When Classified first launched its Powershift hub, the concept was revolutionary. The hub allowed road and gravel cyclists the ability to skip the front derailleur by integrating a wireless two-speed shifting system into the rear hub, in addition to the standard 11 or 12-speed rear cassette. Effectively, it doubled the gear ratio that the rear hub could run while doing away with a double chainring crankset. While this technology was exciting, it had one major blockage: It was only offered with Classified's three road and gravel wheels. Now, Classified has branched out and will work with DT Swiss, Mavic, Fast Forward, Enve, Reynolds, Boyd Cycling, and Spinergy to bring Powershift-ready wheels to market. Cyclists no longer must choose between wheel brand loyalties and simplified shifting.
This—ahem—shift comes as 1x setups have become the dominant drivetrain choice on gravel bikes and are increasingly finding their way onto road bikes. However, many riders have found that 1x drivetrains don’t meet their needs for every ride. For gravel riders that struggle with a lack of sufficient gear range—or those who want to use 1x-equipped bikes on the road and for faster-paced group rides—the Classified Powershift system opens up a lot of possibilities by packaging 2x gear range into the rear hub. Not only does the Powershift hub shift instantaneously and under power, but it also unobtrusively blends into the bike.
Bicycling Senior Gear Editor Matt Phillips has been testing the Powershift hub on an Otso Waheela C gravel bike, using it to place second in his age group at Grinduro Pennsylvania in June. Former road pro turned gravel racer Rob Britton used the hub while winning Belgian Waffle Ride's Wafer edition in San Diego, as well as a third-place finish in the Grinduro California earlier this summer.
With the Classified hub being offered on complete wheelsets by several prominent brands (and as a standalone rear hub option), expect to see more widespread use of the technology both with riders upgrading and as stock equipment on more complete bikes.
What really catches our eye though is the addition of a Classified mountain bike hub—and a new Classified MTB wheelset. This should interest many mountain bikers that prefer 1x’s simplicity but miss the wide gear range of now rarely seen 2x and 3x drivetrains. We look forward to trying it out on the trail when we can get one in our hands.
By opening up the interface, Classified embraces an important new chapter in its expansion, giving road and gravel cyclists a broad range of wheel options designed to work perfectly in combination with the deep tech of the Powershift hub.
“There was a big request coming from the industry and riders around the world to make Powershift more accessible. So we are beyond excited to announce that we have partnered with seven leading wheel brands to build bespoke Classified ready wheels. This broad adoption of Powershift underlines the market’s recognition that our innovative shifting system is well and truly accepted within the cycling ecosystem,” says Mathias Plouvier, CEO of Classified “The time to shift is now and we’re looking forward to seeing more and more cyclists integrating Powershift into their favourite wheel and taking their shifting performance to the new dimension.”
The Classified-ready partner wheels will include a selection of higher segment premium rims, with road, gravel, and MTB options. They will be competitively priced and in line with the current partner wheels, though no dates for release have been specified.
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