Taipei First Look: Box Component’s Clever Irene Disc brake Lever, Plus Finished Derailleur, New 35mm Bars, and more

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

Coming up with genuinely new ideas in this industry can be pretty tough. A lot of times it’s been done before, and often times there is a patent to stand in your way. When it came to designing a brake lever with reach adjust, Box thought inside their group and looked to the engineer who the lever was ultimately named after. Dubbed the Irene lever, Box’s new prototype brake lever takes an interesting approach to reach adjust and replaces the typical dial or screw with a quick release lever that mates the back of the brake lever.

Just part of their forthcoming disc brake design, the Irene lever gives you an idea of what Box has inside.

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

When the adjuster is closed, it functions just as a normal brake lever would. But if you want to adjust the reach of your brake, simply open the orange lever like a quick release. At that point you can position the brake lever where you would like within the range and then simply close the lever to preserve the adjustment.

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

This is the very fist pair of rideable samples of Box’s new quad piston disc brake which at this point are equipped with 17 and 14mm pistons. Based on a DOT fluid system, the brakes will probably change a bit before production, but will be available by the end of the year.

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

Box Irene Lever Disc brake 35 bar stem derailler seatpost

Other big news out of the Box, is this final CNC sample of their rear derailleur. Yes, it’s still a sample, but it is the closest that we’ve seen to production so they are getting close. The fully anodized derailleur retains the Shimano XT 10 speed compatibility and all of the features we have seen to this point including the spring loaded cable stop. Box assures us that this will be in production by the end of the year along with their matching shifter.

Box Irene Lever Disc Brake shifter derailleur bars 35 stem seatpost

There were quite a few 35mm bars on display at the show, and like Box most companies say the larger diameter allows for stiffer and lighter bars while keeping widths nice and wide for those who want it. Box will be doing exclusively 35mm bars while the cheaper Promax counter parts will be produced in 31.8mm. Available this Spring, the X series carbon bars will be available in 0, 15, and 30mm rise at 700, 760, and 780mm wide respectively. For the narrower bars, Box kept the mold wider so if the market demands a wider flat bar, they can easily make it happen. The flat bar is swept back 6 degrees, while the 15mm rise bar is 7 degrees, and the 30mm at 9 degrees. The Promax bars will have the same rise and sweep but will be 31.8mm in diameter with the retail set at $99 as opposed to $139 for Box X Bars.

Box Irene Lever Disc Brake shifter derailleur bars 35 stem seatpost

IMG_3368 Box Irene Lever Disc Brake shifter derailleur bars 35 stem seatpost

Like the carbon BMX bar we saw at press camp, the X bar is very angular in its design leading to what is becoming the Box aesthetic.

Box Irene Lever Disc Brake shifter derailleur bars 35 stem seatpost Box Irene Lever Disc Brake shifter derailleur bars 35 stem seatpost

To be able to offer a complete cockpit set, Box is also introducing a static seatpost. On the production version the head will be part of the post, forged as one piece instead of the two piece design shown here. Otherwise, the design is pretty close to complete with a twin bolt clamp that uses a slot on one side to allow for easy saddle changes without completely removing the hardware.

taispons taipei bike show coverage 2014

Comments

Seraph - 03/07/14 - 8:21pm

Promax? That name has negative connotations for me based on components from the company of the same name. Might wanna rethink that one.

Pmurf - 03/07/14 - 11:18pm

@seraf, BOX is the high-end components brand of Cyclegroup Inc, who also owns the Promax name, the exact company you are thinking of. Promax has long produced parts to serve the entry level market, and I don’t think their brand has ever tried to claim prominence beyond that. That said, I think everyone and their mother has had a bad experience with Promax brakes – but the comparison is moot. BOX is led by Toby Henderson, a BMX legend from the 80s and an innovative cycling engineer. They serve a higher order, but they know what they’re doing.

erik - 03/07/14 - 11:37pm

cool idea for the lever until you eat it and have to readjust your lever everytime

Nooge - 03/08/14 - 8:37am

@erik If you eat it and the lever moves, readjust quick and easy, no biggie. With a normal lever if it hit that hard it may have broken or the whole lever may move on your bar, either of which is worse. So I think this is an improvement.

Not sure how a quick reach adjust matters since it is not something I change after initial dialing in. Would be cool to have on rental bikes though.

Mike - 03/08/14 - 8:44am

I like the integrated grips.

kovas - 03/08/14 - 12:03pm

Is that BOX derailleur fully-rebuildable (ala Pauls derailleurs of yesteryear)? Or are the parallelogram linkage pins pressed-in? Can’t see from the photos. Sure would be great to have a 100% user-servicable derailleur.

Mindless - 03/08/14 - 2:13pm

More stuff to break in a crash.

I like my brake levers to pop off and back easily.

some person - 03/08/14 - 2:13pm

I don’t really see the purpose of this overly complicated quick release to adjust lever angle when on something like hopes you have two small dials on the lever to adjust the angle and pull…

Dave - 03/08/14 - 2:25pm

Derailleur looks interesting. Like Kovas .. it would be great to have a fully serviceable mech again on the market. Even if it’s two pins of the parallelogram like Campagnolo high end road mechs so it’s possible to open the whole assembly up!

Nick - 03/08/14 - 5:03pm

Don’t like DOT fluid, so can’t say I really like the brakes. Also, the reach adjustment system seems…excessive.

EvanT - 03/09/14 - 12:28pm

@Pmurp + Seraph;

the single company with two faces is surprisingly more and more common aspect of the cycling industry. As customer look for ways to make their bike more blingy-y and to stand out from floor models they seek some hot-newness aftermarket kit.

Ever looked at a set of Tektro brakes and went “ugh”? But then look one display case over at some TRP brakes and went “ooohhh… pimp-y!” TRP Tektro Racing Products. I’m sure I can think of a few more examples… but I’ve only had one cup of coffee so far.

JustinS - 03/11/14 - 4:38pm

@EvanT:
How about WTB/ Freedom, or Maxxis/ Cheng Shin?

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