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Rose Reveal Four Disc road bike review

6 Jul 2020
Verdict:

Simple but ingenious feats of engineering makes the Rose Reveal a comfortable bike to ride

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Clean-looking, comfortable, good value
Against 
Heavy, underwhelming wheelset

Manufacturers are becoming so experienced at manipulating the black stuff that they are now able to satisfy seemingly conflicting demands. Need a bike that is stiff one way but flexible in another? No problem. Fancy some aerodynamic efficiency but at a light weight? Sure thing.

However, while sophisticated fabrication can go a long way, brands are increasingly now also choosing to deploy mechanical devices within the frame design to further augment certain characteristics. Most often this is to help boost comfort and is particularly prevalent in endurance road and gravel bikes.

Such designs have taken the form of decoupled seat tubes (Trek Domane) and suspension cartridges in steerer tubes (Specialized Roubaix). Not to be outdone, Rose has built a few engineering tricks into its new Reveal too. 

Buy the Rose Reveal Four from Rose here.

Quiet at the back

The Reveal is Rose’s endurance model, made specifically for long rides in relative comfort, as opposed to its X-Lite model, which is the more race-oriented bike.

To help with that comfort is a black plastic sleeve that houses the seatpost at the top of the seat tube and acts as a dampener between frame and post. The back of the seat tube has been cut away above the seatstays, and so the seatpost is secured down by the junction with the seatstays.

And because the plastic sleeve isn’t structural, the seatpost is free to flex backwards from that point instead of being pinned 100mm higher up where the top tube and seat tube meet.

Longer tubes naturally flex more, so by creating such an extraordinary amount of exposed seatpost without resorting to weird frame geometries, Rose has given the Reveal’s back end an uncanny ability to absorb bumps.

And it works well. During my tests, whether it was the chatter of a rough road surface or the one-off thumps of bigger holes, the rear did a stirling job of dulling the impacts, making the bike a very comfortable place to sit.

The ingenuity of the design doesn’t stop there. The seatpost has 25mm of setback to better promote rearward flex, but the seat tube angle is a steep 74° so the rider isn’t placed too far behind the bottom bracket. The seatpost is also D-shaped in cross-section, with its flat surface at the rear, where more of the post is exposed.

The flat surface encourages rearwards flex, while the rounded front face discourages any rebound forwards, so there was never a time when I felt like I was being pogoed around by the seatpost.

The feature is pretty simple compared to the hi-tech comfort-boosting solutions from other brands, but it’s certainly effective.

Buy the Rose Reveal Four from Rose here.

Similar tactics are at play at the front of the bike. The fork steerer is tapered from 11/2in to 11/8in as you’d expect, however the top headset bearing hasn’t been reduced to accommodate the slimmer tube diameter. Instead Rose has used a second 11/2in bearing.

This has opened up space between the bearing and fork steerer through which, with the help of special spacers, Rose has routed the brake and gear cables into the frame. A second sleeve takes up the remaining space so the steerer fits securely.

It’s another smart move if, as is the case here, weight isn’t top priority. The bigger head tube is heavier, but it also helps to make the frame stiffer and keeps the front end looking clean and free of clutter. I’m convinced the sleeve also helps filter vibrations coming up from the front of the bike too.

 

During my test rides, the two comfort-promoting devices created a peculiarly pleasant ride quality in what is otherwise a very stiff frameset. When I was accelerating, I got nothing but race bike sensations in terms of rigidity. Yet those features turned off the vibrations that were surely on their way to my hands and backside like breakers in an electrical circuit.

Cherry on top

Rose has a direct-to-consumer business model similar to Canyon, cutting out the distributor and retailer, meaning its bikes are typically pretty good in terms of value, and at just over £3,220 with Ultegra Di2 Disc, this Rose Reveal is no different.

However, one area I felt the Reveal’s comparatively low retail price was evident was in the wheels. Rose’s own R Thirty Disc wheels are underwhelming in comparison to the frameset and other components, slightly dulling the excitement of the ride by being a little weighty and sluggish.

Still, with the money you’d save buying a Reveal Four Disc compared to an equivalent-quality bike from many other brands, you could still splash out on a wheel upgrade, and in this instance it would most certainly be worth it. After that you’d really be all set to enjoy some long, comfortable miles on a truly accomplished endurance machine.

Alternatively…

Top flight

 

For almost double your money, Rose claims its Reveal Six Disc at £5,898.29 (specced with Sram Red eTap AXS) saves around a kilo in weight compared to our test model. Only available in black, though.

No charging required

 

Rose’s most affordable Reveal Four Disc saves more than £1,000 over our test bike. The only concession is a swap to Shimano’s mechanical 105 Disc groupset, which is hardly a disadvantage.

Spec

Frame Rose Reveal Four Disc
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc
Brakes Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc
Chainset Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc
Cassette Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc
Bars Ritchey Comp Road Streem II
Stem Ritchey WCS C220
Seatpost Rose Reveal
Saddle Selle Italia Flite Flow
Wheels Rose R Thirty Disc, Continental GP5000 28mm tyres
Weight 7.88kg (57cm)
Contact rosebikes.co.uk

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£3,220.96

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