Gravel riding and gravel bikes have started to split into two distinct segments – gravel racing, and gravel adventure. ROSE have embraced this with the new BACKROAD FF, adding a dedicated gravel race bike to their line-up. Read our test debut to find out whether Fast Forward is only in the name or if it also applies on the racetrack.

ROSE BACKROAD FF | 8.3 kg in size M | € 4,999 | Manufacturer’s website

The name suggests that the BACKROAD FF is just a slightly more aggressive ROSE BACKROAD, but that doesn’t do it justice! ROSE’s new gravel race bike has been developed from the ground up, and it has more in common with the ROSE XLITE road bike than it has with its gravel namesake. Completing the package is a new one-piece gravel race cockpit, new gravel-specific aero wheels, and in-house aero frame bags with magnetic FIDLOCK brackets. Long time readers who have checked out our gravel race bike group test will know: gravel racing ≠ gravel racing. The wide range of increasingly popular gravel race formats can place extremely different demands on both the riders and their bikes. The ROSE BACKROAD FF promises to deliver both in longer gravel races like UNBOUND Gravel or The Traka, as well as in shorter UCI Gravel World Series races. Will the 8.3 kg gravel race bike make it onto the podium, and how much performance can ROSE deliver for € 4,999? We got to test the new BACKROAD FF extensively and were quite surprised when we uploaded our test rides to Strava.

The ROSE BACKROAD FF in detail

“Uh! What bike is that?” The black splatter on matt pink finish and lack of branding on the down tube make for a striking look, and a talking point for anyone who sees the bike for the first time. Moreover, the new ROSE BACKROAD FF makes no secret of its high-speed ambitions! The 50 mm deep profile ROSE GC50 carbon wheels, dropped seat stays, monocoque carbon cockpit, and aero details on the frame and fork ensure an aggressive look.

The stringy splatter finish doesn’t just look interesting, but also provides an interesting texture.
The aero details on the frame are reminiscent of the ROSE XLITE.

The frame of the ROSE BACKROAD FF was inspired by that of the ROSE XLITE road bike. This is especially evident when looking at the rear triangle, with its dropped seat stays and low bottom bracket, as well as the transition from the fork to the head tube. For a gravel race bike, the frame offers a generous 45 mm tire clearance, which – crucially – is in line with UCI regulations 😉

Like a certain other German direct to consumer brand: ROSE’s latest bike also features the new FIDLOCK QuickLoad frame bag mounts. Accordingly, ROSE offer tailor made frame bags for the BACKROAD FF, which sit flush with the frame and simply click into place.

The sizing is new too. ROSE are introducing an intermediate M/L size with the BACKROAD FF, thereby shifting the sizing spectrum upwards. In total, there are now six different sizes to choose from, catering to riders from 1.57 to 2 m tall. ROSE have cleared the BACKROAD FF for a maximum gross weight of 120 kg. That should accommodate those who haven’t yet reached their race form 😉

Gravel races keep getting faster, which is why ROSE are also introducing a new, aerodynamically optimised gravel wheelset together with the BACKROAD FF. According to ROSE, the 50 mm deep GC50 wheelset weighs 1,550 g without tubeless tape, and is optimised for 40 mm tires. Therefore, the front rim, which is aerodynamically more significant, is 40 mm wide to sit flush with the tire, whereas the rear rim measures just 32 mm in width to save weight.

With an internal rim width of 27 mm, the wheels should provide an optimal fit for 40 mm wide gravel tires run at low pressures. However, the aero-optimisation doesn’t stop at the rims. The internal spoke nipples and slender hubs are also designed to reduce drag. According to ROSE’s wind tunnel tests, the new GC50 wheelset is 7–9% more aerodynamic than its predecessor, the GC40.

The 50 mm profile rims are designed to reduce drag at high speeds…
… but they look fast regardless.

ROSE’s new one-piece gravel race cockpit also debuts with the BACKROAD FF, promising to offer a lot of comfort as well as aero gains.

Mysterious: The 20 mm rise on the handlebar…
… is mostly negated by the -10 degree stem.

The latest regulations at UCI races, UNBOUND etc. prohibit both time trial bars and the puppy paws position. To conform to this, the new one-piece gravel race cockpit is shaped in such a way that you can ride as comfortably as possible with your forearms on the tops while gripping the hoods, Tim Wellens style. The semi-integrated cable routing on the cockpit is aero, clean-looking, and easy to maintain. Furthermore, the 15-degree flare of the drops is intended to give riders more control on technical descents. The dimensions of the one-piece cockpit are frame size dependent. However, you can also opt for sportier versions with a longer stem and narrower handlebar.

Currently, the bike is exclusively available with 1x SRAM Force AXS and Rival AXS groupsets, but other builds are in the making and should be available soon. The Wolftooth chain guide, which has been specially adapted for the bike, bolts onto the front derailleur mount, and should keep the chain firmly in place. However, the chain guide limits the maximum chainring size to 46 t. As standard, the bike comes with a 42 t chainring fitted. Both the € 4,999 build with a SRAM Force AXS groupset, and the € 3,499 SRAM Rival AXS option come with an integrated power meter, which is not to be taken for granted at these prices!

Top tube 505 mm 527 mm 546 mm 564 mm 58 mm 603 mm
Seat tube 450 mm 482 mm 505 mm 525 mm 550 mm 585 mm
Head tube 100 mm 118 mm 134 mm 153 mm 171 mm 195 mm
Head angle 71,25° 71,75° 72° 72,25° 72,5° 72,5°
Seat angle 76,25° 75,1° 74,7° 74,1° 74,1° 74,1°
Chainstay 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm
BB Drop 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm 75 mm
Wheelbase 993 mm 1005 mm 1016 mm 1030mm 1046 mm 1.067 mm
Reach 377 mm 387 mm 396 mm 405 mm 418 mm 432 mm
Stack 523 mm 542 mm 558 mm 574 mm 592 mm 616 mm

Rose Backroad FF 2024

€ 4,999


Seatpost ROSE AERO D-Shaped 8 mm
Brakes SRAM Force AXS 160/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Force AXS XPLR 1x12
Stem Rose Gravel Race Carbon One-Piece Cockpit 100 mm
Handlebar Rose Gravel Race Carbon One-Piece Cockpit 400 mm
Wheelset Rose GC50 12 x 100/12 x 148 mm Through Axle
Tires Schwalbe G-One RS 700 x 40c
Cranks SRAM Force AXS 172.5 mm
Cassette 10-44 T

Technical Data

Size XS S M M/L L XL

Specific Features

Rose Aero Gravel wheels
frame bag with FIDLOCK QuickLoader System

The geometry of the BACKROAD FF is characterised by a relatively long reach compared to other gravel race bikes, which is paired with a rather low stack height. As such, the bike isn’t very compact, placing you in a rather stretched riding position. This is more like classic road racing geometry than that of many gravel bikes, again showing the influence of the XLITE.

ROSE BACKROAD FF | SRAM Force AXS | 8,5 kg (manufacturer’s specification) | € 3,499

The more affordable version of the BACKROAD FF costs € 3,499, relying on a SRAM Rival AXS groupset (incl. power meter), and also featuring ROSE’s new gravel race cockpit. However, it doesn’t come with the new GC50 wheels.

The ROSE BACKROAD FF on the race track

3, 2, 1, GO! Despite its aero optimisation, the BACKROAD FF is quick to pull away. While you couldn’t quite call it exhilarating, the rather stiff GC50 wheels, fast Schwalbe G-One RS tires, and laterally stiff frame make for responsive acceleration. It even cuts a fine figure on steep climbs, with a lively feeling and stable handling.

Once up to speed, however, the BACKROAD FF plays its trump card. The race geometry is well suited to high speeds and puts you into an efficient riding position. Uncompromising racers might be put off by the 20 mm rise of the handlebar, whereas for others it serves as the optimal compromise, allowing you to stay in the aero position as comfortably and as long as possible. That said, combining a 20 mm rise handlebar with a -10 degree stem doesn’t make sense from our point of view, and probably has more to do with looks than with functionality. The ergonomics of the cockpit, on the other hand, were convincing throughout, providing a secure and comfortable grip whether you’re in the drops, on the tops, or on the hoods. The 15 degree flare of the drops offers plenty of control on technical descents and during sprints. The very stiff fork is particularly noticeable when cornering, ensuring direct and precise steering. In combination with the composed handling, the BACKROAD FF instils you with confidence at high speeds. However, the G-One RS tires reach their limits in the wet, even when running them at low pressures, and you should exchange at least the front tire for something more grippy for winter riding.

Although compliance isn’t the top priority on a race bike, the BACKROAD FF noticeably dampens small bumps and vibrations, which is definitely sufficient for the intended use. The wide rims allow you to run the tires at lower pressures, which further increases comfort and grip. Overall, this results in a fast gravel race bike which is comfortable enough to ride for long distances. This feeling was confirmed when we beat some of our personal records on Strava after the test ride on our local gravel loop. So, the BACKROAD FF undoubtedly is a KOM hunter too.

Helmet MET Manta | Glasses NAKED Optics The Volt| Jacket Gore C5 Shakedry | Bib Straede Aero Bib Shorts | Shoes S-Works Recon

Who is the 2024 ROSE BACKROAD FF for?

Clearly, the BACKROAD FF is the right bike for gravel racers, and aspiring gravel racers. Thanks to the comfortable cockpit and wealth of aero details, the BACKROAD FF should also perform well on long-distance races. Off the racetrack, it will deliver on fast jaunts, KOM hunts, and training rides, with the help of the power meter.

Some bikes and accessories are true designer pieces and too beautiful to be left in the cellar. That’s why you should take a look at the article on bikes in the home in our sister magazine DOWNTOWN. We show you how you can beautifully display your favorite bike/accessory in your home.

Our conclusion on the 2024 ROSE BACKROAD FF

After a week of race preparation in the Black Forest, some Strava PRs and KOMs, and plenty of home-stretch sprints, the ROSE BACKROAD FF proved to be damn fast. ROSE tick a lot of the right boxes with the BACKROAD FF, and at a significantly lower price than many of the competition. It is an uncompromising gravel race bike in almost all respects, with the build, handling and styling all pointing to high speeds and sprint finishes. Only the 20 mm rise cockpit could put some racers off.


  • value for money
  • racey look
  • convincing aero-concept


  • no 2x groupset option as yet

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Words: Jan Richter Photos: Antonia Feder