Rose has been working this year on updating their popular, mid-range aluminum trail bikes to make them even more capable for handling the wide range of climbing and descending conditions that most riders trail bikes actually face. A big part of that is the move to new trail geometry norms and the adoption of the most recent mountain bike standards, but with their strong-selling Root Miller, they’ve also added some more travel so riders can push it even further. We took a look at a pre-production prototype of the bike earlier in the spring, but now we have some more detail. Check out the new Root Miller, plus a revised all-mountain Granite Chief, and even a bit on Rose’s foray into e-MTB with the new hardtail Elec Tec, all after the break…
For 2017 the Root Miller gets a full redesign, building off a Supertrail option with a longer-travel fork that Rose currently offers. With the idea of hitting more aggressive trails, now the bike lengthens to 140mm of travel in all setups, front and rear, using metric sized rear shocks.
The other big shift is the fact that the bike will now be available both with 29″ or 27.5+ wheels. And with the flexibility that comes through Rose’s made-to-order custom configuration tool on their website or flagship stores, buyers will really be able to spec the bikes just as the want to combine wheel and tire combos with the drivetrain and finishing kit to suit their budget and riding style.
With the update the new Root Miller is said to be the new favorite trail riding bike for the engineer and designers at Rose.
Along with the longer travel comes a 15mm longer toptube and 10mm shorter stems, so the longer cockpit actually puts rider weight a bit more forward for better control over the front wheel. At the same time, the head angle gets slackened by 1.5° to balance the weight shift.
The Root Miller now gets Boost spacing for a stiffer rear wheel, and the opportunity to increase the spacing of the main pivot bearings for better rear triangle stiffness. With that also comes improved tire clearance. That means that tires up to 2.6″ wide for 29ers setups will work, and up to 3.0″ for 27.5+ builds. The aluminum bike also goes back to a BSA threaded bottom bracket standard for more serviceability and quiet operation.
The complete 1x X01 29er build that we got a close look at weighed in at 12.9kg/28.4lb with a dropper post. Pricing hasn’t yet been set, but a similar spec’d Root Miller now would cost around 3500€, and Rose offers a couple build of the bike under 2000€.
While the trail riding Root Miller gets a redesign to push it towards the All-Mountain or even into an Enduro sphere depending on how it gets built up, the Granite Chief gets a few similar updates with the intention of keeping it firmly in the All-Mountain category, even with its longer travel. The big differences really are the Granite Chief’s taller bottom bracket, shorter chainstays, and lower frame stack/bar position that are all geared towards helping the rider balance climbing prowess and confident descending for all day adventure trail rides.
The 27.5″ Granite Chief gets a Boost upgrade, as well as a metric shock, and also changes its bottom bracket to a threaded BSA. While it doesn’t go into full plus-sized tire territory, Boosting the bike does make way for meaty 2.6″ wide tires with mud clearance to spare.
Also like the new Root Miller, the new Granite Chief gets a thermoplastic downtube protector to fend off rocks. In fact the new stick-on protector will also be available through Rose’s online shop either as a replacement part if it gets banged up or to retrofit older versions of the two bikes.
Granite Chief geometry gets similar modernization as well. Its toptube grows 15mm, a stems shrink 10mm, but its already slack headtube only gets flattened by just 0.4°. The bike does get a 25mm shorter seattube though for better standover, which helps a lot since it has a higher bottom bracket than the Root Miller to make it pedal and climb better.
We already saw revised cable routing when we featured the earlier prototype, but now we can see that both of these bike get the new solution. Cables now exit above the bottom bracket instead of below, making them less vulnerable, and now feature new locking stops where they go inside the frame to keep them from moving or rattling around in side the tubes.
The Shimano SLX double complete bike that we focused on here weighed in at 14.08kg/31.0lb with 2.4″ tires a dropper post. That’s maybe close to Rose’s current most affordable Granite Chief at 2000€, but we’ll have to wait til Eurobike for finalized pricing and what standard builds will be offered, beyond Rose’s online customizer.
Both the new Root Miller and Granite Chief should be available around the start of October.
As for the e-bike, the Elec Tec was developed in a cooperation between Rose & Continental. Continental it seems was responsible for developing the motor, battery, and electronics management but not the tires (interesting to note that the bike has been fitted with Schwalbe tires!) Rose then designed an alloy hardtail frame the cleanly tucks the non-driveside-removable battery into the downtube.