they are considered to be slower than Speed 11.

But the numbers don’t represent how fast you can actually go on those bikes. You need to consider your weight and the amount of effort you put into pedaling when deciding whether or not to buy a bike with gears that are less than 10.

Is 10 Speed Enough For A Road Bike?

A 10 speed is usually enough for a road bike, but it is not the only gear you need. There are some gears that make riding on the street easier and safer.

Final Verdict

10 speed vs 11 speed is a debate that has been going on for quite some time. The question of whether to go with 10 or 11 speeds is an important one, especially if you are looking to buy a new car.

While many people believe that there is no real difference between the two, there are differences in performance and fuel consumption. The best way to find out which speed will suit your needs is by doing some research on your vehicle.

I hope now you understand about the 10 speed vs 11 speed. If you want more information about the differences between the two, take a look at our blog post today!

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