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Rose Gets Aero with 2 1/2 New Bikes: X-Lite CW Road and Road Disc, and Aero Flyer Time Trial

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German consumer-direct Rose Bikes introduced two completely new road bike platforms focused on aerodynamics this week, with one available in either caliper or disc brake builds for everyday riding and the second a dedicated aero machine for solo racing against the clock. The X-Lite CW was developed to be able to be built-up with either direct mount caliper brakes or disc brakes for two distinctly different rider types. The basic sculpted aero carbon frame is the same for either brake configuration, with the use of brake-specific forks and some modular mounting.

Join us after the jump for details on road vs. road disc, and a look at the Aero Flyer TT bike…

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The X-Lite CW takes big steps to get more aero than its aero road predecessor the Xeon CW, with truncated aero tubing profiles throughout and seatstays dropped and widen to ease airflow. While aero improvement was the big push on the new bike, Rose engineers paid special attention to keep lateral and drivetrain stiffness, since that is often lacking in narrow profile, aero bikes.

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The disc brake fork and frame both get 12mm Maxle thru-axles and flat mount brakes making the bike compatible with either 140mm or 160mm rotors.  The frame’s thru-axle works with small aluminum inserts keyed into the carbon frame at the rear end. The empty holes behind the bottom bracket for the direct mount caliper get rubber plugs and are totally inconspicuous.

Max tire size on the disc frame is quoted at 28mm, which assumes a 28mm-marked tire and some moderately sized rims. Actual clearance at the frame and fork is a shade over 30mm, but of course actual tire width and height can very a lot from rim-to-rim and tire-to-tire.

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The caliper bike gets a direct mount-specific fork and a direct mount caliper mounted behind the bottom bracket. The fork sticks with a quick release for the front wheel, and with the modular keyed inserts, keeps a QR for the rear wheel as well. The disc flat mounts also have a pretty minimal visual impact on the caliper-equipped bike, when covered with rubber plugs, and give a bit of future flexibility.

The caliper bike was quoted to be limited to 25mm tires, even though it shares the same frame. The limit is actually the Shimano direct mount brakes which officially only have 28mm of clearance, which can get used up pretty fast with 25s and wide rims.

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In addition to the convertible dropouts and brake mounting options, the X-Lite CW also gets the modular clip-in cable stops that trickle down from Rose’s X-Lite Team to offer easy internal routing for mechanical or electronic drivetrains and mechanical or hydraulic brake lines. The bike also gets a simple rearward facing aluminum clamp that grabs the reversible aero seatpost.

The bikes get tapered 1.125-1.5″ steerers, and with the flip-able seatpost can go from a seattube angle of around 74° to an effective angle of over 76° for a very forward saddle position. Five frame sizes from 51-62cm will be available, with the 57 frame tipping the scale at 1050g.

What are the aero benefits and losses when you add disc brakes in the midst? We don’t know, and Rose has tested frames-only up to now. But these pre-production complete bikes are going into the wind tunnel next month to go head-to-head. And Rose promised to let us know by the end of Eurobike what the real impact of the brakes will be in as good of a direct caliper vs. disc test as you could hope to see.

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The Aero Flyer is also an all new bike time trial and triathlon bike, that pretty much only keeps the name from the previous generation. Big updates come from optimizing the overall integration and updating tube shaping. All cables and wiring (mechanical and electronic) stay completely internal, from the bar and extensions and out the back.

One big update is its tiny tapered hourglass-shaped headtube that ends up hidden by an extension of the fork and capped by the stem that transitions smoothly into the toptube. The bike gets very clean Di2 battery integration through a small compartment at the top of where the seatstays join the seattube, since the seatpost is too narrow to house a battery, and which makes it less disruptive to swap out the battery.

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The bike gets an all new Rose 1-piece bar and stem, with a low base bar and armrests and extensions that can be adjusted up and down with 30-60mm spacer stacks for individual positioning. Rose developed the fully integrated front and rear linear pull brakes in-house and built aero covers that cleanly move air around them. Also noticeable on the toptube are bolts to mount an aero bento box that was developed with Profile for refueling during a race, and Rose also talked about working on another box that would sit over the stem to store a tool and flat repair in a similar aero manner.

The bike will come in 4 sizes and weighs 1400g in a Medium. Important to note for many potential buyers is that the Aero Flyer is UCI legal. Also as some TT bikes have had clearance issues with wider rims or uniquely shaped disc wheels, Rose says they have designed it with compatibility in mind, and all current wheels will work.

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Turner92
Turner92
8 years ago

Does Rose specifically design these, because I swear I’ve seen very similar, if not copies of these on Ebay or Aliexpress with no branding (Open mold frames, they say; is that the term?).

caadbury
caadbury
8 years ago

“Max tire size on the disc frame is quoted at 28mm”
“The disc bike was quoted to be limited to 25mm tires”
Which is it?
Editor: Thanks for the catch. Wording corrected to be more clear.

ChrisC
ChrisC
8 years ago

I’m going to jump in before someone says:

“Why did they put discs on an aero bike when discs are so NOT aero!”

Two preemptive responses spring to mind.

First, road disc brakes are happening, so deal with it. Second, making the rest of a bike as aero as possible is the *perfect* way to minimize the impact of the disc brakes on the aerodynamics of the whole machine.

eadm
8 years ago

When is disc brakes going to make it to TT bikes?

culprit Bicycles
8 years ago

Pretty similar to a bike that has been on the market for 3 years already?? Culprit Croz Blade?

David
David
8 years ago

X Lite has 12mm thru axles but what’s the width of the rear? 130 or 142? Price and availability?

boom
boom
8 years ago

@ChrisC: As an avid pessimist for disc brakes on performance/race road bikes, I’ll give you this response:
1) because disc brakes are ‘happening’ is a horrible argument. I think there is for SURE a place for disc brakes – on grave and endurance bikes, and for bigger riders for example – but it’s absolutely NOT an ‘end all, be all’. They are heavy, complex,expensive, and (if you run thru-axles) ride harsher than a great rim brake setup. A direct-mount Shimano option comes to mind.
2) Until someone makes an aero-specific disc brake caliper, the amount of aero drag that a disc brake system adds is consistent. If someone makes a great and slippery aero bike, but adds disc brakes, then they essentially negated much of that technology, R&D, complexity, etc of making it aero. How does that make sense?

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
8 years ago

@ChisC: Stop using logic! It’ll confuse people.

@boom: First aero drag is not consistent, no matter whether the brake caliper is aero or not. The drag will vary with the angle of attack. Second, an aero bike with disc brake is going to be, uhm, more aero than a non-aero bike with disc brakes. That makes objective sense.

ObligatedToSay
ObligatedToSay
8 years ago

@boom: Mechanical disc brakes just need an allen key; BB7s don’t even need that. Once hydraulics are bled… Sorry, I don’t see the “complexity” in something I can give a kid to tune with no prior knowledge.

I’ll take the <2 lb weight hit for something that can stop in all weather any day. Outside of a race, the rim brake crowd just ends up being purists.

The aero aspect has been disproven by two, independent wind tunnel tests. Sure, there's an issue at a specific deflection (20?) but otherwise it's 1-2 watt difference. Negligible for the majority of riders

DRC
DRC
8 years ago

Bring on aero road disc bikes!!

To those saying what’s the point, I think being able to stop while going down a mountain without exploding a carbon rim is a good idea. I’d say TT bikes don’t need discs because you generally aren’t using them at all other than at the finish. But aero bikes are used in every type of racing and those racers need good, consistent brakes in any conditions.

scentofreason
scentofreason
8 years ago

X-Lite CW is sexy. Hope they make one in my size. Had to get back on my old rim brake road bike this past week. It was terrifying on the descents compared to my disc brake equipped Norco Threshold. Had to remind myself to start thinking about braking, something I don’t do with disc brakes… And aero drag of disc brakes? How much drag is there going uphill? How much drag is there in a peloton? I will say the 180 disc up front does catch a fair amount of wind while I’m riding solo. (But it stops my 225lb body soooo well on the descent, which is important since I live where you can ride mountains).

scentofreason
scentofreason
8 years ago

how about pricing or at least a link to the company website…

Penny
Penny
8 years ago

I never noticed any scary braking feeling at all descending mountains on road bikes whether racing or riding for fun. Using rim brakes works just fine for me. I think a lot of that has to do with body weight! Maybe this is more of a Clydesdale issue.

That said, i am not opposed to discs, bring it on industry! I’ll keep riding and racing no matter what the equipment trends do.

Tomi
Tomi
8 years ago

@Penny : I’ve switched to disc brakes for Cyclocross 3 years ago. The reasonning at the time was not better brakes but additionnal clearance meaning less need for bike switch during the race as I mostly race unsupported. 2 years ago I used my CX bike on the road for a few months while waiting for a new road bike and got used to it. The first time I took my new road bike in the mountain I overshoot one of the first corner with a uh oooh moment. When I encountered my first wet day while commuting in the middle of traffic I thought I was about to kill myself.

You really do notice how bad rim brakes works when you try a disc brake equipped bike. Then you say why have I been using a brakeless bike for 30 years (insert the correct value for you) ? It really feels like comparing the rear retroped coster brake of the first bike you had as a kid to the current dura-ace caliper, especially if like me you are living in the middle of the alps.

Bottom line: although it was a really nice custom bike and I resisted the urge to switch to disc brakes for a little while, I sold my road bike a few months ago and will receive in the next few weeks its replacement with disc brakes.

TypeVertigo
8 years ago

Orbea has already tested the effect of disc brakes and rotors on aerodynamics…two years ago.

They didn’t find a large enough difference compared to a standard dual-pivot caliper rim brake unless angle of attack was increased to 10 degrees or so. Hence they proceeded to make their Avant endurance road bike compatible with both types of brakes.

Secondly, anybody who flaps their mouths about disc brakes being complicated clearly hasn’t ridden a bike that has one. All that’s required to adjust a TRP Spyre caliper is its barrel adjuster 95% of the time. As for hydraulic disc brakes, you bleed fluid once a year, and that’s it. Pad replacements aren’t too hard either. I get more headaches and spend much more time fine-tuning V-brakes.

John Tee
John Tee
8 years ago

Hey Culprit Cycles, I’m not sure if you noticed but the Rose shares very few similarities to your Trigon design. Both have disc brakes, sure, both have two triangles, of course, but your attempt at drawing a comparison to the bike that you sell is a weak one and it’s obvious you’re grasping at straws a bit.

Love the kids bike you make though.

Mikey
Mikey
8 years ago

@Turner92 Rose develops and designs all their bikes in-house. Some smaller stuff like tools and bottle cages etc. I think are just branded from OE manufacturers. I think most modern TT bikes look very similar when I give them a fast glimpse. It’s only when you take a closer look at the shapes that you notice differences.
@boom if you don’t like disc brakes you don’t need to buy them. I see a good point in them, though I don’t think I’ll need discs on my road bike for my use. There’s also that other CW option with qr’s and direct mount rim brakes available.

Culpritbicycles
8 years ago

@ John tee. Not grasping. I know there are differences of course, new flat mount, dropped stays etc. Point was being made regarding the 2 in one frame. road disc and shimano direct mount under bb. The Trigon comment has partial truth. Do a patent search and you will find I did design the fork and when the bike launched, it was my design. Trigon and I did a joint venture on this design as a start up brand in 2012. We have since made a lot of small design changes that make our bike different from their current offerings. cable routing as well as lay up request, etc. But yes, we do share attributes but not all are the same. We are 2 very unique brands and am more than happy to tell you more privately.

EB
EB
8 years ago

I would take into consideration the height of the hoods. I ride these and it is substantial. They may add more drag than the calipers.

RON
RON
8 years ago

Its just that some people are really open to innovation, progress and modernity.. disc breaks in peloton is happening now and in 2017 you guys will see it in TDF.. deal with it..

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

Wanted to know about the Rose bike, how it handles’ pro’s cons’ etc from owners/users not the old ‘for or against’ Disks brake argument

Joe Black
Joe Black
3 years ago

It’s such a pity that Rose decided to abandon the UK. Not enough promotion perhaps, slowed their sales down in about 2020 they first used the excuse that the UK market brakes are different and that’s the reason. Since it became the Brexit excuse.

Worst of all, a friend who bought an Aero bike, stated they no longer help. It’s only good local shops that can help.

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