EUROBIKE 2011:ROTWILD enters 29″er Market Big Time: by c_g

German bike manufacturer ROTWILD ( has been around some years – since 1997 to be exact. They have started out with a performance and engineering driven philosophy and have stayed true to themselves throughout the years. Last year ROTWILD introduced the cross-over 29″er bike T1 (introduced here) that was able to function as a 29″er MTB (with all 29″er parts) but was more touring and casual riding oriented.

The new 2012 Rotwild X.1 FS 29 with 140mm travel F/R

Now, with very little prior notice and after gaining confidence in big wheels, ROTWILD has introduced a full array of 29″er bikes for 2012 – for now exclusively in high end alloy. While other companies claim the 29″er to be the “better bike” or wanting to make “29ers handle this or that way” – ROTWILD takes a different philosophical approach by treating both wheel formats as equally viable – each with its different dis-/advantages.

When talking to the marketing rep. Ole W., he went through big lengths letting me know what this meant:


8 ROTWILD C.1 HTAll contact points (grips, seat and pedals) of their new 29″er models are absolutely identical in position and geometric relation to their 26” counterpart
. All aspects of the 29″er bikes, be it the angles or tube lengths are optimized with that single perspective in mind – to position the rider identically on both 29″er and 26” bikes. By this ROTWILD puts the choice completely in the hand of the rider, giving them the freedom to pick whatever wheel size they prefer. Of course the subjective ride sensation by suspension action and handling will feel different – ROTWILD knows and communicates that openly.

The actual choice is limited to sizes M and L as sizes XS and S are furthermore exclusive to 26” bikes, where XL is exclusive to 29″ers in the R.C1 platforms (R.X1 in size XL is available in both 29″er and 26” format).



ROTWILD went as far as going for the same travel on the platforms, regardless of wheel size, the C.1 HT hard tail has 100 up front (and … well, 0 mm travel in the rear :)), the R.C1 FS has 120 mm front and rear and the R.X1 has 140 mm. This matches the identical travel on the 26” platform with the same name (only the X.1 26” has 150 mm, simply because there is no 150 mm 29″er fork available for now). By my experience (and I think many will agree) travel on a 29″er does not translate directly to the same travel on 26” bikes but for Rotwild those are subjective ride impressions and being who they are – precise engineers by heart – they go by numbers, not so much by feel.


This 26/29 philosophy continues for prices, where the 29″er bikes and 26” bikes have identical MSRPs, again, the R.X1 is an exception – primarily due to the costly suspension components. Prices range from € 1999.- R.C1 HT 29 in Comp spec to the R.X1 29 Edition at € 5599.-.

But regardless of philosophy – this brings us 3 brand new high end 29″er platforms – one hard tail, one 120 mm XC/trail bike and one 140 mm All Mountain bike – all with the same extraordinary level of engineering and attention to detail that ROTWILD is famous for. All current 29″er platforms are made of proprietary Aluminum 7005 T6 CHANNEL tubing that undergoes a “semi-hydroforming process” (not sure, but I think the “semi” stands for the fact that only the rear part of the top tube – where it splits, is hydroformed) developed by ADP ENGINEERING.

The suspension is ROTWILD´s well refined and renowned four bar linkage design with each pivot point designed and engineered specifically for each frame size and for maximum efficiency. All pivots are high quality sealed bearings (each designed for the specific requirement) with details that are not only beautiful to look at but also functional and long lasting.

No word on weights of either frame or complete bikes or on availability. “We will offer them when we feel they are ready and meet our expectations, possibly late 2011 or early 2012” was the conservative answer to that.

But, now let´s take a look at the bikes:



While stating 26” bikes were better suited for technical terrain (yes, you can read it on their brochure :)), the sheer existence of this long travel 29″er suggests differently. At 140 mm front and rear the X1 29 is the most in travel that currently is available and plays in a league some other brands use for enduro racing, highly technical trail riding and even moderate downhill.

R.X1 geo data

The numbers (69 to 69.5 ° head angle – depending on size and 460 mm CS length to state just two of them) suggest a rather relaxed, stable ride but by some lucky coincidence I got to hop on the R.X1 FS 29 and do a VERY small loop and I can say that it feels surprisingly fast and efficient – not at all like I had expected a 140 mm 29″er to feel like. While being merely a parking lot test – this to me raised my anticipation of a future ride test.

R.X1 specs

No need to mention that the bikes feature a integrated tapered headset, BB92 Press Fit bottom bracket and direct mount front derailleur, but it´s noteworthy NOT to see a thru axle or 142 mm rear on it. All cables run externally in full length housings and the X1 FS29 even has provisions for dropper seat post cable routing.

The frame alone will retail for € 1799.- with three complete bike versions to come in at € 3199.- (Comp), € 4399.- (Pro) and € 5599.- (Edition) – for exact specs see table. Aptly spec’ed for the travel you find a 200 mm front rotor and 180 mm rear and the large volume Nobby Nics 2.35 on the bike. The DT-SWISS Tricon wheels in the Pro (here the Tricon 1550) and Edition version (Tricon 1700) are another highlight of the bike.



This bike is bound to be the hotty for most 29″er folks. At 120 mm travel front and rear it should do well in most ride conditions. By looks and execution it is a winner already but ride impressions are still missing (these bikes again got finished only days before the show :)).

R.C1 FS geo

The tech features read just the same as with the X1, only translated into 120 mm. Interestingly this bike, while maintaining a moderate head angle of 70 – 70.5° has a rather short CS length of only 435 mm, which is one of the shortest rear ends I know of in that travel range (size XL will come with 450 mm).

R.C1 FS specs

The frame alone will retail for € 1699.- with three complete bike versions to come in at € 2699.- (Comp), € 3199.- (Pro) and € 3999.- (Marathon) – for exact specs see table. Everything seems to be spec’ed for maximum functionality without any apparent gimmicks … maybe a 15 mm thru axle front would have suited better here. Again the major component supplier are Shimano, DT-Swiss, Crank Brothers and other well known high end brands in the scene.

Aesthetically I am not a big fan of linkage systems with a vertical shock , but with the R.C1 FS 29 I have found the first bike that looks appealing to me of such design. Carried over from year to year and with only gradual changes to the corporate design, ROTWILD has really nailed the optical appearance of most of their bikes IMO.




Last but not least there is a modern hard tail, based on the popular R1 26” design and adopted to 29″er requirements. With all contact dimensions being identical to the 26” sibling the transition to 29″ers should be seamless for anybody still hesitating to step up to big wheels and by ROTWILD´s plans the dealers should have at least one Demo model in both 26” and 29″er to enable the customer to directly ride & compare.

R.C1 HT geo data

R.C1 HT specs

The C1 HT 29 carries over most tech features of the C1 FS only adapted to a hard tail frame, interestingly even a slightly longer chain stay length than its full suspension brother (or is it a sister?). Specs are near identical within to the same version (only with 100 mm front travel) and here again: No thru axle in the front and a standard 135 mm rear and one of the few changes I´d suggest , is to go with a 27.2 diameter seat post.

ROTWILD R.C1 HT29 Hybrid


As something that may look a bit odd, but is rapidly gaining popularity, ROTWILD will be offering this big wheeled E-Bike. Keeping the T1 hard tail Hybrid unchanged, there will be the C1 HT 29 Hybrid for 2012, that works with an integrated BOSCH motor and comes at € 3999.-. Yes 29ers go E-bike!! Can you believe it?

6 ROTWILD X.1Overall this massive entry by ROTWILD into the 29″er world is a big step in raising the acceptance of big wheelers for the Euro market, because ROTWILD has a firm reputation of only following trends when they make sense from a technological and engineering point of view. But then again, are 29″ers even a TREND anymore?

Thanks anyway to Rotwild for making such attractive bikes – if they ride anything as nice as they look (and the first few meters on the X1 29 suggest such :)) then we have something more to look forward for 2012.

Stay tuned for more from Eurobike 2011 very soon here.