Rose Pro SL 2000 review

Rose puts petal to the metal with a performance bargain

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0
GBP £860.00 RRP

Our review

Rose combines an amazing spec with a truly rewarding ride experience
Buy if, You want an exciting, brilliantly specced bike for a stupidly low price
Pros: Value, lively ride
Cons: Firmer ride than some competitors
Skip to view product specifications

The idea of buying a proper bike online rather than in a shop doesn’t seem at all odd these days, and German giant Rose is just one of the brands that specialises in direct sales. The Pro SL 2000 is what Rose calls a “marathon” bike, which is to say an endurance or sportive machine with slightly less aggressive geometry than a full-on racer.

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The Pro SL’s aluminium frame is a lovely looking thing that’s claimed to weigh around 1,280g. Its white paint job isn’t the most exciting thing in the world and the graphics are a tad corporate, but the overall appearance is like that of a much more expensive bike. The welds on the upper half of the frame are lovely and smooth, to the point where you’d have to look very closely to determine that the bike is in fact made of metal, rather than carbon.

The cables are mostly internal and the combination of the slightly sloping top-tube and skinny, dropped seatstays is very BMC-esque, marking the Rose out from the competition — this doesn’t look like an entry-level bike at all.

The overall appearance is like that of a much more expensive bike
The overall appearance is like that of a much more expensive bike
Courtesy

In spec terms it doesn’t fit our definition of entry-level either. In addition to that slick frame, the matching fork has a tapered carbon steerer for a stiff and light front end. Better yet, Rose gives you a full Shimano 105 groupset, right down to the chain, something rarely seen at this price point.

The Mavic Aksium wheels are a familiar sight but again, they’re better than what you might expect on a bike this affordable — it’s honestly hard to see how Rose is making a profit here.

On a technical note, while I haven’t always got along with press-fit bottom brackets, Rose goes some way to justifying its choice of one here by actually exploiting the extra width it offers over an external unit. The Pro SL’s huge downtube uses the full span of the bottom bracket shell as an anchor, contributing to the bike’s excellent power transfer.

Rose takes full advantage of that wide, press-fit bottom bracket shell
Wide, press-fit bottom bracket aids power transfer
Philip Sowels / Immediate Media

That lateral stiffness does come with a side order of firmness, there’s no question. The dropped seatstays and slim seatpost imply more comfort than they actually impart and the frame is rigid enough that you’ll be aware of road imperfections even out of the saddle, as knocks are transmitted through the soles of your feet.

This doesn’t really detract from a ride that is extremely likeable overall, however. The bike feels alive and willing when you push hard, and unless you’re on a properly rough road, it’s a delight whether you’re climbing steep inclines or blasting down the descents.

With 561mm of stack and 384mm of reach in a 55cm, the geometry is middle of the road, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this isn’t an exciting machine – it is.

The Rose Pro SL 2000
It’s a delight whether you’re climbing steep inclines or blasting down the descents
Robert Smith / Immediate Media

The quirky Ritchey bar won’t suit every hand shape, but I found them confidence inspiring on high-speed sections, my hands securely locked into the angled section of the ergo drop.

The finishing kit is all nice stuff, although it’s worth noting that unlike with Rose’s more expensive offerings, you can’t tweak component sizes when you order.

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Fundamentally, the Pro SL is an awful lot of bike for the money. It’s a proper grown-up road bike that doesn’t feel entry-level and it’s specced exceptionally well for the money. Nice one, Rose.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Pro SL 2000
Brand Rose

Available Sizes 48cm 51cm 53cm 55cm 57cm 59cm 61cm 63cm 65cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1750
Wheelbase (cm) 99
Top Tube (cm) 54
Standover Height (cm) 77.5
Seat Tube (cm) 47.5
Chainstays (cm) 41.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28
Wheelset Mavic Aksium Elite
Weight (kg) 8.7
Trail 6.2
Stem Ritchey 4 Axis WTD, 90mm
Shifters Shimano 105
Seatpost Ritchey 2B alloy, 27.2mm
Seat Angle 75
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Rear Tyre Mavic Yksion Elite 700x25mm
Bottom Bracket Shimano press-fit
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Headset Type Rose cartridge, 1.5in lower bearing
Head Angle 73.5
Handlebar Ritchey Comp Streem II, 42cm alloy
Front Wheel Weight 1260
Front Tyre Mavic Yksion Elite 700x25mm
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Material 7005 T6 Ultralight aluminium
Fork Offset 3.75
Fork Pro SL Modulus full carbon
Cranks Shimano 105 50/34, 170mm
Chain Shimano HG601
Cassette Shimano CS-5800 11-32
Brakes Shimano 105
Frame size tested 55cm