Fast and flowing, steep and stony, dust-covered or ravaged with roots, constant switchbacks, tearing along a ridge, or in the deepest, darkest jungle of trees – waterlogged or bone dry – the trails of this world are almost as limitless as the universe, and that’s exactly why we mountain bikers love them. This group test set out to determine the perfect bike for all of these challenges that any ride might encounter – and the results are in! Check out ENDURO issue #016 for the full grouptest and all results!
ROTWILD’s success story began as early as 1994 with what was essentially an unthinkable product: a brake booster. The first full suspension MTB followed in 1996, complete with some interesting and previously unseen details such as a belt drive, electronic shifting, and a carbon-legged fork. Over the past two decades, ADP engineering (Rotwild’s parent company) have vastly enlarged their portfolio – so we tested the ROTWILD R.Q1 FS 27.5 in this group test to see just how far they’ve taken it this time.
The R.Q1 FS 27.5 is intended to combine the power of the successful XC model, the R.C1, with the sublime trail-based competences of the R.X1. To meet this goal, the efficient XCS chassis has been paired with lightweight tubing similar to the 29er. The tidy-looking red aluminium frame comes with a top-notch spec, including the complete Shimano XT shifting system, stable DT Swiss M1700 Spline wheels, and FOX Performance suspension. Showing their expertise in the market, ROTWILD also went for Ergon grips.
From the first pedal stroke, the bike’s origins as a true feat of bicycle engineering are undeniable. No other test bike managed to be as efficient at pedaling as the Rotwild without prior activation of the platform damping or alteration of the geometry. Before submitting the bike for testing, Rotwild carried out one adjustment themselves, solely changing the tyres – an upgrade we’d recommend to anyone who buys this bike …
… as this red rocket of a bike has the capacity to pleasantly surprise you on descents. The linear rear setup and the agreeable suspension fork happily soak up lumps and bumps, but really hard bangs in the Open mode might make you reconsider your previously favourable opinion. More aggressive riders should ride in the Trail mode to get more ground feedback. As a handler, the Rotwild Q1 is nicely balanced, comfortably weaving around tight corners thanks to its relatively short (428 mm) rear. Our testers admitted to wanting more in reserve on rough ground and at high speeds, and the steep 68.25° seat angle could be to blame here.
The Rotwild R.Q1 FS 27.5 is one of the most efficient rides in the test, exciting us with its chassis and sporty riding position. The Q1 is suited to both marathon racing and relaxed post-work rides. Compared to its competitors, it is not as at home on techy terrain, but Rotwild do have better alternatives for that anyway!
- Extremely efficient
- Very tidy frame
- Cohesive spec
- Can’t cope with high speeds
- Too little adjustment on the dropper
- Fork: Fox 32 Float CTD Performance
- Shock: Fox Float CTD Performance
- Drivetrain: Shimano XT
- Brakes: Shimano XT
- Seatpost: Kind Shock LEV Integra
- Stem Crankbrothers Cobalt 1 80 mm
- Bars: Crankbrothers Cobalt 2 740 mm
- Tires: Continental Trail King 2,2″
- Wheelset: DT Swiss M 1700 Spline
- Weight: 12.75 kg
- Price: 3,999 €
All bikes from the test: SCOTT Genius 710 | Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Carbon 29 | Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 | Cube Stereo 140 Super HPC Race 27.5 | Giant Trance Advanced 1 | Rose Root Miller 3 | ROTWILD R.Q1 FS 27.5[/emaillocker]
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