Classified secures latest funding round

The future is bright for Classified!

"Today we are proud to announce that we have closed a funding round led by Active Partners, the investors behind well-known cycling brands Rapha and Evans Cycles. With this investment, we are fired up to further develop groundbreaking products and launch into the e-bike market. We are also thankful for Bridford Group for their continued support and investment!"

Classified: Congrats on a huge Belgian Waffle Ride win. Talk us through the race?

Rob Britton: This was an important race for me. A home race is always very important, as a pro you don’t get those very often. But also timing wise, with BWR, Unbound, and then Finland next weekend, it’s an important time in my season.

I worked hard in training and prepared myself mentally for BWR. I put a lot of effort into the course recon; I was confident in my ability, but I knew I didn’t want to leave it to the final climb. It’s an awkward climb and not one I like, so I went earlier. I attacked initially with around 120km to go, just to soften everyone up. And I actually got away, but then I followed the lead moto off course and lost some time, getting caught by the chasers. It was a bit annoying, but it did soften them up. My planned attack point was with 105km on Shawnigan Lake Rd, one of the longest climbs of the race. It’s a mix of road and fine gravel, and quite technical in terms of getting the pacing right. It pitches up to around 25% on several occasions, so having knowledge of the climb is essential to get it right. I was able to take a minute gap over the climb which I then stretched out to 10 minutes by the end.

You attacked with 110km to go, did you think you’d end up solo? Was that the plan?

It was always the plan to do it solo. I didn’t want to deal with other rider’s tactics, or people sitting on. I knew that if I had the legs to win, I could do it solo. My home advantage also helped; of the final 100km I knew around 75km of it very well.

How did you feel when you attacked? And how did you feel at the end?

It pretty much went to plan when I attacked in a best case scenario kind of way. I didn’t have to surge; I just sat at my threshold power and rode away. I thought they’d just let me go, like “there goes rob again”, but I found out after the race that they couldn’t follow me. I felt good, and I had tactical food stations set up, so the race was mine to lose. But when I went up the final climb I was grasping for more gels! By the end of the race, I was cramping so much I thought I was going to have to walk over the line. I worked out afterwards that I took on over 1000g of carbs for the 7 hours, which is just insane.

Did your competitors have anything to say at the end of the race?

When I attacked, I assumed one of two things would happen. Either they’d organise quickly and bring the gap down, or they would not work together. But it actually sounds like they did work well together, just not quite fast enough. I was doing at least 300 watts at almost all times, so I knew they would have to be doing a lot more than that to close the gap. And again, my home advantage came into play. The gates and obstacles on the course can be slow even for a small group, and the subtle gradient changes can be mentally draining. Being prepared for that was a real advantage.

How do you think Powershift Technology helped with your race?

For me it’s a massive advantage. I spent so many years on the road, I’m used to a 2x set up. I don’t love the huge jumps between gears that you get with a traditional 1x system. With Classified you have all the benefits of the 2x system and 1x system combined. And The gear change is so fast, you don’t have to worry about lost seconds trying to find the right gear.  Those seconds and watts all add up over a 7 hour race. I beat the hell out of the Classified system at BWR this weekend, and it was flawless for the full 218km. You’re never going to get a missed shift; it just doesn’t happen.

Did you celebrate the win?

I learnt a long time ago that not celebrating a good result is stupid. There is no guarantee that you will win again after this, so you have to celebrate. I celebrated in chilled BC fashion – with a craft beer and Pizza. I was up at 4am before the race, so I was in a heap on the couch, but I was still celebrating!

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.

"The first time I tested Classified, I immediately experienced a WOW moment. Everything was so smooth and quick, it really takes you by surprise. And it looks so beautiful and clean on the bike. It just gives me a better feeling as a rider.” - Marcel Kittel

Investors such as Olympic and World Champion riders, Tom Boonen, Anna Van der Breggen, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel are joined by Rapha Chairman Nick Evans' Active partners. Existing investor Bridford Group continues to support Classified by participating in the round.

The next steps will still rely on the same foundation as our current products. The ability to shift smoothly, under load and instantaneously, whilst improving efficiency is a great asset for any cyclist. We are convinced it is a feature that will benefit the shifting systems for e-mobility in the future. And we are not alone, our vision is supported by 40 bike brands that spec our products and provide us with this feedback.‍

The Powershift is available through more than 25 distributors and 300 dealers in key markets. More coming up in 2023!The new investment will be used to strengthen business development, with a strong focus on the US and Europe. Click here to reach our local distributors. The already existing investor Bridford Group continues to support Classified by participating in the round.