Box One drivetrain first look

BMX brand taking on the gearing behemoths

Box Components is a well known name in BMX thanks to BMX Hall-of-Famer Toby Henderson. In addition to BMX parts, Box has been steadily expanding into MTB with handlebars, stems, wheels and most interestingly, a drivetrain consisting of a unique shifter, rear derailleur and 11-speed cassette.

Box One shifter

Box's One PushPush shifter is the most unique piece of the group. Instead of two levers commonly used on Shimano and SRAM, the One handles both shifts with a single lever; sweep the lever forward to shift down and push the lever inward to shift up to a higher gear.

Like SRAM and Shimano, up to four easier gears can be grabbed by sweeping the lever. 

The shifter uses only one lever. Gear swaps happen by sweeping the paddle forward or pushing the end in
The shifter uses only one lever. Gear swaps happen by sweeping the paddle forward or pushing the end in

Ergonomically, two mounting options are available for 10mm of cockpit adjustment.

Box claims that the One shifter works best with its derailleurs and cassette, but acknowledges Shimano 11-speed compatibility as well.

A Shimano XT M8000 rear shifter tips the scales at 144g, while the Box One sneaks in at 140g with a clamp and full-length cable. 

The Box One shifter retails at $74.99, UK and Australian pricing TBD.

Box One rear derailleur

Like the shifter, Box's One rear derailleur is compatible with Box and Shimano shifters. To keep the chain from slapping around, Box employs a damper called CamClutch.

The clutch resides in a carbon fiber/nylon composite body and handles business with a one-way friction plate. 

Pivot Tech is a spring-loaded cable stay that keeps the gear housing out of harm's way
Pivot Tech is a spring-loaded cable stay that keeps the gear housing out of harm's way

To keep the derailleur safe, Box added a spring-loaded cable stop dubbed Pivot Tech. It works to by letting the rear derailleur cable move more freely if snagged or during a crash. 

There's range for a wall-climbing 46T cog and the pulley wheels roll on sealed bearings to minimize friction and contamination.

The Box One rear mech weighs 266g, which cuts just under a Shimano XT M8000 rear derailleur at 273g. 

Retail is $174.99, UK and Australian pricing TBD.

Box Two cassette

Box's Two cassette is crafted from hi-tensile steel and 7075-T6 aluminum. Gear range is 11-46T (418 percent) and is broken down into 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-36-40-46.

It is designed to fit on Shimano freehubs.

The Two cassette is 11-speed, fits on Shimano freehubs, and has an 11-46 range
The Two cassette is 11-speed, fits on Shimano freehubs, and has an 11-46 range

The black cassette is comprised of two aluminum carriers for the largest seven cogs and four individual cogs with aluminum spacers make the smaller gears. Each cog employs ramped teeth for smoother shifting and Box claims that all 11-speed chains should work here.

The cassette weight with the lockring is 480g and 474g without the lockring. For comparison, an XT M8000 11-40T cassette weighs 411g with lockring and an 11-42T weighs 447g with lockring.

Retail is $99.99, UK and Australian pricing TBD.

Do SRAM and Shimano have anything to worry about? I'm excited to get this drivetrain bolted on and eager to find out. 

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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