This Pinion-equipped touring wagon is unashamedly practical

Rose's Activa Pro Pinion 18 is an incredibly well kitted out German touring machine

While visiting Rose Bikes in Bocholt, Germany to test the new X-Lite 6, we had the chance to visit Rose’s flagship store, ROSE BIKETOWN, where we spotted this intrepid adventurer — the Activa Pro Pinion 18.

Rose Activa Pro Pinion 18 highlights

  • 6013 T6 double butted aluminium frame
  • Pinion P1.18 gearbox
  • Shimano XT Trekking brakes
  • SON 28 dynamo hub
  • Fully equipped with touring essentials
  • €3999 with international shipping available

This is an all-out, no holds barred touring bike with a high-end spec to match. Curiously, rather than use a Rohloff Speedhub — commonly found on long-distance tourers — Rose has chosen to fit a Pinion gearbox.

The P1.18 gearbox offers 18 gears with a 636 percent range and evenly spaced 11.5 percent jumps between gears. That exceeds the range of a Rohloff hub gear as well as that of common derailleur setups, while retaining a small gap between gears for improved pedalling efficiency.

The bike is built around a Pinion gearbox
The bike is built around a Pinion gearbox

Of course that comes with a weight penalty, with the gearbox alone weighing a hefty 2.7kg (claimed). It’s worth bearing in mind that this weight is static on the frame rather than rotating mass on the wheel, as with a Rohloff. Having the weight centrally located should help with overall stability.

We've spent a bit of time using Pinion gearbox equipped mountain bikes

The gearbox also has a long 10,000km service interval and, coupled with the Gates Carbon Drive belt, we expect that the drivetrain should be pleasantly maintenance free.

Further reinforcing its touring focus, the bike is fitted with Shimano XT Trekking brakes, which feature a longer brake lever for up to three finger braking to provide better stopping power when heavily loaded.

The three finger levers should improve braking power
The three finger levers should improve braking power

The frame is made from a relatively uncommon 6013 T6 aluminium alloy. This offers improved toughness over other aluminium alloys which is perfect for the rigours of a touring environment. Four bottle cage mounts provide ample space for carrying bottles or other accessories.

The front wheel is built around a SON dynamo hub...
The front wheel is built around a SON dynamo hub...

...which powers a Supernova headlight
...which powers a Supernova headlight

The SON 28 dynamo hub powering the Supernova front light and B + M tail light means you’ll never have problems running out of charge. Having a dynamo is also the ideal way to ensure you have power even when you’re away from civilisation.

Likewise, the 27.5in DT Swiss 466 rims and Schwalbe Marathon tyres should give problem- (and hopefully puncture-) free riding. It’s definitely unusual to see thru-axles front and rear on a bike like this, but this, coupled with the tapered steerer, should make for accurate steering.

The bike is fitted with Tubus racks front and rear
The bike is fitted with Tubus racks front and rear

Additional concessions to practicality and comfort include the Ergon GP3 grips with bar ends, an adjustable stem and the integrated Abus Pro Shield bike lock. The bike also comes with de-facto touring standard Tubus racks front and rear for carrying all your luggage.

The frame’s 70-degree head angle and long 465mm chainstays should contribute to stable handling when loaded, though not the most nimble of rides. In any case, weighing in at 16.2 kg (claimed for the 18.5in frame) this is a leviathan that will just keep on rolling, rather than a sprightly sprinter.

The bike has every touring accessory imaginable
The bike has every touring accessory imaginable

We can’t help but feel charmed by this bike — yes, it’s a little nerdy but it’s unashamedly built for and focussed on its intended use. This purpose made, technical touring titan retails for €3,999 with international delivery available.

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