Big in BMX, Box Continues to Hone in on Mountain – Shifter, Derailleur Closer to Production

Box-Promax-BMX-Shifters-3520140129_0733-600x400

If you haven’t heard of Box by now, chances are you’re not into BMX racing. While the company has been working on some very intriguing mountain bike parts, like the shifters above and some hydraulic disc brakes that we saw at Interbike, Box has introduced a number of new parts for BMX race bikes that make up some of the stiffest and lightest bikes out of the gate. As the high-end arm of Promax, Toby Henderson (formerly of T.H.E.) took over the Promax brand about 3 years ago and with the help of senior designer/brand manager Michael Gamstetter, and Engineering product developer Colin Esquibel, new products have been designed in California and are being produced with all new tooling. After the early focus on BMX, Box is on a mission to enter the world of mountain biking with some refreshingly innovative components like the push-push shifter.

Open the box for more after the break.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0734

With the same features as the setup we saw at Interbike, currently the shifter and derailleur are Shimano 2×10 compatible and will likely hit at the XT price point. The internals and shift platform were designed by John Calendrille Jr., the man behind the early Vivo derailleurs and the DIG derailleur that was circulating around 2009. Box says that there will be a newer version of the shifter and derailleur around Sea Otter as they have been busy testing the system and have gone through as many as 10 different lever versions.

Box also had a few images of the newest version of the hydraulic disc brake they were working on which has a very interesting lever reach adjustment. We’re told we may get a chance to see it at the Taipei Show – we’ll keep you posted.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0727 Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0735

The current version of the 10 speed derailleur weighs in at 235g. On the mountain bar and stem side of things, Box and Promax will both have offerings, though they will be split into 35mm bars and stems for Box and 31.8mm bars and stems for Promax. The Box carbon 35mm bars will be available in 8, 15, and 30mm rises and will be accompanied by a 45, 55, or 65mm stem. The 65mm long, 35mm clamp stem above isn’t quite production but the 138g weight should be close.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0729

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0728 Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0730

No, that’s not a crazy tall mountain bike bar, instead it’s one of Box’s new BMX prototypes – a 28.6mm carbon bar with a 4.5″ rise. Designed for juniors with a 120lb weight limit, typically bars in this category are 22.2 instead of 28.6. Box says that this bar is stiffer and lighter and will likely be able to produce a 6″ rise bar in the future. In addition to the larger clamp diameter, the bar has aggressive shaping on the rise to add stiffness.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0732

The entire bar and stem weigh an impressive 315g.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0725

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0726 Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0724

Oversized parts have become sort of Box’s trademark as the pros have been running their 20mm thru axle hubs, and 35mm Vector crankset that utilizes Praxis Works’ 35mm external BB and oversized spindle. Box says that they are working on a mountain bike version of the crank for the future.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0720

For anyone running mechanical disc brakes or rim brakes, Box and Promax have an interesting brake lever that replaces the locking grip collar like we saw on the hydraulic brake at Interbike. The Box version will replace the collar for an ODI style locking grip with a nicer CNC machined lever, and the Promax version uses a single locking grip with a less expensive lever.

Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0721 Box Promax BMX Shifters 3520140129_0723

The company is working on packaging these both as singles and doubles, and has a matching locking collar available for the left side if you’re only running one brake. Details count.

If what we’ve seen so far is any indication, you will be seeing and hearing a lot more about Box/Promax in the near future.

 

Comments

Ajax - 02/05/14 - 2:51pm

I like the shifter. Simple! The way that a thumb shifter is. I’m not a fan of the Shimano dual control shifters for MTB. I hope these guys hurry up and get into the MTB game.

BT - 02/05/14 - 3:06pm

If the derailleur doesn’t have some kind of clutch mechanism, they should go back and design one.

buriedundersnow - 02/05/14 - 3:16pm

Seen some of the BOX production stuff in person. Seemed to be well-designed, nicely-made and of decent quality. Toby is the right guy to steer the ship and put the needed quality into both brands. I say reserve judgement until you experience it for yourself.

I have to hand it to BOX, jumping into the drivetrain market must have huge costs and a steep patent entry curve. Not sure I’d have the stones to do the same.

I welcome the competition and the option of having another choice in the marketplace. Best of luck BOX!

Dave - 02/05/14 - 3:33pm

That’s some sharp-looking stuff! If they can carve out enough market share to compete with Sram and Shimano, nothing but good can come for consumers and dealers.

The only problem is, who wants an integrated brake lever/grip? Say goodbye to the ability to adjust lever placement for one-finger braking.

djdrysdale406 - 02/05/14 - 4:16pm

@slow joe: look into the BMX market and do a little research on Promax, all of their new products are much higher quality than all the OEM products you see on complete mountain bikes.

@BT: the derailleur is in early stages of testing, still many changes to be made, i’m guessing there will be a “Type 2/Shadow+” style by the time production comes around.

@Dave: Once again Box started out as a BMX company, BMX racers hardly use their brakes at all let alone change lever position much, that being said the Box and Promax levers can both be run farther into the bar and away from the grip just as easily, it just gives the user the option of having the nice clean look of getting rid of the lock-on clamp, in the same way as Sram offers the Match-maker, it can be run either way

buriedundersnow - 02/05/14 - 6:09pm

@ Dave – it’s really more of a BMX thing.

BOX Designer - 02/05/14 - 6:37pm

The quality will be high. Promax makes a lot of very high-quality products, but until recently, they were rarely spec’d on bikes. As a result, all you’ve seen on bikes is the less expensive stuff. This will change. BOX products are a bit different and the brand has been positioned differently. Quality and innovation are key with BOX.

Clutch mechs are designed and planned. We’ll be testing them soon. As are other variants. What you see here are first-gen prototypes.

The lever works just as well not locked to the grip as it does locked to one. It’s actually a pretty cool and useful feature for a lot of reasons. But, you’re right, not everyone will want, need or use it.

Bayard - 02/05/14 - 7:57pm

I love my box

duzzi - 02/05/14 - 8:07pm

I would have liked it if was a pull/pull shifter. Push Push is a no-no.

Shu Arvilla - 02/05/14 - 8:07pm

Box makes the best products.

Pete - 02/05/14 - 8:52pm

@Box Designer Made in USA?

esc8engn - 02/05/14 - 10:07pm

You had me at high end BMX. You lost me at Promax.
Promax mechanical disc brakes are loathed far and wide by every mechanic i know. myself included. If they paid SRAM to use their eccentric washer design, or could correct the retention springs so that the pads sit flush (parallel) in the caliper they might be bearable. might.

nathan - 02/06/14 - 8:34am

No one is going to believe the whole “Promakes makes good high end stuff, just ignore all their terrible product” line.

Having your brand associated with terrible product while trying to also make good product just doesn’t work. Ask GT, Suntour, Mongoose, etc.

groghunter - 02/06/14 - 10:22am

Must say, I bought one of those promax seat collars with the integrated dropper cable guide: it fit really loose when open, not the normal seatcollar fit where it slips on slightly snug, and tightened to the middle of the torque range, the top of the clamp and the bottom of the clamp aren’t parallel with each other. Haven’t gotten to ride it yet, so no idea if it will give me problems, but so far, not impressed.

(I know this sounds like I bought the wrong size, but I double checked everything I could: the part doesn’t have the size stamped on it, but the label on the package says 34.9, which is what I need.)

King County - 02/06/14 - 1:05pm

Shimano had that same shifter design on a low end model in the early 1990s.

djdrysdale406 - 02/06/14 - 2:31pm

@nathan: I just want to point out that a pretty high number of the Elite/AA Pro class in BMX have been riding Promax cranks and brakes for the last 6-8 months and they’ve been holding up. These riders have some of the highest wattage outputs recorded in the UCI (Mountain, Road, and CX included). I think if a product can hold up to the UCI Supercross tracks it can take pretty much anything you can throw at it.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.