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First Ride Review: Rose Pikes Peak EN

While the name PIKES PEAK might be enough to conjure up images of epic uphill rally racing feats (just google the PIKES PEAK International Hill Climb if you don’t know what we’re talking about), ROSE admit they’ve taken things in the other direction with their all-new carbon PIKES PEAK. Unquestionably capable of climbing, the ROSE PIKES PEAK looks set to be a ripper on the descents.

The PIKES PEAK is finally being released after ROSE first revealed a prototype two years ago. The lightweight carbon frame, which weighs in at 2,400 g (size M), is markedly different to everything else we’ve seen from ROSE in recent years. First of all, it’s being launched in two models: a trail bike with 150 mm of travel, and an enduro-specific model with 165 mm rear travel. They’re both built around the same frame, with the variation coming from the length of the rear shock. The trail bike model has 150 mm travel up front as well, while the 165er enduro bike has 160 mm front suspension, which leads to fairly different geometry across the bikes. They’re both on 27.5″ wheels with conventional 2.35″-wide tires.

We’ve been testing the mettle of their top-of-the-line enduro model, the ROSE PIKES PEAK 3 EN.

The frame of the ROSE PIKES PEAK in detail

The standout feature on the PIKES PEAK has to be its patented PROGEO system, which doesn’t just let you alter the geometry but also the suspension’s progression rate – hence the PROgression GEOmetry naming. There are distinct four settings that are each reputed to have a pretty notable impact on the how the bike rides. The angles (head and seat tube) can each be altered by up a degree, and there are two stages for the progression in both the slack and the steeper set-up.

The individual settings are clearly marked so you can leave the handbook at home!

Adjusting the PROGEO system only takes a 6mm allen key and it’s wisely engineered to not require an expert, nor come with the risk of losing any small, loose parts – it just takes a little practice and patience and can be done in a matter of seconds.

The cables run through carbon liners inside the frame, thus making them easier to service.
These green accents on the PIKES PEAK are a sidestep for ROSE in terms of aesthetics. The overall look is fairly understated, which gives precedence to its beautiful carbon frame.

Beyond the clever PROGEO system, the frame is packed with technologies – some less standard than others, some common fare. The cables run through carbon liners, thus making them much easier to thread through the frame. The PIKES PEAK has been designed with a single chainring up front, and there’s no option to mount a front mech – this allowed the designers to use big bearings and optimized kinematics. Enduro bearings are a seal of approval in terms of quality hardware, they are reputed to have a really long lifespan. Finally, there’s also room for a bottle cage mount.

The geometry of the ROSE PIKES PEAK

These days it seems like ‘long and slack’ is pretty much standard mouth when a bike is launched, but the ROSE PIKES PEAK genuinely seems deserving of this bandied-about phrasing: its reach of 472 mm to 487 mm on the size L frame vaults it towards the longer end of the market, and while the 65.5° head angle on the slackest setting isn’t hugely extreme, it’s still deemed slack. The PIKES PEAK comes in three sizes, but as the frame is so long it should still suit a wide spectrum of riders. If you normally ride a size L, you could probably consider trying the medium frame, while those usually on XL-sized bikes will most likely fit a size L.

Size (steep/slack) S M L
Seat Tube 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm
Top Tube 591 mm/594 mm 616 mm/619 mm 646 mm/649 mm
Head Tube 110 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head Angle 66,5°/65,6° 66,5°/65,6° 66,5°/65,6°
Seat Tube Angle 75°/74° 75°/74° 75°/74°
Chainstays 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
Bottom Bracket Height 355 mm/343 mm 355 mm/343 mm 355 mm/343 mm
Wheelbase 1166 mm/1168 mm 1192 mm/1194 mm 1222 mm/1224 mm
Reach 432 mm/422 mm 455 mm/445 mm 482 mm/472 mm
Stack 595 mm/602 mm 600 mm/607 mm 609 mm/616 mm

The spec of the ROSE PIKES PEAK

While both versions of the PIKES PEAK come in three build specs, ROSE still have their custom build configurator so it’s simple to finely tune the bike to fit your wants. Whether it’s something as simple as changing the colour of the grips or fitting a wholly different drivetrain; ROSE can manage pretty much anything. We’ve been testing the top-of-the-line Enduro model, which goes by the name PIKES PEAK 3 EN and retails at €4,799. The spec shows a real eye for detail in terms of being fit-for-purpose but has kept an eye on budget so it hasn’t shot through the roof. With many of today’s top spec bikes costing in the region of 10,000 euros, it’s certainly a refreshing change – however, if spending is your thing then we urge you to get creative on the configurator and not hold back.

Rose Pikes Peak 3 EN

Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory 160 mm
Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 165 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Transition SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost RockShox Reverb X1 Stealth
Bars Race Face Next R 800 mm
Stem Race Face Turbine R 35 mm
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary 2,35″/Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2,35″
Wheelset DT Swiss EX1501

Rose Pikes Peak 2 EN

Fork RockShox Lyric RCT3 160 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 165 mm
Brakes Magura MT5
Transmission Shimano XT
Seatpost RockShox Reverb X1 Stealth
Bars Race Face Atlas 800 mm
Stem Race Face Atlas 35 mm
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR2 2,3″
Wheelset DT Swiss E1700

Rose Pikes Peak 1 EN

Fork RockShox Lyric RCT3 160 mm
Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 165 mm
Brakes Shimano SLX
Transmission Shimano XT/SLX
Seatpost RockShox Reverb X1 Stealth
Bars SPANK Spike Race 800 mm
Stem SPANK Spike Race 35 mm
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHR2 2,3″
Wheelset DT Swiss E1900

The PIKES PEAK has some storming details like the Reverb 1x remote.
Given the sheer length of the frame, all of the models have a 35 mm stem.
These FOX 36 Factory models are the latest edition with an EVOL air chamber and RC2 cartridge.
The seat tube has been designed to accommodate the full length of the Reverb dropper post (S: 125 mm, M: 150 mm, L: 170 mm).
There’s a Schwalbe Magic Mary up front with the latest new ADDIX Soft rubber compound, while at the rear the PIKES PEAK rolls on a Hans Dampf with the ADDIX Speedgrip compound.

The ROSE PIKES PEAK on the trail

We seized the opportunity to test ride the ROSE PIKES PEAK for a full day on South Tyrol’s Kronplatz, tearing up and down a really mixed route. The first 500 metres of climbing relied on pure leg strength, which gave us great insight into the bike’s climbing credentials. For the uphill we set the PROGEO into the steep setting with a high rate of progression, seeing the bike grind its way quite leisurely up the ascent – it obviously isn’t its main strength. The seattube has a big offset from the bottom bracket, so if you’ve got long legs then the seat angle is even slacker and you might feel like you’re pedaling from behind.

The FOX X2 rear shock may be a force on the downhills, but it could be more efficient when climbing.
Drop down a gear and sit up with a smile; all doable with the SRAM Eagle drivetrain.

The FOX X2 rear shock can be stiffened up with the lever but the impact just isn’t as noticeable as encountered on smaller air shocks. ROSE’s choice of the SRAM Eagle drivetrain with 500% gear range is incredibly welcome, seeing you get up the steepest ramps easily in the easiest gear. After that sweat-inducing climb we did the final part of the mountain with the lift to reach the Kronplatz, before whipping out our multi-tool and slackening off the PROGEO system to give it the mid-progression rate.

The ROSE PIKES PEAK has a lot in reserve on burly, natural trails.

Once you’ve tilted the bike downhill it’s evident just how much more at home the ROSE PIKES PEAK feels on the descents. The long reach takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve nailed a few corners you’ll have found a really balanced position so you can let off the brakes. The suspension is super plush without appearing to go anyway near bottoming out, and it keeps its composer on the burliest sections of the trail. The rear shock and FOX 36 up front do a masterful job of rolling capably over hits in quick succession.

Soft pine needle-strewn singletrack is a treat on the ROSE PIKES PEAK…
… as are man-made bike park trails.

For our second descent there was hesitation before seeing how the PIKES PEAK fared on a standard bike park-style downhill, and it came out shining. It’s a wiz at getting air time, and feels as stable and as steerable as on the ground. With such forgiving suspension, you’ll even get away with a few mislandings. Its spec isn’t just really well chosen for downhills on paper, but it also all delivers the goods although we’d recommend more stable tires and potentially even stronger brakes if you like to get really loose. Naturally, this is where you can have fun on the configurator without breaking the bank.

ROSE have created a solid bike for a good time on the descents with the PIKES PEAK!

Our Thoughts

Ushering in a new era for ROSE, the PIKES PEAK makes a solidly great first impression. Not the quickest on the climbs, it comes to the fore on the descents showing serious all-round capabilities for technical trails and bike park-worthy credentials. Those who value their downhills, smoothness and a bike that’s got the ability to take some blows will certainly ride home happy with the ROSE PIKES PEAK.

For more information head to the ROSE website