Road components that can be combined with GRX for gravel

Posted at: Mar. 16, 2021

Shimano's GRX series of gravel components can be used in combination with other road bike components, including tips on how to mix and match.

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GRX is highly compatible with road-compatible components

Shimano’s GRX gravel components are derived from road bikes, so they are highly compatible with road bike parts.

Specifically, the drivetrain is basically officially compatible with the last two generations of components with the same number of steps. Chains and sprockets are shared with road components as long as they have the same number of steps.

Points to consider when combining with components for road bikes

Combine parts with the same number of speeds

When mixing GRX and road components, it is necessary to combine parts with the same number of speeds (gears) as a prerequisite.

The GRX is available in the following three lineups.

  • GRX Di2 (11 speed)
  • GRX 11 (11 speed)
  • GRX 10 (11 speed)

Compatible with the current TIAGRA and above componentry for road bikes.

Specific compatibility is as follows

Model Model number Speed Compatible road bike components
GRX Di2 RX-815 11s DURA-ACE R9050s, 9070s
ULTEGRA R8050s
GRX 11 RX-810, RX-600 11s DURA-ACE R9000 series, 9000 series
ULTEGRA R8000 series, 6800 series
105 R7000 series, 5800 series
GRX 10 RX-400 10s ULTEGRA 6700s
105 5700s
TIAGRA 4700s, 4600s

Shimano’s 10-speed components are not compatible with TIAGRA, so you need to be careful when combining GRX and TIAGRA parts.

Of course, electric (Di2) and mechanical components cannot be combined even at the same speed.

Pay attention to the capacity of the rear derailleur.

Shimano’s components for road bikes are designed for cross-ratio sprockets, so the maximum number of teeth and capacity of the rear derailleur are smaller than those of components for MTB.

In recent years, GS (middle cage) models are also available in the rear derailleur lineup, but in the case of gravel components, the sprocket may be chosen to be a wide ratio product such as 11-42T for MTB, in which case the maximum tooth count may exceed 40, which cannot be handled even by GS (middle cage) models for road use.

When using a wide-ratio sprocket with a low maximum exceeding 36, choose a GRX rear derailleur straightforwardly.

All GRX STI levers are “hydraulic disc brake only”

One more thing to note is that all GRX series STI levers are “hydraulic disc brake only”.

There are two types of disc brakes for road bikes, mechanical and hydraulic, but the mechanical type, which physically closes the caliper by pulling the wire, and the hydraulic type, which closes the caliper by the difference in pressure of the oil filled in the hose, have different structures and cannot be used together.

In addition, Shimano’s components for road use do not have hydraulic rim brakes, so rim brakes cannot be used either.

If you want to convert your road bike to disc brakes, you will need to prepare a disc frame as well as wheels.

If you are currently riding a rim-brake road bike and are considering converting to gravel using GRX components, you can save money by using STI levers that are compatible with GRX for road use instead of GRX.

Compatibility with various components for road bikes

Compatibility of GRX with DURA-ACE for road bikes

Unlike ULTEGRA and 105, GRX 10-speed models are not compatible with DURA-ACE.

  1. DURA-ACE R9050 series => Compatible with GRX Di2
  2. DURA-ACE R9000 series, 9000 series => compatible with GRX 11
Model Model number Speed Compatible road bike components
GRX Di2 RX-815 11s DURA-ACE R9050 series, 9070 series
GRX 11 RX-810, RX-600 11s DURA-ACE R9000 series

Compatibility of GRX with ULTEGRA for road bikes

Shimano’s GRX for gravel bikes and ULTEGRA for road bikes are compatible with ULTEGRA 6700 and above, and ULTEGRA is the only component that is compatible with all GRX models, including GRX electric shifting models, because ULTEGRA has Di2 models.

  1. ULTEGRA R8050 series => compatible with GRX Di2
  2. ULTEGRA R8000 series, 6800 series => compatible with GRX 11
  3. ULTEGRA 6700 series => compatible with GRX 10
Model Model number Speed Compatible road bike components
GRX Di2 RX-815 11s ULTEGRA, R8050 series
GRX 11 RX-810, RX-600 11s ULTEGRA, R8000 series, 6800 series
GRX 11 RX-810, RX-600 11s ULTEGRA, R8000 series, 6800 series

Compatibility of GRX with 105 for road bikes

Shimano’s GRX for gravel and 105 for road bikes are compatible with 105, 5700 and above; as of February 2021, there are no 105 models with Di2 electric shifting, so GRX Di2 models are not compatible.

  1. 105, R7000 series, 5800 series => compatible with GRX 11
  2. 105 - 5700 series => compatible with GRX 10
Model Model number Speed Compatible road bike components
GRX 11 RX-810, RX-600 11s 105, R7000 Series, 5800 Series
GRX 10 RX-400 10s 105, 5700 series

Compatibility of the GRX with TIAGRA for road use

The only compatible combinations of Shimano’s GRX for gravel and TIAGRA for road bikes are TIAGRA/4700 series and 4600 series and GRX 10.

  1. compatible with TIAGRA 4700 series and 4600 series => compatible with GRX 10
Model Model number Speed Compatible road bike components
GRX 10 RX-400 10s TIAGRA・4700s、4600s

Shimano’s GRX for gravel is basically compatible with road bike components, but please note the following points

  1. use the same speed combination
  1. Pay attention to the low maximum capacity of the sprocket.

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