Hailing from the same country that brought forth the greatest cyclist the world has ever known, Eddie Merckx, Belgium’s Classified Cycling has secured €22 million in a funding round led by Active Partners, one that also saw the participation of a number of highly respected Olympiads and World Champion cyclists including Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel.
With the investment, Classified plans to up the cadence on new product development, including the company’s first foray into e-bikes, expand the team, and establish new commercial and strategic partnerships globally, but with a particular emphasis on both European and US markets.
“As a professional rider, I was always in search of cutting-edge technology. When I met the Classified Team, I was so amazed by their innovative products that I decided to invest in the company, not only for their technology but also for their drive to shake up the industry, and this beyond race bikes.” - Tom Boonen, 6 stages of the Tour de France winner.
Capitalising on the rapid growth of the cycling industry in recent years, Classified is developing new drivetrain technologies that are in step with the advancements made by modern vélos and the demands today’s cyclists, both competitive and non, place upon them.
Drawing from their experience(s) from the automotive drivetrain industry, founders Mathias Plouvier and Roëll van Druten have developed a patented wireless shifting system that allows riders to change gears instantly while under full load (up to 1,000 watts), a process that is impossible with current products on the market.
The first application of Classified’s technology, the Powershift hub, is a transmission system integrated into the rear wheel that replaces the front derailleur. In addition to shifts that take place in milliseconds, cassettes can use larger chainrings, efficiency is increased through straighter chainlines, and by removing the front derailleur, aero drag is significantly reduced.
Currently only available on fully manual bikes, the investment will see Classified expanding into the ever-growing e-bike market, resulting in lighter, more durable and efficient transmissions for electric bikes.
With retail prices ranging from €1399 to €2599, Powershift technology isn’t for every rider, however, to draw upon the company’s automotive tech roots, just as with F1, Classified is producing top-shelf technology for cyclists that undoubtedly will trickle down to more everyday-rider levels and usher in a new way of mobility.