For 2015 Rose bikes completely redesigned both of its race bike platforms and added two new endurance bikes to complement the existing GF and CGF bikes.
The popular X-Lite race range abandoned its oversized tubing and, using design lessons learned from the CGF, Rose created new lightweight designs in both carbon and aluminium.
The new flagship of the range is the X-Lite Team, which is much slimmer than the outgoing model. Rose's chief of road bike design Jürgen Telahr collaborated with the Bocholt University of Applied Sciences, among others, and the resulting frame tips the scales at just 800g. The new 315g fork was designed to be laterally stiff yet dampen road vibration.
Slimming down in profile and in weight
The new fork features no fewer than 140 unique carbon plies in its construction. This, combined with precision lay-up refined using FEA (finite element analysis) at Bocholt University, meant that the initial made-in-Germany final prototype weighed just 270g, and under independent testing had both the highest lateral rigidity yet the highest comfort levels of all the forks tested, Rose claimed. However, that fork took an entire day to manufacture just one, compared to a mass-produced fork that takes under an hour. Rose have persevered with their Taiwanese manufacturing partners and managed to convert the fork in series production thus the resulting 315g full-production version.
The frame compared to the outgoing X-Lite is actually stiffer, not a small victory considering the massive dimensions of the previous frame compared to the slender 2015 frame. Rose also managed to make the bike more comfortable by altering the frame shape to a semi-sloping design, reducing the seatpost dimension to 27.2 and using Ritchey's compliant Flex-Logic post. The frame also features Rose's integrated seat clamp that debuted on the GF. "The integrated seat clamp will become the signature design on all of Rose's future road machines," Telahr said.
The X-Lite Team
Another across-the-board design detail for Rose is dual-fit internal cable routing (with easy-to-maintain internal channeling) and even the cable fittings are a dedicated Rose design and not off-the-peg small parts. Tyre clearance has also been increased so the X-Lite will now comfortably accept 25mm tyres. The bikes will be available in sizes from 50cm to 62cm and in a range of specifications, and Rose offers custom options on pretty much every bike they make as each one is built to order at their Bocholt assembly facility. Pricing for the range isn't yet confirmed, but we hope to have guide pricing very soon. Though Rose UK manager Fin Paton did tell us that pricing should stay in-line with the 2014 ranges equivalent models.
Sitting below the Team model is the new X-Lite CRS, it retains the same frame design and the same fork but made from slightly lower grade carbon means the frame tips the scales at 1,000g (57cm) but Rose claims it offers the same ride quality and as it shares the same geometry it should have the same race-ready handling.
All new Metal
It's not just on the flagship carbon bike where Rose worked on weight reduction. With the new Aluminium Xeon RS Rose mirrored the geometry of the Team but constructed the frame in aluminium. Whereas the previous aluminium road machine used 7051 alloy, the new model uses a new alloy 6066. Rose claims it has a better strength-to-weight ratio, plus the metal was manipulated to save further weight. By reducing the wall thickness by 0.2mm and using far more extreme tapers through the triple-butted tubing (which is also size specific on each of the 9 sizes from 49cm to 66cm), Rose claims it has the lightest production alloy frame, with the 57cm anodized frame tipping the scales at 1,050g. That's well into carbon-fibre territory, even more impressive when you consider that the standard Ultegra build model in a 57cm weighs in at 6.9kg. Up front it uses the same fork as the X-Lite whilst at the rear it uses pencil thin seat stays and plenty of exposed (flex-logic) seat post thanks to the semi-sloping design.
Endurance with added stopping power
Both of Rose's new endurance models feature disc brakes, the bikes the Xeon DX and Xeon CDX may sound confusing to those who know the brand as this years Xeon DX is a race machine whereas both of these models are based on the sportive ready GF design. In fact both the carbon (CDX) and alloy (DX) share the same front triangle as the GF bikes.
Shimano's 'Flat Mount' disc brakes are used with an adaptor for now
Both bikes use Shimano's model year 2016 'Flat mount' standard for the disc brakes like the Lapierre Sensium 500 we featured recently, and like Lapierre Rose are using adaptors on the frame to take current brake designs. The fork is based on the new High-Performance fork design but the addition of a disc mount not forgetting their choice of going with a 15mm thru' axle adds up to a complete weight of 380g, 65g more than the standard fork. Its not just the front end of the disc bikes that have gone thru' axle, Rose have also adopted the 10mm thru' axle standard at the rear. Though cleverly the rear dropouts are an aluminium insert on both the carbon and alloy models, Jürgen tells us 'we have a switchable system at the rear because although DT Swiss have a bolt thru' 10mm at the rear, Mavic have chosen to stay with a standard QR so we needed a system to be able to use both. Thankfully both have adopted the 15mm front standard'.
The bikes come with 140mm rotors as standard, though Rose can offer 160mm rotors with the use of a different adaptor for those wanting a bit more stopping force.
The all-carbon CDX frame weighs in at 1080g (57cm, unpainted) just 70g more than the CGF and combined with the 380g fork makes it still impressive in the weight stakes. Rose claim around 7kg for an Ultegra mechanical build with Shimano Hydraulic brakes for the same size. The alloy DX version uses the same triple butted 6061 material as the new RS and the frame features a new head tube spacer design. Rather than using standard headset spacers Rose use screw-in alloy 20mm extensions so you can raise the front end up to 40mm. The top headset bearing sits above the spacers ensuring consistent stiffness on a taller front end. Its a very similar design to Argon 18's long standing 3D headtube system.
Rose's signature seatpost clamp