Video: Box One drivetrain in action

Demonstrating the unique shifting action of Box Components

Components Sea Otter Classic
Shifter has two motions so only one lever is needed.

Shifter has two motions so only one lever is needed.

It’s good to have options. And in a drivetrain world increasingly dominated by Shimano and SRAM, it’s good to have another player to add in the mix. But can a small company compete and offer something unique in this category? Box Components is an established company already producing a range of products for BMX bikes. They have recently branched out into the mountain bike segment and their MTB products include handlebars, headsets, wheels, and small components.

Over the past few years, they’ve also been developing a new drivetrain. Considering the market dominance of Shimano and SRAM, not to mention their treasure trove of patents, it’s a bold move. So what makes the Box drivetrain special? It uses a single lever shifter.

Rear derailleur has a clutch.

The rear derailleur has a clutch.

The drivetrain will initially be available in two build kits. The Box One system is an XT or GX level kit, while the Box Two version is equivalent to SLX. At launch, they will offer an 11-46 11-speed cassette that uses a Shimano freehub. You could also use a SRAM cassette if you prefer.

Retail for the Box One shifter is $75. The rear derailleur retails for $180.

Range is 11-46t and compatibility is Shimano drivers

Range is 11-46t and compatibility is Shimano drivers

Made of hi-tensile steel and 7075-T6 aluminum, the Box Two™ 11-46 cassette provides a range of 418 percent. Two aluminum carriers hold the largest seven cogs while four individual cogs are separated with aluminum spacers. Each cog features ramped teeth for improved shifting.

  • Cogs: 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-36-40-46
  • Hub Compatibility: Shimano
  • Speed: 11 speed
  • Price: $99

For more info, go to

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • PinkFloydLandis says:

    Kudos to Box for getting the cog tooth spreads right. The Shimano 46T cassette was a disappointment w/ the 9 tooth 24% jump from 37 to 46. I’d rather have the single 20% jump from 15 to 18, and keep all other jumps < 18%, as Box has done it. I can't imagine a reason for Shimano's choice, other than minimizing tooling costs (first 10 cogs are identical on 11-42 and 11-46), which is pathetic given Shimano's resources, and what's at stake for them w/ a high-range cog for 1X.

  • CanadaGuy says:

    It’s probably worth pointing out that Box didn’t develop their own cassette, they are having them supplied by Sunrace. Not that this is a bad thing, but the article led me to believe Box designed their own cassette.

  • justin says:

    I see this catching on if they price themselves at 60% of shimano/sram.

  • Travis says:

    Do not expect the derailleur to be quiet or provide good chain retention. The derailleur allows for so much chain slap that it is like not having a clutch at all and my XT derailleur actually does a better job even with the clutch turned off. Kudos for trying but more work is needed especially with the steep price as I can buy two XT derailleurs for the price of a box one.

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