Just in: Rose Xeon RS-3000

Aluminium frame and full Shimano Ultegra for £1,690? Yup, and it's in the roadcc office for testing

It’s no secret that we like our aluminium bikes here at roadcc (one even won our bike of the year award) and the Rose RS-3000 you see before you, all stealthy black and looking sharp, is a fine example of a very well specced aluminium racer. German brand Rose sell direct to customers, which should mean you get a lot of equipment for your money, in this case a full Shimano Ultegra groupset with an asking price of just shy of £1,700 for a bike weighing 7.57Kg.

They manage this because they (like other German brands Canyon and Focus) they sell their bikes online direct to the customer. That means you can’t wander into any bike shop and walk out with a Rose, you have to order it online and wait for the bike in a box to arrive. While some people may (and do) bemoan the idea of buying an entire bike online, you can’t argue with the savings that are available.

Rose use 7005 T6 triple butted tubes in the construction of the the RS-3000. The three main tubes follow a mostly round profile throughout their lengths, with the downtube ovalised at the bottom bracket junction and the seat tube is slightly flared where it meets the bottom bracket shell.

The BB shell supports internal bearings so the shell can span the full width of the axle. The top tube has just a smidgen of slope, and the seat stays are as skinny as it’s possible to get away with. It poses a bit of a juxtaposition with the massive downtube, but I think it works. The black anodised finish surely helps there.

A tapered head tube accepts the carbon fork.

The cables are routed internally and it’s all very neatly done, particularly at the rear dropout where it enters the frame just ahead of the seat stays At the front of the frame the cables enter in the sides of the head tube, and the rear brake is routed into the bottom of the top tube at the front, and pops out the top at the other end.

An upshot of buying a bike online is Rose have a very comprehensive bike configurator, and you can specify most of the components of the bike to suit your personal preference. Our frame is fitted with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset with a 53/39 standard chainset. Now you could specify a compact or even a triple if you preferred, the choice is yours. Mavic Ksyrium Elite S wheels are wrapped with Mavic’s own Yksion Pro tyres, with a light tread pattern.

Finishing kit, by which we mean the handlebars, stem and seatpost, is all Ritchey WCS branded. The carbon seatpost use the novel Monolink saddle rail clamp to hold the Selle Italia SLS saddle into place. The Monolink is a standard developed by Selle Italia and Ritchey produced a compatible seatpost last year.

The key idea is to replace the twin saddle rails with a beam, it’s not the first example we’ve seen (SDG did something similar a few years back), but Selle are clearly backing it in a big way. We’ve seen it on a few test bike recently. Anyway, you can read a lot more about how it works in this article.

Shiny bar tape, what were you thinking Rose? No no no... (Okay, some people round here think it looks cool, we'll find out how grippy it is once we get it out in the wet.)

There’s three paint finishes you can choose for, but we’ve plumped for this super stealthy anodised black finish. Not only is black in fashion right now, but the anodising gives a very smart finish and it’ll shrug off bashes and scrapes for year probably even decades, and continue to look brand new.

As Mat is the designated tester for this bike, we’ve got him a lofty 61cm frame to accommodate his long legs. The important geometry numbers look like this: 58cm effective top tube, 73.5 degree head, 73 degree seat angle, 989mm wheelbase, 16cm head tube, 599mm stack and 410 mm reach. Weight for the bike pictured on the scales that don’t lie is 7.57kg (16.68lbs). Rose claim 6.98kg (15.18lbs) for a size 57cm.

Comparisons, well where to start. For similar aluminium framed goodness, the Cannondale Caad10 is a good place. It’s one of the very finest aluminium frames on the market, but the price of a model approaching the same build as the Rose is nudging £2,000, a good £300 dearer.

Closer to home, the Canyon Ultimate AL 9.0 is almost the identical price and also packs a full Shimano Ultegra groupset onto a well designed 7.8kg aluminium frame - Mat tested that too, which is the main reason he's going to be testing this one too, cos we're very curious to see how it stacks up against the Canyon.

If you might be swayed by carbon at this price, and have a few hundred extra notes stashed under the mattress, the Trek Madone 3.5 at £1,800 offers an OCLV frame an fork with mixed Ultegra/105 groupset.

David has worked on the tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

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