There are some things you don’t have to think about twice. Like an after-ride beer or buying a Honda Helix, the Cadillac of scooters, if you find one. The new Rose Root Miller is a no brainer too, so we took both for a ride and put the trail bike through its paces.
There’s no denying that the ROSE ROOT MILLER and the Honda Helix have a lot in common. The most obvious similarity is their looks – both are truly eye-catching and attract attention wherever they go. ROSE have introduced a striking new look with clean lines and edges across their range and their aluminium models are hardly discernible from the carbon options. The ROOT MILLER is no exception. The bike is available in three colours, but there’s really only one you’d want: Miami Ice!
Sandals, socks, a Honda Helix, the ROSE ROOT MILLER and the livin’s easy!
The ROSE ROOT MILLER in detail
Striking as its colour may be, the ROSE is restrained in every other respect. With the ROOT MILLER, ROSE wanted to create a versatile, fairly priced bike, relying on tried and tested technology. It’s a 29er trail bike with a classic four-bar linkage, offering 150 mm travel at the front and rear. The cables are routed internally through the frame and are clamped down at the inlet port. Unfortunately, the clamps weren’t effective in preventing the cables from rattling inside the frame of our test bike.
The componentry of our € 3,399 flagship model leaves almost nothing to be desired and if it does, there’s a lot you can do with the online configurator. ROSE rely on FOX Factory suspension, consisting of a DPX2 shock and a 36 FIT4 fork. We would have preferred the GRIP2 version. Not because of the increased adjustability, which can be a bit of a hassle, but because it simply offers even smoother and more precise performance.
ROSE 2020 Root Miller
Fork FOX 36 Float Fit4
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPX2
Brakes SRAM G2 RSC 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01/GX Eagle 32/10-50
Stem Level Nine Race 45 mm
Handlebar Level Nine Race 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss M1700 SPLINE
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary TLE / Hans Dampf TLE 2,35″/2,35″
Size S M L XL
Weight 14,42 kg
Shifting is taken care of by a combination of SRAM GX and X01 components, though ROSE seem to have their priorities mixed up, combining an expensive derailleur with the lower end shifter and a heavy cassette. The derailleur is nice to look at, but it drives up the cost unnecessarily without a noticeable improvement in performance. We had nothing to complain about on the remaining componentry. However, we would choose the free MAXXIS Minion DHR2 upgrade in the configurator to replace the puncture-prone Schwalbe combo. We would also choose a handlebar with a little more rise and put at least 20 mm of spacers under the stem, all of which is easily doable in the configurator.
|Seat tube||410 mm||440 mm||470 mm||500 mm|
|Top tube||565 mm||592 mm||621 mm||650 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||100 mm||110 mm||120 mm|
|Chainstay||442 mm||442 mm||442 mm||442 mm|
|BB Height||348 mm||348 mm||348 mm||348 mm|
|Wheelbase||1176 mm||1203 mm||1232 mm||1261 mm|
|Reach||420 mm||445 mm||470 mm||495 mm|
|Stack||609 mm||613 mm||623 mm||632 mm|
The geometry of the ROSE ROOT MILLER 2020
ROSE actually only recommend the size large ROOT MILLER for riders from 183 cm and up. However, with a reach of 470 mm, 442 mm chainstays and a 66° head angle, the geometry is anything but extreme and we felt very comfortable on the large, despite being only 180 cm tall. Size medium would definitely have been too compact. The bottom bracket is relatively high with a drop of only 28 mm and the 470 mm seat tube is rather long. The latter limits your choice of dropper post length and could also lead to problems if, like us, you choose to size up on the frame. The ROOT MILLER comes with a 150 mm dropper post as standard.
Good-natured, comfortable, versatile – the ROOT MILLER 3 on the trail
The riding position on the ROSE ROOT MILLER is super comfortable, just like the Honda Helix. Due to the slack seat tube angle, we definitely recommend pushing the saddle forward so as not to sit as far back as you do on the scooter. It will also be worth your while to reach down and activate the climb switch on the shock. The rear end does wallow slightly, and it does tend to suffer from pedal bob. Nevertheless, the bike accelerates easily and quickly picks up speed. Overall, the ROSE is a good climber and it’ll comfortably get you to the top of every trailhead. On technical climbs, leave the shock open to benefit from lots of traction and comfort.
Smiles for miles – even if the rear suspension isn’t the most efficient, the ROSE feels comfortable and light-footed up the climbs
Speaking of traction, the ROSE has a lot of that on offer when going downhill. The rear end responds sensitively and effectively filters out small bumps and the balance of the bike is spot on too. You’re positioned centrally on the bike with your weight right between the front and back wheel, always generating an equal amount of grip on both tires with minimal input required from the rider. However, we would have liked a slightly higher handlebar or a slightly lower bottom bracket to feel more integrated with the bike. On the other hand, the ROOT MILLER scores with very agile handling and a playful character. Despite the 29″ wheels, it willingly changes direction, responding quickly and precisely. Narrow sections pose as little of a challenge as fast switchback turns.
Girls & boys just wanna have fun! The ROOT MILLER invites you to play with the trail!
The ROOT MILLER generates a lot of speed on flat trails thanks to the suspension’s supportive mid-stroke, always encouraging you to pop off obstacles and catch air over rollers. When the going gets tough, the hits get big, the speed picks up and the terrain becomes steep, the ROSE never loses control. Instead, it gently nudges its rider to remind them that it’s time to ease up slightly. At high speed, the suspension isn’t capable of absorbing everything, noticeably passing blows on to the rider, and the geometry lacks composure. At this point the bike starts to reach its limits – it feels more comfortable in open corners and flowing sections than it does in rock gardens.
Tuning tips: fit bars with more rise, swap tires and find a solution to quieten the cables
The handling of the ROSE ROOT MILLER 3 is the exact opposite of the eye-catching paintwork: unobtrusive. On the trail, the handling of the ROOT MILLER always remains good-natured, easy and predictable. The bike isn’t a blast of innovation and doesn’t perform particularly well in one specific area but delivers reliable performance across the board. If you’re looking for a versatile bike that won’t break the bank, this is it. Don’t worry, be happy!
- balanced and good-natured handling
- sensitive yet supportive rear end
- great value for money
- climb switch necessary
- rattling cables
- jack of all trades, master of none
For more information head to rosebikes.co.uk
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Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer