Summary of compatibility of Shimano components for road bikes

Posted at: Mar. 23, 2021

Compatibility of Shimano Components for Road Bikesa Shimano components for road bikes tend to be confusing with various parts in different grades and generations. In this article, we summarize the compatibility trends of Shimano components.

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Brakes have the widest compatibility

Brakes are the most interchangeable parts among Shimano’s parts for road bikes. Basically, as long as the STI levers are compatible, the basic upper and lower grades are compatible.

For example, the entry grade CLARIS STI lever may be compatible with the top grade DURA-ACE brake.

Brakes are not that expensive even when new, so they are easy to upgrade as a stand-alone part.

If the front and rear speed levels are the same, they are up and down compatible.

If you are buying parts around components, the first thing you should look at is the number of speed steps.

In Shimano components for road bikes, there are combinations that say

  • 2x11 Speed(DURA-ACE,ULTEGRA,105)
  • 2x10s (ULTEGRA,105,TIAGRA)
  • 3x10 (ULTEGRA,105,TIAGRA)
  • 2x9 Speed (SORA)
  • 3x9 (SORA)
  • 2x8 (CLARIS)
  • 3x8 Speed(CLARIS)

DURA-ACE, ULTEGRA, and 105 parts are compatible with each other up and down the 2x11 speed range.

The parts of DURA-ACE, ULTEGRA and 105 are compatible with each other as long as they have the same number of gears.

However, even with the same 105, the latest R7000 and 5800 series are for 2x11 speed, while the 5700 series is for 2x10 speed, so there is no interchangeability here.

ULTEGRA, 105 and TIAGRA parts are compatible with each other up and down the 2x10 speed range

ULTEGRA, 105 and TIAGRA parts are compatible with each other as long as they have the same number of gears.

Note that ULTEGRA and 105 are only available in the older generation of 2x10 speed (ULTEGRA: 6700 series ゙, 105: 5700 series), while TIAGRA only offers 2x10 speed.

In addition, there are two types of rear 10-speed components: 2-speed (2x10-speed) and 3-speed (3x10-speed) models. If the rear has the same number of steps but the front has a different number of steps, it may be necessary to replace the STI lever, front derailleur, and rear derailleur as a set. (In some cases, only the front derailleur and crank need to be replaced.

SORA and CLARIS are not interchangeable because the number of steps is unique to each grade.

SORA (2 or 3x9 speed) and CLARIS (2 or 3x8 speed) are basically not compatible up and down, as the number of steps is unique to each grade.

However, as mentioned above, there are many cases where you can use the brakes since they are strongly compatible up and down.

FD and crank are up and down compatible with the same number of steps

The front derailleur and crank, which are the front shifting parts, may be upward and downward compatible if the number of front and rear steps is the same. However, there are some cases where older models are not compatible with higher models.

The R generation and the generation before the R generation are often compatible.

Basically, the current R generation (XX-R0000) and the previous x800 generation (XX-0800) are often interchangeable, as long as the interchangeability is within the range of cases we have seen so far.

For example, the ULTEGRA STI lever ST-6800 (x800 generation) is compatible with the latest 105 front derailleur FD-R7000 (R generation).

If there is one more generation than this, there will be many cases of incompatibility.


We have looked at the compatibility of Shimano components for road bikes. Looking at it this way, Shimano components are highly compatible, so it seems that you can upgrade your road bike at a reasonable price by combining some used parts.

Of course, please check the Shimano official website for detailed compatibility information for each part.

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