Box Components Mountain Bike Drivetrain Evolves w/ New Derailleur, Plus Unique 4-Piston Brakes!

Box-Components-mountain-bike-shifter-and-derailleur-prototypes

If you were going to build a new brand, going up against Shimano and SRAM may not be on the top of most people’s lists of launch strategies. But Toby Henderson isn’t just anybody, and his relatively young Box Components brand is doing just that. Why? They wanted to offer people another choice.

We spotted the shifter at DealerCamp this summer, and now he’s added the rear derailleur in an effort to bring a complete drivetrain to market. Both have some unique features – not just to avoid patent disputes, but also to improve the user experience.

On the rear mech, there are O-ring seals at all the pivots. All pins are hollow to save weight, and the main pivot is 30mm wide to keep it super stuff and precise. Long lasting Delrin pulleys are rolling on sealed cartridge bearings.

Shift down for detail pics and specs, plus a look at their sweet new four piston brakes…

Box-Components-mountain-bike-shifter-and-derailleur-prototypes

Articulation is pretty straightforward with a design that doesn’t protrude too far away from the frame in the smallest cog, helping keep it out of harm’s way.

Box-Components-mountain-bike-shifter-and-derailleur-prototypes

The cable housing stay is spring loaded so it’s less likely to snap off in a wreck. This feature may or may not make it to the final production version. It’s nifty, but losing it would save a few grams. As is, target weight is 235g.

Box-Components-mountain-bike-shifter-and-derailleur-prototypes

The main pivot for the upper parallelogram is a massive 30mm wide.

Box-Components-mountain-bike-shifter-and-derailleur-prototypes

Shifter is about 118g and uses a unique lever movement to shift the derailleur. It’ll come with two levers -one short, one long- and there’s a small spacer (silver wedge) in the clamp to let you adjust the angle.

Box-Components-mountain-bike-shifter-and-derailleur-prototypes

Push it around like normal to shift easier (in the rear) and depress it to shift harder. It’s mounted at an odd angle on this bike, but in practice it’s more ergonomic than it sounds.

The front shifter will come in options for both double and triple chainring setups. At the moment, there’s no Box front derailleur, but the shifter will pull cable appropriate for any SRAM or Shimano front mech.

Look for an April/May availability with pricing in par with XT. They’re working toward offering a complete group, likely taking their BMX crank design and modifying it for gravity mountain biking at first. They’re also looking at single chainring options. A cassette will be a wide range model but stick to 10-speeds at first. That keeps things compatible with current cassettes from others.

Box Components quad piston dual compound disc brakes

The new 4-piston hydraulic disc brake is a bit further out from production, but looks pretty interesting. It uses a dual diameter piston and dual compound pad. (the black rotor is just a plastic piece for show, not the actual product)

Box Components quad piston dual compound disc brakes

As the smaller piston makes initial contact, it provides lighter braking force so it’s not grabby. As you pull the lever further, the larger piston makes contact with a different pad compound with more bite for more power.

Box Components quad piston dual compound disc brakes

The lever will mount with their ODI compatible grips for a very clean look. This one’s just a CNC sample, but the design will allow for the actual master cylinder and lever assembly to slide within the clamp to adjust the position of the lever in relation to the grips.

Box Components quad piston dual compound disc brakes

The bolt that clamps the lever to the grip will lock it all into place. The dial on the bottom provides a reach adjust. Internal features are TBD.

The caliper comes in at about 65g. The complete system’s weight is TBD. Production versions will have a rotating banjo bolt.

Box-Components-lightweight-enduro-stem

The Cusp enduro stem is named after the concave shape of the walls and is completely hollowed out to come in at just about 140g for a 65mm length.

Box-Components-lightweight-enduro-stem

They’ll offer 55, 65 and 75 mm lengths. They’ll be forged then CNC’d for production models. $99.

Box-Components-lightweight-disc-brake-adapters-and-cable-housing

Other small new things are the seatpost binder with integrated dropper post cable guide and machined out brake caliper adapters. Adapters are $20 each, are pretty light and available in black, red, blue and gunmetal.

The last one is a new Ultra Lightweight Cable Housing that’s about 20% lighter than the ubiquitous SIS housing. They use alloy strands in the casing rather than steel, with a nylon liner inside. The cables are PTFE coated. As more and more bikes run continuous housing, little things like this can add up to noticeable weight savings. They’ll retail for $30 and come with two sets of ferrules – black and a color to match the housing. Colors are black, gray, white, red and blue…not the day glow yellow, yet.

BoxComponents.com

Comments

Ryan - 09/25/13 - 9:33am

I really like the brake concept—a lot.

bin judgin - 09/25/13 - 9:43am

Brakes do look cool. Gotta ditch that lock on adapter though, who runs their stuff that close to the grip? Good luck BOX

Alex - 09/25/13 - 10:52am

I think taking on drivetrains and disc brakes is incredibly brave! Amazing work.

Tandumb - 09/25/13 - 10:55am

Is that derailleur completely user-rebuildable? (Can you tear the whole thing down, and replace any parts if needed?)

Greg C. - 09/25/13 - 11:05am

options sound good to me.

WoofWoof - 09/25/13 - 12:06pm

Sweet stuff. Next, we need to see Paul Components bring back revamped versions of their derailleurs!

Quickie - 09/25/13 - 12:13pm

A 10-speed wide range cassette, clutch type derailleur, and a narrow/wide front chainring….sounds like a great x01 alternative without having to break the bank.

xcgeek.com - 09/25/13 - 2:56pm

serious credit for taking the drive train and braking task on. Box, I am excited to have more options!

EpicThroatBeard - 09/25/13 - 3:16pm

Enduro stem?
remember when they were known as stems?

EZCamp - 09/25/13 - 3:31pm

The name of the company should be “Box Components by Lee Chi” which means this is Toby Henderson being Promax. I’m not sure the concept of a Taiwan company being BRAVE has settled in just yet. But the (at last) specified intention of product development from a publicly traded Taiwan company can be applauded I suppose.

Sapateira - 09/25/13 - 3:39pm

And the price? will it be accessible? The derailleur seems very good, and with a weight very acceptable. Does its operations is as easy as it seems?

David French - 09/25/13 - 3:46pm

What country is it all going to be made in?

Tyler Benedict - 09/25/13 - 5:38pm

I shifted the bike on the stand through the cassette a few times and it felt smooth. Getting it on the trail will be the real test – we’re curious to see how the levers feel and work with hands in the proper position and bouncing across the terrain.

patrik - 09/25/13 - 6:51pm

I think the drivetrain segment needs a revolution, not evolution, in order for a new entrant to gain any traction. Although I applaud Box’s effort, I just don’t think they’re going to get much action aside from Bushwick/SF hipsters and dudes that spend more time at the coffee shop post-ride then they actually do riding just to prop their bikes up against the wall and have to tell everyone who glances at their bike that they have a non-SRAM/Shimano drivetrain, showing off how against the establishment they are.

Tim - 09/25/13 - 8:48pm

SunRace tried to create an alternative, lower price group several years ago. Their price was lower than Box’s, but they did make some stuff that happened to work well, even if it felt and looked a little cheap, if we are to believe the rules. Today, I think SunRace has stopped producing its own groups. The point: making good stuff at a lower price than the competition definitely can bring good results in terms of performance for price, and even straight up performance, but it doesn’t necessarily end up being lucrative for those who compete with Shimano or SRAM.

Tim - 09/25/13 - 10:03pm

“if we are to believe the REVIEWS” (not “if we are to believe the rules”)

Mindless - 09/26/13 - 2:01am

What is the cable pull on the shifter? Compatible with anything?

I would get it if I can hook it up to Zee.

DeeEight - 09/26/13 - 2:51am

The brains behind the original Onza founded a company called Box Components more than a decade ago with brake levers, v-brakes, and clipless pedals amongst their products. As to this new Box, the rear derailleur design is essentially copied from a Suntour derailleur that was out seven years ago.

Toby Henderson - 09/26/13 - 4:19pm

Hi “EZCAMP”

I just wanted to thank you for your acknowledgment of the fact that Lee Chi is taking a big and difficult step by moving into the higher-end drivetrain and brake markets. The staff here at BOX is very proud of Lee Chi and the hard work they have put into this and our many other projects.

We do, however, want to point out that BOX Components is the property of CGI (Cycle Group Inc.), which is owned by me and based in SoCal. Not only is the staff at CGI 100% responsible for the design and development of the BOX brand and its components, but we also are 100% in charge of the “New” Promax. Over the past two years, we have been exclusively responsible for the design, marketing and sales of Promax products in the aftermarket segment worldwide.

You are correct in pointing out that we have Lee Chi’s support. We are lucky to have such a high level of support and could not do what we are doing without Lee Chi. But Lee Chi is a factory, and just one of several that CGI uses to produce BOX and Promax components. Similarly, Lee Chi produces components for just about every other brand in the bike industry. CGI is basically just another of Lee Chi’s OE customers.

Toby Henderson

Bazz - 02/05/14 - 11:34pm

Hi Toby, does the rear derailleur have a clutch mech? You really need one of those out of the gate. If it does, I’m!

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