The German brand Rose has recently launched for this 2020 a new update of its top-of-the-range model: the “BackRoad”. It is a bicycle that, as I have highlighted in the title, will not leave you indifferent.
This is because it presents us with a very modern carbon frame and with a subtle wink to adventure cycling. Below, I detail the key aspects of this impressive carbon model.
Not all gravel bikes are created equal. There are some that resemble mountain bikes (for example, the Merida Silex) and others look like asphalt bike decals but with wide wheels. I would go so far as to say that the new BackRoad presents a frame that is close to a pure road machine but with details for gravel. In fact, it bears similarities to the brand’s Rose Reveal for road racing. The aesthetics and geometry of the painting is very similar.
“The new BackRoad features a frame that approaches a pure road machine but with gravel detailing”
So, don’t expect a gravel model with a mountain bike-like physiognomy. That is, it does not have a sloping or pointed upper tube. But what I do like about this model is that the seatstays are short and somewhat droopy. It is a trend that we see in other high-end models. Another thing, which differs from the previous model, is that the chainstays are asymmetrical.
“So, don’t expect a gravel model with a mountain bike-like physiognomy. That is, it does not have a sloping or pointed upper tube”
But beyond the subtle changes, it should be noted that this framework has functionalities for gravel. For example, there is the possibility of installing a third bottle cage at the bottom of the down tube. Also, in the upper tube it is possible to locate a bike packing bag since it has two additional hole plugs. Furthermore, it allows us to install a rear rack. Although I consider that the BackRoad is not a model for touring and if for a sportier gravel.
Another aspect that characterizes it as a multipurpose model, is that it is possible to install tires up to 47mm wide for 700c wheels. Also, you can locate 650b wheels with a maximum thickness of 50mm. But and it is an opinion, I prefer to wear more discreet tires (35mm or 40mm maximum) since I consider it a sufficient thickness and it does not penalize you when you are on asphalt.
“Another aspect that characterizes it as a multipurpose model, is that it is possible to install tires up to 47mm wide for 700c wheels. Also, you can locate 650b wheels with a maximum thickness of 50mm“
Another singularity that we must highlight is the special seat tube. It is designed with a cutout on the back. Combined with the seatstays, according to the brand, this increases comfort.
“Another singularity that we must highlight is the special seat tube. It is designed with a cutout on the back”
Like all modern bicycles, the cables are located internally. But what should be noted is that these are visually invisible. It is as if they did not exist. This is explained, because all the cables pass through a special spacer under the stem, where they then go through the frame.
Another of the particularities that I must highlight is that the fork has three added eyelets for the installation of bike packing solutions. This is presented as straight and therefore very current.
The bike obviously has thru axles. As I have contributed on some occasion, I have a feeling of greater security with this type of closure compared to more classic or Quick Release (QR) type.
I have left the weight of the frame and its fork. We are talking about a frame that weighs only 1,020 grams. Along with its fork of only 425 grams, we have a very light set that has nothing to envy to any high-end asphalt model. For example, compared to the aforementioned model Reveal (also 1,020 grams of its frame and with a fork of 380 grams) the data is very close.
“The frame weighs only 1,020 grams. Along with its fork of only 425 grams, we have a very light set”
To finish, you have up to six different sizes: 50 cm, 53 cm, 55 cm, 57 cm, 59 cm and 62 cm. Also, the bicycle is in different ranges of colors to choose from. Specifically, the GRX 600 model has the option between green and deep purple.
Well, in this sense it has different assemblies and prices. I chose the most economical model in the range that is mounted with the Shimano GRX 600 11-speed groupset. As you well know, this is equivalent to a Shimano 105 used on road bikes, although prior to GRX it was also used on gravel bikes.
The GRX 600 group is presented almost in full, except for the rear derailleur, which belongs to the upper level (RX 810).
As for the gear, it mounts a single 40 tooth chainring combined with a large 11-42t cassette. Consequently, a very off-road cycling-oriented solution. If you come from road cycling, and this is something that I usually comment on, you may have a feeling of lack of development or speed.
Although the latter commented, I do not think it is important, since gravel requires another type of driving. Maybe it’s calmer and less competitive.
If we focus on its peripherals (handlebars, seatpost, stem and seat) these are provided by different brands. The handlebar, of which I have already spoken on occasion, is the Ritchey WCS Butano. This bar has a soft flare. Consequently, its shape is not as wide as the well-known, and also from the same brand, Venturemax (24 degrees). Specifically, we are talking about an opening of just 12 degrees. The stem is also aluminum and it is the 70mm Ritchey WCS Toyon model.
“The handlebar is Ritchey WCS Butano and features a 12-degree smooth Flare”
The carbon seatpost is D-shaped (as in the Giant Revolt) with an 8mm or 25mm offset. Its shape is designed to offer maximum comfort in a variety of driving positions. The seat post clamp is fully integrated and hidden under a rubber cover over the seat supports.
Finally, it is worth highlighting the saddle. This is the Selle Italia Novus Boost Superflow model. It is a light 245-gram model, anti-prostatic and oriented to various disciplines. The rails are hollow and made of manganese
Wheels and tires
The wheels are provided by the same brand and are the R-Thirty Disc 28 700c. It is an option that can cover various disciplines such as road, gravel or cyclocross. It has 28 spokes both in the front and in the back. They are aluminum wheels, although for the high-end of this model you have the option of carbon wheels. Its weight is 1,650 grams.
“The wheels are provided by the same brand and are the R-Thirty Disc 28. It is an option that can cover various disciplines such as road, gravel or cyclocross”
To finish this review, the tires are the well-known Schwalbe G-One Allround with a width of 38 mm. These tires are suitable for off road or gravel. These have small blocks or knobs that ensure us to roll optimally on any type of terrain, especially in curves.
Rose Backroad GRX RX600 2020
Carbon frame: 1020 grams.
Carbon fork: 425 grams.
Possibility of mounting a third bottle cage and racks.
Tire clearance 700c x 47mm and 650b x 50mm.
Shimano GRX 600 single chainring (1X) 40t.
R-Thirty Disc Wheels 28.
Schwalbe G-One Allround 700c and 38mm tires.
Available in 6 sizes: 50 cm, 53 cm, 55 cm, 57 cm, 59 cm and 62 cm.
Price: € 2,499.00.
The new design of the Rose Backroad 2020 is beautiful. It has a spectacular carbon frame that has everything you can ask of a bicycle for gravel: wide tire clearance, the possibility of installing a third bottle cage or racks, geometry designed for adventure cycling and also add lightness to all of this features (1,020 grams).
In addition, it is well equipped with the specific group Shimano GRX 600. It has been chosen, and this is a success of Rose, for a very off-road drivetrain based on a single 40-tooth chainring and a large 11 / 42t cassette.
It has an attractive price of € 2,499.00 for a model of this level.
Its official price is € 2,499.00