Van Bikeradar: Rose overhauls its XLITE race bike and drops rim brakes

Rose has redesigned its XLITE race bike, saying it is a “completely new bike”, albeit with the same name as its predecessor.

Rose says the new road bike is characterised by aerodynamics, lightweight construction and “high-level system integration”.

The bike has new geometry, too, which is said to help its race bike credentials.

As a true sign of the times, Rose has also dropped rim brakes from the XLITE range, opting solely for disc brakes.

The bike is available in nine builds, with Shimano and SRAM groupsets plus wheels and components from Rose.

Pricing starts at €2,999 and goes up to €8,199. Rose does not currently ship to the UK and this does not look likely to change soon, with the brand citing juridical and logistical issues. It would like to resume delivery to the UK as soon as circumstances allow.

Two tiers

The top-spec XLITE 06 has Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.

Just like the previous generation of XLITE, the new Rose XLITE range is split into two tiers, depending on the frame model. The top-level frameset is the XLITE 06 and the lower-level frameset is the XLITE 04.

The XLITE 06 is the lighter of the two framesets, weighing a claimed 825g. The XLITE 06 bikes all feature electronic groupsets, including Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and SRAM Force eTap AXS. The bikes come with carbon fibre wheels and fully integrated cockpits, according to Rose.

Rose describes the XLITE 04 as an “entry to triumphant racing experiences”. The frameset weighs an approximate claimed weight of 950g, so 125g more than the XLITE 06.

The specs across the XLITE 04 range are slightly lower than the XLITE 06 range, with aluminium wheels and either integrated cockpits or two-piece bar and stem setups.

The XLITE 04 bikes are available with electronic groupsets or mechanical groupsets, including Shimano 105.

The XLITE 06 bikes in their complete builds have claimed weights ranging from 6.9kg for the SRAM Red eTap AXS and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 builds to 7.3kg for the mechanical Ultegra build.

The XLITE 04 bikes have claimed weights ranging from 7.3kg for the Ultegra Di2 build to 8.1kg for the Shimano 105 build.

‘The fastest Rose Bike’

The XLITE is said to promise ‘maximum speed’.

Rose says the XLITE is its fastest bike. Jürgen Telahr, product engineer at Rose, says the bike offers “the best of everything”.

“The golden ratio and the perfect balance of all requirements make the new XLITE stand out,” says Telahr.

The riding position of the XLITE 06 and 04 is described by Rose as “uncompromisingly athletic”.

This is due to the short head tube and steep seat tube angle, which Rose says means “every watt of your power is directly transformed into speed”. Rose hasn’t provided any data to support this claim.

Greater integration

The XLITE bikes with electronic groupsets have one-piece cockpits.

In a move that will be familiar to many who have followed recent road bike releases, Rose has introduced greater integration on the new XLITE.

All nine XLITE bikes in the Rose range come with cables and hoses routed internally through the cockpit. This marks a change from the previous version of the bike, which had cables running externally from the bars to the frame.

The XLITE 06 and 04 bikes with electronic groupsets come with a Rose Race one-piece cockpit, with all cables and hoses routed internally.

While some may deem this tricky for maintenance and packing into a bike box, Rose says you can remove the one-piece design without disconnecting the cables.

The bikes with mechanical groupsets come with a two-piece cockpit, using a Rose handlebar and stem.

Rose XLITE specs and prices

The Rose XLITE comes with two framesets, either the top 06 or slightly heavier 04.

The XLITE 06 bikes come with electronic groupsets, one-piece cockpits and 60mm-deep Rose carbon wheels.

The XLITE 06 Shimano Ultegra mechanical build has a two-piece cockpit and aluminium wheels.

The XLITE 06 bikes range from €4,199 to €8,199 in price.

The XLITE 04 bikes have aluminium wheels and either one-piece or two-piece cockpits depending on whether they have electronic or mechanical groupsets. These bikes cost from €2,999 for the Shimano 105 build up to €4,799 for the SRAM Force eTap AXS build.

The bikes have Fizik Antares Versus EVO R5 saddles and either Schwalbe Pro One TT 28mm tyres or Continental GP5000 28mm tyres.

All bikes come in six sizes, ranging from 50cm to 62cm.

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