Ruth Astle riding Classified Powershift Technology triathlon

Meet the Classified Athlete - Ruth Astle

Recently announced as a Classified athlete and ambassador, we sat down with British pro triathlete Ruth Astle to discuss her racing career, what goals she has coming up this season and just how Classified's Powershift Technology makes her more efficient (and fast) during a race. 

Hi Ruth, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us between your busy training schedule. Let's jump right in...

Classified: How’s the calf injury. When do you hope to be racing again?
Ruth Astle: The calf injury is slowly progressing - I am hoping to have another MRI to check the healing of the tendon before starting a proper return to run programme and building back up slowly. I have been doing a lot of rehab work in the gym working on all my areas of weakness, and it has given me some time to focus on the swim and bike. I am hoping to be racing by August as part of my build up to Kona (Ironman World Championships). 
How and when did you get into Triathlon?

I did my first triathlon in 2013, through my work at Lloyds Banking Group where I was offered a charity slot at the London triathlon. I was training for the Berlin marathon at the time and was a bit bored of just running, so thought I would give it a go. I really enjoyed it so then signed up to my local triathlon club and quickly became pretty obsessed with the sport. My first focus was on racing for my country, when I heard you could represent your country as an 'Age Grouper' (amatuer level), and I qualified for the Chicago olympic distance in 2015. By this point I had already dabbled in the longer distances at Alpe D’Huez long course, and post Chicago I knew the longer distances would be better for me. I then made it my mission to get to Kona, which I managed in 2017 at my first Ironman. 
What first attracted you to working with Classified?

I was attracted to working with Classified because I thought the idea of it was really cool. Being able to always run a 1x chainring, but still have a range of gearing means you can always be aero but still be able to ride efficiently in terms of gearing. When I then tried it I was really impressed with how quickly it shifted and how much difference it made to being able to power over the top of hills with a quick shift back into the ‘big ring’. 
You set the fastest bike leg at the PTO open in Ibiza, how do you think Powershift Technology helped?

The Powershift Technology made a big difference in terms of the gearing I was able to run on a relatively hilly terrain (54 1x, 11 - 33), and be as efficient as possible across the whole ride. It feels really nice to ride, and gives greater option in terms of what gearing to run on various courses. It also allowed me to shift really quickly over the top of hills to keep the power down and keep the speed and momentum up. 
What is your favourite thing about the Classified product?

For me I love how quick it is to shift and the optionality it gives me in terms of gearing. 

Where can you see it really having a benefit this season?

I think for a course like Kona it will be amazing, because you can run a bigger chainring for the faster sections without sacrificing aero benefit or having a wider gearing range for the hills. 

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.

You went pro in 2019, what’s been the best moment so far?

It has been a mixed bag since turning pro in 2019, but highlights have to be winning my first Ironman in Mallorca in 2021, and coming 5th at the World Championship in St George.
And what about the worst moment?

Kona 2022 - I just felt rubbish all race and kept trying to pull myself out of the slump but couldn’t do it, so the whole day just felt like a massive slog.
What’s your favourite race on the calendar?

One of the best races I have done is Challenge Roth, which I did as an age grouper in 2019. The atmosphere was just brilliant and I haven’t raced in an overall atmosphere like that anywhere else. Kona (or wherever the World Championship is) will always be special just because it is a World Champs, so you know you are racing all the best competitors. 

What is your main goal this season?

My main goal is performing well at the Kona World Championship race. I have been working really hard on swim, bike and run this season, and I am really hoping to be able to perform in a fashion that reflects my training. 

Hilly or flat bike course?

I prefer a tougher bike course because the biking is my strength, and I feel like I can maximise that strength more when the bike course is tougher. However rolling hills are best for me as opposed to really steep ones! 

You’ve been taking part in a few gravel races recently, how has that been?

The gravel races have been really fun, mainly to do something different and experience different events, and also to see some great parts of both the UK, and other countries like Finland. Gravel riding is so liberating as you aren’t worrying about cars, and you are often in the middle of nowhere in some lovely scenery. Generally the feel around the gravel races is a bit different, and for me it is less pressure because I am not a gravel rider, so I can just enter and have some fun. 
How does the system help you for gravel?

For gravel I have found the main benefit is having that extra range of gears but without running a 2x system, which can often result in dropped chains when switching chainrings. I also find being able to shift under load is really helpful, as often I am not quite in the right gear so being able to make that quick change whilst I am on the climb is brilliant, and then being able to shift back to the bigger ratio straight away to keep the momentum is brilliant. 
Any other gravel races planned this year?

I haven’t planned the rest of the season yet, as I am waiting to see how the calf recovers. I would love to do some more gravel races if I can fit them in with my triathlon race schedule, but the focus now is Kona so I will prioritise that. 

Thanks for the chat Ruth, good luck with the recovery and the road to Kona. Fans can keep an eye on your progress by following you on Instagram (@ruthastle07) and also by following Classified's account (