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Box One 11speed 11-50 First Ride

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Box One 11speed 11-50 First Ride

Old 06-04-20, 11:03 PM
  #1  
jrhoneOC
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Box One 11speed 11-50 First Ride

I have a 2020 Rockhopper Comp 1x bike that came with a MicroShift Advent 1x9 drivetrain. That drivetrain was a workhorse and just plain worked. Never needed an adjustment, never missed a shift, never dropped a chain. Just solid in 9 months of riding. So instead of getting a new bike this year, I decided to do 2 things...upgrade the driev=train and upgrade the fork. The fork is to come, but I wanted to get a bigger gear for climbing and without replacing my rear hub my options were the SRAM 1x12 NX Eagle, Shimano 1x11 Deore (not out yet), Box One 1x11, and the Microshift Advent X 1x10. I have heard too many negative things about the SRAM so I removed it from the list...the Deore 5100 11 speed system isn't shipping yet and may not be for another month or 2. So that leaves the MicroShift and the Box One. Reviews of the Box One were good and finding one for half off the regular price pushed me over the edge...that and a lifetime warranty..even if you break it, and its a local company and I took the plunge. Worse case scenario I can sell the Box One system probably for close to what I paid for it and buy the Deore 5100 in a few months if I REALLY hate it.

Bought it from Velomine. GREAT customer service and fast shipping. For $200 I got the 11-50 11 speed Cassette, the Box One Shifter, the Box One Chain, and the Triple Clutch Box One Derailleur. Got it on a Friday, installed it that night and while adjusting the RD the shifter jammed. Uh oh...Is this going to be how this system is? The reviews said the worst part of the system was the shifter. Its completely Shimano compatible so if I wanna upgrade that part I can get the 11 speed Shimano shifter of my choice.

Velomine sent me another shifter and Box actually had me open the shifter and we figured out what was jamming it and I got that one working. So Today was my first ride.

I did one of my normal rides that has a pretty technical single track area thats steep, rocky, and grueling for about a mile or so. The 42 on the 1x9 system made me stop ALOT going up for a breather. I was hoping the 50 would allow me to stop less and get up that section faster.

First lets talk about the shifting. SMOOTH. Buttery and precise. This system feels ALOT more refined than the MicroShift system. While the MicroSHift just worked like a good no frills economy car, the Box One system feels like a higher end product. I noticed that I was hearing the tires and not the drivetrain AT ALL. That may be the nicer chain, but drivetrain noise was nonexistent. A few times I had to look down and physically check to see if it shifted because the spacing of the gears was closer and it was so fast and smooth I didnt notice it shifting. The only issue I had with the shifts was in one of the middle gears it would sometimes drop to a lower gear. I think that had more to do with my lack of experience in adjusting it than the system.

The gearing is great. The difference between the Box and the Deore 5100 is the actual gearing. The Deore was similar to my 1-8 gears of the MicroShift Advent 11-42 but they go 39, 45, and 51. So I was leaning towards that because I get the same 1-8 that I was used to and TWO more climbing gears. The Box adds a 36 and 50. So a midrange gear and a granny gear. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but that one extra midrange gear was nice to have and then of course having the 50 granny gear was great.

All in All its a great system, and Box was actually great to work with on the support side as well.

I'm gonna now try and get it dialed in as well as the MicroShift was and enjoy the new gearing.




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Old 06-05-20, 10:09 AM
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I bought from the same place a few months ago to upgrade my hardtail's 1x10 sram non-clutch setup. I went with the box one 11-46 setup though since my other bike is a shimano XT 11-42 and didn't think I needed the 50. The Box stuff works fine but here are my two complaints
1. There is no way to turn the clutch off or lock the RD like you can with Shimano, Sram, pretty much everybody that uses a clutch. Kind of have to fight the clutch anytime you have to take the wheel off or deal with the chain which I haven't had to do since installing so not a huge deal.
2. The shifter. I mean it is fine but it feels a little cheap compared to the XT and I do miss the double upshift you get with XT, Sram doesn't have it either. I'd like to put a bit of grip tape or something on the upshift lever since it is just smooth plastic that would go along way to making it feel better. I heard people complain about the thumb effort it takes to down shift and yeah it is more compared to shimano but it isn't that much more and doesn't bother me.
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Old 06-05-20, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
I bought from the same place a few months ago to upgrade my hardtail's 1x10 sram non-clutch setup. I went with the box one 11-46 setup though since my other bike is a shimano XT 11-42 and didn't think I needed the 50. The Box stuff works fine but here are my two complaints
1. There is no way to turn the clutch off or lock the RD like you can with Shimano, Sram, pretty much everybody that uses a clutch. Kind of have to fight the clutch anytime you have to take the wheel off or deal with the chain which I haven't had to do since installing so not a huge deal.
2. The shifter. I mean it is fine but it feels a little cheap compared to the XT and I do miss the double upshift you get with XT, Sram doesn't have it either. I'd like to put a bit of grip tape or something on the upshift lever since it is just smooth plastic that would go along way to making it feel better. I heard people complain about the thumb effort it takes to down shift and yeah it is more compared to shimano but it isn't that much more and doesn't bother me.
Is there a secret to turning off the clutch for SRAM rears which I was not aware?
I agree with the shifter not being as nice as the XT or X1 but if under 200 and has performed better than expected. I'm glad I didn't get the Box2 which I've read is far below even Deore in build and shift quality.
I'm running everything from XX1 & XTR down to Deore and X7 and the BoxOne setup is somewhere in between. But closer to the Deore end.
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Old 06-05-20, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
I have a 2020 Rockhopper Comp 1x bike that came with a MicroShift Advent 1x9 drivetrain. That drivetrain was a workhorse and just plain worked. Never needed an adjustment, never missed a shift, never dropped a chain. Just solid in 9 months of riding. So instead of getting a new bike this year, I decided to do 2 things...upgrade the driev=train and upgrade the fork. The fork is to come, but I wanted to get a bigger gear for climbing and without replacing my rear hub my options were the SRAM 1x12 NX Eagle, Shimano 1x11 Deore (not out yet), Box One 1x11, and the Microshift Advent X 1x10. I have heard too many negative things about the SRAM so I removed it from the list...the Deore 5100 11 speed system isn't shipping yet and may not be for another month or 2. So that leaves the MicroShift and the Box One. Reviews of the Box One were good and finding one for half off the regular price pushed me over the edge...that and a lifetime warranty..even if you break it, and its a local company and I took the plunge. Worse case scenario I can sell the Box One system probably for close to what I paid for it and buy the Deore 5100 in a few months if I REALLY hate it.

Bought it from Velomine. GREAT customer service and fast shipping. For $200 I got the 11-50 11 speed Cassette, the Box One Shifter, the Box One Chain, and the Triple Clutch Box One Derailleur. Got it on a Friday, installed it that night and while adjusting the RD the shifter jammed. Uh oh...Is this going to be how this system is? The reviews said the worst part of the system was the shifter. Its completely Shimano compatible so if I wanna upgrade that part I can get the 11 speed Shimano shifter of my choice.

Velomine sent me another shifter and Box actually had me open the shifter and we figured out what was jamming it and I got that one working. So Today was my first ride.

I did one of my normal rides that has a pretty technical single track area thats steep, rocky, and grueling for about a mile or so. The 42 on the 1x9 system made me stop ALOT going up for a breather. I was hoping the 50 would allow me to stop less and get up that section faster.

First lets talk about the shifting. SMOOTH. Buttery and precise. This system feels ALOT more refined than the MicroShift system. While the MicroSHift just worked like a good no frills economy car, the Box One system feels like a higher end product. I noticed that I was hearing the tires and not the drivetrain AT ALL. That may be the nicer chain, but drivetrain noise was nonexistent. A few times I had to look down and physically check to see if it shifted because the spacing of the gears was closer and it was so fast and smooth I didnt notice it shifting. The only issue I had with the shifts was in one of the middle gears it would sometimes drop to a lower gear. I think that had more to do with my lack of experience in adjusting it than the system.

The gearing is great. The difference between the Box and the Deore 5100 is the actual gearing. The Deore was similar to my 1-8 gears of the MicroShift Advent 11-42 but they go 39, 45, and 51. So I was leaning towards that because I get the same 1-8 that I was used to and TWO more climbing gears. The Box adds a 36 and 50. So a midrange gear and a granny gear. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but that one extra midrange gear was nice to have and then of course having the 50 granny gear was great.

All in All its a great system, and Box was actually great to work with on the support side as well.

I'm gonna now try and get it dialed in as well as the MicroShift was and enjoy the new gearing.




The older Box design which was eventually sued by Shimano (push-push shifting) was what brought them to fame. It was different and if it worked for you it was great. One of my friends has one and it's interesting. Super fast shifts and discrete, unlike the current chunky design. Overall, I'm happy with it so far. It's on my fatbike which gets rarely ridden now, but with new 27.5 wheels almost ready, I'm ready to take her out. My only grip are the long cages, which are bait for rock gardens. I usually go with medium cages for any 1X system.
I didn't realize the rear was compatible with shimano shifters, that's important info. Enjoy and good review
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Old 06-05-20, 11:47 AM
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The clutch thing doesnt bother me as I just pulled the RD back with one hand and pulled the wheel up with the other. Not a huge deal at all.

The shifter...its a little plasticky...but it can be opened up and serviced to an extent. I plan on taking the money I saved and getting an XT shifter for $45. That should solve all the problems.
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Old 06-05-20, 11:58 AM
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why not ride till you break both shifters? Mine didn't break in a cold NJ winter
I personally think they feel decent and don't notice it after a few shifts
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Old 06-05-20, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
why not ride till you break both shifters? Mine didn't break in a cold NJ winter
I personally think they feel decent and don't notice it after a few shifts
yes. I should say when I decide to switch, i will just grab an XT shifter. Its low on the priority list and after a ride of putting it through its paces its not horrible at all. I do like how you can push or pull the forward lever to go to the next gear (not that its not available on others) and its a pretty fast and smooth shifting system. I spent the morning adjusting and will go foe another ride today to see how it feels. You are correct, while riding I stopped thinking about the shifter and got back to thinking about the ride. Next up is a nicer and lighter fork.
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Old 06-05-20, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Is there a secret to turning off the clutch for SRAM rears which I was not aware?
"There is no way to turn the clutch off or lock the RD"
Or lock
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Old 06-05-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jrhoneOC View Post
The clutch thing doesnt bother me as I just pulled the RD back with one hand and pulled the wheel up with the other. Not a huge deal at all.

The shifter...its a little plasticky...but it can be opened up and serviced to an extent. I plan on taking the money I saved and getting an XT shifter for $45. That should solve all the problems.
It will. I am using one with an SLX shifter. Presumably XT can only be better.

I wound up taking the clutch out since I have a double in the front.
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Old 06-05-20, 06:38 PM
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Thank you! I have been curious a about this group. I have a NX group, not as bad as people say.

Cheers!
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Old 06-09-20, 03:04 PM
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Update: Once I git the system dialed in..the shifter feel is pretty light...dont notice any difference in effort to the MicroShift Advent it replaced.
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Old 06-10-20, 12:53 PM
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Update 2:
After the system got adjusted properly...I went back to my normal trail. WOW.....this system is VERY nice. The shifter feel is completely different. Box sent me a replacement when I told them it was stiff and this one now feels completely different. Not stiff, and it requires almost no effort to shift. I can say its as good as the MicroShift shifter that was pretty nice. I was thinking of getting the XT sifter for the lighter feel and the double upshift option...but its a LOW priority now. Zero missed shifts...zero gear skips, zero dropped chains, just effortless shifting and a wide gear range. Nice upgrade for $200.
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