18 lbs? 17 lbs? 16 lbs? What is weight anyway? Weight doesn’t matter but it doesn’t hurt either. Especially when your golden locks and bronze tan lines float effortlessly across white gravel roads, coating the roadside flora in a light layer of sedimentary seasoning. Dust, baby. It’s good for you. Yes, Ronnie Romance knows how to build a bike from a fine assortment of vintage components, exotic, supple rubber, and a bit of suntan oil. Case in point, his Crust Bikes Lightning Bolt is lighter than a soft whisper.
We reviewed the Box Components MTB drivetrain a while back on the Desert Tan Stinner Tunnel Hardtail. It was a breath of fresh air, seeing a BMX company jump into the MTB componentry business. Well, Box has been busy since 2017 when we first reviewed their products. Just announced for 2020 is the new Prime 9 groupsets, offering a 11-50t gear range (X-Wide) in three price tiers with a 9 speed shifting mech. At the top of the line is Box One (in orange) Prime 9, the lightest of the offerings, made from carbon and with an MSRP of $627. Box Two (in red) Prime 9 is aluminum and costs a mere $270. From there, Box Three (in blue) Prime 9 is only $195. All three include a rear derailleur, cassette, shifter, and chain. The cassettes utilize the Shimano 9, 10, 11 freehub, so you don’t have to chase down a specialty driver.
This is huge news, for those looking to build up an affordable bikepacking, touring, townie, or MTB. Box’s shifting mechanism takes a little bit to get used to, but works. In our review period, I grew accustomed to it quickly, and at that price point, it’s worth it.
Box is currently accepting pre-orders now, with a December 2019 delivery, so head over to Box Components get on board.