The Backroad maintains its ‘gravel racer’ feel but adds bigger tyre clearance, more mounting options and more rear-end compliance.
off.road.cc 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.
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.
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.
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.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.