Rose Xeon CWX 3000 review£2,395.00

Aero-disc mash-up from the historic German brand

BikeRadar score4/5

First up, props must go to Rose for breaking the black and red monotony of road bikes (of which Rose has been pretty guilty of in the past) with this incredibly bold, almost hi-viz, fluro yellow finish on the CWX 3000.

The CWX is based around the Xeon CW aero road design, but adds thru-axle equipped disc stopping power combined with wind tunnel-tuned shape and racing geometry.

My 59cm test bike features steep 73.5 and 73.75 head and seat angles with a long 407mm reach and 580mm stack. This, combined with the 1,009mm wheelbase, makes for a bike that’s a proper competition focused rig.

The CWX’s aero shape is sweetly combined with a bike that feels eager and quick from the first turn of the pedals. The relatively low weight — a tad over 8 kilos with a 1,150g frame at the heart of the bike — adds to the feeling of speed, and over flat terrain the CWX approaches TT bike levels of pace.

You could add a set of clip-on TT bars and flip the clamp on the dedicated aero post (to further steepen the seat angle). You'd then have yourself a very competitive against the clock machine.

Its not just on the flat where the Xeon impresses.

Comfort wise the CWX is certainly on the firm side, but this is countered a bit by the quality 25mm tyres, saddle, bar and tape

On rolling roads and through the turns the steepened geometry makes for a rapid handling bike with instantaneous responses to steering inputs. It’s a very different kind of aero-road machine, where my experience has shown that most aero bikes major on stability rather than responsiveness.

The Rose DX 1650 disc wheels, as their name suggests, tip the scales at 1,650g a pair, and combined with the Conti GP4000sII tyres this makes for a light and lively setup, which helps the CWX when it comes to hills. However, the CWX is at its best on the climbs when you get out of the saddle and attack rather than sit-in and grind.

The racy 52/36, 11-28 gear combo gives enough range for climbs without compromising on flat-road speed. And the slick Ultegra drivetrain is matched with equally impressive top-level Shimano hydraulics in the form of the class-leading RS805 brakes equipped with 160mm Ice Tech rotors. These offer superb control and noise-free braking.

I'm also a fan of the Ritchey Streem bars with their swept back tops and great drop shape. They're mid-compact and feel great when you get down in the drops and pile on the pressure.

At the back the slender Selle Italia SLS saddle is well padded and well shaped, though the glossy covering meant I did slip around somewhat once it’d been coated with a liberal drenching of rain.

Comfort wise the CWX is certainly on the firm side, but this is countered a bit by the quality 25mm tyres, saddle, bar and, indeed, tape. So the bike does communicate the road surface somewhat, and potholes and ruts are met with a solid thunk.

The firmness does however feel somehow right for the bike, with its sharp handling and rapid responses I welcomed the information coming through the chassis and tyres letting me read the grip levels as the speed stayed high.

Overall, the combination of a great aggressive design and excellent equipment that concentrates the good stuff where you need it — top-class tyres, brakes, and gearing — is all wrapped up in a bike that’s seriously quick and has a seriously involved ride. Believe me, there is no extraneous cossetting going on with the 3000 and it's very much worth your consideration.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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