Rose Soul Fire - Review - Dirt

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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Rose Soul Fire – Review

Freeride? Park bike? A huckers revival...

‘Freeride’s not dead’ – There seems to be a real revival in big huck and park bikes recently and the Rose Soul Fire finds itself smack bang in the thick of it.

Words and Images: Ieuan Williams

With 180mm travel and a single crown fork the Soul Fire is built for some fun but with no worry about being under biked. German brand Rose does not currently have a 27.5″ downhill bike in the range so the Soul Fire is the closest thing to it in this up to date wheel size.

Suspension

There’s plenty of long travel goodness up front with the RockShox Lyrik. This 180mm travel fork gives great performance and has a stiff enough chassis to cope with the 650b (27.5″) wheel setup and abuse after adding a pair of tokens for extra hold and support.

At the rear Rose has stuck with the same theme of hard hitting RockShox equipment with the Vivid R2C damper. I think there is some set up required with this, as the rebound was fast even when fully wound off. The liner suspension design did require some extra volume bands in the damper to keep the shape in the bike.

Shape and fit

With this being a freeride/long travel machine that pedals well, the sizing was a little on the smaller side of things but this then benefits the ride when hitting jumps, giving far more manoeuvrability when airborne. The Spank cockpit is a factor that helps the size issues, with the nice wide 800mm construction and a pretty inviting shape. The 64.5° head angle and 459mm reach (on a size large) are a close comparison to the recently tested and rated Propain Spindrift so I will be interesting to see how this bike compares.

Feeling

The FSR suspension design is tried and tested. There was never a question asked even with the fast and somewhat linear shock set up that the RockShox Vivid damper gave.

It was noticeable straightaway that the bottom bracket was a touch on the high side though. After looking at the numbers we can see that 355mm measurement is at least 10mm too high.

‘With the endless travel and a super fun ride it sits in a bracket where the bike park lappers are looking for the next huck to send’

The Soul Fire starts to make more sense when you show it some jumps. Get off the racer mindset and into throwing some shapes on a set of big floaty booters. The short feel to the bike then changes to a nimble playful and super fun ride characteristic. This coupled with the long travel means you can trust that it’s going to save you when things get out of hand.

Limitations

Most of the downfalls of the Rose Soul Fire can be solved with some simple component changes or extra effort with setup. The bottom bracket height can be lowered with some offset bushings which will also slacken the head angle giving a far more stable ride.

The lack of a dropper post on a bike now is a small yet seriously frustrating negative. Don’t get me wrong, more often than not this bike will be on the back of an uplift trailer but when the mood does take you to have a pedal out it’s a pain having to get off and lower a seat. It sounds lazy but after three of four times it gets to you. 

Verdict

This may not be on the list for fast and planted bikes that you would see racing but with the endless travel and a super fun ride it sits in a bracket where the bike park lappers are looking for the next huck to send. There may not be a dropper post but with 11 speed Shimano setup it’s even bearable to pedal if needs be. There is a growing market for this type of bike especially with more jump parks and uplift locations opening around the UK.

PRICE: €2899 or £2572.57

rosebikes.com

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