Ridley bike with Classified Powershift Technology at the top of a mountain in Rwanda

Unlocking Rwanda's Cycling Wonders with the Classified Powershift Hub

Discovering the African home of cycling, by Nol van Loon of Fatpigeon.cc


Embarking on a cycling adventure to Rwanda had long been a dream of mine. To make the most of this journey, I decided to bring my trusty Ridley Kanzo Fast bike equipped with the remarkable Classified Powershift Hub. This innovative technology allowed me to seamlessly swap between my road wheelset, the R50, and my gravel wheelset, the G30. With this versatile setup, I was ready to embrace the beauty of Rwanda's roads and off-road trails, all on a single bike.


The Magic of the Classified Powershift Hub:

Through some friends I’ve met at UCI road race Tour du Burkina Faso in 2019 and the Migration Gravel Races of 2021 and 2022, I was in touch with some Rwandan talent. Therefore I was able to arrange a stay at the home of the national team. As I arrived at this Africa Rising Center in Musanze, Rwanda, I couldn't wait to put the Classified Powershift Hub to the test. This cutting-edge hub technology promised quick and efficient wheel swaps, enabling me to effortlessly transition between road and gravel rides. The hub's intuitive design allowed me to focus on the stunning scenery and the camaraderie of the local cycling community, rather than being preoccupied with time-consuming wheel changes. Also, the wide range of gears was much needed to keep up with the team, sprinting on the road, but also while climbing steep off road climbs.  


Road Wheelset (R50):

Equipped with the sleek R50 wheelset, I set off on Rwanda's smooth and well-organised roads. The Classified Powershift Hub made the wheel swap a breeze, and I felt the transformation as my gravel bike effortlessly morphed into a nimble road machine. The R50 wheelset's lightweight and aerodynamic profile allowed me to soar through the picturesque landscapes with ease, taking in the breathtaking views that Rwanda had to offer.


Besides going all out on training rides with the national team, I also used the road wheels when I entered the national championships of Rwanda. On a warm and humid Saturday, I managed to sneak inside a cheeky top-10 spot at the Time Trial Championships. Obviously. As a Dutch national, I wasn't officially classified in the rankings, but riding the 30km rolling TT at 42km/h sure was a cool experience!


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.

“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." says Mathias Plouvier, CEO and co-founder of Classified Cycling.

CTO Roell van Druten adds “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.

Gravel Wheelset (G30):

As the tarmac gave way to gravel and dirt trails, I eagerly engaged the Classified Powershift Hub once again, this time transitioning to the rugged G30 wheelset. Rwanda's diverse terrain was a true test for any cyclist, but the durability and traction of the G30 wheelset ensured a smooth and controlled ride. From navigating the challenging climbs to descending thrilling off-road paths, the Classified Powershift Hub flawlessly adapted my bike for the adventure ahead.

The Joy of Versatility:

The ability to switch between road and gravel wheelsets brought a new dimension to my Rwanda cycling experience. With just a few simple manoeuvres, my bike was tailored to match the demands of each terrain. I marvelled at the efficiency and convenience of the Classified Powershift Hub, which saved me the trouble of bringing two separate bikes, allowing me to fully immerse myself in Rwanda's beauty without any compromise.

Stay tuned for more updates next week as I cross from Rwanda into Uganda for more road and off-road adventuring!

Thanks Nol - check out @fatpigeon.cc on Instagram for more updates and adventures from the team!