Dutch wheelset manufacturer FFWD has announced a new partnership with hub shifting specialist Classified to use the brand’s Powershift technology in its wheels.
The first wheelsets to feature the Classified hubs are the Drift gravel wheels and Ryota44 road-gravel crossover hoops.
Classified’s Powershift hubs, originally launched alongside the Ridley Kanzo Fast gravel bike, enable smaller steps between gears on 1x drivetrains, and the use of smaller-range cassettes when paired with 2x drivetrains without losing ultimate range.
The Classified hub-equipped Drift and Ryota44 wheels are set to be available from the end of July and cost €2,999 (UK and US prices to be confirmed).
The first tested wheel partner
With the announcement, FFWD becomes the first official partner of Classified, and claims to be the first brand to extensively test the Powershift hub on its wheels in the real world.
FFWD says the hubs are laced to the rims in a specific way to maintain the performance of each wheelset, which up until now have been equipped with a choice of either FFWD’s own hubs, or DT Swiss 240 EXPs.
FFWD claims the Classified hubs don’t detract from the speed and handling of the Drift or Ryota44 wheels, and could even improve rider efficiency thanks to their inherent features.
Why Classified Powershift?
We’ve seen the Classified Powershift hub system employed on the likes of Storck’s GRIX.2 and the Ridley Kanzo Fast gravel bikes (among others) in recent times.
The system is a wireless shifting setup that’s housed inside the hub, ostensibly replacing the front derailleur – although FFWD indicated to us at Eurobike 2022 that you could also pair it with a 2x system and use it to run closer cassette ratios instead.
Powershift is claimed to enable smooth, near-instant shifting under loads up to 1,000 watts. If it’s used in a 1x configuration, it can offer smaller steps between gears.
Classified also says it can improve aerodynamics thanks to the removal of the front derailleur, and reduce cross-chaining, too.
Shifts are actuated using a satellite shifter button, taking 150 milliseconds to shift from the instant of the button press, according to Classified. You can also link it to a Shimano Di2 system.
FFWD X Classified wheel availability and pricing
The Ryota44 is the road-gravel crossover wheel option.
FFWD says the Drift and Ryota44 wheels with Classified hubs will be available from the end of July 2022, with both priced at €2,999.
We’ll update this story with UK and US prices when they become available.