The Power of Ridley and Classified: Belgian Innovation in the Cycling World
In 2020, Ridley introduced the Classified Powershift on our Kanzo Fast, the first true aero gravel bike that made us pioneers in the rapidly growing competitive gravel scene. The Classified system utilizes a Powershift hub, visible in the rear wheel. The battery for controlling this hub is integrated into the smart thru-axle, making the system fully electronic. You can also charge this battery via a USB connection.
Additionally, the wheels are laced on a so-called 'hubshell,' the casing of the Powershift hub. A control module is added to the system, mounted on the left side of the handlebar, wirelessly connecting to the smart thru-axle. Finally, there is the proprietary Classified cassette, allowing you to tackle all gradients with an 11-34 range.
Shifting in 150 milliseconds
How does this shifting revolution work exactly? The system operates with 'Instant Power Shift,' ensuring you shift within 150 milliseconds. The ratio between the virtual small and large chainrings in this system is 0.69, comparable to the difference between the outer and inner chainrings on a traditional crankset. The system provides the same functionality as with two chainrings, with the advantage that the chain cannot get stuck between the two gears, and you don't need to pause for a fraction of a second to shift. This is very convenient when facing a steep incline suddenly or when you need that extra power in a sprint to secure victory. In summary, with this single chainring system, you have the range that traditionally required two chainrings.
Classified started as a startup in Turnhout and later opened a branch at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The headquarters and production moved to Antwerp in 2022. Our Belgian factory in Beringen is strategically located at the intersection of these connections, allowing us to play a particularly active role in this collaboration. The fact that it is a wholly Belgian collaboration is a significant advantage. Belgium remains the cradle of cycling. It is an advantage that we can implement the shifting revolution with the biggest classics in our own backyard. It is only a matter of time before Classified plays a role in groundbreaking cycling performances at the highest level.
Champions like Tom Boonen, Marcel Kittel, Anna van der Breggen, André Greipel, and Philippe Gilbert have already expressed their confidence in this game-changing innovation. Meanwhile, the very first professional gravel team in the world also uses Classified with Ridley. Together, step by step, we are conquering the cycling world, as innovation has always been a core value of our brand.