First things first: despite its name the Team DX Cross isn’t actually a cyclocross bike, with it sitting in the German online outfit Rose’s ‘gravel’ range (whatever that may mean…).
Either way, its hydroformed alloy frame features smooth welds – at least on the top half – and is heavy on detailing, with an asymmetric rear end, flat-mount disc brakes, rack and mudguard/fender eyelets and even bosses for a kickstand.
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At 135mm the 10mm thru-axle rear dropouts are narrower than some. That means you only get a guide slot on the non-driveside to seat the wheel, which can mean a bit of wiggling when replacing the wheel and screwing in the thru-axle. But since this isn’t a bike designed for race-fast wheel changes, it’s not that much of an issue.
Slack and short
The geometry mixes a steep 74-degree seat angle with a slacker 71-degree head angle, which combines with the shortish reach to create a forward, quite upright riding position. This can feel a little bit on the short side, especially when you’re climbing out of the saddle.
The steady steering adds to the relaxed feel on the road, while the compliant carbon fork, huge tyres and a 27.2mm carbon seatpost that’s designed to flex make the DX a seriously comfortable bike.
With 32mm Schwalbe rubber fitted, it rides beautifully too – and you’re very well looked after elsewhere. There’s Ritchey’s excellent – and expensive – WCS cockpit, the DT Swiss Splines are quality wheels, the 105 setup is typically efficient and the Shimano hydraulic braking both powerful and controlled.
The 50/34 crankset and climbing-friendly 11-32 cassette will give you plenty of gearing options when gradients bite, though it lends itself more to steady climbing than attacking.
Stable descender with miles of versatility
The slacker front end makes it a very stable descender, and if you slide back on the saddle and get low into the compact drops it’ll cruise through corners at speed very well. Ergon’s SRX-30 saddle is a bit of an oddity, though: its angular shape is popular with mountain bikers but we found the narrowing rear of the hull overly stiff at the wings, making it difficult to get truly comfortable. We’ve tried worse, but this wouldn’t be our first choice.
That said, Rose does give you a choice of dozens of saddles, along with numerous other kit upgrades or alternatives for different budgets.
The disc-specific fork, in particular, shows off this Rose’s versatility. It is designed for 15mm thru-axles, but it also has mounts for mudguards and a low-rider rack. The right-hand leg even has internal routing for a dynamo hub, with the left leg taking the hydraulic hose. In other words, the DX would make a very fine full-on tourer, where even those kickstand mounts would come into their own.
Rose claims a weight of 1400g for a 56cm frame and 460g for the fork, which isn’t that light. But considering its versatility and how well equipped it is, we’re prepared to look past that. It’s quick enough on the flat but sluggish on ascents, so is probably at its best in the guise of a modern touring bike. It’s more agile than a traditional tourer, and looks suitably contemporary too, yet has all the fixtures and fittings you’d ever need.
The DX is just the sort of bike that would excel in an epic adventure, tackling the rough stuff with ease and shrugging off heavy loads thanks to its first-rate frameset. And if you leave the panniers at the campsite you’ll have a bike that’s great fun to ride, with fine handling and superb road manners.