Box Components are generally of the opinion that less is more, certainly when it comes to gearing options. They are all about less fuss and more riding, offering the Box One 7 speed DH drivetrain and the Prime 9 wide range group. Now, they complete their 8 speed offering with the Box Four 8 speed narrow wide 104 BCD chainring.
Box Four 8 speed narrow-wide 104 BCD chainring
Box Components have rounded off their Box Four 8 speed group with a dedicated 104 BCD narrow wide chainring. It is the first chainring designed to optimize chain retention when using an 8 speed chain. The tooth profile and thicknesses are tailored to match the inside geometry of Box Components’ proprietary 8 speed chain.
Available in a 32 tooth option only, the Box Four 8-speed chainring weighs a claimed 124 grams. It is made up of forged and CNC machined steel and features an ED Black protective coating.
Why less is more
Box Components aren’t the only brand to see the benefits of fewer gears. MicroSHIFT are also of the opinion that less is more, releasing their Acolyte 8-speed group earlier this year. The obvious benefit is the drop in weight; 8 cogs are going to weigh a lot less than 11 or 12 cogs. That said, the 11-42T cassette doesn’t offer the 10-50T wide range many of us have become accustomed to.
What then, aside from weight benefits, might tempt us to invest in an 8 speed drivetrain? First up, the teeth on each cog are wider. That should mean increased drivetrain longevity, especially when you consider that with fewer gearing options, the rider won’t be shifting as often. This should also increased the derailleur and shifter lifetime.
Then there’s the chain line advantages. The rear derailleur goes through a smaller range of travel, so the chain line should be better for any given gear of the possible 8.
Pricing & Availability
Pair the Box Four 8-speed narrow wide chainring with the Box Four 2 piece pull shifter, a Box 8 speed 11-42T cassette, clutch derailleur and a proprietary 8 speed chain. Priced at $19.99, the complete group comes in at $179.98 – a good budget option for those wanting to upgrade to 1x.