Last week German bike manufacturer Rose presented their line-up for 2014. One of the highlights was the Sky Fire, a gravity-oriented bike with 185mm of travel in the rear and some innovative features.
The Horst link suspension system offers 185mm and has a standing rocker link, in contrast to Rose models like the Uncle Jimbo or Granite Chief with less travel.
The rear shock of choice is the RockShox Vivid Air. Thanks to the optimised leverage ratio, you’ll need low air pressure in the shock which means less stress for damper and bearings.
Internal cable routing for a clean look!
RockShox Reverb Stealth ready!
In the age of 1×10 or 1×11 drive train setups, it becomes evident, where the Sky Fire wants to go: Upwards as well! The good uphill qualities (for a bike of this category) are due to the low weight (a little more than 14kg) and the 2 chain rings in the front. Additionally the long wheelbase and the rider’s position on the bike contribute to a respectable uphill performance.
The 429mm short chain stays provide an agile handling of the Rose.
Enough space for wide tires? Check!
First riding impressions: We were able to ride a prototype close to the final version, that will go into production. The air spring curve is quite linear providing a great and plush feel in the beginning and uses the whole travel without bottoming out. For those of you who have a rather active riding style you might struggle a little bit with that sensitivity and the plush feel as it requires some power to move the bike. This bike sticks to the ground!
The Sky Fire’s geometry has special features that are similar to Mondraker’s Forward Geometry: The top tube is 15mm longer in all sizes but at the same time there’s a shorter stem with only 35mm in order to maintain the same position on the bike. On the trail the bike feels quite stable in high speed sections thanks to the long wheelbase, but you might need some time to adapt to the combination of a short stem and long wheelbase hitting berms or narrow curves as you have to put more pressure on the bars / front wheel to maneuver the bike!
Words & Photos: Robin Schmitt