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Product Review: SunRace MX3 10 Speed Shimano – SRAM MTB Cassette

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This 11-42t cassette is an ideal choice for mountain bike riders who want the simplicity of a 1×10 drivetrain, yet still have a wide range of climbing gears. Offering you great value for money, it enables you to clean up your handlebars and frame by losing the front shifter and mech, all without the expense of an expander sprocket.


  • Material: Alloy (Lockring, Spacers, Spider Carriers)
  • Use: MTB
  • Speed: 10-speed
  • 6 Sprockets on 2 alloy spider carriers
  • Alloy lockring and spacers
  • 10-speed wide ratio
  • Compatibility: Shimano type 9-11 speed freehubs
  • Weight: 387g (11-42T)

Sunrace 10 Speed Cassette Review:

The Sunrace MX3 cassette is a 10 speed design. It is made up of an alloy lockring, alloy spacers, 6 alloy spider carriers and a steel sprocket carrier that is bolted into the 11th sprocket of the cassette. The components are all finished in the usual high quality Sunrace stainless and grey finish. The cassette is 46T at the large end of the cassette and measures 11-42T across the rest of the cassette.

Sunrace 10 speed cassettes are available in many ratios in the SRAM road range e.g. 11-28t, 11-32t, 11-36t etc. As these cassettes are not specifically designed for the MTB market the chain line that is usually achieved is +/- 10mm. To overcome this problem when they released their 10 speed MTB cassette they have brought the middle sprocket inboard by around 10mm, which compensates for the narrower chain angles MTB cassettes. For someone on a budget but who wants to run a 10 speed drivetrain it is a sound economic move.

As usual Sunrace have opted for a plain looking cassette, in fact it is more of a ‘straight machined finish. This is no bad thing as it means that the cassette will not rust or corrode, and with correct care it should last for a long time. The Sunrace 10 speed cassette is available in two colours, silver and black. The obvious place to look for product information on the cassette is on the 10 speed cassette that is used as a base for the MTB applications. By comparison on an 11-42t 10 speed MTB cassette the printed information is located on the lock ring and on the freehub for the remaining part of the cassette. I did like the fact that Sunrace had printed the colour of the lock ring and the letters SRAM on the actual cassette, as this makes it easy to identify when looking at a bike in the shops.

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For those people looking at the profile of the cassette it is much like any other cassette. There is a slight bulge at 11, this is where the middle spider carrier is approximately 10mm inboard of the other two. The spiders are made up of six carriers that are attached to a steel sprocket carrier that is bolted into one of the sprockets of the cassette. The spiders are pressed into the chain retaining plate with springs under the spiders, this means that there is no ‘chain suck’ as you normally get on some of the cheaper sprockets. The lock ring has been pinned together to allow it to be removed for servicing. As you would expect Sunrace as a manufacturer of a straight fascia sprocket have not included any graphics on the cassette.

Even though the Sunrace SLX MTB 10 speed cassette is very much like a standard Sunrace cassette, there are a few subtle differences. The weight of the cassette is indicated as 439g, which differs to the 467g of my 11-36t Sunrace MTB cassette. It is also made up of 6 spider carriers and has 5 support caps at the rear of the cassette. So the 11-42t is actually slightly lighter than the MTB 10 speed cassette and also more compact.

I have used a Sunrace 10 speed MTB cassette for a number of years. I now have an 11spd XTR build on my singlespeed mountain bike. This is my first experience with the Sunrace cassettes, and I am very impressed with the wide range of the cassette. The test that I carried out was to see what differences I would find in terms of weight and noise compared to the other Sunrace 10 spd cassettes that I have used in the past.

The cassette that I tested was an 11-42t. It did not have a specific designation on it as to what it was apart from being a 10 speed Sunrace SLX Cassette. The broad range of the cassette was 11-13-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-37-42, meaning that it was a wide range. The weight of the cassette is 387g (11-42t), and this compares to the 467g of my other Sunrace 10 speed Cassette that is a similar size.

The first thing that I wanted to look at when using the cassette was any changes to the sound coming from the bike. I am quite a fussy person with these things, and was worried that the cassette would be noisier. However, when riding using the new one there was still that familiar sound that I associate with Sunrace cassettes, I could rest easy. If you are a hardcore single speed rider I do not think that this is something that will be of particular concern to you.

I consider myself to have an average mechanic’s intelligence, and I was able to install the cassette without any problems. I would of course never suggest that you do the same, always consult your mechanic. I check the chainline on the new cassette to see if it was the same as the other Sunrace 10 speed SLX Cassette that I have, and it was absolutely spot on. There were no issues with the chainline, and as with my old Sunrace cassette I never had any chain suck when shifting the chain. As I was on a singlespeed I also checked to see if this was the same, there were no issues with this either.

I would want a Sunrace Cassette on my bike, not only do they tick the boxes for me as a 10 speed drivetrain, but they are produced to an excellent standard. The MX3 range of cassettes are fantastic value for money, and I have no objections to recommending them to you for your bikes. The one slight concern that I have is that sometimes the replacement chain slips of the first to second sprocket cog when shifting. This did not happen on this particular test, however, it is something that has happened in the past. It would appear that this happens when the cassette has been used and worn in, but it does mean that you have to be extra careful when making the shift.

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Written by Mark Adams

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