Box One Derailleur and Shifter - First Ride

Oct 17, 2016
by Mike Levy  
BOX drivetrain


Pizza is great and all, but if you've only ever eaten pineapple or pepperoni pizza your entire life, you're going to be pretty damn interested in downing a hamburger if the chance comes up. It's a safe bet that the derailleur and shifter on your bike are from either SRAM or Shimano, the pineapple or pepperoni go-to pizzas of the drivetrain world. The American and Japanese component companies make some great stuff, and some of it is also relatively inexpensive while offering very similar performance compared to their much pricier options - it's hard to complain about GX or XT components these days.

But what if there was a viable third alternative to choose, a hamburger of sorts? Box Components, a brand better known in BMX circles, is that hamburger, and they're hoping to become an alternative to the two current drivetrain giants with their $174.99 USD 11-speed One derailleur and novel $74.99 USD single-paddle One PushPush 11-speed shifter that functions unlike anything else on the market.

We have a rule about only testing production-spec products - we need to be using the same gear that's available to purchase - but seeing Box's unobtainium drivetrain components at tradeshows over the last three years made getting on these pre-production samples too enticing to decline. Besides, we want to know if Box can offer the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from SRAM and Shimano.


BOX drivetrain
BOX drivetrain


Box One Derailleur

• 11-speed derailleur
• Proprietary CamClutch system
• Forged & cast aluminum
• Carbon fiber / Nylon composite body
• Aluminum inner and outer cages
• Proprietary Pivot-tech spring-loaded cable stop
• Maximum cog size: 46 teeth
• Compatible with Box and Shimano 11-speed shifters
• Availability: December 2016
• Weight: 264 grams (including all hardware)
• MSRP: $174.99 USD

Box One PushPush Shifter

• 11-speed shifter
• Single paddle to operate upshifts and downshifts
• Push paddle forward to shift down; push paddle inward to shift up
• Up to four downshifts at once; single upshifts
• Compatible with Box and Shimano 11-speed derailleurs
• Forged aluminum / Nylon composite body, Forged aluminum paddle
• 10mm left / right 'Pod Adjustment'
• Availability: December 2016
• Weight: 125 grams (including clamp and hardware)
• MSRP: $74.99 USD


You might have seen Box's derailleur and shifter before - they've been showing prototype versions of both over the last three years since Pinkbike's own Richard Cunningham first photographed an early example of the Box One PushPush shifter at Sea Otter back in 2013.

Things have evolved since then, with the system going from a 10-speed to 11-speed, and a ''progressive force clutch'' being added to the derailleur to mate better with single-ring drivetrains. The shifter's single paddle has also changed, moving from an 'L' shape on the early 10-speed prototype shown in the photo at right, to the design you see here.

The One derailleur and shifter, as well as the upcoming 11-speed One cassette, will eventually sit just below their yet to be released Hexlab high-end components. Box will also eventually offer less-expensive, third and fourth-tier groups under the Box Two and Three names. The One group is targeted at riders who are considering XT-level components, and while the One derailleur and shifter do cost more than an XT alternative, it gives us an idea of what we should be expecting, in terms of feel and quality.
shifter lead
The 10-speed prototype PushPush shifter had a larger 'L' shaped paddle, whereas the production version uses a split design.

The Box One setup isn't an inexpensive hamburger, with the derailleur and PushPush shifter costing a good chunk more than options from SRAM and Shimano that perform near flawlessly. For example, an NX 11-speed derailleur and shifter cost $74 and $27 USD, so you're getting a very capable system for around $100; you can spend $115 on a GX derailleur and $43 on a GX shifter. Shimano's XT derailleur sells for only a bit more, at $82.99 USD, and an XT shifter costs $48.99 USD, or about $132 USD for both at MSRP prices.


BOX drivetrain
BOX drivetrain
The PushPush shifter's single lever works in two ways: push it forward with your thumb on the large paddle to shift down, and push it inward with your thumb on the smaller inner paddle shift up.


All of those options cost less than Box's $174.99 One derailleur and $74.99 One shifter, but when was the last time your properly adjusted GX or XT setup didn't work as well as you'd want it to? Close to almost never, I'd guess, which is why you'll have to really want something different than the usual SRAM and Shimano pineapple and pepperoni pizzas in order to be choosing Box's One group. Different may be good enough, however, just so long as it works well on the trail.

Box says that all of their new drivetrain components will be sold only as aftermarket items for 2017, which means that neither SRAM or Shimano are shaking in their boots at this time, especially given the wide range of associated components that both companies prefer to bundle together for original equipment sales. Box is working on their own brakes, stems, and handlebars, however, and they are aiming for some solid OE spec in 2018 and 2019. Who knows what the future will bring?

When SRAM entered the drivetrain market, they became a viable alternative, at least in part, because they were offering something different to what everyone was used to, first with their Grip Shift system and later on with trigger shifters that did the same job as Shimano's but in a very different way. This is exactly what Box is trying to do with their PushPush shifter, and it means that a direct price and weight comparison might carry a bit less consequence for some riders. Simply put, there will be mountain bikers who just want something different, regardless of if there's nothing wrong with their GX or XT drivetrain.

The question that needs answering is this: Is being different actually worthwhile?





Installation Notes

These days, a lot of mechanics can install a SRAM or Shimano derailleur with a beer in one hand, a Leatherman in the other, and both eyes closed. Not quite, but you get the idea - it's a straightforward job, and while derailleurs and the rest of our drivetrains have evolved over the years, not much has changed when it comes to bolting them to our bikes. Thankfully, Box didn't mess with this process; if you know how to install stuff from either Big S, then you'll know how to install the One derailleur and PushPush shifter.


Box's CamClutch system on the derailleur can't be turned off like the clutch on a Shimano derailleur, and while SRAM's can't be turned off either, their Cage Lock button holds the cage in an extended position so you're not fighting the clutch when installing the chain.
Box doesn't employ a button, though, so you do have to fight the clutch tension, but if it does feel much lower than anything from SRAM or Shimano. The clutch is supposed to be progressive and proportional to cage movement, and I was also told that Box is still tweaking clutch strength before the One derailleur goes into production. I would expect final production versions of the One derailleur to feature a much stronger clutch that's on par what SRAM and Shimano employ.
BOX drivetrain
Box's progressive clutch isn't adjustable, but it does come with instructions that show you how to service it.


The PushPush shifter features a two-position mount that lets riders move the shifter independently of the clamp, which is important because the single paddle needs to be in exactly the right spot for it to work well. You can get a SRAM or Shimano shifter in the ballpark and then get used to where their two paddles end up, but I quickly realized that this wasn't the case with the PushPush's single paddle setup and it took some tinkering before I had it up against the brake perch where it seemed best. I would have preferred to roll the shifter up by a few more degrees, but it was already against the underside of the brake perch.


BOX drivetrain
BOX drivetrain
Box says that the spring-loaded cable stop is designed to limit the chance of damage in a crash by allowing it to swing in towards the bike and of harm's way. The derailleur's carbon fiber / Nylon composite body looks and feels more Nylon than carbon.


Cable installation is very similar to the same job on a Shimano shifter, with a small captured rubber door blocking an equally small opening on the business side of the shifter. Drop down to the highest gear, pop the door open with a fingernail, and you can slide out the old cable and install a new one with no drama. I had to add half a turn of cable tension after clamping it at the derailleur, and it then required zero tinkering or attention. If you know how to use a 4mm hex key, you can do this job.



First Impressions

Do anything for long enough and it'll eventually stop being a conscious effort and become a reflex, which describes what we've been doing with our thumbs and pointer fingers since the first time a lot of us rode a mountain bike. When was the last time you deliberately thought to yourself, ''Okay, here comes a climb so I better unwrap my thumb from the grip and use it to push the larger paddle three times and then move it back to the grip''? Much like how we don't think about tying our shoes, I'm guessing that the answer is zero if you've been riding mountain bikes for more than a month; you just do it without thinking, of course, which is why my first ride using Box's single paddle PushPush shifter was a bit of a clusterf*ck.

In that quick, hour-long ride, I think my thumb went searching for a second shifter paddle at least two dozen times, and, no surprise, it obviously never found one. I would stab blindly at it for a second or two before realizing that I needed to actually think about what my thumb was doing, but, thankfully, this didn't last for more than a few rides, after which using the PushPush shifter's single paddle became second nature.

I bet you're wondering how strange it feels to push the thumb paddle in towards the shifter to drop to a taller gear? As it turns out, it's not that strange at all once you get used to it, which I'm kinda surprised about. I was expecting to sometimes miss the smaller perpendicular contact area with my thumb, or maybe to accidently push it at an angle and shift up instead of down, but neither issue ever happened.

You need to depress the paddle by about 5mm to drop to a taller gear, which turned out to be well within the comfortable range of motion of my thumb, and shifts are firm, crisp, and felt as precise as anything else on the market.
Views: 12,083    Faves: 7    Comments: 3


Selecting a harder gear with the PushPush shifter is a one-push-equals-one-cog action, much like a SRAM shifter, whereas Shimano can drop two cogs by pushing on the high-gear paddle (or one cog if you pull it instead). Going in the opposite direction, up to an easier gear, can happen four cogs at a time, just like a Shimano shifter, which is one less the what SRAM offers. All three work well, but Shimano's setup is probably the most adaptable - you can push or pull the release trigger as you see fit, which is nice. That said, all that matters is that the thing shifts when I'm breathing through my eyeballs and completely uncoordinated, which the PushPush system does.

Ergonomics and getting the PushPush shifter in the right spot relative to your hand is more important with the Box shifter than with anything from SRAM or Shimano - the release trigger needs to be easy to hit without actually thinking about it, and I had to move the shifter a few times to find the sweet spot. It ended up being rotated right up against the underside of my brake perch, but it felt like the large paddle was still angled up and out a bit too much for my liking. I can and did get used to it, but I would have liked to see the large pull-paddle rotated inwards under the grip by at least a few degrees.


BOX drivetrain
BOX drivetrain
The Box One derailleur and One PushPush shifter have been flawless so far, other than a few dropped chains. Look for a stronger clutch on the production derailleur to prevent this.


Another change that I'd like to see is a massive increase in the derailleur's clutch tension. It's noticeably lighter than anything from SRAM or Shimano, so much so that it feels roughly on par with a Shimano derailleur's clutch after it's been turned off. As expected, I've dropped the chain a handful of times already, which is annoying for obvious reasons, and it's something that Box will have to address. To be fair, Box does recommend pairing up a narrow/wide chainring (which I was using) and some sort of top-guide for extreme conditions (which I was not using).

Reliability? I won't pretend to have an idea at this point, but we'll find out in four or five months time after I've dragged the Box components through a messy Pacific Northwest winter season. There's nothing like a load of peanut butter mud, a lot of crashing, and spending all my spare change on pressure washing every other day to see how things last. As of now, everything is great, but we'll see if that changes.



Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesI'm lucky to have high-end drivetrains from both Shimano and SRAM to choose from, both of which are on the shelf right now while I continue to test Box's new derailleur and shifter over the coming months. But even if I could choose to run any of those two options, I don't really see a reason to replace the Box One components with anything else at this point, which says a lot in itself. Longterm reliability is the question that I'll need to answer, and something that you'll be able to read about down the road, but I'm pretty happy to be eating a hamburger instead of pineapple or pepperoni pizza right now. Stay tuned. - Mike Levy



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191 Comments

  • + 216
 How rad and bold is it for someone to go up against the ‘big two’ that’ve had this market and untold millions invested in R&D for decades!? The fact that the reviewer didn’t immediately see a reason to swap it out after the test, as he said, is a serious achievement in itself. Very cool.
  • + 30
 Better them than me, I feel like one of the other two will just purchase Box if things go too well, but honestly it looks really good.
  • - 14
flag ibishreddin (Oct 17, 2016 at 22:41) (Below Threshold)
 Sounds like a questionable idea going against the big two, kind of like trying to compete with mcdonalds when you are a fairly new fast food restaurant (bear with me). Unless the food tastes significantly better and is the same price as McDonalds then people might go there. If the new place is more expensive and ALSO doesn't taste as good there is simply no chance. Box sounds like the latter.
  • + 46
 'no clutch deactivation, no clutch adjustment, chain kept falling off, i couldn't get the shifter in the right place, and expensive... otherwise the same' isn't a ringing endorsement, but i'm psyched to have another option besides the big 2. I hope they work out the kinks and snag tons of OE sales next year!
  • + 6
 @scottzg: Indeed. I hope they can weather the revision stages and ‘get there’.
  • + 18
 @ibishreddin: Sometimes I just don't want McDonalds.
  • + 32
 @ibishreddin: If you think McDonoalds "food" tastes good you haven't been living! Go out and try real food or learn how to make a delicious home made meal!
  • + 16
 @SintraFreeride: +1. The hamburgers are like sugar filled sponges and the fries are thin and weak too. McDonalds is actually one of the worst places to buy your hamburger from.
  • + 10
 In seriousness while I understand his point, I don't fully agree. I think there is a "cool" factor to something that isn't Shimano or Sram, just because it's different. Doesn't have to be cheaper and better. It needs to be as good I think. But not cheaper and better. I find myself lusting after it, simply because I have used nothing but Sram and Shimano drivetrains for decades.
  • - 9
flag ibishreddin (Oct 18, 2016 at 7:12) (Below Threshold)
 @SintraFreeride: idk man, a lot of great healthy food to be had at mcee dees
  • + 8
 Healthy? Compared to drinking battery acid maybe..
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: Amen! Don't remember the last time I ate that Filth!
  • + 3
 @ibishreddin: Huh? yet to see quinoa & kale options their yet
  • + 2
 It's like back in the 90s when a brand new company named SRAM came out of nowhere with Grip-Shift... and the rest is history...
  • + 8
 Fox should acquire them and then we'll have some real free market forces and your complete bike prices will start decreasing. Fox just needs a brake company and it's game on!
  • + 2
 @bohns1: "there"
  • + 3
 @scottzg: +1. It's like with all the new entries into the dropper arena: it'd be sweet to have a third option other than the dueling banjos of country vs. western.
What benchmark does Box need to hit to actually compete for "smart money" consumer dollars?
Lighter, cheaper, better performing: chose at least two.
Or flip the script & offer better durability/serviceability by offering full range of replacement parts the way Campagnolo does on the road side: that adds value without having to chase the lowest pricepoint.
  • - 2
 A friend of mine runs BOX components mech/shifter due to sponsorship and he absolutely hates them. He found them difficult to use and inferior to the "big two". He doesn't recommend them at all. His main complaint was to do with the shifting mechanism being very counter-intuitive even after plenty of time to get used to it. I have no experience personally, but I think his opinion is worth sharing so others at least try it first before considering it for themselves.

The two big brands are getting pretty polished these days and between them I don't see a huge reason to not be happy. Certainly not enough to downgrade to a shifting system without the glorious dual-thumb-shifters that is almost guaranteed to be more difficult and annoying to use.
  • + 0
 @ibishreddin: when did mcds ever taste good , it's dog food
  • + 91
 I have been trying to come up with a witty pun but couldn't think outside the Box.
  • - 23
flag endurocat (Oct 17, 2016 at 21:35) (Below Threshold)
 In Shimano I trust.
  • + 37
 Best to not push your luck then.
  • + 117
 Guys, please don't let these puns push the comment section off course and derail the discussion.
  • + 86
 Sorry @mikelevy. Thank you for shifting us back on course.
  • - 20
flag MTB-Colada (Oct 17, 2016 at 22:08) (Below Threshold)
 My girlfriend wants one of these, although she wonders whether it will drop her chain when shimano-als. OK, I will let myself out now.
  • - 13
flag Domtheturtle (Oct 17, 2016 at 22:34) (Below Threshold)
 These comments are shifting into quite the chain.
  • + 66
 I've reached my limit, screw you guys.
  • - 15
flag nickkk (Oct 18, 2016 at 0:42) (Below Threshold)
 @mecabeat: nice work Mecabeat. I lubrican't do any better.
  • - 2
 Well, I am going to pack up my boxes and go home. This thread is going down hill fast.
  • - 10
flag nickkk (Oct 18, 2016 at 6:27) (Below Threshold)
 @Frank156C: i know the feeling. Check all my neg props?! These punks wouldn't shimano a pun if it came up and slapped them.
  • - 11
flag bizutch (Oct 18, 2016 at 6:51) (Below Threshold)
 It's great that at least ONE company that isn't a big BOX component manufacturer can THUMB their nose and take a CLICK or FOUR at DERAILING the corporate COGS and really PUSH for new innovations in the CLUTCH. Seems there's some TENSION building in the market. So few COMPONENTS companies to FLICK through. Cliche...CAPITAL LETTERS...random mutterings. I feel like I've been DROPPED off and need to SHIFT into another post.
  • - 8
flag hellanorcal (Oct 18, 2016 at 8:45) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy:

Guys, please don't let these puns push the comment section off course and derail the discussion.

American Humor: "Because then you'd be a derailleur"

Brit Humour: "Because then you'd be a mech"



USA:1

Brits: nil
  • - 2
 Everyone's flexing their thumbs to down vote these terrible puns. Certainly some out of the box thinking, but I doubt there'll be a major shift in the market. Seems like a few too many misses and drops means the giants will continue to retain their market. If box continues to grind away and changes a few gears I think they'll have a shot at climbing to the top. But that's just my opinion.
  • + 89
 Who the f*ck eats a plain pineapple pizza?
  • + 4
 *barf
  • + 41
 This is the important question I want answered
  • + 6
 My son
  • + 19
 @UtahBikeMike: my condolences
  • + 8
 @kleinblake:

It gets wierd when he asks for mushrooms and pineapple. I've stopped trying to figure out what's going on inside of his head. Kids are wierd.
  • + 6
 @mr-eric:

Real mature. Got me good.
  • + 4
 @UtahBikeMike: someone's got a limited vocabulary. Let's just be thankful he was able to read, and hope he doesn't procreate.
  • + 47
 I'm seriously confused. If SRAM and Shimano are pepperoni and pineapple pizza, then how is Box a hamburger? Wouldn't it be another type of pizza? I don't know, maybe tomato, or sausage? You're still shifting with your thumb, and it's still using a derailleur. I would think to call it a hamburger, it would be a totally different system. Maybe something that shifts with your foot, or knee or by blinking really fast..... just my 2 cents.
  • + 19
 Pretty much. It looks like a traditional derailleur and acts like a traditional derailleur. The pizza/hamburger analogy doesn't make sense. It's more a Dominos, Pizza Hut or Papa Johns sort of thing. The crust/sauce/cheese concept hasn't been radically changed.
  • + 31
 Maybe, dare I say... a hamburger pizza?
  • + 4
 Yup, it's not the best analogy, but I guess we shouldn't overthink it too much. More pizzerias is always good for the consumer, but it remains to be seen whether Box Pizzeria, which sells craft beers and claims to be one of us, will be able to stand on its own against Pizza Hut and Domino's. Getting back to the analogy, do we binge-order derailleurs late at night on Amazon, then get that post-pizza mixture of unsatisfaction and regret after the initial pleasure? I'd argue that the latest XT brakes are pizza; Shimano's shifters and and derailleurs are more like a good steak - the sort you end up recommending to your mates.
  • + 26
 Gearboxes are our true hamburgers.
  • + 1
 @OFF2theGYM: a hampizza maybe?
  • + 4
 Pineapple on a pizza? You're going to offend some Italians
  • + 2
 @zede: I am 100% Italian :-)
  • + 1
 You go for "pizza"... not specifically pepperoni pizza or pineapple pizza, but most people do have a favorite restaurant or chain that they loyally patronize. SRAM, Shimano an Box are synonymous with those brand names above the door, not the flavors inside. Just make sure to place your own order if you go for pizza with @mikelevy
  • + 4
 SRAM: cheese pizza. Mainstream, simple, reliable.
Shimano: pepperoni. Mainstream, with a little bit extra to it.
BOX: anchovie pizza. For those special, select few.
  • + 1
 @cor1nthian: the xt m8000 brakes are fantastic.
  • + 1
 ....
  • + 2
 @mr-eric: Cool story bro
  • + 1
 In Italy I had a pizza where it was sausage and chips pilled on top of a pizza. It was the best thing.
  • + 39
 I'd like to thumb that box.
  • + 1
 ???? Thank you
  • - 3
 Might be a bit painful to have your dick in this box. Ouch. Not even Justin Timberlake will go there.
  • + 1
 @therealtylerdurden:
I used the icon of the laughing face and the multiple exclamation marks came out as soon as I pressed Submit...?
But thank you for the translation if I was 6 years old!!!
  • - 1
 @mr-eric:
Go back to your hole in the sticks with that comment. Do you know what year it is?
Grow up you little twit.
  • + 1
 sorry, reply went to the wrong thread...
  • + 1
 @Boardlife69: LOVE the SNL skit reference.... love it. Justin killed it in that video

reply was supposed to be above to @Boardlife69
  • + 30
 Player 3 has entered the game
  • + 21
 Niiiice. I'm still waiting eagerly for gearboxes coming into their own, but until then, I'll settle for some healthy market competition. This could get exciting. I also like the idea of nylon composite parts. I wish I saw more of them. Seems like a better cost-strength-weight combination than carbon is for many applications.
  • + 4
 Sram already use nylon composite parts on their cheaper range
  • + 1
 These guys have basically made a copy of what Shimano and Sram already make, and make very well. Not any better, but the same, and more expensive. Competition is good, but only if someone brings innovation to the table. This is me to. And when was the last time anyone got excited about what derailleur was on your bike?
  • + 12
 I can remember 20 years ago when people just brought out crap (remember Suntour Microdrive and shimano shoes with soles that peeled off after the first wet ride?) without testing it. Box appears to have taken its time and only needs a few tweaks to challenge the big two. I think the big issue here is that SRAM has already raised the bar with eagle for those of you that can handle the shifter ergonomics. SRAM's 11 speed stuff will now be cheaper. What would you take XO1 or the new Box Stuff? I know what I would do........

I think for the Box stuff to be viable it should do something different that the big two or at least shimano: 12 speed, 50 tooth capacity, electronic wireless, ultra light construction - something, anything. Having an 11 speed 46 tooth capacity derailleur and a funky shifter is just not enough to take any market share.

They should in some way be trying to do something different like ethirteen with their 9-42/9-44/9-46 cassettes which give you more range and save you a ton of dollars on upgrades - there is a reason to by it. The Box stuff has me as excited as when Santa Cruz introduces a new frame colour or another SPD pedal variant comes out of the far east.

Not saying that I do not appreciate Box making the effort but Mike would have to report that this changed his life before I would buy this stuff. Different but not better but more expensive.... that is the theme here.
  • + 1
 Couldn't agree more. I wanted this drivetrain and then i saw the prices were above what i thought to be overpriced sram stuff.

Just got a XT m8000 shifter/derailleur for $120. It feels as good as m985 XTR and couldn't be happier.
  • + 1
 Agreed. The game has moved on and if box wants to really target new consumers they need to abandon this dying idea of the exposed derailleur. Shimano and sram have taken the tech about as far as it can go.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: I have xt 1x11 with a sram 10/42 GX cassette with a goatlink on my fatbike, It works better than my XTR setup with an ethirteen 9-44 on my tallboy. You cannot beat XT, my only grip is that the derailleurs seem to last one year before becoming all loose whereas the XTR's last forever unless you wreck it.
  • + 1
 @dldewar:
I've only been able to get a year out of my trailbikes x1 derailleur before it starts shiftimg like the hanger is bent. I'd rather replace cheaper xt RDs at 1/3 the cost
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: Is it dusty there - we can go a season with little dust and little rain which is perfect for the RD. My experience is that my materialistic snobbynish makes me want to run XTR but considering I smash one every season and a half your math makes perfect sense.
  • + 1
 @dldewar:

Yeah, i ride in the desert a lot with moondust everywhere.

Have a GX setup on my fatbike, curious to see how that does in the winter gloop
  • + 15
 Pineapple has no place on a pizza
  • + 13
 GX equals XT?!
Not for a second.
So would be more fair to compare the prices to the actual level from SRAM.
  • + 12
 More expensive than proven SRAM and shimano and offers less in functionality? I'd be surprised if this catches on to be honest
  • + 6
 This product is a newborn dinosaur hatched on the eve of the last ice-age. It is like a company that brings a brand new concept film camera to the market in the early 2000's. Save yourselves some money and heartache fellas and move onto gearboxes, imagine being one step ahead of the 2 big S's You can even stick with your current name!
  • + 1
 Lol. Or the newborn dinosaur who emerges from its shell, lifts its eyelids to the sky and sees a giant meteoroid coming down
  • + 5
 Soooo...Gwin currently doesn't have a drivetrain sponsor and has taken a chance on some underdogs already...It would be interesting to see if Box could land a deal with the YT mob, and if their product could hang on the podium with the guys from SRAM and Shimano.
  • + 5
 "Let's hear it for the little guy!"

I know a bunch of dudes will flock to this simply because they're the Little Guy. These are the same dudes who know all the obscure speakeasies, wear hip clothing made by blind blacksmiths in Madagascar, and only drink beer made by dyslexic exiled Abbey monks in Chico. They'll preface their love of this "small company" with a long diatribe about the hidden evils of large Evil Corporations, urging you to support these guys.

The irony, of course, is that if you choose to jump on this bandwagon you'll help the Little Guy become the Big Guy, after which you'll need to drop your support and find a new Little Guy to support, because all of your purchasing decisions are political, not pragmatic, in nature.
  • + 4
 Nothing wrong with the box, and I'm glad to see more options;
however I'd rather choose big two:
- since I can easily buy any replacement part around the globe,
- since it has proven reliability and functionality;

shimano shifter allows u to use single lever as well, not the rocket since;

Also sram and shimano offers integration with brake levers/dropper remotes
  • + 2
 How are you using shimano as a single lever?
  • + 3
 I'm curious about the long term for sure. You say you see no need to put a Sram or Shimano back on, but my big question is, would you feel the need to replace a Sram or Shimano with the Box?

I love that they are mixing it up and challenging the two big players. My hopes are that they succeed and make a killer product that rivals Shimano/Sram
  • + 3
 So no ability to adjust the clutch or lock it out and pricey to top it off? No thanks. The shifter does sound cool but only single upshifts? The novelty of the shifter is not enough for someone to pass up a solid XT drivetrain.
  • + 5
 Well with a name like box, they should make a Gearing in a BOX Derailleur, OR is that something that would make too much sense?
  • + 2
 with a name like Box One, they should make it so i can play halo on it.
  • + 3
 I've been around long enough to remember when "sram" entered the market... it wasn't great but look at them now. Like then I'll be having box on my bike when it's released to try something different till my budget allows for a zerode.. as for the price, when has any of us payed "recommend retail"?
  • + 6
 Box better be on point when they come out. We are living in a world of "the best, second best or out of business"
  • + 8
 Nothing really innovative with box and more expensive than the big two? I don't see it catching on.
  • + 2
 @ibishreddin: Not really sure why you're being down voted for a totally true statement.
  • + 3
 I like the fact that they are willing to challenge the big two. What I don't like is the design of the shifter. To shift into a heavier gear you will have to do a very unnatural and super precise forced outward push wit your thumb. The guy in the video already has a hard time pushing it properly, and he's actually standing still. Now imagine shredding a bumpy trail and trying to shift that thing... I'm sorry but I'll pass on this one.
  • + 1
 If the system works as intended, I would only blame the rider for failing to adapt to something new. Used to see it all the time riding motorcycles, race bikes on road course use shifters that operate in the opposite direction to street bikes, dirt bikes and just about anything else. Some people could do it, some people only could with some conscious effort and others never could get the hang of it. Doesn't make it wrong or inferior, it's just some people can't adapt.
  • + 1
 @yzedf: I disagree since it's an unnatural motion to push a button that way with your thumb. You never use your thumb that way, neither is your thumb "designed" to be used that way. Kind of like trying to control the TV remote with your nose. It kind of works but it doesn't.
  • + 3
 I emailed Box a while back about their cassette availability and was answered promptly by Toby Henderson himself. I feel that he and Box care about customers and I would love to try their stuff.
  • + 4
 "when I'm breathing through my eyeballs and completely uncoordinated"

Hard to keep serious in an open space with that one Big Grin
  • + 2
 i'm still with the 9speed group to this moment, so when all that is done with I;m sure ill be Box up after. I've used Shimano you can never get that one gear for some reason and sram pretty dam good but very brittle. Box, your next!
  • + 5
 9sp? Sheesh by the time you finally get to upgrading your drivetrain we'll all be riding e-bikes with gearboxes.
  • + 2
 Good to see another option coming to the market and it does look well engineered and thought out. Bit worried about the plastic look of the mech though, reminds me of the nasty SRAM stuff of the early 00's. Sadly I can't use the shifter though as I have double-jointed thumbs that dislocate when pushing in the direction required so I'll be sticking with Shimano.
  • + 2
 I've had the chance to look at the full setup, cassette, derailleur, paddle, and KMC Diamond chain, at my buddy's shop. Price point is supposed to be set at 350-400. Looks pretty sweet to me. Bummed I just moved to a conversion kit. Hope they do well. Competition is best for the buyer.
  • + 2
 I remeber the first time i road a sram. I was like wtf, no finger shifter and it bothered me a ton. Got my new bike with x1 and got use to it and was awesome. Get to this fall and jump on my fatbike and behold! I double thumb shifted and was like wtf that felt weird.... had no idea the shimano shifter shifts both ways. Now i only thumb shift both bikes.
  • + 6
 Is this a gearbox?

No.

See ya.
  • + 8
 *knew full well this wasn't a gearbox and you came and posted anyway!
  • + 1
 Yeah. Why the f*ck can't our hamburger be a gearbox?
  • + 1
 @keillor: because tacos
  • + 1
 @tehllama: damn, tacos tho!
  • + 5
 Nah i like pineapple pizza
  • + 5
 Not stuffed crust?
  • + 0
 I do too. Wait! Which one is pineapple? I don't eat meat.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: stuffed crust is good Smile
  • + 1
 Didn't one of the deore shifters from about 8years ago work the same way... And the one paddle doubled as an option for your forefinger to push. So single paddle different directions controllable with forefinger as well. I know for sure I had this setup but not sure the model and year.
  • + 1
 After some research it appears I was wrong. All I could see was two paddles. Apparently my memory has failed me.
  • + 1
 @TguzDH: I have a desire shifter about 7 years old. The upper small paddle can be pushed either way by your thumb or fingure to shift to the smaller cogs.
  • + 1
 "The derailleur's carbon fiber / Nylon composite body looks and feels more Nylon than carbon."

Can you feel the difference between carbon fibre reinforced epoxy and glass fibre reinforced epoxy? I doubt as it is the resin you're feeling. So you won't feel the difference between carbon fibre reinforced nylon (like what you have here) or glass fibre reinforced nylon (like for instance what you're power tools housings are made of).
  • + 5
 I read it as an inference to looking cheap...
  • + 2
 @rokboy: Ah, like that. Could be, depends on your reference. Personally I like the rugged looks of matte nylon. Like you find in the housing of a power tool or for instance the body parts of a modern BMW motorcycle. But with "carbon look and feel" you (or mike) mean gloss black, possibly with a visible weave? As this product seems to be made using injection moulding a gloss finish wouldn't be wise to use. Due to the thickness variations and ribs (reinforcements) the material will slink when the resin becomes solid. A gloss finish would mirror and as such make this slink very visible whereas a matte finish would simply looks smooth. Of course a visible carbon weave would be a joke. What load path would these fibres follow? Short fibres (carbon or glass) in nylon injection moulded products are there to bridge cracks that may form during use and as such prevent those cracks from growing. Finally the black colour of the product comes from carbon added to the resin, not the fibres. Nylon doesn't cope well with UV radiation but the (black) carbon absorbs all that to keep the nylon in the dark.

So to me it seems like a very well executed product, not cheap. I'm sure if you'd see a weave and a gloss finish on this component, you'd have a lot of PB visitors (including me) frowning.
  • + 1
 @vinay: I'm sure it is technically well executed but just tagging it as 'Carbon' doesn't change the fact that, aesthetically, it looks like (and is) injection-moulded plastic.
A product like this going up against the well established competition needs to look very special, either in a very engineered and machined way, or very polished, svelte and bling.
Personally I think they missed both, which is a shame considering it appears to be less than ergonomically perfect in function according to the reviewer
  • + 1
 Sorry if I missed it, but can this eat three gears at once, or do I need to click one gear down at a time? Ever since I went to XT a few years ago I won't accept anything that can't shift up or down a few gears at once. My trails are full of steep ups and downs which demand big jumps in gears, so click clicking away ain't gonna cut it.
  • + 1
 "Selecting a harder gear with the PushPush shifter is a one-push-equals-one-cog action, much like a SRAM shifter, whereas Shimano can drop two cogs by pushing on the high-gear paddle (or one cog if you pull it instead). Going in the opposite direction, up to an easier gear, can happen four cogs at a time, just like a Shimano shifter, which is one less the what SRAM offers."
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I learned something about my shifter. Thanks
  • + 1
 The three screw access panel for the clutch is going to take a beating and the lower screw will get destroyed after a season or two. The screws should be recessed and protected.

It would be interesting for Mike to run a second bike with just the BOX shifter on a bike with a Shimano deraileur (apparently compatible).
  • + 1
 I don't see the shifter design catching on, its not intuitive while you're riding and even in the close up demo vid you could see that he accidentally shifted up and down in the same movement... no good in the heat of the moment ploughing through a rock garden. The design will also mean excessive wear for riders wearing gloves on the tip of the thumb. New design doesn't necessarily mean better design.
  • + 1
 I tried it at sea otter this spring, it actually feels really natural if you're used to a SRAM shifter.
  • + 1
 Ya super hard to complain about Sram or Shimano.
You just have to decide whether you want to snap cables.
Or snap cables and have your derailleur remove itself from the dropout regularly.
Or not snap cables but have your derailleur remove itself from the hanger regularly and then break its b plate that you won't be able to find a replacement for.
Ya super hard to complain.
Who writes this shit?
Quit lying about the shit the good people are wasting their hard earned money on.
  • + 1
 Oh you also get to decide between the one that has an adjustable clutch. And one who's clutch function wears away to non existent in a short while and isn't adjustable.
That's cool warranty isn't a problem to deal with at all is it?
It's nearly as fun as actually riding your bike!!
And paying for the shipping on repeatedly failing parts is also awesome.
  • + 2
 "push it forward with your thumb on the large paddle to shift down, and push it inward with your thumb on the smaller inner paddle shift up."
Aye? Surely it works the opposite to this.
  • + 3
 No, I've thought the same before, but it makes sense because you want intensive downshifting from your strong thumb motion when you encounter a sudden (possibly steep) uphill portion. The ability to go into an easier gear takes precident over shifting into a harder gear to go faster, because shifting into harder gears is not extremely pertinent, whereas without shifting into easier gears you may come to a complete stop on a steep uphill. It makes good sense when you think about it.
  • + 3
 @Kramz: I agree with what you've said but that's not the same as what I've quoted.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: Yeah, I see your point.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: What you could try (or derailleur manufacturers) is to put a compression spring in the derailleur where the stretching spring is. Good point.
  • + 0
 And replace the cable with a hydraulic pressure line.
  • + 2
 @Kramz: You mean, get a Rapid Rise rear mech? Shimano tried that from 2003 to 2007 or so. It only led to the rise of SRAM.
  • + 2
 @vinay: you mean rapid demise? lol
  • + 1
 "Aye? Surely it works the opposite to this."

I think the confusion here is what is meant by a shift "down".

In a car, a shift "down" means a shift to a lower (easier) gear, for example from 3rd to 2nd. This is the sense that I use on a bike as well: a shift down means a shift to an easier gear / bigger cog. Taken from that perspective, Mike's statement is absolutely correct.

I've also heard bike people refer to a shift "down" as being to a *smaller* cog. I guess because as they look down on the cassette, it's shifting down the "ramp" of gears to a smaller one. But this to me is crazy talk.
  • + 2
 With all the options suddenly available for roadies, it's cool to see something on the mountain side of the sport. If anyone can make it stick, BOX can.
  • + 2
 Shimano Zee derailleur and shifter $65 bucks for both bullet proof that is all stop eating the apple pie and drinking the Kool Aid on 11 speed.
  • + 1
 BOX should stop this product development before the great Almighty SR Suntour is awakened from sleep. Cause if they see there is a room for more than 2, they will conquer the world with cheap transmission components...
  • + 0
 "The question that needs answering is this: Is being different actually worthwhile?" Not unless you're a gearbox. Or even a hub. :/

$174 for a fvcking derailleur? Ô.o

Box, put your R&D efforts into a fvcking gearBOX & stop wasting your time with this Mickey Mouse, junky clunky kiddie shit. Almost no one wants it. The big deuce already has everyone covered, if ya know'm say'n?

The big deuce? Covered? Yeah.
  • + 1
 I wonder if it would be useful at all if the gears work with the break leaver for when you apply the breaks the the gears shift with the leaver to an easier gear, ? Stupid ideas stupid answers, common people!
  • + 1
 I would like to see how this drivetrain compares to the new 11sp stuff from Microshift. The Microshift 11sp derailleur clutch seemed crazy strong when I played with it at Interbike.
  • + 1
 decent design, but i'm more nterested in movin AWAY from a rear mech. my shit works great. its a frame designed around a gearbox that would be part o my next build, and not another conventional mtb drivetrain
  • + 1
 Its very cool, people are so bored in mountain bikes, always wanting to try new things (wheel sizes, tire sizes) this is right up the alley. I'd love to try it! I have no death love grip on the existing big two components.
  • + 3
 Learn english with pb is simply fantastic: UNOBTAINIUM ---> what a wondefull wooord Razz
  • + 0
 That term has been around since the 1950's ;-)
  • + 4
 Idk if im more stoked about new parts or potentially eating pizza
  • + 4
 Sexy.....is not a word that comes to mind.
  • + 0
 Looks pretty good, that being said, I think the trigger finger/thumb actuation of a normal modern shifter is pretty well the most ideal thing ever, so it's hard to improve on perfection in my opinion. Only a gear brain scanner could be any easier from my perspective, but I guess, "don't knock it until you try it".
  • + 5
 I agree, but see where they're coming from. Sram double under sucks (IMO) because the forward lever is kind of a reach. Shimano over/under is great and on both of my bikes, but one might argue that they wouldn't want to remove their index finger from hovering the brakes (but if you're shifting up, why would you need to slow down...?). I love my shimano, and I'd rather crap in my hands and clap before buying another sram part, but I'm liking what BOX has to offer so far. I wouldn't mind trying out the new lever style.
  • + 2
 @mbrand721: my take on the shimano push or pull lever is you set it up in the right position to use one or the other. You can't really use both because your thumb is three inches inboard of your index finger.

I only use the pull action with my little finger when I'm riding on the road. Not because I don't like it, just because it's in the wrong position.
  • + 4
 gearbox
  • + 1
 The derailleur doesn't do much for me, in terms of new-ness, but that shifter... I've wanted one since i first heard about them in the proto phase.
  • + 1
 a brand new archaic technology to choose from! Can't wait to get a new hoop for my 6ft wooden wheel. All sarcasm aside, cool to see someone going up against sram/shimano
  • + 2
 Idk. Seems pretty shifty to me out of the box. Don't know if I can be pushed to try this.
  • + 2
 Sometimes I forget about hamburgers. Thanks for the reminder Mike. ps. that gear looks dialed.
  • + 2
 Awesome, I'd been waiting to hear more about this shifter. I'll definitely be looking at using their stuff on my next bike.
  • + 2
 Reading this made me interested in Box and hungry.
  • + 1
 yes i find it hard to complain about my GX derailleurs eating shift cables every 10 rides
  • + 1
 Crazy biz with the high end stuff goin electric, 12 speed, and many more wanting to go sans derailleur.
  • + 1
 Derailleur's most definitely be dead in the next couple of years. Good show Box, but a little late to the game.
  • + 3
 Ill stick with pizza
  • + 2
 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I run Gripshift or single speed ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • + 0
 Nothing could take me away from shimano's dual release. Being able to upshift without taking my thumb off the grip is SO much better for gated racing an DH
  • + 2
 Thanks, but I'll stick to XT; Japanese technology, etc.......
  • + 1
 Great to see Box has a production model. It should rival the two big S companies and give buyers more options!
  • + 1
 Where are these going to be made? If it's USA I could see them stealing some customers just for that reason.
  • + 1
 What's the cable pull ratio? It would be awesome if it worked with shimano road shifters for a gravel machine.
  • + 1
 omfg, they should be charging more $
  • + 1
 What ever happened to the long term test @mikelevy ? Link if it's up
  • + 1
 They say to never trust a person who don't eat meat.
  • + 1
 omfg, just take my money!!!!!
  • + 1
 I'm cool with my shimano xtr from a few years back. Works perfectly.
  • + 1
 Got to see this in the flesh today Box have done a really good job .
  • + 1
 Shimano XT components for $329 on CRC October online deals can't be beat!
  • + 1
 Hotdogs FTW...i will wait for box component with slx price level.
  • + 1
 Pineapple and pepperoni on the same pizza is when things get good though.
  • + 1
 i prefer panned pineapple apple pizza.
  • + 1
 Man that makes me hungry _____0^0_____
  • + 1
 You really tortured an already poor analogy at the start.
  • + 1
 Intriguing...????????
  • + 1
 very cool
  • + 1
 I like that box.
  • + 1
 Is it 26" compatible?
  • + 1
 It's my d*ck in a box!
  • + 0
 Boner achieved.
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