Classified Cycling, the Dutch innovator in hub gears, has been rapidly expanding its network after introducing the Powershift. Mathias Plouvier, CEO of Classified, explains why he believes this is the innovation that has been lacking in cycling tech
This piece first appeared in the May edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
What is it that sets Classified apart from other hub gears out there on the market?
Classified Powershift hub is one of its kind, there is simply no comparison with other geared hubs on the market. It effectively replaces the functionality of the front derailleur. You keep the same gear range without any of the drawbacks of the 2x chainring system.
Being able to shift under full load with a wireless shifter is something that no other system can handle. On top of that, it’s lightning-fast, as you can shift in 150 milliseconds.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2022 and beyond?
That’s Classified. 2022 is just the start for us. Our first products to market using the Powershift technology are in road and gravel wheelsets.
Once you start seeing the potential innovation that has been lacking in the drivetrain market, then this is just dipping our toe in the water.
What is your current relationship with independent bike shops? How can your product benefit them?
We are working with independent bike dealers as partners. We want to ensure every Powershift user enjoys a flawless ride, which starts with a certified installation. We ask our dealers to fit in-store only.
They can upgrade existing bikes with our wheelsets and build up new bikes with our Powershift technology. Our products not only offer a new drivetrain hub integrated in a high-end carbon wheelset, but offer a completely new experience in shifting.
What is the current reach of Classified like in the UK?
Classified currently has 17 certified dealers in the UK and over 250 worldwide. Furthermore, we’re investing in growing our OEM partnership network in the UK. Reilly Cycleworks was the first UK OEM to come on board and an additional four have penned a deal and will be announced shortly.
What bike brands are you currently working with?
We currently have partnerships with 14 bike brands including Ridley, Rose and Storck. These partnerships are important for Classified in the sense that the more acceptance we get in the market from established bicycle brands the more established we become as a components brand in the cycling industry.
When an OEM specs Classified Powershift on their bikes we get validation in the aftermarket, and this is part of our growth strategy to make Classified as widely available, as fast as possible. These OEM partnerships are very valuable, as it is truly a two-way conversation to explore the possibilities outside of the norm.
How big is Classified in terms of staffing levels and facilities?
Classified has two facilities: one in Turnhout, Belgium (HQ) where production, logistics, marketing, sales and R&D are located, and one in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where part of the R&D is located.
The business has seen significant growth in the past year, to the point where we’ve outgrown our current head office in Turnhout so Classified is moving to a significantly bigger facility in Antwerp as of June 2022.
Classified has approximately 40 full-time employees and furthermore works with high-tech local partners.