×
Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

07.03.24 12:24 4.180Text: NoMan, Jhon (translated by AI)Photos: Erwin Haiden (Studio), Gabriwa (Action)Introduction and kickoff to the long-term test: The popular gravel bike from Bocholt gets a race version in initially two equipment variants. The abbreviation FF stands for Fast Forward - deservedly so, as our first test rides prove. Furthermore, the new family member focuses on aerodynamics, comfort, and nutrition.07.03.24 12:24 4.409

Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

07.03.24 12:24 4.409 NoMan, Jhon (translated by AI) Erwin Haiden (Studio), Gabriwa (Action)
  • AI generated translation
  • AI-generated translation refers to the process of using artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning models, to automatically translate text or speech from one language to another. These systems, such as neural machine translation models, analyze large datasets of multilingual content to learn patterns and associations between languages. The generated translations are based on statistical probabilities and context learned during training.
Introduction and kickoff to the long-term test: The popular gravel bike from Bocholt gets a race version in initially two equipment variants. The abbreviation FF stands for Fast Forward - deservedly so, as our first test rides prove. Furthermore, the new family member focuses on aerodynamics, comfort, and nutrition.07.03.24 12:24 4.409

Isn't that …? No, that's not an Xlite. But Rose's new Backroad FF strikingly reminds of the Bocholt race bike with its deep and laterally attached seat stays, its D-shaped seat post including clamping solution, the distinctively flat head tube area, and especially the closed fork dropout.
Of course, this is no coincidence. Rather, it's an expression of the direction of the latest Backroad offspring, which carries the abbreviation „Fast Forward“ in its name: Although a gravel bike, it's about speed. Although a workhorse, aerodynamics matter. And because it's a long-distance companion, comfort is also possible. Says Rose.

What we have to say after the first test meters is at the end of this showroom. A Backroad FF in „Supersonic Grey“ with the more affordable of the two available configurations has already arrived at the editorial office and has been chased around the Viennese outskirts for a while.
The detailed review will follow later, here for now are the key data and facts as well as test rider Can's first impressions.

 Dare to explore your limits 

With the Rose Backroad FF
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review

The Concept at a Glance

Not everyone rides the Unbound, and not everyone is drawn to the Grinduro series. But using gravel bikes, which originally started as a casual adventure category, for competitive purposes is becoming increasingly popular.
Rose now also presents the Backroad FF, a bike that aims to bridge the gap between speed and self-sufficiency, fast-paced riding and off-road sections, exploration and power contests.

The race design, inherited from the XLite, speaks a clear language. This "fast" impression is supported by single cranksets with chainguide (specially developed in cooperation with Wolftooth, available in two versions from 40-52 teeth) and by the completely straightforward frame: There is not a millimeter of external brake cable, no visible front dropout, indeed, not even a brand name to be seen.
And compared to the classic Backroad, there are significantly fewer mounting points. A rack or gravel cage is not intended for the racing variant - but a top tube and frame bag are (details below).

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review

The Backroad FF is made of carbon and is available in initially two equipment variants for 3,499 or 4,999 euros with electronic Sram single drivetrains (Rival or Force XPLR), aerodynamically optimized wheels and handlebar-stem combinations, as well as optional bags "that make you faster" (more on this below).
Rose already promises that more equipment packages will follow.

Backroad FF Rival AXS XPLR

Frame Rose Backroad FF, Carbon, 12x142TA, internal shift/brake cables Brake Rival AXS, 160/160 mm
Sizes XS/S/M/ML/L/XL Crankset Rival eTap AXS XPLR, 44 T.
Fork Rose Backroad FF, Carbon, 12x100TA, internal brake line Chain Rival AXS 12-speed
Bottom Bracket Sram DUB Powermeter Sram Rival DUB AXS Quarq
Handlebar/Stem Rose Gravel Race Carbon One-Piece Cockpit Cassette XG-1251, 10-44 T.
Seatpost Rose Aero D-Shape, 8 mm Offset Tires Schwalbe G One R, 40 mm
Saddle Selle Italia Flite Boost Manganese Rail Wheels Rose G30 Light, 25 mm IMW
Rear Derailleur Rival eTap AXS XPLR 1x12 Weight 8.9 kg (BB measurement)
Shift/Brake Lever Rival eTap AXS XPLR 1x12 Price € 3,499 (RRP)

The bike with UDH derailleur hanger standard and 8 mm seat post offset (0 mm and 14 mm also available in the shop) is considered UCI-compliant. In the test model with Rival AXS XPLR, a power meter is included from the factory.
The bike is supposed to weigh, depending on the equipment, 8 or 8.5 kg. However, the unerring Bikeboard scale showed a hefty 0.4 kg more for the cheaper model in size M than stated by the manufacturer. The system weight is 120 kg, which is 10 kg above (!) that of the classic Backroad. The tire clearance is quite generous at 45 mm (28C) and unchanged compared to the normal Backroad. However, the bike is delivered with Schwalbe G One R or RS in 40 mm.
Six sizes from XS to XL and two or three colors to choose from are available. The Rival version is available in Pistachio and Supersonic Grey, the Force variant additionally in Rotten Candy.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Gravel Race One-Piece Cockpit

The one-piece carbon cockpit was developed in collaboration with bike fitter and podcaster Bastian Marks. Following the motto: Aero in the hoods, control in the drops.
Since clip-ons and the previously popular practice among breakaways of resting the forearms on the top handlebar are no longer allowed at UCI races as well as major US events, it was about maximum comfort and maximum aerodynamics in the only remaining option: In the race position, the hands rest on the slightly inward-turned horns, the forearms on the specially shaped area of the top handlebar, elbows almost at a 90° angle.
Furthermore, the slight flare of the lower handlebar should ensure enough control for technical descents. To also be able to easily reach the STIs during descents, the distance to the brake levers was reduced. Nevertheless, there should still be enough room for the forearms in a full sprint.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
The cockpit in numbers:
  • Specified sizes: 90/380, 100/400, 110/400
  • Additional sizes: 100/380, 120/400
  • Weight: 398 g in 100/400
  • Flare: 15°
  • Drop: 98 mm
  • Reach: 73 mm
  • Stem: -10°
  • Rise: 20 mm
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Furthermore, the handlebar-stem combination is appealing with a clever semi-integration solution for the cables, which also allows for the aesthetically pleasing installation of the proprietary computer mount directly in front of the handlebar.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Geometry

XS S M ML L XL
Seat Tube (mm) 450 482 505 525 550 585
Top Tube (mm) 505 527 546 564 582 603
Head Angle (°) 71.25° 71.75° 72° 72.25° 72.5° 72.5°
Seat Tube Angle (°) 76.25° 75.5° 75° 74.5° 74.5° 74.5°
Chainstay (mm) 420 420 420 420 420 420
Bottom Bracket Drop (mm) 75 75 75 72 72 72
Head Tube (mm) 100 118 134 153 171 195
Fork Length (mm) 390 390 390 390 390 390
Fork Offset (mm) 48 48 48 48 48 48
Wheelbase (mm) 993 1005 1016 1030 1046 1067
Stack (mm) 523 542 558 574 592 616
Reach (mm) 377 387 396 405 418 432

In terms of dimensions, the Race version is logically a bit more sporty than the Explorer variant of the Backroad. The head angle is about 0.5 degrees steeper, and the wheelbase is somewhat shorter. The chainstays consistently measure 420 mm, while on the regular Backroad they are 427 (50-55 cm) or 434 (from 57 cm). Thus, especially taller riders should benefit from improved acceleration and climbing characteristics.
More reach and less stack further result in a slightly more stretched sitting position. The STR quotient tends towards 1.5 for the gravel bike. For the gravel racer, however, it clearly points towards 1.4.

Basically, the size range was tightened from seven to six increments. The bandwidth itself remains approximately the same with a suitability of about 70 to 98 cm recommended inseam length.
The test bike in the photos, by the way, came with a shortened steerer tube. As standard, 25 mm spacers are installed, and the delivery also includes 25 mm top cap spacers. This allows buyers to gradually adjust to the right height without having to shorten the tube right away.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Bags that make you faster

What would a gravel bike be without bags? Probably only half the deal. But what would a gravel racer be, slowed down by his own luggage? Probably only half the fun. And possibly double the effort.
Therefore, those who pack provisions and essentials on the Backroad FF also pick up more speed. The aerodynamically integrated and magnetically secured bags with Fidlock fasteners were tested in the virtual wind tunnel. And the result of the calculations says: Packed with Backroad FF Aero Fidlock Top Tube Bag and Backroad FF Aero Fidlock Frame Bag, the bike is even faster than naked.
The CFD analysis shows significant advantages between 6° and 12° angle of attack. Across all angles (0°-20°) according to their relevance, the frame bag saves about half a watt at 45 km/h, according to the manufacturer.

  • The bags that fit perfectly for each frame size are held by magnets.The bags that fit perfectly for each frame size are held by magnets.
    The bags that fit perfectly for each frame size are held by magnets.
    The bags that fit perfectly for each frame size are held by magnets.
  • The top tube bag has a cable outlet for power banks.The top tube bag has a cable outlet for power banks.
    The top tube bag has a cable outlet for power banks.
    The top tube bag has a cable outlet for power banks.
  • Rain jacket, spare tube, etc. fit in the Frame Bag.Rain jacket, spare tube, etc. fit in the Frame Bag.
    Rain jacket, spare tube, etc. fit in the Frame Bag.
    Rain jacket, spare tube, etc. fit in the Frame Bag.
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

GC50 Wheels

Another novelty that Rose is gradually introducing with the Backroad FF, which, along with the panniers on the test bike, was not available to us, are the GC50 wheels. However, only the top model Force AXS XPLR comes with them, while the subject of our review (and also the Rival series bike) are equipped with Rose G30 Light wheels which have a 2mm narrower internal rim width.

As gravel races become increasingly faster, aerodynamics is also becoming more important in this sector. And since the front wheel, like the fork, the cockpit, and the head tube, are exposed to the wind, Rose has paid special attention to them from an aerodynamic perspective - this is most noticeable in the 40 mm wide rim, which perfectly transitions into the 40 mm wide tire. The focus for the rear wheel, on the other hand, was on weight, because in terms of turbulence, it's already a lost cause anyway. The rim width here: 32 mm.

CFD Comparison GC40 and GC50

In addition, in collaboration with Newmen, new Aero hubs were developed. These have a significantly slimmer and thus more aerodynamic hub body. According to the manufacturer, they are lightweight, without sacrificing stiffness, and feature special low-friction bearings and seals, which increase the efficiency of the overall concept. To also cope with the high torque that can arise from MTB cassettes, last but not least, the hub flange was enlarged.
Combined with robust Sapim CX-Sprint Aero spokes, this results in a potent Gravel Race wheelset, whose profile, according to Rose, is "approximately 7 to 9 percentage points more aerodynamic in the relevant angle of attack range" compared to the GC40.

The GC50 at a glance:
  • approx. 1,550 g (without TL tape)
  • 27 mm internal rim width
  • 50 mm rim height - good aerodynamics while maintaining a good weight
  • Front 40 mm, rear 32 mm rim width
  • Internal nipples
  • Molded tubless valve seating area
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

In practice

The initial impression speaks volumes: Exciting design, aggressive styling, stunning looks. From the moment I first mount it, I can feel the bike's progressive nature. The position on the bike feels really good, race-oriented like on a purebred road machine. Out in the open, the gravel bike shows its strengths, effortlessly making me fly over the terrain, kicking up dust.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review

As soon as technical climbs need to be tackled, a significant weakness becomes apparent: The somewhat too short wheelbase leads to my toe tips regularly being at risk of coming into contact with the front wheel. This is annoying, as it requires a certain adjustment to my riding style and makes riding on challenging terrain unnecessarily complicated. Is this issue solely due to the rather short wheelbase of 1,016 millimeters? Is the crank at 172.5 mm too long for a size M frame? Probably a combination of different factors and my deliberately chosen slightly smaller frame size M for a body height of 182 cm.

Nevertheless, the versatility of this missile must be emphasized.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Interim Conclusion

Rose Backroad FF AXS XPLR
Model Year: 2024
Review Duration: 1 Month
Price: € 3,499,- RRP
+ Great Price
+ Powermeter
+ Fast on flat sections
o Slightly heavier than stated
- Toe Overlap
BB-Verdict: The Budget Batmobile

Gliding almost effortlessly, the FastForward moves over asphalt and gravel, feeling especially at home on flat tracks – the faster, the better. Its radical geometry provides the rider with an intense feeling of speed and exceptionally precise steering control, even at moderate speeds (below March 1), with only the occasional touch between the toe and tire slightly diminishing the riding experience. I plan to counter this small flaw by experimenting with the positioning of my cleat plates – even if this might result in minor trade-offs in comfort or performance, I see it relaxed.

The included, fully integrated carbon cockpit makes the bike appear as one piece. Hop on and fire away! Except for the wheels, which could be the first upgrade for lighter ones, in my eyes, the bike is out-of-the-box ready to go for big KOM hunts, assuming the geometry fits, of course. Personally, I would like the stem to be one to two centimeters longer and the handlebars one centimeter wider. Various cockpits, as mentioned above, can be ordered from Rose, so everyone should be able to find their perfect setup.

Definite buy recommendation for bargain hunters and design lovers. A Batmobile also for slim wallets. A Budget Batmobile.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Conclusion

Even half a year after starting my long-term review of the Rose Backroad FF, I am still completely impressed. The bike offers a great mix of performance, comfort, and everyday utility, which perfectly suits my needs. Whether on asphalt, gravel, or light terrain, the gravel racer masters every challenge with flying colors. The well-thought-out features like the carbon cockpit and the high-quality workmanship excite me anew every day.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Minimal Adaptations

Since the interim review, I have moved the cleats slightly forward to reduce toe overlap. Additionally, I aligned the brake levers completely straight to increase the reach and simulate a wider handlebar. Had I chosen the test bike in a larger frame size (M/L instead of M), this would not have been necessary. However, due to my short inseam, I opted for the medium size.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Ultimately, I also had to replace the saddle, as the originally mounted Selle Italia at 135 mm was much too narrow for me, and I wonder if a 145-mm saddle wouldn't generally be better suited for the majority.

After these minor adjustments, every ride feels even more harmonious, which is why my current review is even more euphoric than the last. Additionally, I find the price-performance ratio of Rose unbeatable, making the Backroad FF a clear buy recommendation.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

Castelli Unlimited Endurance Kit

The Castelli Unlimited Endurance Jersey made from Micro Mesh fabric ensures good ventilation and offers everything needed for long days on the bike. Although it is cut a bit looser than the Pro jersey, it still fits relatively close to the body. The focus, however, is not on aerodynamics, which Castelli emphasizes with the more spacious back pockets and a thick elastic band at the bottom hem, supporting the jersey and the additional weight in the pockets. The modern man wears it in combination with the matching Unlimited 18 Socks.

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review

And the story continues...

I am excited to share with you that I have also decided to order my own Rose Backroad FF - specifically in the Sram Force 1x12 variant with a carbon wheelset. Moreover, Rose now also offers two additional 2x variants with the new Shimano GRX RX825 Di2 or Classified 2x12, which provides more exciting options.

Additionally, I want to equip the gravel bike with 45 mm wide tubeless tires to further enhance the riding comfort. I can hardly wait to experience many adventures with this great bike!

  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 ReviewRose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • Rose Backroad FF 2024 Review
  • It seems as if Rose has hit the bullseye with the Backroad FF Gravel Racer.
    It seems as if Rose has hit the bullseye with the Backroad FF Gravel Racer.
    It seems as if Rose has hit the bullseye with the Backroad FF Gravel Racer.