Gravel Grinder News: Rose Backroad Classified – by Guitar Ted
Today Rose Bikes from Germany introduces a gravel bike in carbon fiber called the Backroad Classified. This bike features some new technology which brings some new twists to the traditional bicycle set up. Let’s take a look here and see if these deviations from the normal set up make sense for the gravel road rider.
What It Is: The Rose Backroad Classified bike is an interesting bike from a couple of different angles. It has a unique drive train which utilizes a two-speed internally geared rear hub which is designed to take the place of a front derailleur and a 2X crank set. The system works by way of an electronically activated “smart” through axle and a Bluetooth connected sender unit from the handle bar which is connected to the Di2 shifter. The system, conceived of and made by Classified, is good for around 10.000 shifts and is said to work flawlessly even when up to 1000 watts of power is applied at the pedals.
This allows the Rose Bikes Backroad Classified to run with the advantages of a 1X set up (No front derailleur to catch mud, cleaner look) and still have 22 available gearing combinations for a claimed range of 451% with a claimed 99% efficiency. Of course, there are a few proprietary bits that are present.
The rear hub, as an example, uses Classified’s own hub design which features a removable hub shell/spoke/rim set up. This would allow Backroad Classified owners to theoretically have two different wheel sets to swap into the bike. Obviously, this requires specific parts to this system. The through axle contains the Bluetooth receiver and battery, so this also is specific to the bike. The cassette is also specific to the design and is a Classified component, not a standard issue SRAM or Shimano unit.
The Rose Bikes Backroads Classified comes in Roasted Olive or Deepest Purple and costs approximately $6.430.00 USD and is available direct from Rose Bikes.
Comments: This is an interesting choice and reflects again that the gravel cycling segment is pushing road biking technology forward in a way that was unforeseen only a few years ago. Whether or not Classified’s rear hub/cassette/shifter takes off or not, the idea has merit and may show up in a different form which could be compatible with current hub and cassette standards in the future. (Perhaps a bottom bracket oriented version?)
That said, riders buying into this system are banking on a new technology and way of doing things that is not guaranteed to be around for the future. This makes the Rose Bikes Backroad Classified a bit of a gamble. However; if you don’t mind taking risks with new technologies that may become the forerunner of a new standard, this may be a great bike for you which makes a statement to that effect.
One other small detail that caught my eye is the “D” shaped seat post. While seeming to be something that is somewhat innocuous at first glance, this is a component that is specific to only a few bikes, (Giant notably uses a “D” shaped seat post), and replacements or seat posts with different lengths, materials, and offsets may be difficult, if not impossible, to source. Certainly that poses a bit more of a challenge than getting a round section seat post.
For more information regarding the Rose Bikes Backroads Classified, see their site here; https://www.rosebikes.com/rose-backroad-classified-2×11-2696931?product_shape=deepest+purple
Note: Images and information on the Rose Bikes Backroad Classified was provided by Rose Bikes.