There really are a lot of great modern lightweight carbon, aero road bikes these days, but few come close to the new Rose Xlite on value. Seriously, where else can you get a complete aero carbon, disc brake road bike with a sub 1kg frame and integrated cable routing for 2999€?
Rose Xlite affordable lightweight aero road bike
Rose calls their 2022 Xlite a ground-up redesign, “characterized by aerodynamics, lightweight construction, and the highest level of system integration.” Compared to the previously popular all-rounder X-Lite, pretty much everything is new, from aero tube shaping to the bike’s geometry, and of course the completely internal routing solution.
The bike gets aero reshaping from the deeper fork blades, an integrated fork crown that smoothly transitions into a deeper aerofoil downtube, deeper seattube, and new D-shaped aero seatpost. While the hourglass headtube is wider to fit the cables through a 1.5″ upper headset, the toptube becomes wider, more horizontal & tapered. And overall, Rose has smoothed the edges, angling the tops of the wide-set dropped seatstays and even closing the ends of the thru-axles for cleaner airflow.
To be honest, the new Xlite starts to look more like most modern aero road bikes. And while that makes it a bit more generic, in the end, this is about building a great bike at a great value. That’s hard to argue with.
Rose reshaped the bike’s geometry too, maintaining versatility in a quick race-oriented ride. Overall frame Reach has slightly increased, while headtubes have gotten shorter for reduced Stack. Handling is said to be slightly quicker with a bit more fork offset and tweaked head angles across the 6-size range, plus steeper seattube angles to shift the rider forward with the increased Reach for better balance on the bike.
Chainstay length has stayed short at just 410mm, but Rose managed to make room for slightly bigger tires, now with up to 32,, clearance.
What’s else is new?
Besides the obviously all-new frame & fork, Rose also equips all of the electronic shift bikes with a new Race One-Piece carbon cockpit.
The 395g handlebar & stem combo features a compact 83mm reach but 130mm drop with 3° of flare, and get integrated fully internal cable routing and a modular out-front GPS mount.
These top builds also get new ROSE RC Sixty tubeless carbon aero wheels.
They feature a 60mm deep carbon rim, 21mm internal, 29.5mm max outside, laced with aero bladed Sapim spokes to alloy centerlock disc brake Newmen hubs, at a claimed 1620g for the wheelset.
The Rose Xlite comes in two different carbon frame specs. The top-tier Xlite 06 gets a premium hi-mod layup for a claimed frame weight of just 825g, and maximum stiffness. The even more affordable Xlite 04 shares the same mold but uses a lower grade carbon for a 950g frame weight claim.
Both share a PressFit BB86 bottom bracket, proprietary D-shaped aero seatpost with hidden wedge-style clamp, direct mount derailleur hanger, 12mm thru-axles, flat mount disc brakes, and two bottle cages mount with 3-bolts to adjust the position on the downtube.
2022 Rose Xlite – Pricing, options & availability
Rose builds their top carbon spec Xlite 06 into five complete bike builds, almost all with electronic shifting, house brand 60mm deep aero carbon wheels, and Rose’s one-piece fully integrated cockpit.
OK, a 4200€, 7.3kg mechanical Xlite 06 Ultegra build with alloy wheels & 2-piece cockpit is the cheapest way to get the top carbon frame… Rose figured some budget riders would still prefer the top frame from the start.
The electronic builds start at 6000€ for either the Xlite 06 Ultegra Di2 build (7.1kg) or Xlite 06 Force eTap AXS (7.2kg). A 8000€ Xlite 06 Dura-Ace Di2 build and a 8200€ Xlite 06 Red eTap AXS build both drop down to a claimed 6.9kg racing weight.
The second-tier Xlite 04 shares all of the same shaping & tech details in its 125g heavier frame, and Rose builds these up with electronic & mechanical groupsets, alloy wheels, and 2-piece bar & stem combos that are still super well integrated. The mechanical Xlite 04 105 is the most affordable at just 2999€ with a complete bike weight claim of just 8.1kg.
A mechanical Xlite 04 Ultegra build sells for 3300€ at 7.8kg, an electronic Xlite 04 Ultegra Di2 complete for 4600€ at 7.3kg with lighter wheels, and an electronic Xlite 04 Force eTap AXS build for 4800€ at 7.4kg claimed.
All are available to “order” (or maybe more accurately… pre-order) direct-to-consumer from ROSE now, and through their retailer shops. The Xlite 04 spec bikes look to ship by mid-July. But the earliest Xlite 06 bikes will arrive is around mid-November 2022, with many pushed out further all the way to mid-February 2023.
What a tease.