As the first magazine worldwide, we were able to test the new Rose Backroad-4400. The Bocholt-based manufacturer surprised us with a flashy choice of colours. Can the most affordable bike in the test keep up with the competition and can it do its name justice?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best road bike for any weather and any season – 10 Endurance Bikes in Review

Rose Backroad
ROSE Backroad 4400 | 8.46 kg | € 2,549

When we unboxed the Rose Backroad-4400, a pleasant whiff of fresh paint hit us all. The plain, oversized carbon frame of the Backroad features internal cable routing, straight lines and classic looks, with a neatly integrated seat clamp. The inspiration behind this bright green riding machine was the Rose Xeon CDX Cross, which we had the pleasure to test in the past. Due to its cyclo-cross background and a set of chunky tyres, we’d immediately expect it to be a smooth and comfortable ride. Nope. Surprisingly, the Rose feels stiff and uncomfortable. In addition, the aluminium Zipp Course-Cockpit picks up and amplifies all sort of ground imperfections.

Rose Backroad

The in-house made Rose CW-1550 carbon wheels with 40 mm deep rims make for an aggressive look. Unfortunately, in combination with the 32 mm Schwalbe Durano tires, the pairing did not convince the test riders. Only at low tire pressures does the wheel and tire combo start sucking up irregularities and offer comfort. Also, the rims feel very sensitive to side winds demanding attention from the rider.

Rose Backroad

The shifting performance of the SRAM Force 2×11 drivetrain is not as smooth as we’d like it to be. Even worse, the right and left shifter levers work with totally unmatched lever movements. The good news is you can customise your bike by using the Rose online-configurator. The Backroad weighs in at 8.46 kg, which is absolutely fine considering the € 2,549 price tag.

Rose Backroad Rose Backroad
Rose Backroad
Tuning-Tips: Carbon cockpit and seatpost for more comfort, less wind sensitive wheels

On the gruelling Belgian roads, the wheels tend to lose traction due to the great overall stiffness of the bike. Especially when accelerating on uneven surfaces, or in this case, bombing down a Belgian cobble downhill, we recommend extra care. More experienced riders will have enough skill to balance the bike’s strong and direct feedback, taking advantage of a well-centred riding position; at no point did the bike feel unsafe. Brutally honest and predictable, the Backroad unfolds its potential at high speeds. The Rose picks up the tiniest steering impulses and follows them with precision. And consistent with its honest nature, we did not hear anything but the noise of the wind. The internally routed cables are quiet as a mouse – yes, we like it!

Rose Backroad
Helmet POC Octal | Glasses Adidas Zonyk | Jersey Ashmei Midlayer Jersey | Jacket Ashmei Emergency Jacket | Bibshort Rapha Pro Team Bibshorts | Socks The Wonderful Socks Polka | Shoes Bont Vaypor

If you were to use the Rose on a daily basis and in all-weather conditions, you have the option to fit both mud guards and a rack. Suddenly swift multi-day tours become a real option. If you decide to ride rougher routes, there’s enough clearance for tires up to 42 mm width.

The Rose Backroad-4400 in detail

Drivetrain SRAM Force 22
Wheelset Rose CW-1550 Carbon Disc
Brakes SRAM Force
Tires Schwalbe Durano
Weight 8.46 kg
Price € 2,549

Rose Backroad
The seatpost clamp is cleverly integrated and easily accessible.
Rose Backroad
Lots of room-mud guards and tires up to 42 mm can be fitted.
Rose Backroad
The SRAM Force 2×11-drive train can’t match the performance of Shimano drivetrain.
Rose Backroad
The Rose CW-1550 carbon wheels are sensitive to side winds.
Rose Backroad
Geometry Rose Backroad

Conclusion

The Rose Backroad-4400 is not as comfortable as expected. Still, we consider it an honest bike, offering precise and predictable handling, but be warned, rough surfaces require some extra care. With their online configurator, Rose allows the customer to realise individual preferences. Follow our tuning tips before checkout and you’ll get even more out of the bike. For those who spend more time riding on the road than off the road, this is a lot of bike for little money.

Strengths

+ Responsive ride-feeling
+ Customisable
+ No noise from the internally routed cables
+ Attractive price

Weaknesses

– Excessive overall stiffness leads to loss of traction
– Wheels sensitive to side-winds


For more info head to: rosebikes.de

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: The best road bike for any weather and any season – 10 Endurance Bikes in Review

All bikes in test: 3T Exploro Team | BMC Roadmachine 01 | Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc 8.0Focus Paralane Factory | Ridley X-Trail | Specialized Roubaix Expert Di2 | Trek Domane SLR 10 RSL | OPEN U.P.P.E.R. | WHITE Wessex


This article belongs to the GRAN FONDO Issue #005. For the full interactive experience we recommend reading it in our magazine app for iPhone & iPad – it’s awesome – and free!

Words: Benjamin Topf, Manuel Buck, Robin Schmitt Photos: Julian Mittelstädt