02 January, 2016
New for this winter is the SunRace Wide Range cassettes. SunRace offers a 10 and 11 speed cassette that fit on a 10 speed Shimano HG free hub body. They offer a 3 series cassette for 10 speed and also 8 series which is for 11 speeds. Along with this they also have a S and X series for both speeds, which is based on material used to make the cassette.
SunRace MS3 entry level 10 speed cassette.
The entry level S series cassettes are made out of steel cogs which are treated for corrosion. The S series have 6 cogs on 2 aluminum spiders which comes with a aluminum lockring and spacers.
SunRace MX3 10 Speed Cassette
The higher model X series has a 7075 aluminum largest cog while the other cogs remain steel and are treated for corrosion. Like the S series the X cassette has 6 cog on 2 aluminum spiders and comes with a aluminum lockring and spacers. Making the largest cog out of aluminum saves 40g for the 11-40t cassette.
The aluminum spider on the MX8 11 speed cassette.
When installing the 10 speed cassettes any of the long cage Sram derailleurs work without any customizing. On the other hand some of the long cage Shimano derailleurs may need a longer b tension screw installed. (You can get a longer screw on your local hardware store for under $1!) Both Sram and Shimano 11 speed derailleurs should not need any adjustments to clear this cassette.
Along with using this cassette for fat bikes or mountain bikes, this cassette would be a great option for cyclocross or gravel bikes. For example you could run a 10 speed Sram long cage mountain bike rear derailleur with road levers. Then all you would need is a wide narrow chainring to prevent chain drop. You could also run the 11 speed cassette on your older 10 speed wheels. This way you don't have to waste a lot of money into new wheels for a 11 speed shimano driver or sram xd driver. This way you could run a large range cassette with either Sram Rival or Force derailleur with road shifters. There are more set ups or things you could do, but these would be the most typical.
Fat Bike conversion with the SunRace Cassette to allow for a bigger granny gear.
Finally performance on the SunRace cassette was quite pleasing. The chain easily moved up and down the cassette with no hesitations. The ramping on the cassette work as they should and the the bigger differences in the 10 speed cassette, the chain still easily climbed and dropped into each gear very smoothly. We have about 200 miles on the cassette for testing and so far we haven't ran into any drawbacks, issues or annoyances with this cassette. While the Sunrace MX8 cassette comes in at 405g, compared to the 325g for the Sram GX1 cassette. There is a little bit of weight gain with the SunRace, but it does save you $60 with just the cassette. That's not included the couple hundred it could save you if you had to change hubs, wheels or your full drivetrain. The SunRace cassette is a great affordable option to give yourself a wider gear range without putting a lot $$ into the conversion.