Rose X-Lite Four review

Chorus-equipped, wind tunnel-developed online-only flyer

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,659.00 RRP

Our review

Thrillingly fast and well-equipped aero road bike with an efficient ride. Great value too
Buy if, You want a lively, dynamic ride and one of the lightest bikes available for the price
Pros: Light weight, good wheels, great Campagnolo groupset and tyres, a fast, super-dynamic ride
Cons: Online purchase only and a ride that some may find overly firm
Skip to view product specifications

This Campagnolo-equipped X-Lite Four has loads going for it. Namely, Chorus 11-speed with a carbon bar and seatpost from Ritchey, DT Swiss wheels and top-notch 25mm Continental Grand Prix 4000S IIs tyres. And that’s even before I get to the grey and fluorescent lime aero-influenced compact frame at its heart, featuring a down-tube with rear wheel cutaway and dropped slimline seatstays.

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We’re big fans of the Campagnolo Chorus gearing
We’re big fans of the Campagnolo Chorus gearing
Immediate Media

Rose X-Lite Four ride frame and kit

This bike’s X-Lite name is apt, as my test version weighs just under 7kg, which is impressive for the price.

That sub-7kg weight is noticeable when you lift it up, and with this wind-tunnel-tested model claiming to be 11 watts more efficient than its X-Lite Team predecessor, you’ve got aerodynamics on your side.

While science says aerodynamics trumps low weight pretty much every time, when I was crawling up double-digit-degree climbs at little more than walking pace, I appreciated the Rose’s low weight.

It also comes with claims for a super-stiff head-tube (100Nm) and 60Nm bottom bracket stiffness — a rigidity that’s evident whenever you put your foot down.

Typically for Rose, this also translates into an efficiency you can feel through the seat of your Lycra, super-sharp acceleration and extremely honed front-end handling. This isn’t a bike for the daydreaming dawdler, this is for those who like speed.

This does mean the ride is firm rather than cushioned, but Rose has factored in some comfort. The compact frame means a lot of the carbon seatpost is exposed, while the seatstays are narrow, both adding a little plushness on a frame with racy geometry.

The gently swept and ovalised Ritchey WCS Carbon Evocurve bar (RRP £240) and Fizik tape do the same job at the front. The X-Lite will take 28mm tyres for more comfort if you find the ride overly aggressive.

The X-Lite climbs superbly, whether you’re in the saddle or out of the saddle and cranking
The X-Lite climbs superbly, whether you’re in the saddle or out of the saddle and cranking
Robert Smith

Rose X-Lite Four ride experience

The X-Lite climbs superbly, whether you’re sitting in the saddle and spinning or out of the saddle and cranking. It descends even better, instantly responsive to all of your input, allowing you to bomb down quickly and confidently.

The Campagnolo Chorus gearing worked impeccably, delivering crisp, accurate shifting with loads of feedback and excellent braking. If the 52/36 chainset and 12-29 cassette pairing isn’t low enough for you, the same bike/wheel/cockpit combination is available with Shimano Ultegra, which offers a 50/34 chainset and 11-34 cassette option.

Rose X-Lite Four verdict

Apart from having to set the bike up yourself, there are very few negatives with Rose’s bargain-priced flyer. The ride is firm, but not absurdly so and the under-seat-tube clamp bolt is slightly awkward to access, though well placed to prevent water ingress.

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If you want a light, lively, fast, fun-filled ride to challenge your personal best, with the option to spec its kit to your needs and budget, this is about as impressive as you’ll find for the money.

Product Specifications

Product

Name X-lite Four
Brand Rose

Available Sizes 50cm 53cm 55cm 57cm 59cm 62cm
Saddle Selle Italia SLR Flow
All measurements for frame size tested 55cm
Head Tube (cm) 15.5
Frame size tested 55cm
Wheelbase (cm) 98.5
Top Tube (cm) 55
Seat Tube (cm) 47
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Wheelset DT Swiss P1750 Spline
Weight (kg) 6.95
Trail 5.7
Stem Ritchey WCS C220
Shifters Campagnolo Chorus
Seatpost Ritchey WCS Carbon Link Flexlogic
Seat Angle 73.5
Rear Wheel Weight 1550
Bottom Bracket BB86 Press-fit
Frame Material T30/49 HM/HT carbon
Brakes Campagnolo Chorus
Cassette Campagnolo Chorus, 12-29
Chain Campagnolo Chorus
Cranks Campagnolo Chorus, 52/36
Fork Carbon
Fork Offset 4.5
Front Derailleur Campagnolo Chorus
Rear Tyre Continental GP4000 S II, 25mm
Front Tyre Continental GP4000 S II, 25mm
Front Wheel Weight 1030
Handlebar Ritchey WCS Evo Curve
Head Angle 73
Headset Type FSA No 62
Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Chorus
Bottom-bracket drop (cm) 6.9