quinta-feira, 4 de junho de 2015

The Journey to Choosing the ROSE XEON RS 5000 (Pt 1 of 3)

Tal como vos tinha prometido há uns tempos, publicarei aqui três mensagens escritas por um bom amigo que teve a paciência de fazer um texto a propósito da bicicleta de estrada Rose XEON RS 5000.

Como vos expliquei aqui, as mensagens são em Inglês porque o meu amigo (ainda) não escreve em Português.

Aqui vai, então. Boas leituras!


Bicycling 2012 have asked me to review my Rose XEON RS 5000 Road bike. This is the aluminium frame road bike I ended up buying in 2014 with my EUR 2000 to EUR 2500 budget. This is as much a review as a three-part tale of my personal journey to get to the Rose Xeon RS. If you don’t have the time to read through this ‘epic’ then the summary is: DO NOT ignore aluminium. Carbon fibre is great stuff but just because pros and your neighbour have it between their legs, it is not God’s gift to your cycling experience or your pocket. Read this not only as a review of the Rose XEON RS but also as a tale of being open-minded and sifting through bicycle industry marketing crap.

Also, I know that I large constituency of Bicycling 2012 readers are Portuguese. Unfortunately, at this stage I speak the language to the level of somewhere between my 2 year old son and 4 year old daughter. I understand it better than both of them (for now) and can write more Portuguese than them (again, for now), but that is of no help here. If it’s of any consolation, English is not my original language either although it has always been my ‘professional’ one.

Disclaimer: I have issues against the bicycle industry’s numerous attempts to promote ‘scientific’ changes to bicycles which make us all faster and better. I very sincerely recognise that some of these do lead to measurable improvements. Others, are just designed to sell us more crap by making last year’s frame slightly incompatible with this year’s components. Do not always take me seriously when I course the bicycle industry. However, I do hope I encourage those who are not familiar with the marketing tactics to think critically. 

For starters
I had promised the good people of Bicycling2012 to write a review on the Rose Xeon RS 5000 (which for the sake of brevity I will know simply refer to as ‘RS’) road bike a long time ago. The trials and tribulations of professional and family life have kept me from completing this task. That is until now…
Of course, like any lover of cycling, neither family nor work have managed to keep me off my bike. So the upside of delaying my review has been that I have put in more miles on the RS.  Early in the morning on weekends before the family is fully awake, and during lunch breaks from work; all otherwise ‘dead space’ time-gaps which have been utilised well: riding the RS for ‘research’ purposes of course.

The RS is a ‘modern’ (I will explain my interpretation of this soon) aluminium frame road bike, with the ubiquitous, these days, carbon fibre fork. My one is a 2014 model, which rather confusingly means it was released around September 2013 (thank you bicycling industry for all your bullshit marketing tricks). My RS 5000 has been in my possession since around May 2014. It is equipped with a 2013 Campagnolo Chorous 11 Speed groupset. The various other bits and pieces will be looked at in due course.

This an opportune time to mention that the number which proceeds RS, i.e. 5000 refers to the components added to the frame. So the 5000 comes with Campagnolo Chorous. For example, the 4400 is Sram Force equipped, while the 4000 with Shimano Dura Ace. Electronic groupsets, as well as lower down the range groupsets (105, Ultegra, Athena) are available too.

For most people, particularly those outside Germany, Rose Versand (www.rosebikes.com) might not be an obvious choice if you are after any type of bicycle. However, the company has been around since 1907 and has been selling bikes remotely since 1982, via a catalogue initially and these days through their website. Should you find yourself in Germany, they also have a large store and assembly / logistics facility. [For those interested in Rose’s history, visit their website]. 

I came across Rose by chance, around eight years ago when an internet search for a specific cyclo-computer component suggested that the company has the cheapest price, even after adding the postage cost. As keen as any cyclist is for a bargain, I trusted this company with my credit card details and sure enough I had my cyclo-computer part a couple of days later.

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