Classified’s wireless electronic internal gear 2-speed Powershift rear hub makes the leap to 12 speeds with the addition of four new tightly-spaced SRAM-ready cassettes. Delivering all of the aero, straight chainline benefits of a 1x setup with the wide range and small gearing steps of a traditional road 2x drivetrain, the Classified Powershift system can now work with SRAM 12sp road & gravel drivetrains (and probably Campagnolo, too)!

Classified Powershift 2x hub is now 12-speed SRAM compatible

Classified Powershift 2x internal gear hub now SRAM 12-speed compatible

c. Classified

The innovative Classified Powershift system delivers incredibly fast wireless electronic shifts inside the rear hub, even under full power, to eliminate the front derailleur without compromising on gearing. But the trick of the planetary reduction gear inside the rear hub has always been that it was limited to proprietary Classified cassettes that fit around the oversized hub shell. Classified makes what seems to be premium, fast-shifting one-piece steel cassettes, but they’ve been limited to 11-speed compatibility with four cassettes available. (We’re testing a Rose GRX Di2 2×11 setup right now, keep an eye for a full review next month.)

Now four new 12-speed cassette options really open up the possibilities.

Tech details

Classified Carbon Wheelsets, gravel & all-road wheels with wireless 2x internal gear hub built-in, cassette

Note: 11sp cassette shown

The four new 12-speed Classified cassettes are built just like the original 11sp variety, precisely machined in Europe from a single block of steel, and all share the same proprietary driver interface for the Powershift rear hub. That means all existing Powershift rear wheels can be upgraded to 12-speed simply by replacing the cassette.

SRAM Red eTap AXS Max 36T medium cage rear derailleur, wider range gearing

Of course, it’s your own derailleur that shifts the chain across gears (while the 2x hub magic happens out of view inside the hub shell) so you’ll need a compatible 12-speed derailleur to make the switch. Classified only officially says that SRAM 12-speed shifting is compatible, but we’ve seen pretty good cross-compatibility between SRAM road & Campagnolo 12-speed cassettes, so you likely could go for an Italian drivetrain too, if you want.

Classified Powershift 2x internal gear hub now SRAM 12-speed compatible, sprint shifter

mechanical or electronic shift compatible

While the electronic Powershift hub is shifted wirelessly, there isn’t direct integration (yet?) with SRAM eTap AXS shifter like there is with Di2 (Shimano shifters can plug directly into the Classified controller). But Classified provides their own sprint-style shifter button with every Powershift wheelset they sell that can be installed under the bar tape. So that means, you don’t even need an electronic shift derailleur.

Pretty much any modern 12mm thru-axle, flat mount disc brake, 11 or 12-speed derailleur equipped bike could be set up with a Classified Powershift system using one of their cassettes.

Classified Powershift 12-speed – Pricing, options & availability

Classified Powershift 2x internal gear hub now SRAM 12-speed compatible, cassettes

11-28, 11-30, 11-32 & 11-34 gearing

The new 12-speed Classified cassettes will be available in 11-28, 11-30, 11-32 & 11-34 gear ratios. They are paired with a traditional big ring up front, while the hub provides a 69% reduction gear inside. Since the cassettes do not go down to a 10T cog, like premium SRAM 12sp drivetrains, you’ll want to stick with a more conventional big ring in most cases to get you ideal gear ratios. Think 50-53T chainrings for road riding, and 46-50T rings for gravel, as a starting point.

Classified Carbon Wheelsets, gravel & all-road wheels with wireless 2x internal gear hub built-in, 30mm gravel

30mm deep gravel wheels

Pre-order a new Classified 12-speed cassette now for 199€ (a bit more than the 175€ price if the 11-speed), and you can expect them to ship out starting in August. Of course, you’ll still need a Classified Powershift equipped wheelset which will set you back another 2400€ if you want to build up your own hidden 2×12 bike.

European demo roadtrip

Classified Roadtrip, Classified Powershift European Vacation road trip

Classified is also in the process of dramatically ramping up their European production (90% of their system is manufactured in BeNeLux) and expanding their dealer service network in Europe. A couple of teams are driving around Europe this summer visiting bike shops to introduce them to the Powershift system in hopes of expanding from the current 60 shop network to a couple hundred by the end of the year. Bike shops can register their interest here to schedule a stop from the roving Classified van.

Classified-Cycling.cc

13 comments

  1. Seraph on

    If they can offer full AXS integration in the future, this could be a game-changer for a lot of riders. Also if they start adding Eagle ratio cassettes so we can use them with the AXS mullet setups that would be cool for adventure/gravel bikes.

    Reply
    • hmstuna on

      Seems like that would completely negate the advantage of this system which is the small gaps between gears (like a 2x) I don’t think that much range is even close to necessary.

      Reply
      • Seraph on

        Since the main complaint about the 10-50 and 10-52 cassettes is the big jumps between gears, having the ability to use a virtual 2x setup would allow you to create smaller jumps. Seems like the entire point of the system right there.

        Reply
  2. FritzP on

    Keeping this on my radar but concerned about long term support. Worried that I’d get a Classified rear hub but that spare proprietary cassette availability in the future is entirely dependent on Classified remaining in business.

    Reply
    • K-Pop is dangerous to your health on

      That’s the big one isn’t it. Such a volatile industry landscape too that I don’t trust the startups either. A proprietary cassette is dealbreaker by itself. They could have opened up to a huge range by just sticking to existing freehub standards. Cassettes are disposable so they want that money too.

      Reply
      • Tyni Tyres on

        Might not be just a question of “wanting that money too”, but rather of needing the extra space for the mechanisms inside the freehub body.

        Reply
      • FritzP on

        Yeah, the mech is why the freehub body is a large conical dome.
        This internal 2 speed mech looks completely awesome tho! The videos of immediate shifting under power are impressive.
        And i also wonder about the shift quality of Classified cassettes.

        Reply
    • Seraph on

      Bring back the old SRAM internal hub with the FH body, put an 11-46 cassette on there, and a front derailleur. 3x11x3 gearing!

      Reply
  3. Tino on

    They really should start selling parts like the hub separately. I was highly interested in buying this system but the wheelset options were a dealbreaker for me.

    Reply
  4. Werner on

    I’ve been riding one of their 11-speed setups now for 4 months on a daily basis (commute of 35 km/day) + for weekend gravel trips. Have it set up on a Ti frame with a Force 1 mechanical set.

    My reason for getting one was that first, my previous bike was nicked and second, I wanted closer steps between the gears, coming from Sram Force 1 with a 10-42 cassette. Initial trepidation was that it’s new technology and though I trust the tech, if for some reason they’d fold, it would mean 2400 Euro down the hole + the cost of a new groupset.

    However, I took the jump and got one, together with their 11-34 cassette (11 speed). I did take the precaution of ordering 3 cassettes at once. The cockipt unit is housed in the handlebars, like a Di2 junction box. The miracle happens in the hub, via a wirelessly-acting through-axle.

    So far, it has performed flawlessly. I don’t detect additional resistance in the wheel though there’s bound to be something. Shifting is perfect, the quality of their cassette second to none. And obviously the spacing between gears is better.

    Are there no drawbacks at all? Well, I see a couple of things that might pose a problem:

    – (no issue but a feature that’s a plus or a negative depending on philosophy): the rear freewheel is whisper quiet, so nobody will hear you coming when freewheeling and you do need a bell;
    – the thru-axle is covered by a plastic cap (has to be transparent to the radio signal of course). I do believe that if you go down because, say, your rear wheel slips away during a left-hand turning error, there’s a pretty good chance that that axle cap and the components beneath it will be a goner. And I have no idea on pricing;
    – when starting a ride, it takes 2 or 3 pushes of the button before the system ‘wakes up’. However, once ‘awake’ it’s flawless, doesn’t err and shifting is instantaneous.

    Would I purchase again: yes, no doubt at all, I simply love the road-style spacing on what’s now a 1x gravel setup. That, incidentally, is also the area where I see a definite future for the system: gravel racing and high-end commute/gravel/non-competitive road riding.

    Reply

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