Powershift: Belgian company revolutionizes the bicycle drive
Classified Cycling has combined the gear hub with the sprocket cassette. That makes 22 gears with an efficiency of a sensational 99 percent.
Traditionally, better bikes with derailleur gears have two gears on board at the same time. At the rear, the chain is guided over a ring with 7 to 12 sprockets, at the front the so-called derailleur places the chain over two or even three chainrings – this is how the number of gears is multiplied. 2×10 makes 20 or with 3×9 then 27. However, the gear combinations overlap.
Other components are required with the derailleur, its cable, the switch on the handlebar and the chainrings. The big manufacturers have therefore started to remove the derailleur and only shift with the rear cassette. And accept a reduction in aisle coverage for this.
The craziest wheels in the world
Awarded at Eurobike
The Belgian company Classified Cycling shows a way out of the dilemma with the Powershift system. The system was presented as early as 2020. At Eurobike 2021 it received a Gold Award. Powershift combines the shift cassette with a two-speed hub gear. Both are located on the rear wheel and are controlled by the handlebars with a remote control via Bluetooth. Powershift consists of a 2-speed hub and an 11-pinion cassette. So the system has 22 gears.
Powershift is designed in this way: In standard mode, the hub in the rear wheel does not appear. The gears are then geared up for fast journeys. The hub is activated on inclines, it acts like a reduction and adds the “small gears” to the wheel. The driver does not notice the change. The efficiency of the hub is almost loss-free at a sensational 99 percent. The gearshifts take place within 150 milliseconds, and gearshifts can be made when the drive train is under full load. The electronically controlled thru axle is charged via USB, one charge should be sufficient for over 10,000 switching operations. The switch on the handlebars is powered by a button cell, it should last a year.
Higher price range
The solution is of course not cheap, but remains within the scope of comparable offers for ambitious racing bikes. The bike retailer Rose charges 5299 euros for the Backroad X Classified equipped with Powershift. Subsequent retrofitting of wheel sets in selected specialist shops costs around 2400 euros. This solution would also be attractive for mountain bikes with e-drive, the system should be able to handle 1000 watts. In this environment, Powershift would then stand out in terms of price. A conventional 1×12 groupset from Shimano costs around 499 euros for the end customer in the XT version, in the common SLX variant it is 299 euros.