Classified's Wireless Internally-Geared Hub Increases 1x Drivetrain Range by 45%, Doubles the Number of Gears

Aug 17, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  


With narrow tires, no suspension, and road-inspired geo, gravel bikes aren't the first place we'd look for off-road innovation. That could be changing, though, as Cycling Tips spotted this Classified hub that expands the range of a 1x groupset. Some gravel bikes are now offered with 1x groupsets as it simplifies the frame design and increases tire clearance, but it often comes at the compromise of a smaller overall range.

This Classified hub hopes to remedy that by giving riders more range with the same cassette, effectively acting like a two-chainring setup but with the same minimalism as a 1x set up. Internally geared hubs are nothing new, of course, but most of them are bulky, heavy and normally work with a single cog on the rear. But the Classified hub is much sleeker, and it works with their own proprietary cassette but doubles the selection using by two internal planetary gears. It's a bit like having a 2x set up, but with the front derailleur and the extra chainring in your hub, not at your bottom bracket.


The flange houses the gears.


Inside, the two planetary gears offer 1:1 and 1:0.7 ratios, giving you a lower (easier) range than what your traditional setup might suggest. For example, if you have an 11-34T cassette on your gravel bike, you would expect to have a 309% gearing range, but the Classified hub will increase this to 451%. The shifting is wirelessly controlled and the hub can apparently get it done in 150 milliseconds. It's also claimed to work under loads of up to 1,000 watts. Hhmm, maybe no big sprints then...

At this point in time, Classified hubs require a proprietary cassette and there are currently four on offer, from 11-27T to 11-34T, which, when combined with the hub, offer 358% to 451% ranges.
Classified's chart showing the available gear ranges

The electronics are all housed in the thru-axle, including the removable battery. The system works with induction coils so there are no wires to contend with at the hub, and Classified claims the battery will last 10,000 shifts, or roughly three months of riding, between charges. Weights haven't been published yet but are said to be comparable to a 2x set up; of course, this weight is unsprung being in the wheels and not in the frame where the added 2x gubbins would normally be. We're also always suspicious of drag in any gearbox system, but Classified claim that there's no extra drag in the 1:1 ratio while the 1:0.7 ratio is said to be '99% efficient'.


All the electronics (apart from the shifter) are housed in the 142x12 thru-axle.


If all of this sounds like something that interests you, you'll have to wait a little while yet, unfortunately. The system is currently only offered on the top-spec Ridley Kanzo Fast, with seemingly no aftermarket options available at the moment or coming any time soon.

It also only seems to be compatible with Shimano Di2 road levers at the moment, which won't be much use to mountain bikers unless they're brave enough to try to modify their Di2 off-road shifters.


The system is modular and designed to be transferrable between bikes.

The system uses Classified's own cassettes that are compatible with existing Shimano 11-speed road drivetrains, so there's no chance of upgrading your current set up yet.


That's not to say we can't see it being developed for mountain biking applications in the future, though. The advantages are obvious; instead of increasing range beyond the 520% we already enjoy, we could see this being used to get that same range without dinner plate cogs. Instead of a 50+ rear cog, you could get the same range with a 40T rear cog and have twice as many ratios to choose from as well.

There are, of course, plenty of questions over strength, weight, reliability, efficiency, and cost still remaining but Classified's hub could be a way to get all the range of 2x without sacrificing the benefits of 1x.


218 Comments

  • 222 4
 This could provide better range and smaller gaps between gears while also allowing a smaller, lighter cassette and a shorter, more compact derailer. It might not pan out but I'm excited to see R&D like this. Keep us posted!
  • 111 58
 Or we could go back to 2X, and avoid wirelessly operated planetary gears, which will clearly have zero issues :/

Or just run our 1X, which really seems quite fine.
  • 39 8
 Yes nice. Maybe instead of stuffing it into the rear hub, they could attach it to one of the crankarms?
  • 46 9
 Almost like having a second chainring!
  • 107 12
 @hllclmbr: Do you realize that is the type of judgement that was made toward phones with a touch screen? We have phones, we have tablets, who would want both? ....only pretty much the entire world it turns out. Innovation is never properly perceived by the majority until its value has been proven by early adopters. I personally feel that variations and refinements on this concept could be the future and really shape the market in years to come.
  • 18 5
 I definitely don't want smaller gaps....I just want some fancy new derailuer tech that gives me that big range in 11sp but shifts buttery, buttery smooth underload.
  • 5 13
flag om1wan (Aug 17, 2020 at 14:42) (Below Threshold)
 @hllclmbr: This reminds me when tire bacon and rims inserts make Us come back at starting point when We use tubes
  • 17 32
flag hllclmbr (Aug 17, 2020 at 14:43) (Below Threshold)
 @takeiteasyridehard: Well, device addiction is a real problem leading to mental and physical problems, so...

That said, every "advance" isn't necessarily a good one, and I'd put this in that category. Plus, there's now way that a planetary hub is 99% efficient, that's more efficient than a roller chain, which is one of the most efficient ways to transfer mechanical force.

Also, when I attack a steep technical climb, I put out more than 1000 Watts. I'd shred that hub.
  • 42 0
 @IntoTheEverflow:
Like a hammerschmidt ?
  • 7 14
flag pedrosalas7 (Aug 17, 2020 at 15:26) (Below Threshold)
 @hllclmbr: Just because some people are addicted to it doesn't mean it's a bad thing, hell, some people are addicted to sex but you'll never hear me say we should have less of it. (not a good analogy i'm just messing with you, it is a real issue specially in younger generations)

the roller chain/cassette/derailleur system is the most efficient way to transfer power on a bike. gearboxes are heavy, mechanically inefficient, can't shift under load and more complicated to maintain. While they are cool in theory, they just don't make sense on bikes now.
  • 5 0
 @pedrosalas7:

We’re really talking about mtb drivetrains here, but this being internet, it’s fun to argue.

That said, do you run a 1x setup? If so, what issues do you have with it that a Bluetooth planetary hub would solve?
  • 10 0
 @hllclmbr: Regarding your 1000w limit - I think they are saying the shifting mechanism works while loaded up to 1000w so unless you shift it during your full output you might be OK.
  • 8 0
 @Svinyard: It's called the new XT or XTR groupsets. Chain is always engaged, so you never miss a shift, even under load. I used to break a chain or two per year during races (shifting like an a$$hole), haven't since XTR came out. And the XT group is 1/2 pound heavier and 1/2 the price!
  • 2 0
 EXACTLY!!!!!@emptybox:
  • 1 0
 @pedrosalas7: Some people?
  • 4 10
flag ntmjeep (Aug 17, 2020 at 18:54) (Below Threshold)
 @hllclmbr: I happen to run 2x, and stopped coveting the neighbor's 1x when he tacoed his first gear, on two cassettes, in ad many rides. 1x may not be perfect
  • 2 3
 @Crodad77: Yeah that is the Gucci stuff right there and it's good tech. The problem is I hate all of the click-click-clicking with 12sp when I just dont need all those steps. I want that high end, light weight XTR with that same function and shift-under-load capability...in an 11 speed, that shifts as buttery smooth. Sure I can cobble together some other stuff to get 11sp widerange... but it's not sweet like that XT/XTR.
  • 4 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: that's been done, remember the Hammerschmidt
  • 9 0
 @hllclmbr: no you wouldn't, Hercules. lol. the statement was that it can handle shifting under 1000w load. not that it can only handle 1000w.

learn to read
  • 5 0
 Hammerschmidt was legit. Loved mine
  • 4 0
 @Svinyard: you mean like the shift under load tech Shimano crams into every single one of their 12 speed drivetrains, including the dirt cheap Deore stuff?
  • 6 2
 @somebikeguy: Yes, exactly that...in a highend 10 or 11sp with wide range. (why am I having to explain this?)
  • 7 1
 @hllclmbr: I agree, but you missed my point. Most of us can and do put out over 1000 watts. Addiction to dopamine provided by many digital objects is definitely the main problem with society. But, this CONCEPT has many merits, and I feel in time it will be able to handle 2000 watts, which I doubt you put down, and will basically provide all of the benefits of a 2x that many of us feel are currently missing. It also will maintain the benefits of the 1x. It is a great solution, it just needs more time and development. That is as far as I will go trying to explain it to you, because I can tell your own biases distort and control your thinking...much like the rest of our digitally addicted world. If you're curious about how to overcome or at least identify your own biases, research the backfire effect, echo chambers, collusion, and self-deception....those areas of study would greatly benefit you.
  • 2 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: and can you tell your own biases distort and control your thinking...much like the rest of our digitally addicted world?
  • 4 0
 @mtbcrosscountry-com: Yep. They do. Believe me, I am not that pretentious. I just like trying to share knowledge. I am inquisitive and enjoy learning and drawing out others' perspectives. My own biases influence much more than I wish they did - and there is no way for me to acknowledge or identify all of them. Implicit biases are a bitch.
However, I do attempt to understand them and limit their influence, it is a constant battle. I fall into the collusion trap far more often than I like. But through constant reflection and metacognition I will slowly get better. You can only connect the dots looking backwards.
  • 6 0
 MORE...... GEARS......... NEEED MORE GEEAARRRSSS..... I NEED MORE FUGGING GEARS!!!!!!
  • 3 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: What a novel idea! Then one could hammershit.
  • 2 2
 @takeiteasyridehard: You still wearing your Google glasses?
  • 2 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: They could call it the Schmidderhammer or something.
  • 4 0
 @pedrosalas7: Chain/cassette/derailleur would last a lot longer if covered to keep it clean, funny but true?
  • 1 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: It's been done before with Truvativ HammerSchmidt cranks.
  • 9 2
 @IntoTheEverflow: You can't just log into Pinkbike unprepared Wink .

Actually, Sachs (currently under the SRAM banner) already had a rear hub with a 3sp internal gearing and a HG body for a 9sp cassette (or 12sp NX if you prefer to go bonkers). Must have been twenty years old now, well before Hammerschmidt (yet well after MC Hammer). I recall I already considered that must have been an amazing thing to take out in the dirt though I realize that the typical 3sp internal geared hub isn't quite up to proper mountainbike riding. But obviously that is just a matter of sealing and strength. And the "high end" scene might prefer to see some weight savings too.

Either way, I wouldn't quite call this Classified hub an "innovation". It is more an evolution of what was there already. There was already a 3sp hub with a cassette body. Now they made a 2sp one, probably improved sealing and, as this is for gravel, they may not even have made it stronger.

I do realize there must be someone, somewhere in a shed putting together a bike with an 18sp Pinion gearbox, 3sp crank spider, 14sp Rohloff hub and somehow attach that to a cassette body for a 12sp cassette. Ready for Kamikaze downhill, ready for Kamikaze uphill too.
  • 1 0
 @Mike-on-a-bike: I guess that's the main disadvantage.
  • 1 0
 It's an excelent idea if we cannhave this in mtb flavour.
That said, having FS frames:
Wouldn't it be greater if the system would be placed in the BB?
Better to have more sprung weight, then unsprung weight
  • 2 0
 @pedrosalas7: I guess it depends on whether you see the inherent issues with derailleur systems being more important than the advantages.

Whilst they may be lighter and more efficient (mainly when in optimum chain-line only), they are more exposed to potential damage, sensitive to set-up, require more maintenance and have the majority of the weight in a less suitable place than an internal (non-hub) gearbox.

There are situations where an internal gearbox makes a lot of sense.

(I wish Pinion would move away from the rotary shifter idea tho.)
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: I don't agree. You would still need to be shifting to the different ratio's? Unless the entire drivetrain is electronic and the switch happens automaticly.
  • 2 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: in what world did tablets come before touch screen phones?
  • 3 1
 @peschman: When did touch screen phones show up? I've had a tablet pc that ran Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing 1.0. It was basically Microsoft Windows 3.1 tailored for use with a pen on a screen. The screen was a monochrome LCD screen. Not sure if there have also been color screen versions of those around. The software was able to convert handwriting to typed text, there were gestures for redo, undo, enter etc. Biggest issue was the memory effect of the NiCd batteries. Luckily the pen itself didn't require a battery so was basically the same size and weight as a regular ballpoint pen.

Then of course you still have drawing tablets without a screen. Wacom may be the most common household name there, but I suppose (deriving from your comparison to phones) that you implied a stand alone device with own computing power, screen etc. Either way, back when I got that Microsoft tablet pc button and dial phones were still common. Not sure if there were already phones with a touch screen available back then.
  • 3 0
 To those saying, "Why don't we go back to 2 chain rings up front?". My understanding is the system is designed to avoid the dreaded situation of your chairing getting stuck between rings. I think it's great to see some R&D outside of the big 2 anyhow. Not sure why SRAM gave up on Hammerschmidt. Had great potential with version one just being on the hefty side.
  • 2 0
 @vp27: It may be a marketing decision. The SRAM marketing lately has a huge focus on getting a big 12sp cassette. The alternative product may blur that. Shimano has always been more about giving people alternatives (even offering 2x12 drivetrains now) and as such won't be screaming as loud that this (1x12) is what we all need no matter what.

The other thing is that Hammerschmidt had integrated chain retention and chainring protection. With the advent of narrow-wide chainrings fewer people seem to feel the need for chain retention. And I also notice fewer people tend to even run chainring protection. So with fewer people needing/wanting that, Hammerschmidt lost some of its selling points.

I suppose SRAM probably still holds the patent so if they don't feel the urge to revive it, we won't see it. But I expect it to be dated within five years or so so I wouldn't be surprised if there'd be other companies releasing their own version five years from now.

Only other company you may want to look at is Schlumpf. I know them from their geared Kris Holm unicycle hub (which Kris Holm himself successfully used to race the BCBR) but they also offer models for bicycles. Their unicycle hub isn't cheap though so I guess the same could be said about their other offerings.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: 10-speed would be fine with this fancy hub, I've never felt I needed smaller gaps on my 2x10. More durable & easy to tune, and cheap, we could all re-use our old mechs! Or we just wait for 13-speed.
  • 1 0
 Back in 1994 or so at the Wold Championships in Vail, I think Microshift or Suntour, or was it Suntour’s Microshift at that point, had the cable version of this system in the expo area. Internally geared rear hub with a cassette on it. Made some waves and I remember people getting excited about, but it never took off. Planetary gearing is just so hard to do well and efficiently.
  • 1 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: Like the hammerschmidt already was.
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: seriously? The click click click of 12 speed is too much but 11 speed is just right? Princess and the Pea...
  • 1 0
 @emptybox: Run this one with the hammerschmidt.
  • 1 0
 @scott-townes: add this wheel to a 3x drivetrain and you’d have more gears than you’d ever want. Somewhere along the lines of 60 gears.
  • 2 0
 @whambat: Sachs did it once.

Just "googlit"

sachs 3x7 Dual Drive hub
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: SRAM did it again after they acquired them. SRAM dual drive, 3spd IGH, 9spd cassette with a single chainring. I think it was pretty much exclusively used on recumbents and folding bikes.
  • 2 0
 @takeiteasyridehard:

No, the value is what the majority perceive as useful. If the early adopters love it, but no one buys it because the general public thinks it is useless, it’s going to die.
  • 2 0
 @nickfranko: There is a theory called the law of diffusion of innovation. 10% market penetration is early adoption. They only need to convince an additional 5-8% to lead to widespread acceptance and success. If the idea is founded and marketed based on a belief and not data, it will likely be a success. That's how apple operates...

You may be right. But I also think you could be very wrong. It depends on how the concept is presented, and whether the companies developing it market with emotion instead of benefits. If you can influence the public to act on a gut feeling - ie our most primitive and powerful thinking, you will bypass the negative and pragmatic side which actually has less effect on actions we choose to make.
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: I’m with you on this. Lots of cogs is marketed as better. I don’t agree either. An 10t to 48t 11 speed (micro spline) would be better IMO than a 12 speed 10t to 51t.
  • 2 0
 @nrpuk: I hope it materializes someday. The initial plan was that the XTR group would have that. So with a slightly narrower cassette body and a wider flange spacing. But they initially had issues with this new XTR group (and the hub in particular) so they slimmed down the range and dropped the 11sp option. Which was a bummer as I think it was the coolest option. The new Deore 11sp doesn't fit microspline and doesn't have a 10sp sprocket.
  • 2 0
 @nrpuk: nah I would want a 9-44 microspline, 10 speed.

But all major frame manufacturers design their antisquat and chaingrowth around 30-32t chainrings and 50t cassettes.
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Not sure if you guys aware, but the flange spacing and freehub body width hasn't changed since 10spd on the MTB side (other than hubs getting wider because of boost).
  • 2 0
 @HollyBoni: I quote:

"
11-speed? In an unexpected turn of events, Shimano developed an 11-speed cassette that shares the same gearing as its 10 by 51, but with the 51 removed. The reasoning was that, when asked, Shimano's sponsored racers (both from enduro and cross country), maintained that they didn't need the 51, and were unwilling to carry the burden of the extra cog. Riders who commit to XTR 11-speed can choose a special hub that spaces
the hub flange 4.7 millimeters to the right to help even out the spoke tension, but there's no going back to 12 speed, because the 12th cog will touch the spokes. 11-speed cassettes are backward compatible with 12-speed hubs. Adding up the weight benefits of one less aluminum cog, a couple of missing chain links, and by taking advantage of XTR's mid-length rear derailleur cage option, finicky pros can save 80 grams.
"

www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-shimanos-new-xtr-m9100-is-more-than-just-12-speed.html

So the 11sp hub would have had the right flange moved 4.7mm to the right. As I mentioned earlier, they eventually scrapped this option because there were production issues. But it would be cool if they'd release it at some point.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yeah I know about it, just saying that on all the other "regular hubs" the cassette body hasn't gotten wider since 10spd, that only happened in the road world.

Dunno about you guys, but personally I haven't had issues with wheels in a long while that was related to stuff like flange spacing.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Yep, that would be cool too.
  • 1 0
 @emptybox: such a good idea... too bad it was plagued with durability issues! My biggest complaint with 1x drivetrains is always on the harder side... I feel like you can't get that really tall gear for smooth trails to just cruise and pedal reasonably slowly at 45km/h
  • 88 5
 So when do we get the electronic vibrating saddle? I thought SRAM would address this with AXS but my balls are still waiting
  • 3 1
 :-D :-D made my day
  • 9 0
 the ladies would get to it before you!
  • 5 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy Going into orgasmic lockup while riding off-road may have some very poor unintended consequences. Better save it for the stationary trainer.
  • 1 0
 Hitachi is doing some RND in that area already
  • 1 0
 theyre taking their time to do it right... with a vibrating DROPPER POST! (or would it be considered an extender post at that point?) anyway, the point is that you can use any saddle to achieve the same level of "stoke"
  • 18 0
 @WasatchEnduro: In my experience, the ladies rarely "get to it" before I do.
  • 1 0
 I feel like it would be developed for road bikes first. And as if the sight of people in lycra wasn't offensive enough, nobody wants to be confronted by a semi in badly fitting bib shorts. That's your day over once you've seen that. Lets kill this idea now. I'm as sad about it as you are, but we have to make sacrifices for the greater good.
  • 1 0
 @Augustus-G: Your trails don't make you have an orgasm?
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: Not in the way you're thinking, wrong head. Smile
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: This may get more women into riding. Win Win.
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: lol got ‘em!
  • 67 1
 Combine it with a 9-52 cassette, and a triple front chainring. Could do a 10,000 ft climb one day and then draft behind a rocket car on the salt flats the next.
  • 12 0
 Do not give Guy Martin any ideas.
  • 7 0
 I run a 3x11 ClarisXT drivetrain on my touring bike. 53/42/30 up front, 11-42 out back. It's amazing.
  • 3 6
 @VtVolk: meh, that's not very 'paticular'..(I run a 1x setup on my CX bicycle 40t x 9-42 cassette) .... 30x42 isn't a difficult gear ratio for steep terrain(fairly forgiving ratio) and 53x11 is a slightly higher ratio than a regulatory compact chainring(50x11) but you have more ratio gearing to cycle through because of a 3x system, better evenly spaced gearing
  • 4 0
 yes, Yes, YES! I need a cigarette...
  • 12 0
 Pinion 18 speed gearbox, + Classified 2 speed hub and 11 speed cassette.

Gears. Lots of gears.

396 to be precise.
  • 4 0
 @tallpaul-s: sturmey archer do a 3 speed cassette hub.

Pinion, 12speed cassette, 3 speed hub

648 gears enough?
  • 9 0
 @tomhoward379: what gear are you in?

Grabs abicus
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Thanks for the lorry mechanic content.
  • 46 2
 I bet I still walk my bike up the steeps
  • 4 3
 I usually carry my bike up the steps.
  • 21 2
 A 99% efficient two speed rear hub would be pretty awesome. I would just run it by itself on my hard-tail and get rid of the annoying drive train maintenance.
  • 1 7
flag velodonata (Aug 17, 2020 at 14:45) (Below Threshold)
 How does that work? The chain is the majority of drivetrain maintenance.
  • 10 0
 @velodonata: belt drive
  • 2 0
 @matt-15: except they already make belt drive with 11spd hubs.
  • 3 0
 @velodonata: I go through a chain every three months, a cassette every 6 months, and a chain ring once a year, and a derailleur every 2 years, even with regular cleaning and lubing. I don't even ride a crazy amount, I just ride in the mud. It's annoying and expensive. A single speed setup would last way way longer before it started skipping gears.
  • 2 0
 @MorganBH: Fair enough, although a wireless shifting planetary gear hub 2 speed wouldn't be my first thought if contemplating how to keep it simple to save on costs and maintenance.
  • 4 0
 Exactly what came to mind when I saw this. Still have mine though no longer in use. Other than the weight, it was awesome. Best way to pedal a Truax/Totem to the top of the hill and still have a tall enough gear to pedal into jumps.
  • 3 1
 Exploding crank
  • 2 0
 Look up SRAM dual drive and Sachs Commander Orbit. Smile
  • 1 0
 Before, during, and after the Hammerschmidt was the Schlumpf. I rode one a few times and it is still on my wish list. Change ratios (similar to dropping 10t between chainrings) with a button on the crankbolt. Amazing.
  • 2 0
 yeah for an extra 3.5 lbs
  • 1 0
 look at those dudes riding around on tiny kids bikes!
  • 1 0
 Yeah, SRAM already proved they can totally mess up this concept. I will always remember this one guy in our group that rode a Hammerschmidt, and how little scraps of metal dropped from his bottom bracket area at one point.
  • 1 0
 The drag on the HammerSchmidt was brutal.
  • 1 0
 @MorganBH: only in overdrive!
  • 13 0
 Real play is this making it possible to run a much smaller and lighter cassette
  • 13 0
 With a heavier hub.
  • 2 1
 But what does this gain over running that bigger cassette? Or a 2x chainring? The innovations that last are the ones that make riding instantly better. This looks a bit Girvin-ey to me, yes it's been made and it no doubt works, but how does it improve the bike?
  • 10 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: You can run a small compact rear derailleur with a tight chain line. Floppy enormous derailleurs and long chains required on enduro bikes are super annoying.
  • 1 1
 @Linc: amen! That’s the number 1 thing I hate about mountain bikes.
  • 1 0
 @fracasnoxteam: i wonder what the difference is between the loss in cassette weight versus the gain in hub weight. also add that you can run a lighter derailleur with a smaller cassette. less chain links as well. BUT do we gain more weight with an added front shifter? grip shift would probably be beneficial for something like this (to use as either dropper or hub shifter)
  • 12 0
 Serious question, not being snarky: does anyone feel like they still don't have enough gear range?
  • 17 5
 How about having 7 cogs instead of 12, but having more range with 14 gears, less weight and a smaller derailleur? Sounds like a win, win, win to me
  • 6 0
 Yes. The drop bar world is is still kinda stuck on 11spd. You can go AXS, or you can go outside the manufacturer specs and get an aftermarket wider range cassette. But there are tons of gravel bikes out there that are meant to be ridden on pavement, off road, you could go bikepacking or touring with them, and they sell them with an 11-42 and a single chainring... That's just not enough range for all kinds of mixed terrain riding.
  • 7 0
 @gnarnaimo: Exactly! It would allow for a cassettes with slightly wider cog spacing again that are more tolerant of alignment, and a smaller cassette would allow actual short-cage derailleurs again
  • 13 1
 For me it's not that I don't have enough range, the problem is the ground-scraping derailleur required to achieve that range.
  • 5 1
 Nope. I have unused range. Basically I'm lugging around gears and weight that I don't need.
  • 2 0
 @PhillipJ: Absolutely this. I also hate shifting into hard gears for DH - but at the same time engaging super slappy-floppy mode on the derailleur and chain for the descent. It's like the opposite of what I want.
  • 1 0
 @PhillipJ: this is what i was thinking too, more ground clearance is always a bonus. Running a shorter rear derailleur cage has me curios.
  • 2 3
 @HollyBoni: It's almost like they could do with an extra chainring...
  • 4 5
 In levy's article on do we really need 12 speed? I noticed very few were happy with their 1x setur the favored ratios of sunrace ,microshift or shimano 11spd,or the new 9 sp.etc.The bike industry has had buyers jumping thru hoop after hoop trying to validate engineers egos and whatever their personal goal is,I'm not a bit impressed.A friend just bought a warbird with a 2x,nice, and kudos to the touring bike owner above who was courageous enough to mention his 3x setup here.It's not about having enough gear range,it's about the gear spacing and versatility within that range. 2x and 3x rules.ps,It was eithe
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: There is GRX, which is okay, but IMO that group under delivered. Shimano had the 3x11 XT group ages ago which had a triple with an 11-40, and the best you can get with GRX is a 46/30 with an 11-34 on 11spd, and an 11-36 on 10spd.

1x12 is already at SX and Deore level in the straight bar world, I don't understand why drop bars are stuck on 1x11 and not that wide range 2x11s, when these kind of bikes would really benefit from the extra range. It makes no sense that downhill focused off road bikes have more range than bikes that you're meant to use on all kinds of different terrain both loaded and unloaded.
  • 2 0
 @gnarnaimo: how about the cassette being half the width, allowing for wider flange spacing and better spoke angles too?
  • 1 0
 I definitely need more range. West Virginia trails routinely get too steep to pedal and I don't want to sacrifice top end for low end. One more gear might be enough. But really it is on my gravel and fat bikes that more range is needed. I run a 2x GRX on my drop bar bike and it still needs waaay lower gear for touring and extended steep climbs. The fatbike has a 1x setup but needs a lower gear to make it easier to pedal through deep snow.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: I can't tell whether you're trying to argue in favour of better 2x cranks, or wide range 12 speed clusters or both? I was riding a Shimano triple long before 11-40 cassettes existed - the bike I still use as my commuter originally came with Deore DX 3x7 (26-36-46) x (13-30) the year after trigger shifters were released. I was running it 3x9 until a couple of years ago with the same "7sp" cranks running a 48t big ring and an 11-34 cassette. Despite the theoretical gear range being well outside what was recommended for the derailleur, it works just fine if you don't cross-chain.

As far as it not making sense that DH focused MTBs have more range than gravel bikes that are "meant to" be used on all terrain loaded and unloaded, when I look at the design of most gravel bikes it seems obvious that they aren't really "meant to" be used for any real loaded touring other than in the purchaser's imagination. Almost all mountain bikers will regularly encounter hills steep enough they need their 50t bailout gear, and downhill straights where they can use their 10t, but how many fancy carbon gravel bikes are ever going to be loaded up for a week-long adventure?

I live in an area with over 1200m of vertical right on my doorstep and value having close ratios as well as decent range, and run 2x groupsets on all my bikes as a matter of choice (yes, I've used XO 1x12 on a 2020 Spesh Enduro for a few days). I could well be climbing solidly for an hour so I don't have a problem with shifting the front and back at the same time to get the ratio I'm looking for. For my next MTB I'll grudgingly accept the move to 1x12, but there's no way I'm moving to a 1x groupset on my road or commuting/touring bikes.
  • 1 0
 @dsut4392: You can't tell because i'm not trying to argue about anything. Smile I'm just saying that IMO gravel bikes need more range. Doesn't matter if it's achieved by a 2x or 1x. IMO when Shimano came out with GRX, they should have pushed it further, both the 2x and 1x options. And I don't understand why the drop bar world is still stuck on on 11spd when in the straight bar world 12spd is at Deore and SX level.
Sure, you can push derailleurs outside of the manufacturer specs. I'm well aware of that. But I want bikes with more range out of the box so people don't have to do that. I see "how to get lower gearing on my gravel bike" posts all the time.
BTW nowadays you can't even get a brifter for a triple above Tiagra level, and I don't think you can get a brifter for a triple and hydro brakes at all.

There are plenty of people that use their fancy, or basic gravel bikes for bikepacking and/or touring. We are seeing bikes with mounts all over more than ever before. But you don't even need to load up the bike or go for a week long adventure to find the limit of a lot of factory drivetrain setups. I see drop bar bikes with 2.0-2.1 tyres, sometimes even front suspension, and most of the time they come with a 1:1 or just below 1:1 low gear. That's not right IMO.

Sure, people on MTBs use their 50T bailout gear, and the 10T on downhills. Plenty of people climb the same stuff on gravel bikes as some people do on XC bikes, but then also use the bike for longer pavement sections, where they will easily spin out something like 32-10. I'm not a strong rider and/or pretend racer by any means, but with knobby 43mm tyres and a 38T chainring I use the 12T and 10T regularly on paved sections on my gravel bike.
Gravel bikes are great all around, do everything bikes IMO. The gear range should reflect that. That's all I was trying to say, and I wasn't trying to start an argument, even though it seems like that's mandatory here.
  • 1 0
 @HollyBoni: Totally agree.

Shimano dropped the ball with their GRX drivetrains. Many professional reviews criticize GRX for having too little range. It is truly baffling why they designed GRX that way. Or perhaps they plan on selling us this version so that they can increase the range in two years and sell us the version we wanted in the first place.

And I agree that plenty of people use gravel bikes for bikepacking or touring. I did a tour earlier this year on forest roads. I had to push my loaded bike up grades higher than 12% because GRX doesn't have a big enough gear range.
  • 8 0
 so essentially this is a newer version of a truvativ hammerschmidt but integrated into a gear hub? nice concept but surely its easier to build into a chainset?
  • 2 0
 @emptybox: yeah, but it's wireless, so in 2020, that's instantly worth spending your hard earned on...
  • 6 0
 1) gets rid of front derailleur lever
2) puts on dropper post lever instead so we still feel normal
3) slap that b**** back on
4) not sure what to do with dropper lever now...
  • 2 0
 My XC bike has a dropper remote and fork lockout on the left side. Not a big deal.
  • 8 0
 Before this article I couldn't even spell hammerschmidt and now i'm hooked on phonics.
  • 5 0
 at the rate we are going, I LBS mechanic's are going to be electrical engineers with sub specialty in computer programming lol
  • 3 0
 "There are, of course, plenty of questions over strength, weight, reliability, efficiency, and cost still remaining but Classified's hub could be a way to get all the range of 2x without sacrificing the benefits of 1x."

Not really relevant questions as they are not built for off road use, once off road specific options are available than they would be more relevant.
  • 5 0
 "there's no chance of upgrading your current set up yet."
Enter Dangerholm...
  • 2 0
 I think this is just too overcomplicated.
Regular 1x12 Shimano XT is simple, servicable, pretty cheap, minimum friction and has a huge range.

I imagine how much more headache you will have to serivce basically two(!) drivetrains, recharging that wireless thingy, grease, oil etc etc. Also lots and lots of people are using gravels for bikepacking, an on the road you would like simplicity, and super aesy service which you can do with the tools you have.
  • 6 0
 If they change the name to Hubbershmidt I will consider buying it
  • 3 1
 Even though I will realistically never spend the money on a lot of these wireless components (unless the come down drastically in price) watching all this stuff get developed is super cool.
  • 5 1
 There's time and place for electronics in the crucial systems of a bicycle. That's never and nowhere.
  • 1 0
 I rocked Hammerschmidt for a number of years. Last setup was with SRAM 11 speed cassette. Just made sure I never touched the cranks/bottom bracket before it was installed so I never felt the heft. It is heavy! Still look at it from time to time and contemplate putting it back on my hard tail. Range was ludicrous, and you could just chill up climbs. It would just take twice as long!
  • 1 0
 Maybe a 2 speed planetary in the bottom bracket area? N/w chainrings stay, less unsprung weight (smaller cassettes), more clearance (smaller derailleurs), and the ability to change ratios by a lot in one click (great on east coast trails). Not an engineer or mechanic, just a noob with a probably bad idea
  • 3 0
 @emptybox: you've just invented the Hammerschmidt. Or if you want to drop the cables and click a button with your heels, you've invented the Schlumpf.
  • 1 0
 Great idea really. Should also look into something that'll for into an e bike gear box space. Or I guess even just an adapter for a regular non e drivetrain. I have a feeling they'll be plenty of old ebikes that will be battery-less in the future. Might not be a bad idea to turn that empty battery box into a hydration and storage box.
  • 5 0
 Unsprung weight in rigid bike? Interesting.
  • 1 0
 Interesting - but the author didn't mention a single real benefit compared to an actual 1x12 group? Seems the article is basically a result of copy and paste.

I mean the size of the cogs itself is not an issue really. If one would argue you get a more reliable shifting performance as tolerances are not as tight on a 2x10 as on a 1x12 that might be a benefit. But only if shifting performance and reliability on 1x12 is really an issue.

The company claims that the efficiency overall is higher that with 1x12 as you have to use the derailleur less frequently and you have a straigter chainline.

Still I'm a bit septic if the benefits really offset the drawbacks of an internal hub combined with the drawbacks of rear derailleurs. There might be some applications where its worth it and I guess gravel is not a bad choice for that.
  • 1 0
 f*ck really? This is new because what? Its wireless? It was done long before Hammerschmit. 2 spd hubs came out in 1952.

The 2spd automatic was out in the 60s. Sachs Sram did this, f*ck shimano does DI2 Alfine in 8 and 11 speed. This shit is nothing useful or new.
  • 1 0
 The rear mech as it is works perfectly and is very robust. worst case scenario you wreck one ever 2 years if your ride like an idiot. (cost of £50). The rear mech only moves the chain - the slick shifting is a result of the cassette and chain design. The industry market the widest gearing as being best - but this is not efficient. What would happen if we had a small front chain ring for climbing and a larger front ring for descending?I would prefer a 14 - 40/38 rear cassette with smaller jumps between sprockets. Combine this with a close ratio double front chainring say 30/32 for climbing with a 34/36/38 for down combination. The close ratio shifting could be really slick. I also think a mechanical rear is a red herring - what about a 2x or 3x gearbox on the crankset???
  • 1 0
 A couple years ago, some buddies of mine and I were discussing where bike tech was heading and when I mentioned this very technology, they all looked at me like I was crazy. I just said "give it time" and you'll see what once was considered to be impossible the new standard in a matter of years. Just study the time frame of how society reacted before any major innovation was about to happen. The inventors themselves were ridiculed to no end like the Wright brothers for example, yet look where that lead..
  • 1 0
 I thought something like this was in the works, but thought someone would make a bottom bracket that had a 2X internal gearing. This product could make sense if you could drop to a smaller cassette and smaller derailleur.
  • 2 0
 All these folks talking Hammerschmidt, but nobody talking about the Sachs 3x7 hub, which was a 3-speed internal hub with a 7-speed freehub body on the outside.
  • 1 0
 BRILLIANT!!! I'd prefer they have 10T sprockets at the end though - as larger sprockets mean larger chainrings which may negate any possible weight savings of using smaller granny gears... =D
  • 1 0
 The friction losses on a 10T sprocket are un acceptable. larger sprockets mean improve efficiency. You need to tune the gearing to the rider/terrain. forget weight savings unless you are a pro racer
  • 1 0
 @Prof: So Sram with their 10Ts & EThirteen etc with their 9Ts are crap? Why does weight not matter but friction - in the least used gear of a sprocket - a problem? Friction with a hardly used 9T - to ensure double the gears with an odd number of teeth - will be acceptable especially since said cog will mostly be used with the assistance of gravity & will allow the use of a smaller chainring as well as rear dreailleur which will - as you may guess - reduce WEIGHT which is great for rear suspension & ground clearance respectively... I WISH I could discuss this further with the manufacturers - I have a GREAT idea for a lightweight version which will benefit MTBs...
  • 2 0
 In the PNW, I just need two gears: a 50 tooth “go up” gear, and a 10 tooth “go down” gear. Keep it simple. Somebody please make that.
  • 1 2
 Great idea. I have been saying this is the future for a long time. Hopefully the weight could come down with some input from the likes of shimano. You could maybe put wired to the hub, wireless comms over power in, as used on some high side FET drive circuits on brushless motor drives and remove the battery from the hub.
  • 1 0
 Rode a folding bike once with SRAM dual drive. Single chainring, 9spd cassette and derailleur, 3spd internal gear hub. It was an interesting experience for sure. Smile
  • 3 0
 or put another sprocket on the front . taking the piss from the lost soles
  • 1 0
 Yeah, but SRAM wants to be the first to cover the whole wheel with the dinner platter! It's pointless if you can't go bigger than the eagle and into an albatross!
  • 1 0
 So it's basically an over-drive gear? therefore don't place heavy loads on it... just like not using 5/6th gear in your car when towing heavy loads.
  • 1 0
 I still have bikes with front derailleur and it works perfectly fine. No need for clutches in derailleur, light cassettes. It is not that bad at all.
  • 1 2
 So you still have to shift between the different ratio's..... How is that different from a 2x drivetrain? I'm absolutely not convinced this is progress. Not only do you need a second -electronic- shifter, the shift happens inside a hub. If there is any malfunction, it immediately means walking. And that wasn't the case with the more simple front derailleurs. No thx !

I think we don't need more range and the big cassettes, altough heavy, work very well. Maybe a front chainring on a sort of angular bearing that adjusts itself in an straight line with the chain; giving a much better chainline and thus decreased wear and more efficiency.
  • 1 0
 Even with the 2 speed hub the range isn't comparable to 12 speed, Gonna be a pita to service and way heavier than a standard hub. Fail.
  • 1 0
 Super cool. Clearly it’s been done but it’s also disappeared. This would make a 1X setup 7 speed all you need for any MTB style of riding if perfected.
  • 1 0
 I'm sure the Sram team is frantically working on a "new" solution like this now
  • 1 0
 i have SRAM's DoubleDrive hub on a commuter ebike, it's at least 7 years old.
  • 1 0
 How about doing one of those with 11 or 12 gears & putting it by the bottom bracket, that would be an idea!!
  • 3 0
 Hubberschmit
  • 2 0
 I just want to put it on my single speed...
  • 2 0
 I like the cut of your jib
  • 1 0
 Hammerscmidt was the real starting point in my opinion. But it unfotunately it was abandoned too soon.
  • 1 0
 This is awesome it makes the bike look way cleaner and its just a cool piece of teck. We need more creative bike product.
  • 1 0
 This changes things. Just when I though MTB was at its zenith, more tech comes out.
  • 2 0
 Torque is going to be the limiting factor, not power output.
  • 1 0
 That's my understanding too. The torque on the small gears is massive which is limiting size and weight of any gear drive system.
  • 1 0
 Not much of a revelation for mountain bikes but could be a total game changer for gravel bikes.
  • 3 2
 A planetary gear with zero drag...so we have broken physics then? Ridiculous claim but interesting design none the less.
  • 1 0
 Tomorrow first thing I go do is show this article to my boss. He is a fanatic fan off cyclocross in Flanders Belguim.
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite a solution for not beeing forced to use road levers would be sprint Di2 shifters
  • 2 0
 I have one already - a Sturmey Archer TF 2 speed Fixed version from 1934 !
  • 1 0
 Ex-sprinter Tom Boonen seems to have invested in the belgian startup (sorry article in french):

archive.is/UnUH5
  • 1 0
 Double the fantasy, double the fun
  • 8 7
 Ebike motor with a built in gearbox. It's the future. Just get it done.
  • 2 1
 Mctroll
  • 1 1
 Definitely some good potential benefits - however a lot work to STILL have the rear derailleur sticking out
  • 1 1
 might be worthwhile with a short DH style 7 speed derailleur but I still don't want the gearbox in my hub.
  • 1 1
 Give it a few years before jumping in. Let the "Dentists" figure out the faults.
  • 2 0
 Nah, if you want one better get in quick because 100:1 they won't be around in 3 years' time.
  • 1 2
 @dsut4392: maybe on pure roadbikes it could survive :-). But not on real bikes.
  • 1 0
 Want a Canyon gral slx di2
  • 1 1
 I was genuinely curious until "up to 1000 watts"

what is this a hub gearbox for ants?
  • 1 0
 How much time are you spending over 1000 watts?
  • 1 0
 @JSTootell: If once every 10 rides breaks the hub, enough that i'm not interested. I can put out that much, and while it might be rarer and rarer as i get older, if it breaks from me pedaling then why would i buy it.
  • 6 5
 Oh great. More e-waste. Just what the world needs.
  • 2 0
 I'll just assume the down-raters to this comment love polluting the earth for silly and needless things like wireless shifting. Okay. What a weird and depressing position to hold.
  • 1 0
 you probably create more waste in a month than these will in a year, not a ton of people will buy these since it's meant for gravel bikes...
  • 1 0
 In other news, 2021 Rockys dropped today?
  • 1 0
 I cannot foresee a single thing that could go wrong with this...
  • 1 0
 It's all unsprung weight on a gravel bike. Come on PB.
  • 1 0
 Duuuude this is actually fucking SICK
  • 1 0
 Wait........and you think that 2X set ups are complicated? WTF?
  • 6 5
 But why though?
  • 1 0
 Because lots of gravel bikes don't have a FD mount.
  • 3 3
 @PhillipJ: 11-42 cassette? Or squats?
  • 3 2
 @PhillipJ: And this is so much simpler than putting an FD mount back on...
  • 3 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: 11-42?

You must not have mountains in your area.
  • 3 1
 @JSTootell: Or you might be weak.
  • 2 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: Very possible. I didn't stand on the Pro podium at our local race this weekend (wasn't the last place Pro either). So, definitely not the strongest.
  • 2 2
 When does the 5x hub come out
  • 6 0
 I am waiting for the 12 speed version of the hub
  • 12 0
 @cdussault: SRAM has not told me that I need 14 speed yet. I only choose standards based on what they tell me.
  • 4 4
 I can't wait until derailleurs are a thing of the past.
  • 1 2
 Nevermind. Just skimmed the article, was thinking it was a type of gearbox which eliminates the cassette
  • 2 0
 @Hauck: front mechs are the real devil anyway...
  • 3 2
 This will never happen in the forseen future.
Deraillers are amazingly cheap, leight-weight, robust, reilable and simply servicable.

I like theoerall idea of gearboxes, but they: cost a fortune, weight a lot, and create huge additional friction that derailleurs don't have. Plus we don't know how long they would really last. As though single derailleur can run for thousands and thousands of kms.
So the deraillers are here to stay.
  • 1 1
 break a wheel and buy a new bike
  • 1 2
 Itsy bitsy little tiny parts all moving. Meanwhile all the low gear cogs are bent to shit.
  • 1 2
 Sorry to bitch
  • 1 2
 And moan
  • 1 2
 About shit
  • 1 2
 I’ll never own
  • 1 0
 Gearbox is the future
  • 1 0
 Nice flange
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