‘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.
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.