If the world of BMX is foreign to you and your cyclocross-specific perspective, the names Promax and Box Components are probably foreign to you as well. BMX legend Toby Henderson and his team are trying to change that.
Since taking over the Promax brand two years ago and launching the Box Components brand in his kitchen, Henderson and his team have been designing a number of components that meet the needs of cyclocrossers and hint at a number of upcoming pieces that should put the company on the map in the world of cyclocross. Today we’re looking at the linear pull (mini V) brake options we saw at Winter Press Camp.
The mini V-brake options from the two brands offer some unique features compared to the Tektro and TRP options that dominate the market. The Box Components Eclipse linear pull brake comes with sealed bearing pivots and titanium bolts, a flexible, compressionless cable noodle, and a CNC aluminum pad holder. It’s 85mm long, 1mm longer but similar in length to the excellent CXM Editors’ Award-winning TRP 8.4 mini V-brake that also has titanium hardware.
Sealed bearing pivots makes sense in cyclocross, especially if you race in a muddy locale, and the flexible noodle should provide more flexibility, pun intended, for an efficient brake cable routing for any bike, regardless of frame size, brake lever choice or stem length.
A key attraction for some may be the color options, as the brake comes in red, black, gold, and blue, to provide a custom, trick look for your cyclocross bike. The high-end brake retails for $99.99 per wheel, and weighs 189g per brake with all the hardware, with a the sealed bearing and longer pad adding a bit to the weight.
It’s worth noting that the pads, designed primarily for BMX, may be too long for a cyclocross fork, and could swapped out for shorter brake shoes, especially if you run carbon rims, as Box Components does not make a carbon brake pad yet.
The Promax P-1 linear pull brakes are an affordable version of the Box Components’ Eclipse linear pull brake, and at $29.99 per wheel, may be the more affordable way to add some color and braking power to your bike and reduce fork chatter at the same time. These brakes are $70 less per wheel, and just 5g more than the Eclipse brake, and come in the same colors. Henderson says the Promax brake without pads is actually lighter than the Box Components’ Eclipse brake without pads, since it doesn’t have the sealed bearings of the Eclipse, but the Eclipse’s CNC aluminum pad holder saves some additional weight. If you’re going to replace the shoe and pads anyway for a shorter (or carbon-friendly) option, the Promax P-1 mini V-Brake is the lighter, more affordable option.
Both brakes offer a whopping 35mm of vertical pad adjustment, which the Henderson says is 30 percent more than other brakes. Perhaps this pad adjustment would allow you to run your dad’s 27″ wheels (bigger is better, right?), or if you’re really lucky, 650b wheels on some 700c bikes, if we did our math right (there’s a 19mm difference in radius from a 650b wheel to a 700c wheel, so if the pads are on the high side of the 35mm slot on a 700c wheel, you might be in luck, but don’t trust us, and YMMV).
If you’re after flat-bar brakes or have some V-brake compatible drop bar levers, the two brands also offer a longer 108mm version of either brake.
We’ve spent some time on the Promax P-1 brake, and have found it to be a powerful, reliable brake option to the Tektro options out there, and the four color options certainly provide a nice way to add some flash and style to your ride.
Stay tuned as we look at the brands’ new cockpit and drivetrain options.