BIKEstuff are only just clocking up their second year as an enthusiast-driven internet mail order site, yet they have managed to bag one of the more hardcore and tech-driven German brands available: Rotwild. Handcrafted under exacting standards, this is a no-nonsense racing machine that takes no prisoners.
Characterised by a stern yet attractive black, red and white livery, and an impeccable build quality throughout, this bike comes charging out of its corner like an angry mastiff.
Tipping our scales at 1,320g for a large frame, and 405g for the all-carbon fork, it carries a couple of hundred grams of extra strengthening material over its 1kg Far Eastern rivals.
The R.S2 incorporates features such as separately laid-up carbon tubes precisely mitred and bonded into an extremely rigid structure, and machined aluminium interface points in the form of super-sized headset and bottom bracket inserts, ﬁtted with a standard 1 1/8in steerer and regular threaded 68mm shell.
Unusually, the carbon box section chainstays and seatstays are bonded into welded aluminium sub-assemblies which make up about 25 percent of the rear triangle and include the dropouts. Both front and rear dropouts are capped with protective metal inlays for extreme durability.
On the road, an unyielding zero-offset seatpost and unusually shaped handlebar with a burly ‘track-style’ roundness add to the extreme direct feel of this bike; there is virtually zero give in the rear triangle or the seat assembly.
Handling was quick and light on the hoods and the tops, yet planted and steady in the drops and at speed. The Rotwild would make the perfect bike for club-run jousting, criteriums, or any competitive event where surfaces were good.
Whether you’d want to experience an all-day sportive on potholed country lanes or upturned pavé is another story. It prefers to be dominated, and it welcomes rough treatment; push it hard and you’ll be amply rewarded with instant, sustainable speed.
For serious athletes or pros who need a work tool that will get the job done, Rotwild have created a vicious machine bred for speed and aggression. Only hard men and women need apply.