With the Pikes Peak, Rose Bikes is bringing a brand new platform to the table that is available as a trail bike or enduro build, utilizing proprietary technology and modern looks.
It's been a while since Rose showed the first aluminum prototype of the Pikes Peak. While the name naturally brings to mind the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill climb up said mountain in Colorado Springs, the bike's real strength should show on the way down. With the final version of the Pikes Peak, Rose Bikes is intent on bringing a new platform to the market that is visually and technically modern, and a sign of things to expect from the brand in the future.
Depending on the shock being used, the 27.5" Pikes Peak is available as an all-mountain bike with 150 mm of rear wheel travel or as an enduro rig featuring 165 mm of travel. Using the new metric standard, the AM and EN models feature the same length shock, only with a different stroke. Therefore, the geometry varies by half a degree when used with forks with different stack height, catering to the demands of the two categories.
Rose Pikes Peak AM Details
• Intended use: trail
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Rear wheel travel: 150 mm
• 66º or 67º head angle
• Frame material: high modulus carbon fiber
• Progeo technology
• Metric shock sizing
• Boost hub spacing
• Custom build possible
• Prices: €3,299 - €4,499 Rose Park Peak EN Details
Same features as Pikes Peak AM with following differences:
• Intended use: enduro
• Rear wheel travel: 165 mm
• 65.6º or 66.5º head angle
• Prices: €3,399 - €4,799 www.rosebikes.com
No matter the model, the full carbon fiber frames share the same specs. Weighing only 2369 grams without a shock for a medium-sized version, the bike is designed around a 1x drivetrain, which allowed Rose's designers to optimize the location of the massive main pivot and to go for a wider bearing spacing.
One of the coolest features, however, is the patent pending Progeo technology. While the concept isn't new, the execution is, as it allows for a quick change of the bike's progression and head angle setting without needing to worry about losing any small parts out on the trail. The circular device requires a 6mm Allen key, and works by rotating and locking the shock position into one of four different positions. You can pick between steep geometry with medium or high progression or a slack setting with low or medium progression. The head and seat angle change by one degree, the bottom bracket height by 12 mm.
Adjusted to work well with the latest generation of air shocks, the suspension curve actually becomes slightly digressive towards the very end of the travel in the setting with low progression, allowing the bike to use the full travel with less force. Consequently, the curve ramps up in the higher settings to avoid bottoming out under heavy load.
Other features include Boost spacing front and rear, a fully integrated headset, enough room to fit a half-liter water bottle in the size S or full-size bottles in the remaining frame sizes, post mount 180 rear brake, and a Press-Fit 30 bottom bracket.Geometry
In regards to the medium and large frame size, the Pikes Peak's reach is on the longer side of the spectrum, but matched with a 35mm stems the bike falls perfectly into the prevailing philosophy that longer is better. The frames are available in three sizes (S, M and L) in a single color combination: black with green graphics.
Making their bikes available through direct sales through their website, Rose Bikes is currently mainly selling all over Europe and in the Benelux countries. Shipping to the US, Canada and other countries is possible, but fairly expensive – something that might change in the future.
Also acting as an online shop for bike parts with a stock of over four million items, Rose has the unique possibility to build custom bikes next to their complete models, since all models are being hand assembled at their facilities in Bocholt, Germany. A big redesign of the configurator is planned for September, which should make the experience of building your dream bike even better.Pikes Peak AM
Equipped with a Fox 34 or RockShox Pike suspension fork and a Fox Float DPS or RockShox Deluxe RT3 rear shock – depending on the model – the bikes are delivering 150 mm of travel front and rear. Three different models are available. Starting at affordable 3,299 Euros, the top model still comes in at only 4,499 Euros with Fox suspension and Sram's X01 Eagle, which is quite impressive. Pikes Peak EN
Similar in price (starting at 3,399 Euros and going up to 4,799 Euros), Fox's 36 Float or RockShox Lyrik with 160 mm of travel are found in the front with a Fox Float X2 or RockShox Super Deluxe delivering 165 mm of cush in the back.
One of the funny things about bikes is that while a lot of them look very similar, the ride characteristics can differ very noticeably. The engineers at Rose have done their homework with setting up the Pikes Peak EN, and I can't remember ever having had an easier time dialing in the suspension. With 25 percent sag on the Float X2 shock, and following Fox's recommended settings for high- and low-speed compression and rebound, not once did I feel like touching the dials during the ride on the challenging trails around Italy's Kronplatz.
Not unlike many longer travel bikes, the rear end does bob somewhat under pedaling load and dives into the travel when mashing the pedals hard – to a certain degree a side effect of the Horst Link-driven System and the high sensitivity of the Fox Float X2 shock. Changing to the more progressive settings of the Progeo system only helped a little, but with a flip of the climb-switch, which is fairly easy to reach even while pedaling, the Pikes Peak efficiently drives toward the top of the hill. Some may disagree, but I sure like the fact that the shock isn't fully locking out in that mode and still delivers traction on rougher climbs.
Immediately noticeable is the one-degree change in geometry when switching from the slacker to the steeper setting. With a 75-degree seat angle, pedaling becomes more efficient and personally, I wouldn't be unhappy if it was even a degree steeper, which would especially aid pedaling efficiency in the slack geometry position.
Overall, the Pikes Peak EN is a capable climber for its category with zero pedal feedback, an overall weight of 29.1 pounds (13.2 kg) for the top model of the range, the option of steeper angles with Progeo and exceptional grip on really steep, technical uphill sections. One of the few things I would change is going to a 32-tooth chainring instead of the 34-toothed ring that our test bikes came equipped with. Since most components can be swapped during the order process on their website, that's an easy fix.
While the Progeo adjustment doesn't offer an on-the-fly adjustment, it comes pretty close. Armed with a 6 mm Allen key it really only takes 15 to 20 seconds to flip it from one position to another, without having to fuss around with any loose parts. You open up the bolt until it locks out, push the knob in and with the Allen key still inserted, rotate the system to its preferred position with predefined slots, tighten it up and are good to go. We were told that with constant use of the prototype for about two years there haven't been any issues in terms of wear.
Still, most people will probably only change settings when confronted with a really long climb. In rolling terrain, both the slacker and the steeper positions will provide good amounts of control for either the ups or downs, so there really is no need for constantly stopping to make a change.
Whatever Rose did to the kinematics of the rear suspension, I have no qualms to say that they hit the nail on the head with their setup. Its ability to gobble up small and large hits with aplomb, while never feeling sluggish or undefined, puts the function of the Pikes Peak's rear suspension right up there with the best enduro bikes I've ever ridden.
While the slack setting with low progression is best suited for flowing trails and medium-sized obstacles; switching to the medium progression adds just the right amount of support for drops and bigger hits at high speeds without unnecessarily firming up the last part of the travel. If I spent some more time on the bike and for courses with really big drops and jumps I would probably play with adding another volume spacer or two in the Fox Float X2 shock (the Pikes Peak is shipped with one spacer) and see how it would affect the rear suspension when things get silly rough, but overall the performance of the rear end was encouraging, to say the least.
The Pike's Peak's handling in corners and stability at speed was confidence-inspiring, and while 65-degrees seems to be the go-to number for a modern enduro bike's head angle, I never got the feeling that slackening the bike by another 0.6 degrees would make a drastic change for the better. The steer tube length on the size small frame could be 10 mm shorter for more choice of bar height, but that might be nitpicking to most riders.
While I didn't get the chance to ride the all-mountain version of the Pikes Peak, it is safe to say that in terms of geometry, suspension performance and weight (12.3 kg for the top model), it should also be right on the money for the trail bike category`s demands.