With the ROSE REVEAL PLUS 2023, the direct-to-consumer company is launching the first electrified version of its endurance road bike, and is relying on the new ultra-compact X20 drive system from MAHLE. Real road bike feeling and real road bike looks with ebike performance at a fair price? We tested the top model ROSE REVEAL PLUS ULTEGRA Di2 for € 6,499 to see if the concept works.
ROSE REVEAL PLUS ULTEGRA Di2 2023 Manufacturer’s website
A new generation of e-road bikes is in the starting blocks for the 2023 season, andpromises a big leap forward in terms of ride feel and technology thanks to the exciting new drive concepts. The ROSE REVEAL PLUS ULTEGRA Di2 with its MAHLE X20 motor and 250 Wh battery is an exciting representative of this new generation, sporting an impressive total weight of 11.0 kg in size M. Cool is not only the look but also the price: With € 6,499 for the top spec version we tested and € 3,999 for an alternative with cheaper components, the direct-to consumer company ROSE positions itself very competitively in relation to the competition. Similar bikes like the Trek Domane+ with a TQ mid-drive motor and cheaper components and the BMC Roadmachine AMP One with the same drive system, but a 100 Wh larger battery, cost more, € 8,999 and € 7,999, respectively.The ROSE REVEAL PLUS ULTEGRA Di2 2023 wants to be a visually sporty e-road bike, that’s not willing to expose its electric assistance and provides a very comfortable ride despite the sporty look.
The new REVEAL PLUS 2023 in comparison to the analog ROSE REVEAL
As with the BACKROAD PLUS, ROSE use an existing frame concept of an analog bike for the new REVEAL PLUS e-road bike – with the difference that no mid-mounted motor was built into the frame. The REVEAL PLUS thus looks confusingly similar to its analog predecessor. The down tube and seat tube become slightly more voluminous to make room for the 250 Wh battery and the electronics. However, thanks to the small rear hub motor, ROSE manage to hide the drive system so well that it can only be seen on closer inspection. The modern design language, the fully-integrated cockpit and the eye-catching paint hint at – as with the ROSE REVEAL – a lot of road bike performance despite the promise of comfort. Differences can be found, as expected, in the price as well as the weight. The analog ROSE REVEAL with comparable equipment costs € 3,999 and weighs 7.6 kg. The REVEAL PLUS is thus 3.3 kg heavier and € 2,500 more expensive.
The workmanship of the REVEAL PLUS is clean, the internally-routed brake hoses do not rattle, and the Ultegra Di2 groupset works a treat on the e-road bike. Shifting precision and speed are excellent, and the ratio of 50/34 t chainring to 11–34t cassette is sensibly chosen for the range of use of the REVEAL PLUS. The brake discs with 180 mm diameter at the front and 160 mm at the rear provide sufficient braking power, even with heavier riders. The use of the hub motor on the rear wheel means that abrake disc with a 6-hole mount had to be installed here, which is visually different from the Centerlock version on the front wheel. The control of the MAHLE X20 is done via a control element on the top tube, which displays battery charge level and support level through a colour LED bar.
The MAHLE X20 drive system on the new ROSE REVEAL PLUS 2023 in detail
The trend to optimize everything on road bikes for the lowest possible weight does not stop at drive systems. At 3.2 kg, including the battery, the X20 is the lightest ebike drive on the market, according to MAHLE. The motor delivers 23 Nm torque directly at the rear hub, which in practice should roughly correspond to the power of a 55 Nm mid-mounted-motor, since the power is applied directly to the rear wheel. We examined the performance closely in the riding impressions. The battery is fixed in the down tube and offers a capacity of 250 Wh, which can be expanded if necessary by 172 Wh via a bottle cage range extender. For the smoothest and most natural riding experience possible, MAHLE relies on a cadence and torque sensor in the bottom bracket. The system combines this data with speed, acceleration and temperature to calculate the optimum level of support. Great feature: The power and cadence data, as well as battery status, and support mode can also be sent to a Garmin or Wahoo head unit via the ANT+ interface. If you don’t have a bike computer, you can display all the information in MAHLE’s My SmartBike app. It is also possible to call up the bike’s location and adjust the support modes to your own preferences.Not so great: ROSE does not include the optionally available e-Shifter of the MAHLE system, which is mounted to the handlebar and can be used to change the support mode . Without it, to change the support level, you have to ride one handed and to operate the button on the top tube. However, if you fancy the ability to change the support level in all riding situations you can retrofit the e-Shifter for € 109.95.
Tuning Tip: MAHLE x20 e-Shifters for easy mode selection via buttons directly on the handlebars
Comfortable, more Comfortable, REVEAL PLUS?
Not only the support of the MAHLE X20 motor promises comfort and good times, but so do the numerous bike details. Thus, the uppermost part of the seat tube opens up to the rear, and the seat post clamp is set low, which results in ample compliance in the saddle. At the front, the ROSE One-Piece carbon cockpit with some rise ensures an upright riding position and effectively dampens vibrations. Compliance at the front and rear feel well tuned and suitably subtle for a road bike. The REVEAL PLUS is stiff enough to generate propulsion through the rider’s power alone but also dampens vibrations sufficiently. The 32 mm wide Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires are also a good choice and contribute noticeably to vibration damping with their large volume. Overall, ROSE delivers a really coherent overall concept in terms of comfort with the REVEAL PLUS, as they did with the analogue version, the REVEAL without the plus. The good tires unfortunately lack support due to the narrow ROSE RC-Forty/Fifty Disc wheels with 19 mm inner width. This affects the steering precision when you throw the bike around. An upgrade here would not only be expensive but complex too. Replacing the rear rim would also be enormously complicated, as it would require lacing a new rim with the rear hub motor.
The geometry of the ROSE REVEAL PLUS 2023
The geometry of the REVEAL PLUS is designed to provide as much comfort as possible without appearing unsporty. The seating position is once again a tad more upright than in the analogue counterpart, the ROSE REVEAL, as the reach was shortened by 10 mm.
The first ride review of the ROSE REVEAL PLUS 2023
The ROSE REVEAL PLUS manages to exude undercover ebike charm as soon as you pull it out of the bike garage and feel how light it is. After a few minutes in the AI-based assistance mode, you almost forget you’re on an e-road bike, as the assistance smoothly adapts to your own performance. Unless you are constantly riding in the highest support level, the motor works rather subtly. Also positively inconspicuous is the fade-out of the support at the 25 km/h threshold. Due to the low overall weight and the non-existent motor resistance, the REVEAL PLUS can also be ridden completely unsupported without reminding you non-stop that you are sitting on a switched-off ebike. This is also noticeable when riding over 25 km/h. Thanks to the high front end and the wide handlebars, the REVEAL PLUS can be steered with good control even during quick evasive maneuvers and conveys the feeling of safety without appearing sluggish. The additional weight of the motor in the rear wheel is noticeable during the first corners but manageable with a little practice. Due to its weight distribution, the REVEAL PLUS can also be ridden sportily if desired, and appears livelier and less sluggish compared to the Trek Domane+.
ROSE REVEAL PLUS ULTEGRA Di2 2023
Motor MAHLE X20 55 NmBattery MAHLE iX 250 250 WhSeatpost ROSE D-Shape D-Shape Brakes Shimano Ultegra R8100 180/160 mmDrivetrain Shimano Ultegra Di2 2×12Chainring 50/34Stem ROSE One Piece Endurance 90 mmHandlebar ROSE One Piece Endurance 400 mmWheelset ROSE RC-Forty/Fifty Disc 12 x 100/12 x 142 mm Through AxleTires Continental GP 5000 700 x 32CCranks Shimano FC-R8100 172.5 mmCassette Shimano CS-R8100 11–34T
Size 50 53 56 59 62
flexible seatpostNew MAHLE X20 drive systemundercover E-Bike look
Who is the ROSE REVEAL PLUS for?
The ROSE REVEAL PLUS is for all riders who want relaxed and comfortable road bike rides, but still like to pedal and want a lively bike that can not only take on distances but also is fun! However, for anyone who enjoys ambitious rides with average speeds over 30 km/h this is not the right place to look. The REVEAL PLUS is very well suited to compensate for differences in performance on hilly routes, when riding with fitter friends or family members without attracting much attention. That’s fine, but the new MAHLE X20 motor is, frankly, not quiet. The place where it can unleash its full fun potential is mainly in the hills and on hilly terrain because you are often able to keep a road bike at speeds over 25 km/h on flat ground. Real long-distance adventurers, or heavy riders who like to ride in stronger support modes, are limited by the battery capacity. Those who want to ride on multi-day tours will have to pack the 733 g charger or ride without support most of the time. However, we can very well imagine the REVEAL PLUS being used for comfortable basic training and active recovery in hilly terrain. Commuters looking for a speedy and sexy-looking bike will miss two things: Mounts for mudguards or racks, and the option to connect a bike light directly to the main battery!
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