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Rose reveal updated Backroad gravel bike

There's a re-designed geometry, front-end integration and more mounting options.

The Backroad maintains its ‘gravel racer’ feel but adds bigger tyre clearance, more mounting options and more rear-end compliance. got their hands on the Rose Backroad last year and overall, they liked Rose’s first go at an Allroad bike. But there were reservations about the high and very firm ride. Rose has come back with an updated 2020 version that features some major changes and some subtle tweaks.

Review: Rose Backroad 105

The re-designed geometry lowers the bottom bracket, increasing the drop from 60mm to 76mm. It’s a big shift towards a proper gravel machine rather than the part gravel, part cyclocross bike that the 2019 model was. A quick check of the Rose website shows that there is no cyclocross build this year.


The frameset has been updated with dropped seatstays and a sloping top tube, exposing more seatpost which Rose hopes will provide a bit more compliance in the rear end. The idea of this is to allow the seatpost to felx more and Rose is offering extra customisation here. The 490 mm long D-shape seat post can be spec with 8 or 25 mm of setback to allow for different flex levels and riding positions.

Review: Rose X-Lite Six Disc Ultegra Di2

There is also a new dropped drive-side chainstay. This boosts the tyre clearance up to 47mm with a 700c wheel or 50mm for a 650b wheel. That’s a pretty decent improvement on the maximum 42mm tyre on last year’s model. For rougher road conditions, integrated protectors at the down tube and chainstays shield the frame from stone chips.

The 2019 Backroad scored well on speed and stiffness and it looks like Rose is sticking to the speed focus. The 1½“ to 1½“ headset is paired with a BB86 bottom bracket that leads into deep asymmetric chainstays.


The front end sees one of the small but significant changes. The brake and shift cables now run internally through the stem. This has been done to improve bar bag fit. It also looks super clean.

A Redshift suspension stem also features on the AXS Mullet build (£3,357.10) which should appeal if you’re looking for more front end compliance. This build caught our eye as it also mixes Sram Eagle MTB drivetrain components with Force eTap AXS shifting and 650b wheels.

The best gravel and adventure bikes you can buy for under £1000

Speaking of prices, they start at £2,540.29 for a Shimano GRX RX600 build and go right up to £4,491.56 for the Sram Force eTap AXS Ltd build. This year we might have to get two different build in for testing to avoid a fight between us and off.road.

You can order yours here.

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zero_trooper | 4 years ago

I was with you on this Liam, until I got to the £2540.29

IanEdward replied to zero_trooper | 4 years ago
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A lot of the value in Rose bikes is being able to customise key components, I'saved' at least £200 buying a Rose road bike with GP4000 tyres, 170mm cranks and my choice of chainrings and cassette already fitted.

Anything else seems expensive in comparison, I'll probably make my next road bike a Rose as well

Hensem replied to IanEdward | 4 years ago

In this year you can't make a  customise.

zero_trooper replied to IanEdward | 4 years ago

Still, £2.5K.

You could go to Ribble (for example) and customise the arse off a build for a lot less.

Something to do during lockdown? After the 'Full Kit Ranker' we could get 16 readers to each do a custom build with an unlimited budget, but the end product bikes are judged  on 'value'.

IanEdward replied to zero_trooper | 4 years ago

Hmm, I think are doing Rose a dis-service, £2500 gets you a full GRX-810 build with Ritchey finishing kit.

A GRX-810 build on a Ribble CGR-SL is £2300 with unbranded alloy finishing kit and you don't appear to be able to customise gear ratios, crank lengths etc (might just be my phone vs. Ribble's website!).

I didn't compare wheelsets, Rose offer one of their own wheelsets vs. Ribble offering basic Mavic.

So yeah, maybe the Rose is pricier but not by much, and some of that is possibly just a premium for lots of Ritchey logos!

Edit: d'oh, just realised you can't customise the Backroad model, lame. Still, the stock wheels appear to be really nice, 1650g with CX-Ray spokes?

Joe Totale replied to zero_trooper | 4 years ago

You can't sell a gravel bike without adding on gravel tax first! 

I'd personally save a grand and buy a Free Ranger from Planet X.

Liam Cahill replied to Joe Totale | 4 years ago
1 like

Rose just told me for the customisation options that they're "working on it and will make it possible soon"

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