What is “CLASSIFIED” and Why Should You Care?

by | Apr 4, 2023 | First Look, Bike, Gear, Reviews & First Looks, Sports

Innovative Belgian company announces the next development of the groundbreaking Powershift hub with its entry into the mountain bike scene.

On Tuesday 4 April, Belgian drivetrain technology company ‘Classified’ announced the launch of a mountain bike-specific Powershift hub system.

Classified is a deep tech company with the mission to create drivetrain products that transform the riding experience and performance of all cyclists. Classified was founded in 2019 and the company’s investors include well-respected Olympic and World Champion riders Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel, Marcel Kittel, and Philippe Gilbert. Classified secured a multi-million euro investment round led by Active Partners at the end of 2022. Classified’s Poweshift technology has been raced at World Tour level through a 2023 partnership with Victor Campenaerts and Lotto DSTNY, now they have gone to the mountain and are coming to SA through distribution powerhouse, Omnico…

“It’s been a brand that we’ve had our eyes on for a long time now and we’re very happy to be able to bring it to market here in South Africa,” said National Marketing Manager at Omnico, Mark Nel. “What appeals to us is that the brand appeals to all types of cyclists — from road and gravel to mountain bikers.”

Classified Powershift
How it works

According to Nel the term ‘game changer’ gets bandied about often but in this instance it really rings true. “Because of the ability to shift under such a heavy load, the rate at which it does shift and the ratios it offers, means you will be faster, certainly up hills,” Nel said explaining how the new mountain bike product, the Powershift boost hub, together with Classified’s new 11-40t 12 speed cassette, has a gear range of 530%, the largest of any drivetrain system on the market.

Entry into the mountain bike space allows Classified to introduce yet another revolutionary piece of technology: the Ringshifter. A feather light wireless shifter that controls the 2 speed Powershift hub, offering sensational feedback and fitting seamlessly into the existing cockpit.

Known in the road and gravel world as the ‘front derailleur killer,’ Classified now reveals the secret ingredient to take existing 1×11 or 1×12 MTB drivetrain systems to the next level. Thanks to the 2 speed Powershift hub, Classified can offer a significantly higher gearing range with smaller steps in between each gear to maintain optimum cadence, whilst also offering the ability to Powershift; a 150 millisecond gear jump in either direction. As with the award-winning road and gravel hub, this instantaneous ‘Powershift’ can be done under full load of up to 1000 watts.

Updating the MTB Lexicon with a new verb:

to Power·shift [Powershifting] {Verb}:
(also: the new benchmark in shifting gears)

  1. To shift gears under full load within 150 milliseconds
  2. Maintain valuable momentum during climbs and transitions, or before an attack

Classified’s unique 2 speed gear hub allows riders to jump through 46% percent of the gear range, or the equivalent of 2 or 3 rear derailleur shifts, within 150 milliseconds. As such, ‘Powershifting’ is quickly becoming the go to term for maintaining momentum on the trails.
Tests undertaken with pro riders showed a far greater use of the powershift hub gear as opposed to the rear derailleur, leading to an overwhelming increase of momentum through transitions.

Classified Powershift

“The feedback of professional riders is very promising and brought us even better insights into the enormous potential the product offers. Extending our range further into off-road space with the mountain bike hub confirms Classified’s vision to be a technology that is compatible across all cycling disciplines. We are extremely excited about the possibilities the new product brings and its ability to enhance the existing MTB drivetrain market,” said Mathias Plouvier, CEO and co-founder of Classified Cycling.

Classified Powershift

CTO Roell van Druten added “we are very proud to bring Powershift technology to mountain biking. With an ultimate gear range of 530%, the Powershift Boost hub combines a high-grade, one-piece compact steel cassette (11-40t) with a larger chainring, improving the overall durability of the drivetrain.”

Van Druten goes further to explain the benefits of the new system: “Using the Classified hub with an 11-40t cassette and a 34t chainring results in the lowest drivetrain ratio of 0.58. To achieve this ratio with a traditional system the user would have to use a 30t chainring. Using a smaller chainring in a traditional system lowers the efficiency and durability of that system due to the higher chain forces. The more compact Classified cassette also allows the use of a shorter derailleur cage, increasing the robustness of the drivetrain alongside the efficiency.”

The Ringshifter:

The next generation of shifting, this sleek, fully wireless handlebar control provides unrivalled shifting performance with the lightest flick of your thumb. The Ringshifter can perform 10,000 shifts before needing to be easily recharged with the provided magnetic USB cable.
Featuring a unique magnetic spring back mechanism, the Ringshifter delivers unparalleled durability and a smooth, responsive feel. The functionalities of the Ringshifter can be customized to meet the individual needs of every rider.

Classified Powershift

Doubling the number of gears?

The MTB world has become used to a 1×11 or 12 gear drivetrain system but Classified passionately believe that more is needed for the optimum ride experience. The addition of the 2-speed hub, multiplying the cassette gears and gearing range, gives the rider 16 unique gears, after removing duplicate ratios, to always be able to access the right cadence, reduce gear grinding and remove huge gear steps. On top of that the additional gears are all accessible in the middle of the cassette which helps keep cross chaining to a minimum.
Classified’s 11 – 40t, 12 speed cassette is also compatible with the existing 142mm variant of the Powershift hub, ideal for extreme gravel riding or bikepacking, where an extensive gear range and compact steps in between each gear are required to ensure a comfortable cadence.


The Classified Powershift boost hub has a build-in width of 148mm and is mounted using the supplied 12mm thru-axle that wirelessly connects with the Ringshifter. The Powershift boost hub will be available to purchase in three ways through Classified’s worldwide network of dealers and distributors from May 23, 2023. The Powershift boost hub can be fitted to any mountainbike frame with a 148mm dropout spacing. According to Nel, stock should be on shelves by mid May. We can’t wait.

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