Box Components - QBP Frostbike 2015

Feb 22, 2015
by Chris Johannes  
Based out of Anaheim, California, Promax/Box is poised to launch a number of interesting products into the market including three proprietary shaped 35 millimeter carbon bars, a direct mount and 3D forged stems. They've also been making advancements to some prototype components such as a four piston hydraulic brake set, a single paddle ten speed shifter, and a Shimano compatible rear derailleur that we spotted this weekend at QBP's Frostbike in Minnesota.

Box-Components-at-Frostbike

The unidirectional ‘X’ carbon bars have a unique shape at the rise transition and come in cross-country (700mm /160g), trail (760mm /180g), and downhill versions (800mm /235g). Handlebars can be mated with Box’s Cusp 6061-T6 fifty millimeter 187 gram direct mount or 3d forged stems offered in 45, 55, and 65 millimeter lengths. Some prices haven't been confirmed but the carbon bars will range from $129-$149 USD.

Box Components at Frostbike
Box-Components-at-Frostbike

Box Components at Frostbike
Box Components at Frostbike

Information on the brake set and rear derailleur is limited as they are still in the development stage, however some of the new modifications to the brake set include a top reservoir design that’s easier to access and a switch to mineral oil. There are now two on-the-fly adjustment dials, one for power modulation and another for lever position. The shifter and lever will likely come with the option to be mounted to a single or separate bar clamp and Box plans to offer both organic and sintered pads.

Box Components at Frostbike
Box Components at Frostbike

Box-Components-at-Frostbike
Box-Components-at-Frostbike

To complement the single paddle push ten speed shifter, Box says it has a left hand 2x shifter in the works, but it was not on display. We did get to see the elusive ten speed long cage rear derailleur that appears to have serviceable pivots, a kind of breakaway cable guide, and a clutch mechanism to ensure good chain tension. A clutch lever or on / off setting was not apparent on this particular prototype. Box appears to be making some real progress on its drivetrain components and we look forward to seeing further developments.




77 Comments

  • 57 4
 Switched to mineral oil, smart move! I think that's what most of us want! Stuff looks like it would be on Batman's bike! Cool!!
  • 6 5
 Mineral oil may avoid some of the problems with DOT, but mineral oil has it's own set of drawbacks, though: because it doesn't absorb water, water can collect in your brake system & corrode parts, & while Shimano claims their mineral oil has as high a boiling point as DOT, those claims are considered questionable by some(to be fair, some tests have borne out their claims. But BOX isn't Shimano.)
  • 6 0
 Mineral oil or DOT I don't care. All that matters for me is how reliable the brakes are, how good they stop and modulate and how low maintenance they do need to operate properly. DOT and mineral oil both have their pros and cons. Choose brakes on how good they are and not what's in there. I never tried mineral oil brakes, but for me it looks like DOT is a little bit better fluid to ride with, and a little bit worse when service your brakes. I might be wrong, of course.
  • 4 0
 Yes riding in the wet forces water into the system, bleeds are needed. Fortunately bleeding Shimano brakes is easy. Water laden DOT fluid can also cause corrosion and due to it's inherent corrosive nature is not so fun to work with. I like that they went with mineral oil here.
  • 2 0
 @DARKSTAR63 While it's true you can get enough water in DOT to cause problems, it's a much higher bar to cross: I've had some DOT fluid come out looking like thick, heavy snot, & still have no problems with the system once bled. This was, of course, back when you could get away with not bleeding Avid brakes for a couple years at a time.
  • 3 0
 Yeah I do my Shimano's once or twice a year and I'd do them more if need be but that seems to suffice. It's not something I dread like bleeding Avid's it's actually a bit fun. I see your point though, and if you could combine all the pro's of each that would be ideal. The mineral oil is just so much easier to work with and clean that It outweighs the negatives for me.
  • 5 0
 I also ran into an interesting problem this winter.... the water freezes. I had no idea I had water in my system because you don't.. lever feel remains firm. Went out for a night ride in sub freezing temps and within a half hour or so - no brake. Lever wouldn't move. As soon as I got it back inside and she warmed up, brake came back. Sure enough a bleed solved it so I will be doing a "pre-winter" bleed as well now Smile @groghunter
  • 2 0
 Indeed, & don't get me wrong, I gleefully replaced all of my brakes with Shimano a while ago. That said, my next bike is going to be a very budget build, & I'm thinking about using SRAM DB5 brakes on it. I'm find that I now miss the modulation of my old AVID brakes, & they're beating out even Deore some places, price wise. They seem to be good stoppers, & this gives me a chance to see if SRAM has stepped up their game.

That said, If I had more cash, I'd probably run Hope on every bike.
  • 2 0
 Yea Hope's are so pretty, cheers to that.
  • 3 0
 Mineral oil also freezes at a way higher temperature than DOT 5.1, which is a concern for us northland-dwellers.
  • 1 0
 I have heard that it might- when it happened to me it only happened to one brake so I presume it was water. I do feel the levers are "sticky" though when it gets down into the 20's and that could be the mineral oil thickening. @mnorris122
  • 2 0
 Hahah Batman's bike Big Grin awesome imagery there na,na,na,na batmannn!
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63, interesting I'd never thought of that. My Shimanos are crap in sub 0F weather and I thought it was just the seals but it could be water too...
  • 33 3
 Maybe them should develop a gearBOX...
  • 21 3
 As an Australian, I find it difficult to get behind a company called "Vagina".
  • 14 1
 Brings a new meaning to the age old task of "bleeding" one's brakes.....
  • 15 0
 I don't know, kinda smart move. I do think about them every seven seconds.
  • 1 1
 ... and bike porn every 2 seconds. shows you where our priorities lie.
  • 19 3
 As cool as some of this stuff is, I don't see how Box could even begin to compete against Shimano/Sram. Especially at an Oem level. Those brakes look pretty trick though.
  • 17 0
 Why not sram dumped boat loads of money into their company and now look at them. All they need is investment.. A LOT OF IT
  • 4 0
 The moment that rear derailleur and shifter is on the market, they are mine! Then after a month I'll do a review. Though you are right, advertisement gets the best of people. It's like the TRP Spyke, far superior 'mechanical' disk brake system, but they have little to no advertisement, unlike Hayes and Avid brake systems.
  • 8 8
 All you need is advertising. Look at Apple today with their iPhone. They said it's the first touch screen phone, the best camera, Wi-Fi etc. I had that 3 years prior on a Sony Ericsson and later even A-GPS on my N82. So, if they just price their product right, they will do good. I would love to get myself a set of them stoppers.
  • 8 1
 I know this is probably splitting hairs but you need more than advertising. Apple didn't succeed because they said they were the first touch screen phone (which I don't think they ever said). They succeeded in part because their product exponentially better than most phones on the market and in part because they created a whole new market (app store). That being said if Box is better than Sram and Shimano and has a great advertising campaign they might stand a chance at competing against the giants.
  • 2 0
 @bmxrace121 were you around the bike scene in the early 2000's? SRAM had just stepped up with better components and the naysayers at the time were saying "how can they compete with Shimano?". Now look at where SRAM is. It is a hard battle to gain foothold in that market no doubt, but if Box can make good product at good prices then they could be a player for sure.
  • 1 1
 For drivetrain, I think it comes to them being the only other competition. I would recon a lot of people would get it just to have something not Shimano or SRAM to get out of the "monopoly" in that market.
A ground up 1x10, 11-42 cassette would be something I'd purchase, no questions. Could be easily better than a OneUp modded XT.
We'll just have to see how price and performance plays out for the other parts. Such as I'd love to try Magura brakes; sexy, light, strong and good modulation in one package, just outrageously expensive. Shimano's brakes are ugly and touchy but SRAM Guides add nearly half a pound over Shimano.
  • 1 0
 If their stuff is compatible with existing stuff they stand a better chance. I am interested in that shifter, but I like my slx derailleur and I know what it will take to make it work with 1up stuff. Maybe if the rear derailleur came with a special 1up ready cage they would have an edge.
  • 2 0
 Yep, an 11-42 capable derailleur and a correct 11-42 cassette, at XT price, weight, quality, would make a killing. 1x11 is too expensive, Shimano derailleur has to be modded for 11-42, and you have to mod an 11-36 cassette for 11-42 (and it still misses out on correct tooth jump).
  • 10 0
 got to say, one of the better looking direct mount stems i've seen.
  • 8 0
 How long has that shifter been in development now? 2 years?
  • 4 0
 At least but damn do I want it....
  • 3 4
 It's been in development for two years since 2010!
  • 5 0
 these guys took the BMX racing scene by storm, i'm hoping they do the same with mountain biking. i'll definitely try their stuff on my 4X bike if their BMX stuff is anything to go by
  • 11 4
 Thinking out side the BOX
  • 4 20
flag mhoshal (Feb 23, 2015 at 4:56) (Below Threshold)
 Not really they make all the same stuff you can get from other companies not really outside any box if you ask me and that chrome stem is fugly all day long the rest of the products look tee though
  • 4 0
 I'm betting the cable stop is modular allowing the use of many different shifter brands/speeds with just a switch of the bolt on stop.
  • 4 0
 I'm willing to kill a man for sponsorship... your move box. I cannot afford this beauty otherwise
  • 2 1
 Nice to see some competition in the market but a breakaway cable guide 10 spd mech hasn't exactly got me over excited. The shifter and brake levers look wierdly unmatched, and that noggin on the clamp just above the shifter looks to be in the way.... and as for the goon that mounted the levers so close to the grips on the diplay stand.... Come on Box send some kit to the PB staff so we can see some reviews
  • 5 1
 glad they ditch the intergrated brake lever/ grip lock on idea
  • 3 2
 opps ditched
  • 4 0
 Haven't these guys been developing a 11-42,10 speed cassette?
  • 1 0
 Yes, that was reported somewhere last year. If they make it at a decent price it will be a winner.
  • 1 0
 If they hurry up and replace it I'd get it rather than an XT plus OneUp. But if they lolygag too long, 1x10 will be dead (with everything converted to 1x11).
The OneUp is great, but it still has a weird tooth jump.
11-13-16-19-21-24-28-32-36-42 would be better replaced with
11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-36-42. But do to the riveted spiders, too difficult and costly to do at the moment. But a ground up cassette would be perfect to do that.
  • 2 1
 There's no way I'd go 1x11,I go through 2 sets of cassettes,chains and chainrings a season,as well as trashing the odd mech,it would cost about a £1000 a season just maintain the drivetrain.1x10 is fine,or the one up option is good aswell.
  • 4 0
 XT level 11-42 10 or 11 speed that fits on a standard freehub please.
  • 1 0
 That's it,it's all we want,like you say 11-42 cassette,10 speed,job done,and maybe a tweek with the derailleur design,like the rad cage or something
  • 1 0
 Makes me wonder why Shimano won't make an 11-42 XT 10 speed cassette. That'd be easy. They already make all the gears (except maybe the 42t?), so it would be EASY for them to steal a ton of 1x11 sales, as well as unfortunately kill OneUp.
  • 2 0
 I'm always glad to see new ideas, and innovation. Competition among products helps all of us, good luck to them. Can't wait to check this stuff out in my LBS.
  • 1 1
 Just my own opinion about the mineral oil/DOT fluid. Avid/Shimano rants that have occurred.
I have run a set of Code brakes on my trail bike for 3 years. I live on Vancouver Island, so...it rains. I have ridden my bike to work for two of those years, as a daily driver. I have never experienced any issues with the brakes. Am I the only person who has never had an issue with Avid brakes. They have been trouble free. Except for the trouble I have put them in.
Just my own experience is being expressed. I also have Saints on the DH bike that are awesome, more like fearsome.
  • 2 0
 Congratulations. Your avids are the exception that prove the rule.
  • 1 1
 Bleed them and check the fluid. It is likely black and contains most of your seals at this point. Rebuild those things and keep them going. If you've got a good thing don't get rid of it. If you change the seals and they start to suck then you know what everyone is complaining about.
  • 3 0
 Bars and stem look pretty clean!
  • 1 2
 Interesting; a brake company trying to sell mineral oil hydraulic brakes at a "Frostbike" show. I've heard and read many claims the that mineral oil becomes more like molasses in frosty temps. Oh, wait, their from CA, makes sense now.
  • 1 0
 The carbon handlebar for the Trail version is the same weight as the Race Face Next. Impressive. What's stronger a circular, square or hexagonal shape?Wink
  • 2 0
 What exactly makes the bra "unidirectional"? Are there any bars you can mount and run in more than one direction???
  • 9 0
 I don't know of many bras that you can go both ways either
  • 3 0
 Damnit! Smile
  • 3 0
 Unidirectional refers to the layup of the carbon. It means the pattern is linear instead of looking like a checker board.
  • 2 0
 @pencil-sr - thank you sir!
  • 1 2
 Kinda risky if the Polygon team runs these brakes, as they still are prototypes, but at least that would be a good testing ground Smile

Not really digging the lever design though, is that final ?
  • 1 1
 Racers ride prototype parts all the time, but Gwin might agree with you after world's 2 years ago.
  • 1 0
 What is going to happen is.... Fox wil buy them out change it from box to fox and rival the sram group.
  • 1 1
 So limited info. I guess right now they are showing off what this company can do and that it is a force to be reckoned with.
  • 1 0
 Anything designed by Toby is going to be top notch
  • 1 0
 ah I wish a 9spd was coming
  • 1 0
 Gearbox?
  • 4 6
 I had no idea a proprietary handlebar could exist, but, it can.
  • 3 1
 Its not the only 35mm diameter bar out there, i don't think they exactly said you have to use their stem but maybe you do but that would be a huge down fall for their sales if so.
  • 1 5
flag Xyphota (Feb 22, 2015 at 22:16) (Below Threshold)
 Now that shifter is thinking outside of the box!
  • 2 1
 I'm not talking about 35mm- I'm talking about bar design. As far as I knew that was pretty straightforward but apparently they put little rut things in theirs at the rise transition.
  • 2 0
 Its proprietary shaped, just as Easton bars use a proprietary manufacturing process and materials. As to the 35mm... if its good enough for Race Face its good enough for anyone else.
  • 1 1
 what I'm saying is you wouldn't think there would be any different shape/design of a handlebar than one smooth piece of metal or carbon. but theirs has ruts in it. do you see what I'm saying?
  • 4 0
 Its not ruts, its a box shaped extrusion in the moulding process at the rise transition zone. Its actually sound engineering to not just keep relying on round tubes though it will give folks running lights a hard time with mounting them.
  • 1 0
 Having bought a few mounts for a magicshine off makexyz.com, that's a problem that would have been far worse 10 years ago, but will be fairly trivial to solve with the easily available 3d printing of today. The parts I bought should work quite well, If I can ever find the gopro mount for my Super again, sigh.
  • 2 0
 Now that fox is pushing 35mm it should become the norm.
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