Few weeks review: Box One 11 speed Rear dérailleur – Has potential but major has major flaws

Going from Xt m8000 with uncut 116 link Kmc x11 Sl silver chain, I had to add 5 links, due to the bigger tension pulley.

The flaw that can’t be ignored.

There is definitely potential, Box has some great ideas, for example, use of bushings, but there some flaw that can’t be ignored.

 

Smooth Shifting

Because the clutch(CamClutch) is not as strong in the higher hears as in the lower gears, it improves shifting greatly, over clutch systems like on Shimano m8000 or previous Shimano models,The shifting is so smooth that I can’t feel it, so going from Xt M8000 to Box one you might think the rear dérailleur is not shifting properly but if you take a look it actually did shift( I use a Xt M8000 11-46T  Cassette with Both Rear dérailleur’s) I used This also makes the lever action lighter.

You can fully take it apart, as the swing arms have E clips, so removing them is easy with a screwdriver, So far Box does not offer every single part as a replacement.

From this side, you can see the E clips,
Unlike the other current options, Box One has bushings, which is great, bushings can be replaced, which is very easy to do, the rear derailleur can be fully assembled, the only thing you need is a screwdriver to remove the E clips. I wish all Rear derailleurs fully serviceable.

When adjusting The Limit screws I recommend using smaller separate Allen keys instead of a big Multi-tool, as the Pivot Tech Swingarm is partially covering the limit bolt, So you will scratch the paint off pretty fast.

Impacts:

I have already had the chance to smash it, on this technical section this was the result :

the composite got bit scratched and the big bolt too, but works well still, but had to adjust the limit bolts, the composite part replaceable, but not seen it offered as a spare yet.

Shifting performance:

So far I am pretty impressed with it, But I prefer Shimano trigger shifter, So I use the XTR m9000, good combo. The shifting is very smooth, it’s actually smoother than Shimano XT M8000, because of the cam clutch, it gets stiffer as the lower gear you use, but this makes the high gear as there is no clutch at all, so this means smooth shifting, but this won’t be an issue unless you ride like a madman within the top gear, so any issues are unlikely, But I read reviews saying they dropped the chain, but some of them did not use chain guides, and some of them probably rode like madmen. like

So far I am pretty impressed with it, But I prefer Shimano trigger shifter, So I use the XTR m9000, good combo. The shifting is very smooth, it’s actually smoother than Shimano XT M8000, because of the cam clutch, it gets stiffer as the lower gear you use, but this makes the high gear as there is no clutch at all, so this means smooth shifting, but this won’t be an issue unless you ride like a madman within the top gear, so any issues are unlikely, But I read reviews saying they dropped the chain, but some of them did not use chain guides, and some of them probably rode like madmen. like back-pedalling downhill in max gear, which no one normally does, or even on the flat you will feel the chain slap. I rode pretty hard and fast in technical sections and I never had any issues.

But I also use A MRP AMg V2 chain guide, which is a must for trail/enduro riding, If you ride hard with even with a NarrowWide chainring you will eventually drop the chain, especially n a full suspension bike, So if you drop the chain it’s not the rear derailleur’s fault but your own.

Fitted on the bike with Uncut KMC 11x Sl silver chain:

Upgraded 2014 Trek fuel ex 7 29er Skanshytta tur 15.08.2017_0414

Product page: http://www.boxcomponents.com/Box-One-11-Speed-Rear-Derailleur

and now the bad things:

The B screw is in incorrect position and angle.

 

  • At first glance, I thought I had to adjust the B screw, But a few seconds later noticed that the screw has chewed off the edge of the hanger. Since then, I fully unscrewed it I discovered the threads were ruined, But then I discovered the B screw was switching between light and hard to turn as I unscrewed it, this was caused by the threads in hte body being completely destroyed. So I  put Xt M8000 on the bike.

  • Dislocating cam clutch spring, the spring wears out and becomes too big, and creeps out on both sides of the O ring until most of it pops out.
This is the cam clutch, the big O-ring comes on top of the spring between the gap.

Flickr Album https://flic.kr/s/aHsm1QqwHb

Verdict:

BOX one has great potential, but the current rear derailleur should not have been released to the public, as the product has major flaws.

So I can’t recommend Box one Rd at this stage, I really hope they will fix this issue, by offering a free rear body upgrade, which would be easy to do, & easy for the more custom to install, as the Box ONE Rd can be fully disassembled, with only a screwdriver & Allen keys.I recommend keeping up to date with Box is doing, as maybe they will make the perfect Rd in the future.

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Shimano SLX M675 Shadow Plus – Used to the end – long term review

This rear derailleur has been on some long rides, and got some abuse.

Time used:

I have ridden this rear derailleur since 2015, some weeks in 2016 & the whole 2016/2017 winter plus one winter, and some weeks and days in the summer of 2017.

I ride a lot, I ride at least 5 days in a week, from 1 hour few hours, depending on how I ride up to 20 plus km, sometimes less, but my point is I ride a lot

Durability:

I have mostly used this rear derailleur with 1x setup.

Sometimes I am unlucky and crash or mess up on a technical climb, and this is why the rear derailleur got some scratches, It had some scratches before the crash, for smaller impacts, but the last crash really shows damage, but it’s only cosmetic damage, so my conclusion is that this is a robust rear derailer able to take a lot of abuse, but the pins and swing arms are not replaceable, So when has play you have to get a new rear derailleur.

I crashed off a 1 m concrete wall, the cage was grinding against the wall, I had shifting issues, First I thought they might be the result of the crash, But later I found it not to be the case.

I  Did an inspection on the rear dérailleur,  I checked all the adjustment screws I took off the cage and did a service, the cage was bent, So I straightened it, but the shifting issues were still present. So I checked them, but then I checked for play, the rear dérailleur had huge play, so it was definitely the play. causing issues.

but I straightened it, but after few days of riding, I noticed shifting issues, So I checked the all the adjustment screws, but then I checked for play, the rear dérailleur had huge play, so it was definitely the play. causing issues.

after riding few weeks with, there was just too much play to do up-shifts, the play caused the Rd to hesitate on shifts.

The plastic cover took some abuse, but it held up well. This is the most abused rear derailleur so of mine so far.

 

 

Jockey wheels:

SLX M675 comes with bad jockey wheels, but you can upgrade to proper jockey wheels, the problem with the stock jockey wheels is that the that the jockey wheel and the metal ring grind against with other and cause damage to the jockey wheel which causes it to not spin smoothly.

Even upgrading to XT jockey wheels which work better, they are not that great, Hope has better spacers, they are Labyrinth style spacers, so the bearings are more protected against contaminants.

I recommend upgrading to Hope jockey wheels or similar, with proper bearings & proper cover.

Shimano SLX M675 Shadow+ vs XT m8000 Shadow+

Using your 10 speed deore,slx,xt,xtr, rear dérailleur for 11 speed is possible, but it wont be as smooth.

but of course to compare this you have to have exact same setup, which I had here.

And of course The clutch tension must be properly adjusted & all other adjustments, I set mine up by decreasing tension until it the shifting performance was acceptable.

I recently rode the bike with SLX M675 few days and then the xt m8000 bike after wards and the performance is definitely noticeable.

Even on 11-42T cassettes with stock links/without goat link, the difference was noticeable.

the difference was most noticeable in the lower gears/bigger cogs.

If went up and down much faster, and made less noise.

I used KMC 11X SL Silver on both setups.

on my 2014 Fuel ex 7 29er I had to get a Goatlink to run 11-46T cassette possible. this picture shows the Rear dérailleur adjusted to the max,with a 1|1-46T XT m8000 cassette.

Is it absolutely necessary to upgrade? absolutely not,but on rougher trail  it’s nice to have better shifting.

Short term Review: Shimano Deore XT M8000 with Race Face Narrow wide

On 10speed Formula/Bontrager Freehub:

If I use the 42T cog on the cassette the chain will fall off when back-pedalling, but when I shift up to 37T cog the chain stays in place no matter how hard I pack pedal.

On Hope Pro 4 freehub:

the Pro 4 free hub, is 11 speed compatible, which means it’s wider, and comes with a spacer,and with 11speed cassette, the  cassette is closer to the frame/more outwards to the right, which gives a better chain line, so the backpedalling issues is gone,Unless you backpedal at unrealistic speed,then it will fall off,but I have done 180 U turns in 1stgear(42T) and the chain never fell off.

So if your rear hub is compatible with a wider freehub,you should get one.

Huge noise reduction when riding:

The first thing I noticed after I upgraded to 1×11 is that all the slapping ,banging and scraping noises are gone from my bike.25185797391_0cfdb76e37_o

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The narrow wide chain-ring will make more sound than the triple chain-ring,  but when ring in rough terrain or jumping, the noise is a lot less than a conventional triple ring set-up would make.

With this set up i used uncut CN-HG701-11 chain.

Shimano Deore XT M8000 I-Spec B shifter:

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There is big  difference in the force needed to press to press the small trigger(up shift),but I got used to it after days ,and it did not feel as hard to press, and I like the shifter feel,I get less accidental shifts this way.

The change in gear is instant like promised.

The possibility to shift by bending you finger and do a finger kick motion,which you can’t do with Sram shifters.

(like this(https://youtu.be/7HvJma35fZA) to push the lever/trigger is gone, as the Shimano Deore 10 Spd had.But for me this is a acceptable compromise.

But there will be no accidental shifts

Down shifting:

  • smooth lever-action.
  • There is huge difference in the force required to push the triggers between SL-M610 &  M8000 , so if you plan to upgrade a kids bike you might want to let the kid try it out first,but for the youngest I recommend getting SL-M610 or something similar.
  • you can shift down 4 gears

The I-Spec B shifter will have rotational play,because of the pin system, it’s not avoidable.

The screw came with a lot of  Blue thread-locker,so needed to try few times until I finally got it tight without loose shifter.

But the adjustment screws did not,so you have to buy thread locker for them, I used Loctite 243.

The rear Derailleur:

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11-26T M8000 Cassette  & RD m8000 with original link & trek ABP hanger

 

Pros:

  • A lot stiffer Clutch system, which is good.
  • Very smooth,fast shifting movement.
  • Esy to service, as long as you got magnetic bowl, and are careful with the round seal fo the spring assambly.

 

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Race Face Narrow wide:

The chain will not fall off no matter how hard I ride, if it falls off you must be crashing really hard.

There is some drag when pedalling but this is not noticeable when riding, the chain still wants to be on the ring for about a half of a second, but this is impossible to avoid with Narrow Wide.

If you want video proof that narrow wide works watch this video by Seth’s Bike Hacks

Me unboxing the 36T chainring

Down 50 degrees stairs test:

Steep stairs

set up used in test: 2010 trek 6300 1 x10 36-11T cassette Shimano SLX Shadow Plus, with 36T Race Face Narrow Wide chain ring.The chain dropped when it was in 24 Tooth cog, but when I tried in 21 cog it stayed on. Even on stairs that were not that steep probably 40 degrees,the chain fell off.

Pros of 1×11:

  • You get all the gears you need if you just select the right chairing for you.
  • a lot quieter drive train
  • dropping the chain is rare unless you ride in low gears down steep stairs.
  • No front chain rigns to deal with
  • easier to clean the drive train,less dirt & mud on the drive train
  • if you want to sue a chain guide, you can use a single ring chain guide which will be more secure,and look better
  • if you use a wide range cassette with a 9T cog you can get the a pretty high gear as you could with triple rings,but with 11-42 with 36T cassette I get a pretty good range,but once I get on the 1km flat straights I will run out of gears

Cons of 1×11: There are no real cons riding 1×11 it will have faster wearing cassette and chain of course,but that’s not a reason to not upgrade. the 37 and 42 cogs are the fastest wearing cogs, because of the bigger chain angle.

the cassette & chainring wore out at the end of the season like it did with 10×3, maybe few weeks sooner wear. I don’t have to shift as often and skip so many gear so often,so I get less side to side wear on the chain,by using 1×11,so the chain growth will be less.

If i changed the chain,a lot earlier, the cassette and ring would have lasted longer,but I had no spare chains,but I have a stock of chains now.

The Rear derailleur cage will have visible wear, with 1x  setup,because of the chain line the chain will hit the plates,but its not a big deal.

 

I absolutely recommend Both the Xt m8000 drivetrain and the Race Face Narrow Wide single chaining.

If you are not sure which gear ratio you need:http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com/

Flickr Album: Shimano DeoreXT M8000

Flickr Album: Race Face