Classified hype intensifies with new partnership and €10m investment – are the front derailleur’s days numbered?

Latest fundraising said to value the company at €40 to €50 million 

Mechanic working on a Parcours rim in a workshop

British wheelset manufacturer Parcours has announced a long-term partnership with Classified.

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Parcours’ Alta gravel wheels and the Ronde, Chrono and Strade range will all be available with Classified’s Powershift hubs. These models make up Parcours’ Monuments range of wheels.

Classified’s Powershift is a 2-speed gear system housed in the rear hub.

It effectively replaces a front derailleur on a 1x drivetrain. The system can be actuated wirelessly via a modified Shimano 11-speed Di2 shifter, or with a separate remote mounted to the handlebar.

The technology is currently only found in road bikes and gravel bikes, but Classified has said openly that it’s developing a similar system for mountain and urban bikes.

Parcours has teased more announcements and partnership developments later in the year.

Growing support

Parcours wheel with Classified hub against a white background
Parcours joins a growing list of manufacturers partnering with Classified.

Parcours becomes the eighth wheel brand to partner with Classified.

In July 2022, DT Swiss, Mavic, Fast Forward, ENVE, Reynolds, Boyd and Spinergy all announced they would begin making Classified-equipped wheelsets.

Classified also offers its own G30 Powershift wheelset, which pairs the hub with a 30mm-deep, tubeless-ready hooked carbon rim for £2,299 / $2,999 / €2,599.

This week, it was announced Nick Evans, chairman of Rapha, would invest €10 million in Classified.

Whether or not Classified’s innovative hub-based system can spell the end of the front derailleur remains to be seen, but the increase in partnerships and investment suggests interest in the technology is growing.

Classified G30 Powershift wheelset.
Classified’s G30 Powershift is the brand’s own wheelset option.
Tom Marvin / Our Media

1x drivetrains are near ubiquitous on mountain bikes and are specced on many gravel bikes. They’re not as popular on road bikes because some riders prefer a wider range of gears with smaller jumps between them.

With the gear housed in Classified’s proprietary hub, the front derailleur can be removed. This offers a cleaner aesthetic and is one fewer location for mud to ingress in an off-road setting.

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It also opens up the possibility for new frame designs, given the front derailleur mount doesn’t need to be accounted for.