What does the ROSE PIKES PEAK EN 3 have in common with a good bottle of red wine? Both need time to mature, both share a strong aftertaste and both require a fair amount of knowledge to be fully enjoyed. If you pick your bikes like you do with your vino – by looking at the label – you wouldn’t consider the ROSE at first – but that would be a mistake!
If you think mountain bikes are costly these days, you should see the pricelist of some of the world’s top wines. And yet there is one simple rule that applies to good bikes and wine: great stuff doesn’t have to be expensive. Retailing at € 4,799 the ROSE PIKES PEAK EN 3 isn’t cheap, but is still a bargain considering its spec and key features. What makes our hearts race aren’t just the high-end components but also the lush carbon frame.
The ROSE PIKES PEAK EN 3 in detail
The absolute highlight of the PIKES PEAK frame is the PROGEO-System featured on the lower shock-mount, which allows you to alter both the geometry and the kinematics of the bike and only requires a few seconds and one 6 mm Allen key. This straight forward procedure has a notable effect on the bike’s riding characteristics, without annoying loose bits flying around and getting lost. Alongside the PROGEO system the bike features a variety of intelligent details. The cable routing for example uses internal cable liners which make for a more straight-forward installation and eliminate unwanted cable-slapping noises. On the rear end the wide axle allows for more stiffness; further improved by Rose’s choice to use high-quality Enduro bearings for maximum durability. The only detail on the frame we didn’t like are the countless different bolt heads on the rear end.
If you’re looking for a bright label on the PIKES PEAK you’re looking in vain. This bike is the master of understatement!
ROSE’s engineers took a whole new approach with the PIKES PEAK. Not only did they remove the brand-name from the down-tube but also moved the shock from their usual top tube location to the down tube. This makes the ROSE look a lot like bikes from the competition at first glance #lookslikeatrek, however it really stands out with a very unique character on the trail – just like a good bottle of wine…
The long frame (reach 472 mm size L), the slack head-angle (65.6°) and the rather short chainstays (430 mm) combined with a solid rear-end shape the character of this 160 mm 27.5” trail ripper. On technical downhills the ROSE feels like it’s running on rails keeping its composure even at high speeds. Most of the time we ended up riding in the Mid/Slack setting of the PROGEO-System.
For experienced Riders only. The ROSE requires an advanced riding style!
The short chainstays give the ROSE an extra injection of agility which makes drifting easy but requires an active riding style in corners and at low speeds to provide enough weight on the front wheel. If you find yourself right in between sizes and you aren’t an ambitious racer we recommend the smaller size. With a confident riding style the ROSE feels balanced and smooth while offering a great deal of agility.
|Seat tube||420 mm||440 mm||460 mm|
|Top tube (effective)*||591/594 mm||616/619 mm||646/649 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm||115 mm||125 mm|
|Chainstays||430 mm||430 mm||430 mm|
|BB height*||355/343 mm||355/343 mm||355/343 mm|
|Wheelbase*||1166/1168 mm||1192/1194 mm||1222/1224 mm|
|Reach*||432/422 mm||455/445 mm||482/472 mm|
|Stack*||595/602 mm||600/607 mm||609/616 mm|
* steep/slack setting
Specs of the ROSE PIKES PEAK EN 3
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory
Rear shock FOX FLOAT X2
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain SRAM XO1 Eagle
Wheelset DT Swiss EX 1501 Spline ONE
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary / Hans Dampf (v/h)
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem Race Face Turbine 35 mm
Handlebar Race Face NEXT R
Weight 13.16 kg
Price € 4,799
Like all ROSE bikes, the PIKES PEAK will soon be fully configurable online. First off we would swap the standard Schwalbe tires for the tougher reinforced version. The serial 800 mm Race Face handlebars with 35 mm stem and Ergon grips also feel too stiff and too wide – a little bit less would be more in this case.
The ROSE PIKES PEAK EN 3 on the trail
The lush FOX-Factory combo includes a 160 mm 36 FLOAT fork and a plush X2 shock giving 165 mm of travel. These work together smoothly and impress with a very sensitive response and huge amounts of traction. The bike feels composed in challenging sections and masterfully clears bigger, harder and quicker hits. End progression can be adjusted with volume spacers but the factory setting feels incredibly well balanced as it is. In order to maximise the sensitivity in the rear-end we used relatively little compression damping on the X2 shock. This proved to be a good choice. Only when riding fast berms did the rear end sag a little. On long descents the SRAM Guide brakes start to fade – Codes would be the better choice.
The climb is only a means to an end, the ROSE prefers going downhill!
If you want to enjoy all of the downhill fun, you’ll have to get to the top first. You also need to grow and harvest the grapes before you can enjoy a glass of fine Cabernet. For our test rider with relatively short legs and a height of 180 cm, even the slack setting (Mid/Slack) made for a fairly centred and balanced riding position on the size large frame. Our long-legged riders however felt like they were pedalling from behind. The PROGEO system allows you to solve this issue by simply steepening the seat angle by one degree. On up-hills this setting works well for any type of rider and makes climbing much more effective. We noticed a slight bob in the rear end when pedalling with irregular cadence. However, this is still totally within reason and can be suppressed using the compression lever on the shock.
The ROSE PIKES PEAK is like a good bottle of wine. The bike has a strong and unique character, it’s powerful on the way down and fluid on the way up. The handling is not for everyone, but connoisseurs will appreciate its full potential.
- The PROGEO system is quick and effective
- The rear end is sensitive and generates lots of traction
- Quiet and light-footed
- Top price/performance ratio
- Requires an active riding style / it’s not for everyone.
- The seat angle could be steeper.
- Different bolt sizes on the rear end.
- Brake starts to fade
Value for money
More Info at: rosebikes.com
Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer