£1950.37 (+P&P) > Spice up your commute
It’s often said that cyclo-cross bikes can make pretty good commuter and urban bikes too, and that’s the idea behind the Rose BackRoad. Rose bills the BackRoad frame as its gravel/adventure chassis, but in among the various drop-bar builds of the BackRoad designed for escaping into the wilderness, there’s this flat-bar model that’s set up more for the ride back into civilisation.
The stem rises steeply to put you in an upright position for comfort and control but we flipped it over so it pointed down during the testing period. It gave the BackRoad a racier ride position than Rose intended but it helped the bike fly during commutes. Large volume 40mm Schwalbe G-One tyres provide a great deal of comfort without sacrificing too much rolling speed and meant sneaking in off-road shortcuts when the road traffic was bad was an easy decision to take.
Our 57cm BackRoad weighed 8.74kg, which is pretty impressive for a sub £2k bike, and even laden-down with mudguards and bags, it remained below 10kg. We’d love to see the J-Kit brake hose adapters fitted as standard, as that would mean you could easily switch between the flat handlebar for weekday commutes and drops (with some funky gear cabling) for longer weekend rides. Its Ergon grips took a bit of time to get into the right position, although eventually we swapped them for some more traditional round ones. The saddle is both conventional and comfy, even without padded shorts, which is good news if you want to take the BackRoad to the coffee shop on a Sunday morning.