Prototype Single Lever Mountain Bike Shifter from Promax
After selling his namesake company, Toby Henderson has been building a new BMX components brand called Box, which is shaking up the scene with some very interesting, standards-be-damned concepts. That’ll be his premium line, but the tech will trickle down to his Promax brand to help transition some new ideas to mountain biking as well.
The first such concept is this single lever shifter pod for mountain biking. This prototype has a 2:1 pull for Shimano, but they’ll eventually move to 1:1 for SRAM derailleurs, too. And then Henderson says he’s got plans for their own derailleurs. Then a complete drivetrain.
Shift past the break to see how it works…
Shown from Left to Center, upshifts (to a harder gear) are performed by simply pressing the lever straight downward. That generates a single shift, and he says they’re be able to do different lever shapes and angles for different disciplines (DH versus XC, for example). Downshifts (to an easier gear) use the normal lever throw as shown on the right.
They’re still tinkering with the final lever shape. This one was a bit tall, but finding the flat section with your thumb was pretty easy. It has a bit of sideways positioning adjustability, and keeps things completely out of the way of your grip on the bars. The other benefit is you don’t have to use your pointer finger for any shifting, so if you typically brake with that finger, you’ve got that free to brake while your thumb does all the shifting. Nifty.
Henderson says it’s tough working around the patents the bigger brands have, but this gets them into the game in a unique way. The pod itself isn’t too much bigger than a Shimano shifter. It fits nicely under the Promax Decipher brake lever.
The Promax brand has been around for a while, so they’ve simply adopted the existing brakes for now.
Their S29 stem is a beautiful but stiff unit with an extra wide clamping area to support today’s wider bars.
It’s just one example of Toby’s BMX designs morphing their way to the trail. Look for a separate post on his Box brand’s goodies soon.