Interbike 2013: Box’s prototype shifter & mech

Box thinking outside the… oh never mind.

Sweep to pull, push to release.

Sweep to pull, push to release.

New US-based brand Box Components has been hard at work lately, looking to bring a bit more performance and desirability to parent company Promax’s BMX and mountain bike offerings.  Though photos have been around the Web for some time, Interbike meant our first chance to play with their unique take on the mountain bike shifter- and a nice looking mech to go with it.

Box’s yet-unnamed shifter is a simple design that neatly skirt competitors’ intellectual property.  The single under-bar lever sweeps around its center (like a Shimano or SRAM trigger shifter) to move to a larger cog or chainring, but is pushed along its length (against the dimples surface shown) to move to a smaller cog or chainring.  Function is nicely clicky and the Box’s extensive use of aluminum is reflected in the shifter’s solid feel.

Machined alloy: the color of prototypes everywhere.

Machined alloy: the color of prototypes everywhere.

To go with the shifters, Box has developed their own rear derailleur.  Here again, the largely aluminum construction felt substantial in the hand.  The parallelogram pivots are widely spaced and the cable stop is on a sprung arm to swing out of harm’s way in a spill.  The cage will likely shrink a bit and there’s no clutch model as yet- but the company is quickly closing on production spec.

Colour-matched chain optional.

Colour-matched chain optional.

Both the shifters and derailleur are Shimano 10s compatible, giving riders the option of using either piece with its Shimano counterpart.  Box is aiming for XT-level pricing for this first effort. If weight can be kept under control and performance is as good as it felt on the stand, we’d welcome another chain moving option.  Keep an eye on Boxcomponents.com for developments.

Categorised as:

Kit News