We have seen plenty of teasers over the last couple years from Box in regards to their drivetrain that they have had in the works. After a couple Sea Otter events and a trip to Vegas, Box was finally ready to show off the drivetrain that they had been working on for the last 4 years. This last Interbike Box was one of the biggest booths with a massive display of working versions of One.
The whole system is built around 1×11 drivetrains and is Shimano compatible. You can mix and match the shifter and RD with any current MTB 11-speed Shimano shifter or RD.
The rear derailleur is a little different that what is currently available from SRAM and Shimano. Box uses a Cam Clutch (opposed to a roller bearing system) that can be serviced at home if you have the mechanical prowess.
A feature we found pretty interesting was the Pivot Tech cable stay that helps prevent excess damage in the event of a crash or rock strike. The cage will take up a 46-tooth cassette.
The shifter uses the same pull ratio as Shimano and has a pretty easy little port to run the shift cable. There are two mounting options on the clamp to help riders dial in the reach. The shifter however is arguably the most interesting part of this kit with a new take on shifting.
Shifting up is like SRAM and Shimano with your thumb, but to release the cable tension you push in on the L-slot of the lever blade, pretty nifty.
Box provided us with these parts already installed so we haven’t played around with the setup just yet, but of course we will. Hitting the dirt our initial thoughts were pretty positive, shifting up the lever felt smooth and engagement felt crisp, with a very linear pull. Shifting down took some getting used too.
At first, the lever felt pretty stiff, but after about an hour of riding it seemed to wear in a little for an easier feel. We are using a Box 11-46 cassette, but we will be trying this out on a few other cassettes during our testing. The prices and weights are comparable to Shimano XT and for now One is only available aftermarket. Keep an eye out on our YouTube channel for more info down the road.