So one year on since I started riding the Rose Xeon Team CGF road bike. It still feels amazing and every time I ride I feel very lucky to own it. With the carbon frame, fast spinning Swiss wheels, plus top end components it's a joy every ride.
In the past I've ridden and owned all kinds of bikes made of different materials, but never carbon and no bike has been draped with such top end components.
As just an average weekend rider, I really didn't believe that having a carbon bike would have seriously reduce my ride times. How wrong I was. I have been amazed at the results - even without clip-on pedals (which I must upgrade!)
I've seen my average speed increase by 2mph is many cases. If I really want to beat a time I can. Whatever energy you put through the cranks seems to go straight to the back wheel, without any wastage of effort or flex.
The bike is incredibly comfortable for longer rides, but if I was being picky I would like a longer stretch to the bars. But the geometry of Grand Fondo bikes means you're supposed to be sitting up more for long-distance comfort > I'm 5 '11 and I have the 57" frame.
The SRAM Red/Force combo is perfect. It's never missed a change or flipped the chain off. The calliper brakes are incredibly powerful as they are driven by SRAM Red hydraulic callipers. They scrub off speed fast, but I get a little nervous sometimes barrelling down a hill as the power seems to want to throw you over the top of the bike. I think this is more down to my riding style than the brakes though! The power of these brakes would be perfectly suited to discs.
The ride is smooth and soaks up the bumps and can handle damaged and rough roads. I often ride the bike around country roads - smooth tarmac is often a luxury where I live. The bike has handled everything thrown at it.
The rims take 25c tyres which are all the rage now. Mavic did some really interesting research on why 25c is better than 23c and Cyclist magazine explained it like this: "....a 17.7% increase in tyre air volume decreases rolling resistance by 13%, Furthermore, Mavic's testing shows that a 25c tyre on a 17mm rim bed inflated to 80psi has the same rolling resistance as a 23c tyre on a 15mm rim bed run at 100psi. However, the 80psi tyre will deform more readily over road bumps because of the lower pressure... etc etc"
Other design elements worth mentioning are: internally routed cables, the rear brake is positioned under the bottom bracket, and the integrated seat clamp > add them all together and you have a bike with really clean lines and pretty aerodynamic.
The most surprising thing about all Rose bikes are the prices (I believe all UK prices are just converted from the German Euro price). The 2016 version of the Rose CGF has just been released with Ultegra running gear, and costs a shade over £1,500. For a bike that weighs 6.8kg that's pretty amazing. In the latest issue of Cyclist magazine, similar specced bikes from mainstream or boutique manufacturers are priced at £3,500+
If you go to the Rose website it's also worth checking out the aluminium framed Rose Pro SL. It's under £800 and weighs 7.9kg.
My final hint on saving money with Rose bikes is to join the Rose bikes Facebook page and send them a message to ask if they're selling any demo bikes. That's how I got mine and saved over £400 off the new price. I reckon I could sell the bike now for what I bought it due to its spec.
Below is the latest promotional video for the Rose CGF....