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Classified 2x Goes Off-Road in Single 12sp Shimano/SRAM Cassette & Boost MTB Hubs

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Rupert Fowler
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Classified’s two-speed internally geared Powershift hub brings 2x drivetrains back to mountain bikes with one new 12-speed MTB hub that works for both Shimano & SRAM drivetrains, plus new Boost-spaced hubs and a tiny wireless thumb shifter. That’s right, with wireless electronic shifting and just one 11-40T Classified cassette, Powershift will bump up your MTB gearing range to 530% whether you are riding a Shimano 12sp or SRAM Eagle 1x drivetrain…

Classified Powershift 2x internal gear MTB hub for Shimano & SRAM

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Rupert Fowler, SRAM drivetrain
c. Mountain Bike Connection Agency, photo by Rupert Fowler

Much like we’ve seen on road and gravel, the wireless Powershift hub brings lightning-fast virtual front shifts back to modern 1x bikes with all the chainline and chain retention benefits of a single chainring setup, yet with the smaller gearing steps and wider overall gearing of a traditional 2x drivetrain. And you can shift under load while pedaling, to effectively drop or increase your gearing instantaneously like you would in 2 or 3 regular rear derailleur shifts. That’s especially helpful on the mountain bike when you will be coming out of a technical corner or hitting a steep technical climb, and can hit that instant gear shift…

What’s new?

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, exploded view
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

Inside, the Classified Powershift MTB hub is effectively unchanged. Sure, Classified assures that the internals, axle, bearings & seals have all been upgraded to handle the harder life of a mountain bike, but the functional bits are the same concept: a 1:0.68 ratio planetary reduction gear, a wireless electronic controller in the end of the Smart axle that doesn’t need to be recharged, and a wireless remote shifter that you can neatly integrate into your existing cockpit setup.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, 11-40T cassette
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

The most obvious new bit is Classified’s new proprietary one-piece machined steel 11-40T cassette that works with both Shimano 12sp and SRAM Eagle 12sp derailleurs and chains. Classified says it is a happy medium between the two drivetrains, and while it takes a little bit more finetuning for its initial setup, once tuned they say it shifts great with either drivetrain. Pairing the 11-40T cassette with the internal reduction gear allows mountain bikers to size up their chainring by about 10-15% while getting both easier AND harder gears thanks to the system’s broad 530% gearing range.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, 11-40T cassette
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

Important to note: the new 10-40T cassette is also compatible with the original 12x142mm Classified Powershift hub bringing bigger 12sp gravel gearing options to existing users, too.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Ringshifter

The other big new thing is the tiny Ringshifter remote… not so unlike the Zirbel twist shifter in practice – just spin the paddle with your thumb to shift. But the Classified Ringshifter remote is completely self-contained and wireless – and rechargeable with a proprietary USB dongle after 10k shifts – making it incredibly quick to install in between your grip and brakes.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, empty Powershift-ready hubshell
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

Also new but pretty obvious, the new MTB system is Boost spaced, which means it isn’t a direct swap with other Powershift internals. But you do get wider rear hub & 12x148mm axle spacing, wider bearing spacing, and compatibility with almost all modern mountain bikes.

Tech details

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, gear ratio comparison

Classified says Powershift MTB 12sp delivers 16 unique gears (after factoring out duplicate ratios) with a bit of a combination of derailleur & hub shifting. That’s with the ‘new’ gears effectively in the middle of the cassette block for better chainline, and larger cogs/chainrings overall (more teeth) for improved drivetrain rolling efficiency. They say those bigger cogs and the fact that the cassette is machined steel also mean longer drivetrain durability.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, tech drawings

Weights for the system are claimed at 485g for the Powershift Boost MTB internal gear hub, 72g for the Smart axle, 125g for the 28-hole straight-pull centerlock disc brake hub shell OR 165g for the 32h j-bend 6-bolt disc shell, 24g for the Bluetooth Ringshifter, and 248g for the 12-speed 11-40T cassette. The Shimano AND SRAM compatible cassette includes the following gear steps: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-25-29-34-40.

Interestingly weight-wise, Classified compares their complete Powershift setup with their own wheelset (including internally geared hub, cassette, shifter & all installation hardware) at 2151g as quite comparable to a Shimano XT (2053g) or SRAM GX (2035g) setup with a light DT Swiss XRC 1501 carbon wheelset and the stock cassettes with more limited gearing. (That does not include the Classified Smart axle relative to a standard thru-axle which likely adds around 50g extra.)

Classified Powershift MTB – Pricing, options & availability

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Rupert Fowler, detail
c. BCA, photo by Rupert Fowler

Like the road & gravel Classified Powershift, the new MTB version will be available in several different ways.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, wheelset
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

You can get a pre-built carbon XC wheelset from Classified for 2700€ with the complete Powershift MTB setup, or you can buy a Classified Powershift-ready wheelset from other wheelbuilders and then add on the 1450€ Powershift hub, cassette & shifter kit, or for 1550€ you can buy the complete kit including the Powershift-ready hubshell itself so your local wheelbuilder can lace it into a custom wheel ready to add in the Classified tech.

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, centerlock hub
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

So when can you actually get it?

Classified Powershift Boost MTB 2x internal gear mountain bike hub for Shimano or SRAM 12-speed, Bike Connection Agency photo by Mirror Media, Eagle chain
c. BCA, photo by Mirror Media

Officially, Classified Powershift MTB launches today at the start of April, but real component availability is expected in about six weeks’ time, starting from May 23rd, 2023.

Classified-cycling.cc

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25 Comments
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wonko55
wonko55
10 months ago

LOL, those prices are even better than SRAM’s “trasnmission”. I am so happy to have switched to a Zerode with a Pinion gearbox.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
10 months ago
Reply to  wonko55

To paraphrase “It’s so expensive that I bought an entirely new frame and drivetrain that costs *even* more, is at least 900g heavier, is less efficient in half the gears and has larger gearing jumps, and isn’t compatible with any standard drivetrain parts”. lol

Did I miss anything?

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
10 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

*many

Dammit.

wonko55
wonko55
10 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

It was not my intention to offend anybody, my apologies. From an engineering point of view, I appreciate the Classified system and SRAM’s new T-groups.
My point was that these drivetrains – in particular the consumables, i.e. cassettes and chains – have become so expensive that investing in an entirely new frame and a virtually maintenance-free and indestructible drivetrain with an exceptionally wide gear range has become a much more attractive option as long as the system’s strengths align with your intended use and priorities. 

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
10 months ago
Reply to  wonko55

I don’t think you offended anyone. I just found the irony of your post justifying your purchase quite funny.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
10 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

Especially the part in your response where you claim that a gearbox the manufacturer says can’t be shifted under power to be “indestructible”, lol

King County
King County
10 months ago
Reply to  wonko55

I have seen Zerode articles but didnt look too deeply, but your comment made me take a look. Interesting bikes. Their current models looks clean, less ‘busy’.

David
David
10 months ago
Reply to  King County

I’ve seen them in the flesh here in England and they are defintely a quality bit of kit.

Justin Walsh
Justin Walsh
10 months ago

Am I seeing correctly that the hub controller sticks out from the non-drive side axle?

Grillis
Grillis
10 months ago
Reply to  Justin Walsh

Yes, it’s feature *cough* not a flaw

Johann
Johann
10 months ago

Shimano 12s has 510% range, while SRAM has 520%. That’s adding quite a bit of complication to your bike for very little benefit I reckon. Unless your main point is getting tighter spacing between gears.
I understand some limitation to the range extension comes from the ability of the derailleur to compensate for the chain slack, so yes, the cassette can’t be bigger than the equivalents from SRAM/Shimano. But it would be amazing to get the internal gear hub + large range cassette. I guess we could move up to 600% or so?

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago
Reply to  Johann

Any lower than 30/52 and you might not actually move when you pedal

Joe
Joe
10 months ago

Make a sort-of-singlespeed narrow freehub body version yeah?

I want my SS gear plus an overdrive for the fast bits. You need to come down a bit on that $1500 hub RRP though so make it once you’ve paid off all those investors and the tooling via sales to the racer tech types. Thanks.

David
David
10 months ago
Reply to  Joe

That would actually be pretty sick…. Kind of like the Brompton 2 speed but internal!

Joe
Joe
10 months ago
Reply to  David

That’s it, Brompton plus current Brompton owners would be a good market for them I expect

gregclimbs
gregclimbs
10 months ago
Reply to  Joe

You mean like the 2spd kick back hub that carried me across the idaho hot springs mtb rout? https://www.sturmey-archer.com/en/products/detail/s2c-black or if you need disc brakes, the 3spd version: https://www.sturmey-archer.com/en/products/detail/s-rk3

Joe
Joe
10 months ago
Reply to  gregclimbs

Kind of yes though half the weight of the Sturmey and neater shifting has appeal. If SRAM brought back the Automatix with 32H for 135/142mm rear ends I’d go for that. Hit 120rpm cadence on the SS to shift into overdrive, no shifter needed, sorted.

Owen
Owen
10 months ago
Reply to  Joe

if there were a lighter weight 3sp option i think it would be great for so many uses, commuting, alternative to but still very similar to singlespeeding, minimal maintenance but 1.5kg for a gear hub!!

fitness
fitness
10 months ago

7 people who buy this must be very excited

David
David
10 months ago

Does it work with the new Sram stuff?

David
David
10 months ago

I sell bikes and I’m not excited. To be honest there was never any problems at all with Shimano 2x drivetrains (or even 3x for that matter). Sram of course was a different story because they were never able to make a decent front mech.

luddite
luddite
10 months ago

a 24 speed system with only 16 different gears seems like a bit of a fail. Maybe they need to tweak the internal gear ratio a bit

Exodux
10 months ago

This is definitely not for me on my mountain bike, I’m using a 32t chainring and a 10-52 cassette. I barely use the the 52t cog on most of my rides.
But for road and gravel, I really like this hub, although I have never tried it or in the market to buy one in the near future.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago
Reply to  Exodux

I see the appeal of tightening the rear cassette back up. There is also a certain appeal to hitting a button and instantly being in low or high range, opposed to shifting to opposite ends of the cassette when the trail changes suddenly.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

As an ex-Ford mechanic, “Powershift” makes me uncomfortable…

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