The first sight of the Rose Xeon doesn't disappoint. In gleaming white and with restrained graphics, it looks a class act. With the seatpost high it has a purposeful stance and looks raring to go. I immediately noticed the weight. This bike is featherweight compared to my previous alloy and steel bikes.
Two things that really stand out with the first look are the hydraulic SRAM Red shifters upfront and the rear brake neatly tucked under the bottom bracket. The SRAM Double Tap gear change system is simple to get to grips with and the gear lever gives a solid click to ensure you know a gear change is about to engage.
When you hit the roads of North Gloucestershire you are never far away from a slow grinding hill or something that feels like you're riding up a vertical wall. The gearing is perfect for these roads. The engineers have done a great job at creating a frame that is stiff and comfortable. It soaks up all the bumps with ease and handled a pot hole with ease.
The Rose carbon road frame is also very stable. A friend recently moved to carbon and complained of a fidgety ride and it being blown about. This bike is rock solid on the road.
It's is a cycling cliche, but you do feel as though all the power you put through the pedals is transferred onto the road. While riding the bike it seems to scream out for more, whether that's up or downhill. Just keep pedaling.
This is where my fitness starts to lag, as the tempo of the ride is much higher than normal and no breaks between bursts of energy. Over the next few weeks I'll look to improve stamina and only then will I start to get the most out of the bike.
What's really surprising is that Rose road bikes don't get much coverage here in the UK. The other big German manufacturer, Focus, receives much more exposure. So Rose bikes really are hidden gems.