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We do not meet Rose Bikes every week-end on french singletracks. But the brand starts to show some serious ambitions outside Germany – a dedicated team for enduro and 4x is already in activity and the brand comes on many shows and exhibitions to present its bikes.
The Granite Chief bike is a bike in the prime of age – launched in 2010 in the catalog with what we call now a all-mountain profiling. It changes a lot during those 3 years, having some great updates for stiffness such as the welcome of tapered pivot fork or a 142×12 rear axle. We tested here the “Special Edition”.
Thoses pictures shows some pieces of the bike. Rose manages to brand its bike with a great efficiency without being in a “too much” area. They understand for the commerce that bikes have to be recognizable easily – in that point, the work is done !
It’s an important point and we heard this commentary many times : the Granite Chief looks good. The bi-color paint (grey-brown and black mat) is nice and original without being gloomy.
In Size Large, wheelbase is 1144mn, 68° Head Tube Angle and classic stays lenght – 425mn.
The Schwalbe Hans Dampf are large tires and confirms the well-seat look of the bike. The rear suspension is a horst-link / 4 bar linkage technology – nothing extraordinary but a guarantee of good overall performances. See below some pictures of the suspension system.
Rose selects Fox Racing Shox for the management of the suspensions with a duo composed of a Talas 120-150 fork and a Float rear shock – both works with the new CTD system with a cockpit shiffter. This (big) shiffter finds its inspiration from Scott – and allows a setting of the fork and the rear shock in the same time.
For the drivetrain and the brake system, if you are allergic to Shimano, close your eyes ! Full XT with a 3 rings-crankset (XTR upgrade for the rear derailleur), XT brakes with generous rotors (200mn front and 180mn rear). Definitively, this Special Edition does not joke when it’s time to to be serious !
In the same line, the seatpost is telescopic (Rockshox Reverb). Cockpit components come from Easton and its Haven range. Wheels are solid DT Swiss M1700, tubetype.
There is one thing you have to keep in mind. Contrary to other models, Rose do not allow components customisation on the Special Edition. This customisation program, a Rose exclusivity, allows customer to change most of the components on a bike, such as wheels or transmission settings. You can see an example on the Uncle Jimbo, the enduro bike. It’s pretty interesting also to adjust the size of a stem or the lenght of a handlebar according to the geometry of the bikes and/or the uses of the rider.
The Granite Chief is a generous bike. The 150mn of travel (front / rear) works together when you sit for the first time on the bike. Imagine one second that you’re trying a comfortable sofa – this is the same experience onboarding the bike. It’s a very good surprise – we never tried a complete bike with such good suspensions settings and coordination – directly from the assembly lines.
It’s so impressive that we decide to present the behaviour of the mountainbike following the 3 positions of the CTD : Climb / Trail / Descente.
The Granite Chief does not have a climber profile. Nevertheless, it faces uphills with a good energy – suspensions are not blocked on Climb mod and just uses the minimum to filter the ground. There is no intensive pumping. The 3×10 drivetrain (24/32/42) combined with 11-36 cassette is also an advantage to get out of tricky spots.
Again, contrary to his strong appareance of big bike, Granite Chief is well dynamic and accepts of being pushed without crying.
According to your feeling, you can use the bike with its full suspension potential on Descent mode without facing a lack of efficiency. Nevertheless, the rail position offers more dynamism and is perfect for a common uses and trails. On paper, the 90mn lenght of the stem could affect the reactivity and your ability to drive the bike where you want. But it’s not the feeling we had on the bike.
We notice an inconvenience on the work of the rear suspensions on small and repetitive bumps at high speed. It gives the impression of being blocked – becoming steeper. It seems that the suspension enters its travel without being able to rectify.
This bike provides you a lot of confidence and is safe on jumps – it keeps its balance. Perfect for people that wants to progress and increase their confidence.
To close this chapter, impossible to avoid a talk about Shimano XT brake system. If you like soft touch and high power pads, Shimano XT are made for you. But just an information if you do not like OTB : you can have some surprises with the 200mn rotor front. A 180mn would be easier to dose in most of the cases.
CTD in use
Our trial on the Pivot was a deception. For 2013, Fox works on the operation and it works better for sure. No more diving, a full use of the travel without bother the pedaling efficiency. The good point goes to the shifter – super ugly but so useful and efficient to adapt the suspensions to the trails.
What about wheelsets ?
The duo DT Swiss M1700 with Schwalbe Hans Dampf is not the most crazy wheelset of the decenny but it works well : good roll, a “royal” silence from the rear hub, good grips and no punctures. A no stress part of the bike for sure.
Do we need a flying licence or a strong ingeneer diploma to rider this bike ??
Even if the ergonomy is good, the 711mn lenght of the Easton Haven looks too short to welcome all the components. Reverb on the right, CTD on the left, shifters with speeds indications (why?)… the next clients can easily do some cleaning (matchmakers, disassembly of the speed indicators..)
Last point – but it’s a look’n feel opinion – the grey / black stem is not the choice we would made..
Other deception on a design aspect, the paint is (very) fragile. The black anodised version of the frame is maybe a better option – everybody knows that a bike could not stay immaculate but if you can avoid minor damages on the look…
The report is much more than good and erase some ideas that we can have before the trial.
First, the bike has a lovely design – and you do not see that on the internet website due to a lake of optimisation of the bike presentation. Also, the bike seduces in activity with a great generosity – the “All mountain” title really matches its behaviour. It’s the kind of 150mn you can bring with you for 2 weeks of rides in Alps stations without a doubt. And it will never be a slug on D+
On the “Value for money” section, the bike costs less than 3100€ delivery included. Regarding the premium equipment, Rose is definitively chasing Canyon on its own land !
No fault is not far – the utility of a 3×10 drivetrain is still pending. But most of the riders would find a great friend on this bike – the most expert will find easily some tips to process some refinements.
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Frame : ROSE Granite Chief 2013
Fork: Fox Talas 32 Fit CTD / 15 QR
Rear shock: Fox Float CTD
Wheels : DT Swiss M1700
Tires : Schwalbe HansDampf SnakeSkin, Tubeless ready
Crankset: Shimano XT
Cassette : Shimano XT
Front derailleur : Shimano XT – direct mount
Rear derailleur : Shimano XTR shadow plus
Brakes: shimano XT / 200mn avant – 180mn arrière
Seatpost : Rockshox Reverb
Handlebar: Easton haven / 711mn
Stem: Easton haven
Grips: Ergon GA1 Evo
Saddle : Rose