The ROSE X-LITE SIX secured the coveted ‘Best Value Tip’ in our 2018 GRANFONDO race-bike group-test. With a long list of interesting specs, the new disc-version looks just as promising. It features the brand-new SRAM RED eTap AXS 12-speed groupset and bears a very competitive price tag of € 5,999. But how does the German disc-racer perform on the road?

ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC RED eTap AXS | 6.9 kg | € 5,999

By securing the coveted ‘Best Value Tip’ in our big 2018 race-bike group-test, the popular German brand marked the start of a new era. With this big leap forward, the ROSE X-LITE SIX secured itself in the top-league of race-bikes. We took a closer look at the new disc-version of the ROSE X-LITE SIX and tested it for you.

With a price-tag of € 5,999, the ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC RED eTap AXS is a true bargain. And that’s particularly impressive considering that the SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset alone costs € 3,618 in the non-power meter version. Since we’ve already tested the SRAM RED eTap AXS and the X-LITE SIX in the rim-brake version, this test will focus on the differences between the disc and non-disc versions and the overall performance of the bike.

ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC RED eTap AXS – Prices, weight and spec

In comparison with its rim-brake counterpart, the ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC comes with a number of spec-updates. The X-LITE DISC features a 12-speed SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset, an in-house carbon wheelset with different rim-depths (40 mm at the front, 50 mm at the rear) and Continental’s new Grand Prix 5000 tubeless-tires. Components like the stem, seatpost and handlebars are from American premium-brand Ritchey. In the chart below you’ll find all the main differences between the two versions of the ROSE X-LITE. Here are all the most important facts:

Rose X-LITE SIX eTap-caliper brake

Price € 4,999
Weight 6.1 kg
Groupset SRAM RED eTap
Cranks SRAM RED 22 52/36 170 mm
Cassette SRAM XG 1190, 11-speed 11–28
Wheels Mavic R-Sys SLR WTS 28″
Tires Mavic
Seatpost Ritchey Superlogic Link 15 Flexlogic Carbon UD-carbon/matt 27.2 mm
Stem Ritchey WCS C220 blatte 90 mm
Handlebar Ritchey WCS Superlogic Carbon Evo Curve Carbon 42 cm

Rose X-LITE SIX DISC RED eTap AXS

Price € 5,999
Weight 6.9 kg
Groupset SRAM RED eTap AXS 12-speed
Cranks SRAM RED 48/35 DUB, 170 mm
Cassette SRAM XG 1290, 12-speed 10–28
Wheels ROSE RC-FORTY/FIFTY DISC Carbon XDR 28″
Tires Continental Grand Prix 5000 700 x 25C
Seatpost Ritchey Superlogic Link 15 Flexlogic Carbon UD-carbon/matt 27.2 mm
Stem Ritchey WCS C220 blatte 90 mm
Handlebar Ritchey WCS Superlogic Carbon Evo Curve Carbon 42 cm

ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC – Models

Price Weight Groupset
ROSE X-LITE SIX RED eTap AXS € 5,999 6.9 kg SRAM RED eTap AXS
ROSE X-LITE SIX DURA-ACE Di2 € 5,899 6.7 kg Shimano DURA-ACE Di2 R9150
ROSE X-LITE SIX DURA-ACE € 4,799 6.7 kg Shimano DURA-ACE R9100
ROSE X-LITE SIX ULTEGRA Di2 € 4,449 6.9 kg Shimano ULTEGRA Di2 R8050
ROSE X-LITE SIX ULTEGRA € 3,799 6.9 kg Shimano ULTEGRA R8000

ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC RED eTap AXS – The test bike

As far as aesthetics go, the ROSE X-LITE DISC looks a lot like its predecessor – only the disc brakes and the striking SRAM RED eTap AXS cranks add a touch of class to the picture. With the matt-black carbon frame and new ROSE-logo, the German carbon-racer maintains its aggressive stealth-look. The wireless eTap groupset makes for a very tidy, minimalist look. The top-tube runs parallel to the stem, a small but effective touch, which emphasizes the linear and aggressive character of the X-LITE. Like its non-disc predecessor, the relatively long head-tube of the ROSE X-LITE DISC provides a sporty, yet not too aggressive riding position, even without spacers under the stem.

While our test-bike is ROSE’s top-of-the-range race steed, its € 5,999 price-tag is a clear declaration of war on the competition – mainly because ROSE uses SRAM’s latest RED eTap AXS 12-speed groupset – la creme de la creme! ROSE’s deep in-house carbon rims suit the aggressive race-character of the X-LITE and promise a good balance of aerodynamics and side-wind susceptibility.

ROSE X-LITE SIX DISC RED eTap AXS – Test

The ROSE X-LITE SIX RED eTap AXS is great fun right from the word go! With a total weight of 6.9 kg, the German Racer is only 500 g heavier than Specialized’s S-Works Tarmac SL6 Disc, which dominated the competition in our latest 2019 race-bike test. This lightness shows right on start-up. Even when the road gets steep, the X-LITE maintains its lively character and keeps you motivated! The stiff frame efficiently converts each watt into acceleration and gives you a clear advantage on sprints.

The disc version weighs 800 g more than the rim-brake equivalent. But can you feel the extra weight? While 800 g might seem a lot of extra weight to carry around, it’s actually not that much more than a full water bottle or a couple of extra slices of cake with your after-ride coffee. Since the non-disc version of the X-LITE SIX eTap comes with lower, lighter Mavic R-Sys SLR rims (just 1,295 grams for the wheelset!), the extra weight is mainly due to the deeper rims. Apart from looking incredibly good, the deep 40/50 mm carbon-rims improve aerodynamics and develop a very pleasant aero-sound every time you accelerate. As if this wasn’t enough, the aero-rims add to the overall efficiency of the bike. Especially when cruising along on the flats, the ROSE maintains its speed incredibly well, with the new 25 mm Continental Grand Prix 5000 tubeless tires making for an even smoother ride.

ROSE proves that sporty racers can indeed offer a good level of comfort: The Ritchey carbon seatpost and the matching handlebars provide the needed compliance and make even long rides a pleasant experience. Only when the road gets really rough, the front-end does lack a little bit of comfort. Since the carbon fork was specifically designed to withstand the higher forces generated by disc-brakes, it can feel a little too harsh at times.

On downhills, the X-LITE is lots of fun. With its precise behaviour, it follows steering inputs with clinical precision and sometimes even feels a little nervous. This is mainly due to the relatively long head-tube, which, despite the race-setup without spacers under the stem, noticeably reduces the saddle-to-bar drop and thus takes the weight off the front wheel. If you’re after a more stable handling, you can swap the short standard stem with a longer one. If you do so, you’ll also end up with a more stretched riding position. For more experienced riders, however, the lively handling translates into loads of fun!

Safety is a big deal, especially when you’re pushing your limits. Thanks to the good level of compliance, the X-LITE absorbs the vibrations from the tarmac and, in combination with the 25 mm Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires, provides tons of grip. And that’s exactly what you need, as the snappy SRAM RED eTap AXS disc-brakes could lock-up the rear-wheel. Thanks to the stiff frame, the X-LITE deals incredibly well with hard braking-manoeuvres and always feels controlled. The powerful SRAM brakes really suit this kind of race-bike.

Helmet POC Ventral SPIN | Glasses Alba Optics Delta | Jersey BBUC Moonlit Unicorn | Bibs BBUC Dance | Socks BBUC Disco Socks | Shoes Specialized S-Works 7

As mentioned above, in this test we won’t go into details of the 12-speed SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset. If you want to know more about SRAM’s latest wizardry, you’ll find the full test in issue #011 or on our website. Only real drawback so far is the loud noise under shifting. With each gear-shift, the clunking sound resonates through the big hollow carbon-frame and carbon wheels and lets everyone know you’re changing gears. We could happily do without this sort of attention.

Conclusions

With the X-LITE SIX, ROSE kicks off a new era and secures a place among the top players in the race-bike segment. With its agile, light-footed character, the ROSE X-LITE RED eTap AXS is a fun option for all situations. Its race-oriented handling, however, requires a skilled rider. All in all, ROSE offers a wholesome package for an incredible price of € 5,999!

For more info head to: rosebikes.com

Words: Manuel Buck Photos: Benjamin Topf