Rose Xeon CW review£1,589.00

Aero efficient, distance friendly ride that’s a serious bargain

BikeRadar score4.5/5

There are two S-es dominating cycling now: sportives and Strava. Rose’s easy riding Xeon CW aero bike is not only brilliant for both, but an absolute bargain too.

    The Xeon CW is the aero road option from the German-based cycling superstore. Drag reduction starts at the minimal frontal area despite the full carbon tapered fork. The internal cable routing entries give neat, low profile cable entry and the tubes get clipped trailing edges for turbulence management.

    An asymmetric buttress behind the seat tube increases the stiffness of the press-fit bottom bracket without interfering with front deraileur function. The skinny A-frame seatstays flatten and curve at the seat tube junction to smooth out the rear end ride. The deep down tube gets an extra low single bottle position or higher twin bottle one.

    Shimano ultegra gearing helps keep overall weight low on the already lightweight frameset:
    Shimano ultegra gearing helps keep overall weight low on the already lightweight frameset:

    Shimano Ultegra gearing helps keep overall weight low on the already lightweight frameset

    The full Shimano Ultegra baseline is pimped out with lightweight Ritchey cockpit kit and a Rose carbon aero seatpost for the super light Selle Italia integrated monorail saddle. Compared to the obvious competition it’s nearly a kilo lighter than BMC’s £1800 TMR02 and 700g lighter than the £1649 Giant Propel Advanced 1, with only the £1799 13 Bikes Intuition Gamma running it close at 7.74kg. It’s not quite as punchy as the Propel and TMR, but it’s stiffer than the Intuition when you stamp on the pedals.

    Aerodynamic efficiency gives the Rose a sense of slight tailwind speed sustain and it racked up some ego-boosting Strava PRs during testing. Despite wheels that have a reputation for stubborn turning at speed and blowing about badly in gusty conditions it always felt in control when we were putting the pressure on or the wind was playing rough. Stress-free handling means you can stay low and aero in exactly the descending/turbulent conditions where it matters most.

    Despite the firmness of the monorail saddle and stiff wheels with skinny Mavictyres the overall ride quality is impressively forgiving and fatigue free.

    Our only gripes are about the Mavic wheel ‘upgrade’ Rose supplied off its extensive options menu. That means we would recommend sticking with Rose’s own brand RS1400 wheels – they’re lighter, can also be specced with 25c Continental GP4000S tyres, and drop the already outstanding value price by another £47.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Guy Kesteven

    Freelance Writer, UK
    Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 76cm / 30in
    • Chest: 91cm / 36in
    • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
    • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
    • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
    • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
    • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
    • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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