Internal-hub shifting systems are nothing new on bicycles — my trusty Priority city bike has a twist shifter internally geared hub — but the new two-step Classified system with a Bluetooth shifter is relatively new. And a gravel race win on an internal-hub-shifting system? If that has happened before, I am unaware.
I love the wild west vibe that extends across gravel racing, from the myriad styles and formats of the events to the motley assembly of gear that can be found not just at the start line among the grouping of bikes but on a single bike.
To wit, when was the last time you spotted a CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel (OSPW) System on a bike with Schwalbe G-One Allround gravel tires? Or an Easton single ring with Shimano road pedals? Or a gravel bike with an internal hub shifting system? Well, Britton had all that plus more on his Felt road bike that he raced to the win at the Belgian Wafer Ride, and to second overall in the Belgian Waffle Ride Dubbel Header, the two-day competition combining the 137-mile Waffle and the 77-mile Wafer.
Check out the gallery below on his bike, and visit our Belgian Waffle Ride hub for full coverage of this weekend’s action.
Rob Britton raced for Rally Cycling from 2016 to 2021. His old Felt FR Race frameset provided the base chassis for his Belgian Waffle Ride race rig. Britton won the Tour of the Gila twice and the Tour of Utah in 2017.
After racing Saturday and suffering “biblical” cramps, Britton on Sunday attacked the front group until he was alone at the Belgian Waffle Ride.
The Classified Powershift hub effectively acts like a front derailleur, offering the equivalent of a 16-tooth jump in gears instantly.
The Classified system works with a Bluetooth button shifter, which Britton wrapped onto his bar with electrical tape.
The Bluetooth shifter communicates with the hub via the thru-axle lever, which has a rechargeable battery. Classified says a fully charged battery will last between three and six months. An LED indicates battery life.
Britton said he liked the Classified system because he could shift under power on rough gravel terrain.
The Classified Powershift system effectively turned Britton’s 50t single ring into a 50/34 double ring.
GRX Di2 wire? Yeah, don’t need that at the moment.
CeramicSpeed’s OSPW System reduces drivetrain friction by minimizing chain articulation. The GRX clutch minimizes chain slap by keeping the chain relatively taut.
The Dubbel Header: A 137-mile Waffle plus a 77-mile Wafer.
Now on Easton Overland, Britton races Easton parts, including this old roadie length EA90 stem.
CeramicSpeed bearings in the bottom bracket, as well.
Flat fixings? Double check.
Bluetooth internal-hub shifter? Triple check.