Test: The Rose Backroad GRX Di2 reached our test editors in a slightly modified equipment variant with carbon wheelset and additional brake levers - so equipped you not only get a "full chapel" in terms of equipment for around 4000 euros, but also an enormously versatile bike.
Rose Backroad GRX Di2 Custom: The Facts
Frame material: Carbon
Wheel size(s): 700 tsp
Maximum tire clearance: 40 mm
Axle dimensions (v/h): 12 × 100/142 × 12
Mudguard Eyelets: Ja
Luggage carrier eyelets (v/h): No Yes
bottle holder: down tube up, seat tube
Weight wheels v/h/total (with tires and brake discs): 1.480g / 1.556g / 3.036g (Rose RC Fifty Carbon LRS)
Weight complete bike without pedals (size M): 8,69kg
Price: 4.005 euros (3.199 euros without carbon LRS and additional brake lever)
One bike, many faces
The Rose Backroad caused quite a stir when it was introduced in 2018. The first gravel bike from the direct seller from Bocholt seemed to combine everything that the less numerous gravel fans at the time were hoping for from their dream bike: high-quality carbon frame with plenty of tire clearance, mounting points for mudguards and luggage racks, universal geometry and several attractively priced equipment variants. The success of the Backroad was correspondingly great - so it's no surprise that, apart from adjustments to the equipment and a few fresh colors, nothing has changed on the Rose gravel bike since then.
With the features mentioned, the Backroad is still one of the most versatile gravel bikes two years after its market launch - this is shown by the variants offered by Rose, which are all realized with the same frame. On the one hand there is the Backroad Cross for cyclocross use, on the other hand the Backroad Randonneur as a touring or commuting bike and of course the "normal" Backroad Gravelbike, which itself is available in a total of six variants. Conversely, this also means that Backroad buyers, regardless of the variant, can give their bike a new look with a manageable amount of time and money.
Of course, such versatility is only possible if you make compromises at one point or another. With Rose, however, this has been solved extremely elegantly - for example mounting eyelets: These are so well hidden and cleverly integrated into the frame that when they are not in use they are only visible at second glance, if at all. As a sporty driver, you hardly have to make any compromises when it comes to weight. Rose specifies the frame weight as 1040g, our complete bike in size M weighs a slim 8,69kg.
In terms of geometry, the Backroad is clearly a sporty bike in its basic features, but it still leaves enough room to make adjustments, for example via the stem length and angle, and make it a comfortable day tourer. Otherwise, extreme dimensions are avoided, the slightly longer wheelbase promises smooth running.
Geometry Rose Backroad
|seat tube (in mm)
|Top tube horizontal (in mm)
|head tube (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
Convincing equipment with adjustments in detail
Let's get to the equipment. Our test bike mostly corresponded to the Rose Backroad GRX Di2 equipment variant, but was equipped with the RC-Fifty Carbon wheelset instead of the Rose R Thirty Disc wheelset. If you want, you can also order the bike with the higher-quality wheels thanks to the modular system from Rose. The surcharge for this is 711 euros. But before we go into detail about the wheels, a few words about the eponymous GRX Di2 group on the Backroad. The Japanese have paid special attention to the cockpit and the STIs in the top version of their Gravel group and you can feel that immediately. Ergonomics, grip, optics - for us, together with the Sram Force eTap levers, the ultimate.
When operating the mentioned STIs, the Di2 rear derailleur changes the sprocket on the 11-42 cassette, which together with the chainring at the front does not quite offer 400% bandwidth. While this should be sufficient for many riders and areas, it does take quite a bit of pedalling, especially on longer, steep climbs. If you prefer to go with a front derailleur, two chainrings and more bandwidth, you can of course configure the Backroad that way on the Rose website - for an extra charge of around 200 euros.
The brakes also belong to the GRX group – on our test bike, the RX800 brake calipers can either be operated as usual with the STIs or with the additional brake levers on the top link. The latter are not part of the standard equipment and cost just under 100 euros extra. Depending on what you want to do with the Backroad, this could be a very worthwhile investment, even if it takes some getting used to visually at first.
|High performance disc
|Rose RC Fifty Carbon
|Schwalbe G-One Allround 38mm
|Shimano GRX Di2 RX817
|Shimano GRX STI + top link switch
|Shimano GRX FC-RX810 40t
|Shimano GRX Disc
|Rose RC-170 Carbon 27.2
|Selle Italia Novus Boost Super Flow
|Ritchey WCS C220
|Ritchey WCS Butano
Now back to the wheels mentioned at the beginning. Despite their 50mm high rims, the RC-Fifty Carbon are really extremely light. Rose himself states 1.410g for the set. The weighed LRS system including tires and brake discs on our test bike weighs 3.036g, which is one of the lightest in the test field, despite the relatively wide 38mm Schwalbe G-One tires. A small drop of bitterness here is the rim width of 19mm, which is not too generous. Don't get me wrong: this is sufficient for most areas of use and tire widths, but with a few millimeters more the tire opens up a bit nicer and sits a little better on the rim tubeless. Nevertheless: complaining at the highest level.
And otherwise? The Ritchey cockpit is convincing and offers little reason for criticism, the men and women from Bocholt promise a lot of flexibility and comfort for the in-house RC-170 carbon post and the Selle Italia Novus Boost Superflow also corresponds to the positive overall impression.
More tests, products and background information about the Velomotion Gravel Month:
- Storck Grix Platinum Ultegra Di2 gravel bike in test: Race tourer for gravel and off-road
- GT Grade Carbon Pro in the gravel bike test: Comfortable triangle for lots of driving fun?!
- Orbea Terra M30-D in the gravel bike test: Lively bike for training and gravel tours
- NS Bikes Rag+ 2 in the gravel bike test: Convincing aluminum all-rounder
- Rondo Ruut CF 2 in the gravel bike test: Fast gravel bike with a striking look
Let's Gravel: The Rose Backroad GRX Di2
The Rose Backroad GRX Di2 shows its best side at first glance, because the bike not only looks high quality and well made, but also has no edges with its rounded shape. The matt finish feels extremely soft and should also be easier to clean.
First, however, it was the turn to "get dirty". We hit the track with a lot of power and it quickly became clear that the high-quality carbon frame converts the power into propulsion without any major detours. In combination with its first-class running smoothness, especially at higher speeds and on bumpy ground, the Rose Backroad really invites you to step on the gas and is a lot of fun, especially on longer distances. Especially on asphalt sections, the Rose is extremely fast for a gravel bike. Despite the long wheelbase and the smooth running, the Rose Backroad GRX Di2 can also accelerate well thanks to its rigidity. In addition to the rigidity, the low weight of the Rose Backroad also comes into play here and ensures that the bike is even easier to accelerate.
For those who want to take it a little easier, the sporty platform leaves enough space to allow for a more moderate seating position. However, a fundamental increase cannot be avoided here either. Nevertheless, the gravel racer remains sufficiently calm even on bumps and thanks to the frame construction in connection with the good carbon fork offers an appealing comfort on the gravel. The in-house Rose Carbon seat post also plays an important role here, as its flex ensures more riding comfort, especially in the seat area.
But not only the frame of the Rose Backroad GRX Di2 is convincing, the equipment also has a lot to offer. In terms of performance, robustness and precision, the Shimano GRX Di2 is the current gold standard for gravel bikes and we also liked it on our Rose Backroad test bike. We would have only wished for a second chainring on the test bike, but since this can be selected in the Rose configurator, it is up to you to decide what is important to you. Ergonomically, there is (almost) nothing wrong with the Rose Backroad, because the saddle, post and GRX grips are first class and should make almost all riders happy. Only the Ritchey handlebars, which can provide a little more freedom for the forearms, are not particularly comfortable to hold in our opinion due to their extreme curvature in the lower link area. A small highlight, however, are the additional brake levers on the upper link, which ensure reliable control and safety even in the very relaxed sitting position.
Other gravel bike highlights in the test:
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