The Tyrolean Alps are justifiably famous for a number of things, besides altitude. Ridiculously picturesque wooden houses. Oompah music. Lederhosen. Very nice lager. And lovely, lovely trails.
Rose bikes, the German-based retailer of value bike bits goodness, also produce a range of bikes – with occasionally slightly unusual names – and have done so for a while, but as I wrote in this story, they’ve introduced new models or redesigned old ones, and they carted a bunch of journalists out to the Kirchberg, in the Austrian Alps to give some of them a thorough badgering. Or (as the trip was only a couple of days) perhaps a mild foxing. Something more thorough than a light rabbiting, at any rate.
In the midst of the seething throng of European journalists (there weren’t quite enough bikes to go around), I managed to get enough time on three bikes to get a vague idea of character: the Granite Chief, the Root Miller and the Uncle Jimbo. There are some caveats to this endeavour, however. I’m fairly tall at 195cm (about 6ft4in in Old Money): too tall for the largest of the bikes available. But with a bit of fettling, brake swapping, and seatpost waggling, I was able to make myself comfortable enough on the Large bikes. As a consequence I can’t really comment properly on reach and fit. And although there was some small amount of climbing on the trails themselves, time constraints – and if I’m brutally honest the fun quotient – meant that I was confined to trails with cable car access: so trails with vastly more down than up. Which is fine, as in my experience the place that a too-small bike (and I’ve ridden a few) really makes itself obvious is on the climbs. But I can talk to you about angles, and suspension, and handling, and Alps, and roots, and fun. These are only initial observations – I didn’t get enough time by half to generate a proper opinion, and of course all the trails were new to me too, but I could at least get an inkling of what the bikes were like.
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Certainly, if you’re in the market for a new full-suspension bike, across a range of travel, Rose bikes are well worth investigating.