Listen up ladies: the direct order company Rose have given their Granite Chief a refurb for the 2015 season and launched a brand new XS size frame specifically orientated at smaller riders of both genders – but primarily women. Our test rider Sandra, in line with the size criteria of <162 cm, took it out for a spin.

Us women are a little different – that’s obvious, right? As we tend to be smaller and lighter, these are two crucial factors when it comes to frame design. And that’s without mentioning the differences in our anatomy, which means smaller male frames are not always the ideal solution.

Das Rose Granite Chief Testbike in Rahmengröße XS wiegt 12,5 kg und kostet 3.399 €.
In a size XS the Rose Granite Chief test bike weighs 12.5 kg and costs 3,399 €.

At first glance the Granite Chief appears to have nailed it: an intelligently designed frame and top-end parts. Front and rear, the bike has 150mm travel, and combined with the 27.5″ wheels; it looks like an all-round, great all-rounder. But to get a real sense of the Granite Chief, it’ll be put through its paces on my home trails around Garmisch-Partenkirchen as well as in Finale Ligure.

Da die Hometrails noch von Schnee bedeckt waren, wurde das Rad auch im warmen Finale Ligure getestet.
The snow in Germany forced us down to the warmer climes of Finale Ligure.

After Mother Nature’s failed attempt to skewer my initial plans for the Granite Chief, I set off regardless; pushing the bike up the climbs I’d originally planned on riding, full of anticipation for the snowy descent. Once I’d reached the top, the XS frame offered brilliant standover clearance – a massive bonus for girls to have a lower toptube. Right from the get-go, this immediately guarantees heightened confidence on the trails – and particularly on descents – as dismounting becomes far easier.

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Our test bike came built with RockShox Pike RC Solo Air which worked a treat with the RockShox Monarch shock. With DT SWISS 27.5″ XM 1501 Spline One wheels, the Granite Chief cuts a fine and forgiving figure across all types of terrain and even cut me some slack when my line choice wasn’t spot-on.

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The chainstay measures 435mm and the head angle is 67°, which renders the Granite Chief notably agile, steering effortlessly around every bend and peacefully smoothing out all size bumps. When the pace got too hot to handle, the Avid Guide RSC brakes engaged with precision and control. The generous width and the fact that no tools are necessary to adjust the lever width and the bite point struck me as particularly beneficial for women, as our hands tend to be smaller. This will also mean less energy is expended on longer descents.

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As the horrid weather showed no sign of abating, I headed to Finale Ligure for a few days to take a better look at the Granite Chief. The rear end proved brilliantly undeterred by pedal force, maintaining traction on the climbs. Depending on your taste, there’s an extra shock platform that can be activated too. Not only does the SRAM X01 perform its shifting mightily, but it offers great versatility with the stock 32-tooth chain ring. On super steep climbs, there’s the option of modifying to a 30-tooth chain ring for women. On descents – as expected from its more than capable performance on the snow-blanketed trails at home – the Granite Chief XS rides brilliantly on dry forest floors as well as stony trails. On swooping flow trails the Rose feels completely at home and the riding couldn’t have been much more fun! The suspension was tuned superbly to my weight, and consistently had enough available in reserve.

Innenverlegte Züge sind mittlerweile Standard und sorgen auch beim Granite Chief für Ordnung
Internally-routed cables are now standard and give the Granite Chief a tidy look.
Der tiefgezogene Knick im Oberrohr ermöglicht eine geringe Überstandshöhe.
The low standover height is afforded by the cool slant in the top tube.
Die RockShox Pike lies sich perfekt auf das geringe Fahrergewicht abstimmen.
The RockShox Pike can be well adjusted to suit the lower weight of smaller riders.

Alongside the XS size frame, the bike comes in four additional sizes: S, M, L and XL. On the company’s homepage, the three basic build specs can be selected (costing between 1,699 € and 3,399 €) and the Rose bike configurator then allows extensive individualization of the bike to match your preferences. Choose between Fox or RockShox suspension, for example, and opt for the brakes, shifting set and wheels of your choice. Colour-wise, the bike comes in matt black/pink gray as well as matt black/red grey and raw finish/silver.

Die gesamte Ausstattung ist extrem hochwertig und überzeugt mit tadelloser Funktion.
The bike comes with a top-end spec from front to back, leaving us more than convinced with its capabilities.
Dank leichter Laufräder lässt sich das Bike gut beschleunigen.
It’s easy to accelerate thanks to the lightweight wheels.


As a reissue from Rose, it’s certain that the German bike brand have done a great job with the Granite Chief. Not only does it look pretty nifty, its spec is well considered and optimally suited for women. If you opt for the Granite Chief in a larger size, you’ll be satisfied with a versatile all-mountain bike that has already proven its worth in previous ENDURO tests for male riders.

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Words: Sandra Gatz | Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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