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Bentonville, Arkansas-based Allied has become the latest bike brand to offer the new PowerShift hub from Belgian start up Classified as a standard drivetrain option. The PowerShift hub replaces the need for a front derailleur.
The PowerShift hub is a two-speed internal hub that is wirelessly actuated from the handlebars. One gear provides the same gear ratio as whatever physical chainring the bike has, while the second “virtual” gear acts as a small chainring, providing 70 percent of the gear ratio of the actual front chainring. For instance, a 54-tooth chainring also becomes a virtual 37-tooth small ring. In total, it provides a 451 percent gear range.
The Classified system helps save the weight of a front derailleur and inner chainring, and gives the bike the aero benefits of a cleaner front end of the drivetrain. But more importantly, the system eliminates the problems that have always plagued front derailleurs, including dropped chains and the inability to shift under power. It is possible to shift the hub during a 1,000-watt effort. And the system shifts quickly — 150 milliseconds according to Classified. While that’s not quite literally in the blink of an eye, which is about 100 milliseconds, it’s still very fast.
“We’ve been really impressed with the performance and simplicity of the Powershift hub,” said Allied CEO Drew Medlock in a press release. “It eliminates the compromise when selecting a 1x or 2x system.” He went on to say that “the Classified system just performs better than a traditional 2x with front derailleur for our applications.”
For now, the offering is limited to a single model, the ABLE gravel bike built with a SRAM Force AXS drivetrain. At $9,475, the Classified version of this build represents a premium of over $1,500 compared to the same model without Classified, though with a slightly modified specification: Classified wheels built with the PowerShift hub instead of an Industry Nine UL250 CX 700 wheelset, and an 11-34T Classified-made 12-speed cassette instead of a 10-50T SRAM 12-speed cassette.
Classified is a Belgian start up that has a steadily growing presence in both the European and American markets. Nearly 20 brands now offer it as an OEM option, including the Belgian road brand Ridley. Notably, the retired Belgian spring classics star Tom Boonen is a shareholder of the brand and acts as an adviser and ambassador.
The Classified system is already being adopted by pro riders from gravel racing to the pro peloton. Rob Britton rode to sixth place at Unbound Gravel last weekend on the PowerShift hub, and eagle-eyed tech editors have even spotted it in the professional peloton under the Uno X team.
The Allied ABLE Classified Force AXS bike is available now.