Direct sales brand Rose Bikes has introduced a new gravel bike to its range. The carbon-frame Backroad is designed for off-road jollies and versatility, with two versions available: the all-road/gravel focussed Backroad and the cyclocross configured Backroad Cross.
The headline feature is perhaps the light 1,040g carbon frame, which is a competitive weight in the world of multi-purpose gravel bikes. Rose claims that this maintains the racing genes of its bikes and offers a light and agile ride.
The geometry is, as you would expect, falling in line with many other gravel bikes. That means a head angle of between 71–72 degrees, depending on the size, and a seat tube angle of between 74–73 degrees.
Sleek lines on this lightweight carbon frameRose
The chainstays are a short and snappy 425mm, while the overall wheelbase is longer than a usual road bike to provide extra stability off-road or when loaded with luggage. It appears to be usual compromise between off-road manners and on-road agility.
For extra cushioning, the frame has clearances for up to 42mm tyres, and the bike is available in five different sizes from 51 to 62cm.
The frame features full internal routing, flat mount brakes and thru-axles and is fitted with a full carbon fork. There are also mounting options for racks, mudguards and lights, giving this bike the potential to be a very versatile machine.
Flat mount brakes and thru-axlesRose
Your choice of groupset and components
Both the Cross and Gravel version of the bike share many components, though these can also be configured or modified when ordering the bike online. This allows you to choose your desired gearing, component sizes and even change specific components.
There are Shimano Ultegra Di2, Ultegra and SRAM Force equipped bikes in each range, letting you choose the 1x or 2x setup you want. Somewhat disappointingly, only the Cross bike seems to feature the new Shimano Ultegra RX clutch equipped derailleur.
The gravel focussed Backroad is fitted with Schwalbe G-ONE 38c tyres, while the Backroad Cross uses 33c knobbly Schwalbe X-ONE items.
The frame has clearances for up to 42mm tyresRose
The Backroad Cross is also fitted with DT Swiss P1750 alloy wheels while the gravel focussed model uses own-brand Rose R Thirty DISC wheels.
The Ritchey WCS Evomax bars feature flared drops, a design which we have found to work very well in the past, both on and off-road, improving both comfort and control.
Finally all the bikes feature a Rose RC-170 Flex carbon seatpost, which is claimed to absorb road buzz and shocks.
The frame features a neat, wedge-shaped seat clampRose
And some unique builds
Apart from the ‘standard’ gravel and ‘cross configurations, there are two other interesting models in the range that caught our eye.
The Backroad Ultegra Multicross is essentially the same gravel build but with flat bars, which could make for an excellent commuting machine.
The Backroad Ultegra Randonneur is a bike clearly designed for long distance riding, with a hub dynamo built into the wheelset. The rest of the spec is similar to the gravel build, but with Continental 4-Season tyres.
Rose Backroad Ultegra Di2 specs and pricing
The Rose Backroad Ultegra Di2Rose
Frame: High Modulus Aerospace Carbon Fibre T30/40, H.O.C. Technology
Fork: High Performance Disc, 1 ⅛in–1.5in full carbon