Box's New 7-Speed DH Drivetrain Components and Lifetime Warranty - First Look

Aug 28, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Box Components caused a stir when they first released details of their One derailleur and shifter, and it was obvious that many riders were happy to see an alternative to SRAM and Shimano's offerings. The performance is there, too, at least with my pre-production test units that I rode and reviewed last year that performed well, weak clutch spring aside. Most interesting is - or rather was - their unique PushPush shifter that employed a single paddle that was either rotated or pushed in towards the shifter to move through the gears.


Box


The novel PushPush single paddle design has been retired, regardless of it working pretty well, in favor of a more traditional two-paddle setup with dual-direction release. The issue with the PushPush design, I'm told, is "IP concerns,'' and I doubt we'll see it return given that Box is now offering a completely different shifter. Will the more familiar shifter operation win over riders whose fingers run on instinct? Probably, but I would have said that the distinctive PushPush action was important as Box need to set themselves apart from the two drivetrain giants

They'll also need to offer a much wider range of components if they ever hope to become a household name, let alone gain original equipment spec that they're surely hoping to have over the coming years. And that's exactly what Box is doing, with the release of a downhill-specific 7-speed derailleur, shifter, and cassette, as well as their lower price-point Box Two range. They've also been working on a new downhill/park-specific seat and post interface that is said to eliminate any and all slipping.


Box


Box is also doing something that's very noteworthy: a lifetime warranty against breakage that covers nearly all of their products. Smash your derailleur to pieces on a rock? No problem; Box will replace it. Bike fall off your car rack at 100kph? Box will still look after you. ''This new feature is designed to provide consumers with a measure of additional protection and support in the event of a product failure,'' Box stated in their press release. ''This updated feature goes into effect immediately and applies to all original owners.'' Why the unheard, no-questions-asked warranty? The catalyst for Box's impressive warranty coverage was a spate of production One derailleurs that saw their knuckles fail due to some manufacturing issues, something that Box says they've since sorted out.

“It is no secret that we have had some challenges with the toughness of our rear derailleur. Innovation isn’t free from risk after all,'' Box President Toby Henderson explained in their PR. ''Learning from this, our team has made an honest effort to listen to feedback from the market and change. As a result, we have recently made substantial improvements to our product line, and feel it is now time to pass the benefits of these on to the consumer. What better way to do this than a lifetime warranty against breakage?"

We'll have more details and ride impressions of the near components soon, but for now you can see all of the details below.




Box


Box One DH 7-Speed Twin Shifter and Derailleur

Downhill racing, or even just bike park use, puts some unique demands on a drivetrain, and while a standard setup can certainly work well, there's something to be said for a compact gearing range and the shorter, burlier derailleur that it allows. Box has followed that recipe for their new One DH Twin Shifter and Derailleur, with it making use of a much shorter cage than the standard One derailleur, an updated clutch system that hopefully provides much more chain tension, and forged construction.

The new derailleur is meant to be paired with 7-speed Box Two cassette that features an integrated spoke guard, much like an X01 DH block, and the fresh 7-speed Twin shifter. Cog spacing remains the same as on an 11-speed cassette, so their standard chain will still play nice. The 7-speed derailleur will retail for $174.99 USD (which is the same as their standard 11-speed One derailleur), while the Box Two 11 - 24 cassette costs a reasonable $49.99 USD.


Box


Box Two 11-Speed Twin Shifter and Derailleur

Box Two is a step down from One in their component hierarchy, with more price conscious construction making for a $109.99 USD price tag compared to the One's $174.99 MSRP. It comes down to different materials (there's no carbon fiber on the Two derailleur) and less expensive hardware, but both 11-speed derailleurs work with either Box's or Shimano's shifters, just in case you feel like mixing and matching. The Box Two shifter sells for $44.99 USD, whereas the Box One unit goes for $69.99 USD.

There are three options when it comes to Box's 11-speed chains. The top of the range $79.99 USD Hex Lab chain gets a TiCN coating that is said to increase its lifespan while reducing friction, and moving down one step to the One chain sees hollow pins used (but no TiNC coating) and a $39.99 USD price tag. The Two chain skips the fancy coating and hollow pins, and it costs $29.99 USD as a result.


Box


T-Channel Gravity Seat and Seat Post

While we knew that Box was working on a number of fresh drivetrain components, their new T-Channel Gravity seat and seat post design comes as more of a surprise. Mountain bikers are generally a wary bunch when it comes to proprietary bits, and rightfully so, but Box clearly believe that their rail-less seat and post design is worth the departure from the norm. The name hints to the design, with the seat interfacing with the post via a T-shaped insert that is slid into a channel in the seat's shell and then clamped down onto the seat post head. Box says that the dual-bolt clamp still allows for -3 to +11 degrees of angle adjustment, which is enough for any crazy frame out there, as well as 48mm of fore/aft range.

The ridged seat top is an idea lifted from the motocross world, where seats often have custom shapes cut into them to help with rider positioning and traction, and the rear-most portion is designed to maximize tire clearance at bottom-out. Just like with their other components, the T-Channel Gravity seat and post come with a lifetime warranty against breakage.


Interbike 2015


Box Acquires True Precision Components' Stealth Hubs

There's yet more news from Box with them acquiring the specific cycling assets of True Precision Components, makers of the silent and instant engaging Stealth hub. This excludes all of True Precision Components' non-bicycle hub products, however. The move by Box signals serious commitment to BMX and mountain bike drivetrains, and it's surely only a matter of time until we see Stealth hubs at the center of Box's novel looking carbon fiber wheelsets.

''We recognize the advantages the Stealth hub provides, such as instant engagement, silent coasting, and durability,'' Toby Henderson said in the press release. ''With this acquisition, we’re well positioned to accelerate the expansion of this technology into our ever-growing drivetrain ecosystem.'' In other words, expect more from Box in the future as far as wheels and drivetrain components go.

Must Read This Week

129 Comments

  • + 234
 I have a morning ritual that I need to share. I call it "the terminator". First I crouch down in the shower in the classic "naked terminator traveling through time" pose. With my eyes closed I crouch there for a minute, visualizing either Arnold or the guy from the second movie (not the chick in the third one because that one sucked) and I start to hum the terminator theme. Then I slowly rise to a standing position and open my eyes. It helps me to proceed through my day as an emotionless, cyborg badass. The only problem is if the shower curtain sticks to my terminator leg. It ruins the fantasy.
  • + 3
 Can I be John O'Connor in this fantasy?
  • + 4
 classic pose
  • + 56
 Ya. My fantasies usually subside after something sticks to my leg too.
  • + 27
 My morning ritual is a cup of coffee that moves along a nice bowel movement to brighten my day and lighten the load.
  • + 44
 @CentralVTMTB: Why are you making John Connor Irish?
  • + 5
 @seraph: hahahahaha
  • + 8
 @seraph: atleast that connor won in the end...sorry boxing fans
  • + 3
 That is exactley what I am doing now ????@tblore:
  • + 37
 Wow, @SpencerRutherford was it you that posted this on Craigslist back in 2004?

www.craigslist.org/about/best/bos/30807835.html?lang=en&cc=us
  • + 0
 I'm gonna try this. Plus it'll give me a chance to smell my own rump
  • + 5
 @gtill9000: Doubtful consider her would have been about 12 years old and had maybe only heard about the Terminator.

Plagiarism FTMFW!
  • + 2
 @seraph: Lol. I'm in Ireland right now. That's probably why
  • + 4
 @gtill9000: honestly...how in the hell did you find this?
  • + 2
 But do you make the hydraulic motor sounds?
  • + 3
 Then you walk naked to your wife and say "I need your chamois, cleats and your motobecane."
  • + 2
 @Ryanrobinson1984 - it's amazing what you can find at this obscure link here on the world wide web: www.google.com
  • + 2
 @gtill9000: never heard of it. And I don't think I'll take the chance of clicking on your spammed out website. Nice try, buddy
  • + 27
 A look into the future:
Next season Gwin will ride these, because they pay better money than Shimano/SRAM. At first everyone will shame him for doing so (as with TRP brakes or Onza tires) but will learn better after he wins the worldcup.
  • + 27
 IIRC, Gwin is not paid by SRAM to run their shifter & derailleur. SRAM didn't want him on just those alone (they wanted him on brakes and full drive train), so no sponsorship deal. So, it wouldn't take much money to say that Box could pay him better than SRAM currently does Wink
  • + 1
 Well as to the "Successful athlete rides X" as a mean of justifying legitimacy of a certain product: there's a group of guys called Vertriders and they ride Litevilles with Suntour suspension: some of them ride insane lines in Alps on an Epicon. I had one and I am not buying a fkng Epicon or Auron or Durolux as my primary fork, when I can buy a Pike...
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: I always wondered how Durolux compares to Pike/Lyrik. Any insight?
  • + 1
 @jollyXroger: www.mtb-news.de/news/2016/03/01/sr-suntour-durolux-test in German though, sorry (yay for google translate).
I personally think it performs admirably well, even the models before the damper upgrade. Service is a breeze to do yourself, as is traveling them to the preferred length between 100 and 180mm.

Performance in direct comparison to Pike/Lyrik: I think goes reasonably well for the Durolux. Damper is, in MY mind, a tad better than Pike, as is stiffness. Lyrik idk, not ridden yet. Small bump sensitivity goes to Durolux, because of the nice and tuneable negative coil spring.
Comparison to newer Fox 36: Still not bad, slightly in favor of Fox. The mid-stroke holds up better with the new Fox 36 (that I would ever say THAT about a Fox fork, well, 3 years ago, I would have called you a liar and laughed about it, if you had told me).
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: I have durolux im aching to ride, if ur ever near Hastings feel free to ride them
  • + 2
 @jollyXroger: It´s a really great fork. A couple of grams heavier, but it´s too much stiffer, 20x110 axle, a great user serviceable sistem, service ports for a quick maintenance and an integrated mud fender. Perhaps is not the better for all-mountain, but for heavy enduro is really great. There´s a demo program, you can try one.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: As much as I hate the Thru-axle on my Auron, it's running as silent today as it was two years ago, which is more than I can say for the countless competitors forks that have been through my stand in the same time scale with creaky CSUs.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I'd pay pike price for Auron after I spent a couple of months on it. Pcs damper, not the old one. As already mentioned service is as easy as it gets (just changet travel and added some grease).
  • + 1
 @jollyXroger: only one run on it. Decent. But Pike/Lyrik are only slightly more expensive and all shops in town swim in RS spare parts. Suntour? Not really. If you are on the edge of cash for RS, take Durolux. Auron was ok, but I'd compare it to RS Sektor. I have enough cash to afford RS. If money was no object I'd run Fox or Diamond
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Thur Durolux is actually pretty sweet, it represents excellent value in this world of bike part prices gone mad.

@jollyXroger I've got the RC2 on my Sinister Shenanigan, and I think it's a damned good fork, especially once I got past the break in period. The compression damping is good, with adjustments which make a noticeable difference. Since I've gotten mine set up, I've been very happy with it. Just wish it came in 15mm.
  • - 1
 Truth to be told DVO, Cane Creek and Öhlins use chassis made by Suntour. And I have no issue with that. But RS is already not as good as my 2011 36 Van RC2 used to be so I'm not going below RS level unless I have to. Please note, RS is cheap in Europe. 600€ for Durolux, 850 for Lyrik. Its's not like Fox 36 for 1400...
  • + 24
 thrown your box mech off a cliff then took the remains on a 4 day bender with the boys to Amsterdam, set it on fire and now it won't work? Not a problem sir we will replace that for you.
  • + 6
 To be fair you will need that warranty when it falls apart cruising down Aline and takes out your rear wheel.
  • + 4
 @Jokesterwild: after the last 10 days in Whistler I am happy to sway to Box, bike is beat up!! The drivetrain is fckkked
  • + 16
 SO they came up with a pivotal seat post combo, known for over a decade in BMX yet they are worried about IP on their shifter.
  • + 7
 I guess that it can be moved forwards/backwards separates it from pivotal. There was some bmx seats where you mount the pivotal section in a few different places but, not a sliding adjuster. Good to see a new take on a great system. Strong light an cheap, all 3!
  • + 19
 Looks like they've just reinvented I-beam.
  • + 1
 Exactley! ????@gibbon-on-an-orange:
  • + 3
 Sorry to be so thick, but what is IP?
  • + 5
 @pdxkid: Intellectual Property
  • + 3
 @pdxkid: Intellectual Property
  • + 1
 I don't think patents help with innovation and economic growth. They certainly don't help the little guy against the big guns.
  • + 10
 @hamncheez: Certainly helps the little guy if he has the IP.
  • + 4
 @Benlow: Yes, but how often doe the little guy end up with IP? Its the big guns most of the time. They have a team of lawyers (like at my company) that work on IP full time. They file thousands of patents, just to see if a few dozen will stick. What little guy can compete with that? Also, patents are decided by judges, not engineers. Its not who has the most precise or best described patents, its who has the best lawyers and $$ to defend patents. Finally, some incredibly stupid things have been patented (like the infamous 'rounded rectangle' by apple) while other, truly novel things have been rejected.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: bingo. In the long run, they don't help growth and they stifle innovation.
  • + 17
 Where the hell is this company getting its money.
  • + 25
 From Seth's Bike Hacks. People are literally lining up to copy anything he does and he runs Box components.
  • + 9
 Tony Henderson has been in the bike game for decades. I'm sure he has a long list of contacts
  • + 8
 Go and watch a BMX event.
  • + 8
 @meathooker: yup. does no one remember old THE front fenders?
  • + 2
 @VwHarman:
oh hell yeah! I had an orange triple crown 6in elastomer and foam front "Bomber" on my green shogun hard tail with a THE vac formed faux carbon fiber weave "moto style" front fender... Damn I thought that was cool back in '97
  • + 1
 @VwHarman: The only cool fenders ever, for a minute there several years back.
  • + 4
 From the insurance payout for the first run of their products that were "stolen" last year.
  • + 1
 @meathooker: No doubt, he has had a lot of success with different brands. T.H.E, Sinz, Intense BMX, Speed Bicycles (Speedco), and now Box.
  • + 1
 @pharmkid85: Seth's a cool guy... I don't blame people for wanting to follow what he does. His review of the derailleur and shifter didn't really seem too biased as well if he is actually running Box.
  • + 12
 Got your dick in a box? Warranty covers that too.
  • + 0
 ????????????????
  • + 8
 All looks interesting, team up with some outside suspension teams and could be some variation in bikes again with xfusion or formula, box, light cycle rims and precision hubs.
  • + 4
 they sponsor UR for example
  • + 4
 @sethius that strategy fell apart for Hayes
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: this is true, that hasn't really worked out at all for the hayes group!
  • + 4
 I'm gonna go ahead and assume thes cassettes are made by Sunrace. We sell a ton of the 11 speed cassettes and wide range 10 speed cassettes from them and the ones in the photo up there are a splitting image of their design.

And you know, I'm okay with this, because paying over 200 hundred dollars for a cassette is stupid.

Also.... Lifetime warranty!??!? YUSSSSSSS
  • + 5
 Yes, that's a CSMX8 with Box's logo on it.
  • + 4
 The press release doesn't really read too clearly. Are they offering the lifetime warranty because "hey, we're so confident in how reliable our mechs are that we'll swap it if it fails" or is it more of a "please buy our stuff, hey, we promise we'll swap it WHEN it fails."?
  • + 5
 Yes.
  • + 8
 Surely the warranty is against product failure, not onset f*ck ups?
  • + 30
 Yeah, that was my thought too — surely they're not going to replace a derailleur you smash into a tree. Their website says:

"In cases where a product is damaged by the results of a crash, negligence, race incidents, impact, abuse of the product, non-compliance with manufacturers specifications of usage or any other circumstances in which the product has been subjected to forces or loads beyond its design, we can offer a replacement part at a discounted crash replacement price."

Better than nothing but certainly not what the article implies.
  • + 6
 @tamallama: Good spot! Very different story...
  • + 4
 The BOX one 11speed derailleur and push push shifter is paired with an e-13 cassette and KMC dlc chain is the best drivetrain I have ever used. I would pay double for it. Flawless, durable, and butter smooth, crispy shifts. Sad to see push-push go by by.
  • + 5
 Pre dropper posts I really liked my old I Beam setup. Very light. Never creaked.
  • + 2
 Really love my I-beams. Super light and such a clean look. It's just a shame the Reverb adaptor cancels out any weight and aesthetic advantage of them or I'd run one on my trail bike too.
  • + 1
 I miss i-beams dearly. such a great system and fat guy approved
  • + 4
 So they are basically offsetting all the drivetrain production to SunRace and calling the day off. Nice move in the Stealth hubs though.
  • + 2
 I'd really be interested in the revised clutch setting. It seems like website who reviewed the original set dropped chains during their review period. One even had the derailleur explode on a-line.
  • + 2
 I think that was an early set. The one I have, the clutch spring is very very high tension. Never dropped a chain and I ride very rough terrain.
  • + 3
 I can't wait to try this drivetrain. My kids and I race BMX so Box is already a household name for us. It's good to see them come off the track and on to the mountain.
  • + 1
 MTB marketing is an interesting beast. Sram is trying to sell us way overpriced 12 speed tech that will last 2 months at best. Shimano decided to blunder shifter i-spec mounts, then not offer a wide range 10 speed 11-40 cassettes for the bomber Zee rear mechs! Now you have to buy our shitty 11 speed system that will last maybe 5 rides.
  • + 4
 Great to see Box expanding their lineup and offering more alternatives to Sram and Shitmano tup
  • + 4
 i hope shimano and sram dont steal units from their warehouse again
  • + 2
 No matter how well it functions, it's ugly and looks cheap and I think that will steer some people away.
  • + 2
 The design of these things is just plain sad... Add an industrial designer to the team please...
  • + 2
 Lifetime warranty for a company that won't be around much longer. Real cute...
  • + 1
 BOX is doing serious business on the BMX side already. You can't miss their carbon forks or bars/stems at any race. They are fine and Toby has had a lot of success with his other brands over the years. I wouldn't be worried.
  • + 1
 @EndlessWheelie: Even if a brand has complete market dominance in BMX, it's still a very very small revenue stream/customer base/etc...
  • + 1
 @stikmanglaspell: It seems to be more than enough to stay in business with premium prices while testing the mtb waters.
  • + 2
 Life time warranty is great but what happens if the warehouse of spares burns down?
  • + 2
 What does this mech offer over units from SRAM Shimano though ?

Doesn't seem to have any unique features or any thing.
  • + 12
 It's a DERAILEUR. It moves chain from one cog to another. What other unique features you expect?
  • + 4
 unlimited warranty?
  • + 0
 The push-push shifter was a huge deal, shouldn't have quit. I trust their company less for being so flexy. "Here's our amazing new innovation"......."oh well uh, yeah, about that, it was amazing, it was innovative, it was what differentiated our product, but uh, buddy from Cycle.net complained about it, and we can't have that hurting our feelings"
  • + 1
 I was hoping they went back to a wider (stronger) chain and spacing. Disappointed to see it just a smaller range like everyone else is doing.
  • + 2
 @Kramz: remember Shimano rapid rise derailleurs, they work better,but went away because they're different.it makes marketing sense
  • + 4
 Their one defining feature was their push/push shifter that is now a thing of the past. Really they're just another option now.
  • + 1
 @Duderz7: Totally agree. Rapid rise was way better than conventional set ups, but people couldn't (wouldn't) wrap their heads around it, so it disappeared.

People like what they're used to, and if they won't change, it doesn't matter how much sense it makes. Small companies can't afford to "hope" people come around necessarily. You gotta do whatcha gotta do. They can't push changes on their customers like the big companies do.
  • + 1
 @Duderz7: we called them rapid DEMISE back in the day. most guys that got on them took a few races to get used to the "backwards" shifting.
  • + 2
 @meathooker: we also called them rapid demise for good reason. I've still got an xtr one on my daughter's bike running 9spd and it works great. When it's time for a new mech she'll have to relearn. I ran it with a Shimano shifter while my other bikes had grip shift on one and sram trigger on the other. That way I never got used to anything and it wasn't a big deal.
  • + 1
 Nice to see an alternative to the big boys, shimano need to get on with sorting out some dh cassettes, and that warranty!!!!
  • + 1
 Aren't the True Precision Stealth Hubs interfering with Onyx Racing Hubs patents and design? @theminsta
  • + 1
 Stealth is the original..Onyx is a copy
  • + 2
 Hasn't this all been done before ?
  • + 2
 But wait a second, we all loved the Push - push Shifter
  • + 1
 Toby Henderson. One of my childhood heros. Glad to here he's in the scene, still making an impact.
  • + 1
 T-channel - less reliable version of pivotal much!?
  • + 1
 Yup, I'd put one of these on my dh bike
  • + 1
 well this has fucked up my plans to save some money over winter
  • + 1
 @Rtknight for my operator hmmmmmm
  • + 1
 I really like box they rock And it doesn't stop here .
  • + 1
 Will these get stolen too?
  • + 0
 I have put box one on a demo bike and it blows Shimano away, such a nice smooth shift.
  • - 2
 yeah but did you read the review the other day on box ?It was not good what so ever.i was interested too until I read the review.Ill let them fix all the problems before I give them a chance.
  • + 0
 Good move acquiring Stealth hubs, now please make them cheaper and as drag free as Onyx hubs Smile
  • + 1
 I have a hard time believing that the drag on Onyx hubs is a measurable improvement over the Stealth. Not to say that Stealth are better, it's just hard to improve on the drag free performance I've experienced over the last six months. I'd be on board for cheaper though!
  • + 1
 @abeck59: my stealth hubs are as drag free as you can get..roll way faster than any other hub Ive ridden
  • + 1
 I've never had a seat post slip on me. Anyone here ever have that issue?
  • + 1
 I do like​ their offerings, but how's silent coasting an advantage?
  • + 1
 I've had a Stealth rear hub on my SS bike for the last six months or so. Silent coasting in and of itself is a gimmick. In fact, I would say I prefer to have some noise back there to alert other trail users that I'm coming. The advantage with this (and Onyx) hub design is drag free rolling and instant engagement.
  • + 2
 If you are in a road or xc race, a silent hub may help with a sneaky attack... ie you just catched up with the rider in front of you, he did not hear you coming. If you live in areas where you are forced to ride illegal trails, it helps not to be too loud...
  • + 0
 @abeck59: the instant engagement on onyx is life changing; like traditional hubs feel broken now. i miss the loud hub a little bit but totally worth it.
  • + 1
 @RedRedRe: i see what you mean, but this would be an advantage only in those particular scenarios - change the circumstances and you might find yourself missing the sound.

''We recognize the advantages the Stealth hub provides, such as instant engagement, silent coasting, and durability''

''We recognize the advantages the Stealth hub provides, such as instant engagement, pretty colors, and durability''

lol
  • + 0
 all these lifetime warranty....all the more i need an e-mtb or zerode tawinha.
  • + 1
 The price is "out of the box".
  • + 1
 Does the b tension screw adjust the Box gap?
  • + 0
 if i have a hub thats 9spd could i still use the 7speed DH stuff?
  • + 1
 If it's a Shimano free-hub, it'll fit 7 through 10 speeds cassettes.
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