This bright blue, big-wheeled roller from Rose offers outstanding, custom spec online value if your ideal ride puts comfort ahead of combat.
The base bike is Rose’s £2,582 RockShox and XT-based Root Miller 2 but it’s upgraded with a Fox 34 Factory fork (£221), a Fox Float FIT DPS Factory Elite (£181) shock, XTR shifters (a bargain £5) and rear mech (£79), and a RaceFace Next 35x780mm carbon bar.
Most other components are changeable, too, and you can specify dimensions when you order, which is why my bike came with a 50mm RaceFace Turbine stem.
The symmetrical four-bar linkage rear end, plush Fox suspension and big wheels mean it hovercrafts across small to medium roots and rocks with little momentum loss. There’s a lot of clearance under the cranks for sustained pedalling, and it’ll even take 27.5in-plus tyres if you want the ultimate floated flow.
The frame and skinny triangular shock driver linkage are flexy when you start pushing harder, though, struggling to keep the wheels where you want them. The powerful Magura MT6 brakes are an awkward combination of initially snatchy and then spongy as the lever body flexes, making anchoring into hard turns an anxious experience.
The suspension is naturally prone to diving through its travel rather than giving a consistent ride feel to work with. Add the tall (348mm) bottom bracket and it feels twitchier and less confident than the geometry would suggest.
It’s similarly soft under power, so the middling weight requires more effort to get moving than the most stiff and efficient 29ers we tested for Trail Bike of the Year 2017. But if you want high levels of comfort and kit value it’s still well worth a look.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.