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HILITE Bikes has brought to market a unique shift adapter called the “Hibox” that permits the use of Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo shifters with the Pinion C-Line gearboxes (6, 9, 12-speed).
If you are riding (or considering) a Pinion gearbox bike, your only shifter options for drop bar bikes have been the grip shifters provided by Pinion.
However, the ergonomics and performance of this shifter location are highly compromised. You need to move your right hand away from the brake hoods to complete all shifts, and you need a special handlebar to fit them.
In addition, the shifter can be slippery when wet and can be hard to twist if you have a bit of sweat, mud, or sun cream on your hand. The gearbox cables are also not hidden neatly under the bar tape as many would like.
The recent release of the new 2024 Pinion gearboxes (Smart Shift) ultimately allows for the best drop bar gearbox shifting possible. But this is not the perfect solution for everyone – there is a higher price, you have to keep the electronic shifter battery charged, and you cannot retrofit these electronic shifters to older Pinion gearboxes.
The New HILITE Hibox Shift Adapter
HILITE has found a mechanical solution that allows you to fit your favourite drop bar shifters to any Pinion C-Line gearbox bike.
By installing a new “shift adapter”, you change how the cables pull at the gearbox, matching the pull ratio of many standard drop bar shifters (with a minor internal modification). This allows existing Pinion C-Line gearbox users the option to upgrade their shifters, and I’m sure the product will be popular with bike builders too.
The shift adapter allows you to use Shimano GRX/105 shifters, SRAM Rival/Force/Red shifters, and various Campagnolo shifters too. The shifters can be paired with hydraulic brakes or mechanical brakes, depending on the model you choose.
In the future, you will also be able to pair SRAM and Shimano trigger shifters for mountain bikes too. But we’ll have to wait a bit longer for that upgrade kit.
How Well Does The Hibox Shift Adapter Work?
The Hibox shift adapter allows you to assign your right shifter for changing to higher gears, and your left shifter for changing to lower gears (or vice versa). This is typically how people set up the shifting of SRAM electronic groupsets.
The Hibox is not the fastest way to move through your gears – each press of the shift paddle is just one gear shift at the gearbox. If you would like something more responsive, you will want to look into the 2024 Pinion gearboxes with Smart Shift.
See a video of the Hibox shifters in action HERE.
The Shimano GRX brake hood ergonomics are some of the best around (in my opinion). The hood shape does a great job of distributing pressure over more of your hand, ensuring all-day comfort. The raised ribs on the hoods provide better grip in the rain when your gloves are wet and covered in grit. One-finger braking works out to be more effortless on the GRX shifters too.
How Much Does The Hibox Shift Adapter Cost?
The shift adapter is expensive due to the high-precision components and low production volumes. It comes in either a black or silver anodised finish and will start shipping in late October 2023.
Hibox Shift Adapter only – US $333 / 300CHF / €315
Shimano GRX RX600 + hydro brakes – US $1222 / 1100CHF / €1158
Shimano GRX RX800 + hydro brakes – US $1333 / 1200CHF / €1263
Shimano 105 + hydro brakes – $1244 / 1120CHF / €1179
SRAM Rival + mechanical brakes – US $733 / 660CHF / €695
SRAM Rival + hydro brakes – US $1144 / 1030CHF / €1084
SRAM Force + mechanical brakes – US $866 / 780CHF / €821
SRAM Force + hydro brakes – US $1255 / 1130CHF / €1190
SRAM Red + hydro brakes – US $1555 / 1400CHF / €1474
Complete HILITE Gravel Bikes
Alternatively, you can treat yourself to a complete HILITE gravel bike!
A complete titanium build with a 12-speed Pinion gearbox, Gates Carbon Drive, and Shimano GRX shifters starts at 8000CHF (US $8882).
As pictured, the bike tips the scales at 11.5kg/25lb. However, HILITE has some tricks up its sleeve to get their Pinion gravel bike under 10kg/22lb if you were to throw more money their way.
Get your hands on the Pinion Hibox shift adapter HERE.