You may not have heard of SunRace. They’re a big outﬁt but have been dealing with the budget market. That’s set to change with the Driven component range, designed to compete at a higher level.
First impressions are good, with a smooth, well-ﬁnished – if a little utilitarian – look once you’ve taken the plastic trouser-guard off. They’re also fairly light for the price – test samples varied between 853g and 882g. That's less than both SRAM's AKA and Shimano's SLX triples, and the NMX is stiffer too.
Shifting was a little bit of a letdown, however, with the consensus that both Shimano and SRAM have a distinct edge in generating a crisp, clean change. Sure, we got effective up and downshifts without throwing a chain or there being too much scrabbling of the chain on the inside of the rings, but it just wasn’t as polished.
The arms, forged from 6061 aluminium, are impressively low proﬁle and have a narrow Q-factor (the distance between the two points where the pedals attach). Short or tall riders need not apply – the NMX comes with 175mm arms only.
The axle is stepped to 22mm at the left-hand end, and the bearing on that side has a smaller hole in it. That doesn’t make any difference in use but means you don’t have the option of using a different bottom bracket when the time comes.
If SunRace can improve the shifting and visual departments, we think the Driven NMX will really punch above its weight.