What is it?
Though traditionally a BMX driven company, Box Components has recently entered the competitive MTB drivetrain market. Indeed, Box hit the ground running with their PushPush shifter, One Derailleur, and 11-46 wide range cassettes. This group is targeted at all-mountain and enduro consumers, with a downhill-specific group reportedly in the works.
One of the most interesting features of the Box One group is the totally re-designed single lever shifter that up-shifts like a standard Shimano or SRAM shifter, but down-shifts by pushing the lever inward. Box designed their rear derailleur with competitive features such as a CamClutch (comparable to SRAM’s type II clutch) and Pivot Tech, which allows the derailleur to pivot during large impacts to avoid damage. This test includes the Box One rear derailleur and Box One PushPush shifter.
- Intuitive and ergonomic
- Cross compatibility with Shimano 11-speed parts
- Shifter body can interfere with cockpit setup
- Cable port/dust cap may fall out over time
- CamClutch derailleur could be a little stiffer
Performance on the Trail
As far as weight goes, the Box group set is on par with Shimano’s XT group. The Box One rear derailleur weighs 275 grams, which is two grams less than an XT rear derailleur. The Box One PushPush shifter came in at just 20 grams heavier than an XTR front shifter.
Initial test setup consisted of an XTR chain and XT M8000 11-42 cassette paired with the Box shifter and One rear derailleur. Cockpit setup had to be slightly altered due to the added height of the shifter body and lack of integrated mounting with any brakes. And while the shifter design is unlike anything we’ve ever used before, it was very comfortable.
Box’s rear derailleur clutch felt slightly less firm, but setup with the shifter and derailleur was simple. The Box derailleur didn’t jump out as being noticeably different than an XT derailleur, which is a good thing.
We logged 20 riding hours and roughly 200 miles on extremely rocky, derailleur-hungry terrain on this group. Over the course of that time, we grew fond of the shifter almost immediately. Strength and durability of the One Derailleur was also very impressive.
Issues with the derailleur only arose following a crash and a bent derailleur hanger, but that is to be expected. Notably though, the derailleur itself was undamaged thanks to the Pivot Tech feature. Although the CamClutch felt relatively soft to the touch, we never managed to drop the chain, running the entire test without a chain guide.
If you are considering branching out from the norm, Box has a competitive offering. After getting accustomed to the PushPush shifter, we were big fans of this pairing. The economics and convenience of the lever stand out against competitors’ designs, which have been getting a little stale after years without significant innovation. Box’s group offers unique ergonomics, delivers sharp drivetrain action, and will work with your current Shimano drivetrain parts.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Price: Box One rear derailleur: $175; Box One PushPush shifter: $75
More Info: www.boxcomponents.com