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Wheels, Improvements, Hubs

Box Components for 2018

Words Cam McRae
Photos Cam McRae
Date Oct 3, 2017

Bold would be an apt description for Toby Henderson. On top of jumping in the ring with SRAM and Shimano by launching both 11 spd and DH specific 7 spd drivetrains, his company finished up the acquisition of True Precision Components, makers of the Stealth hub for BMX, road and MTB, in late August. Andrew Major tore down a set of True Precision hubs and came away impressed by the silent low drag roller clutch mechanism and the manufacturing quality. 

Box Two

Box also launched a lower-priced version of their drivetrain; the TWO. It will also benefit from what the company learned with some of the early challenges to the ONE version. 

We've had some experience with the Box ONE drivetrain as well. This past summer Tim Coleman tested the 11-spd version and unfortunately ran into some difficulty. Tim found the clutch wasn't strong enough to deal with rough conditions and he failed to warm to the push/push action of the shifter. Worse still the derailleur sheared off in the Whistler Bike Park. At Interbike this year I was on my way to another appointment when one of the guys from Box grabbed me and asked me to check out the new version of the drivetrain. 

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Gone is the single lever "Push Push" shifter in favour of two paddles. The upshift paddle can be pushed with a thumb or pulled like a trigger with your finger. 

You learn a lot about a company by the way their employees react to a negative review. Often there is defensiveness, defiance and sometimes even some (mostly) passive aggression. Toby and the rest of the crew from Box were eager to address the issues Tim brought up and his three main issues have been tackled; the structural elements in the derailleur are now forged rather than cast, the lever no longer up shifts with a push toward your stem and the clutch has been replaced with a patent pending adjustable 'Tri Pack' mechanism that is said to offer more force and consistency. We're looking forward to checking out the new version of the components. 

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Toby Henderson is a member of the US Cycling Hall of Fame for his BMX successes but he was also a sponsored DH pro for GT and Ironhorse so it's no surprise that he's put together a 7 spd gravity specific version of his ONE drivetrain. 

After the acquisition of Stealth it's no shocker to learn that Box is joining the carbon wheel throng. The One series wheels were on display in Vegas and they launch with inner widths of 26, 30 and 35mm, the widest two being asymmetrical. The rims have a protrusion of carbon to reinforce spoke holes (not unlike Santa Cruz's Reserve wheels) and have a clean industrial look matched with a matte finish. 

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Good looking rims. They are available individually for $449 US and a set is $1500 US. For now only 27.5 is listed on the website in the 33mm internal model.

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For now the wheels will run on a straight pull hub with a conventional 3-pawl free hub, but Toby's personal bike had a Stealth hub on it so  that option should be coming soon. 

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Toby Henderson seems to enjoy the challenge of tackling Shimano and SRAM, despite the "patent maze." 

For more check out boxcomponents.com

Comments

mrbrett
+3
mrbrett  - Oct. 3, 2017, 10:12 a.m.

I think Toby Henderson seriously missed an opportunity here to get a couple of fenders and some pinch flat proof rims on that bike.

Reply

bruce-mackay
0
Bruce Mackay  - Oct. 8, 2017, 11:49 p.m.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers that far back.  When I heard about ENVE's pinch flat "proof" rim I thought "where have I heard that claim b4...."  I had a set of those fenders btw.  Not bad for the era.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Oct. 5, 2017, 10:19 a.m.

Like I said in my review, I love a third player entering the MTB drivetrain market. If we do get to test out the updated version of the Box drivetrain I certainly hope it performs better than the last outing.

Reply

bruce-mackay
0
Bruce Mackay  - Oct. 8, 2017, 11:52 p.m.

I find this especially interesting b/c I thought for a long time that Toby was a "Skunk"rider.  Sorta secret test crew for Shimano products...

Reply

jonkranked
0
jonkranked  - Oct. 9, 2017, 10:52 a.m.

i read somewhere else that the change from the push-push style shifter was due to IP conflict (potential patent issue IIRC)

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