Subrosa Brand, the brainchild of pro BMXer Ryan Sher, came out strong in 2006 with a solid line of complete bikes that got the attention of everyone in the sport.
“Throughout history a rose hanging overhead was a symbol of secrecy and brotherhood. Whatever was spoken under a rose was to remain secret, sacred and subrosa. Our icon hangs high above our team and our fans." –Subrosa
While leaning towards the darker side of things with their designs and imagery, Subrosa have since built up a solid, wide-ranging line of products, but have kept true to their quality completes throughout. Not limited to 20" BMX, they’ve also dipped into 26" wheeled cruisers / ‘pub bikes’.
“The Subrosa Malum’s 9" standover means this is a proper sized BMX – not a low-slung scooter wannabe."
The Subrosa Malum 2018 is a bold-looking bike. Immediately it gives you a sense of strength and poise, with its chunky features and classic design. The geometry of the frame even looks pleasing, before you’ve even ridden it. That 9" standover does a lot to bulk up the frame nicely and lets you know this is a proper sized BMX – not a low-slung scooter wannabe. Barspin opportunities are wide open with the combination of mid seat and high standover, and the 21" toptube should provide all the space you need up front.
Go past the visual impression, though, and the geometry continues to please. A headtube angle of 75º is just right for this set up, good and suited. Not flatland steep, not trails slack. Combine the angles up front with the relatively short 13.5" chainstay and you’ve got a nimble and versatile machine.
Riding it, you get the feeling it can take a bit of abuse. It’s not too hefty, but there’s a good sense of togetherness and stability with the Malum. Not something you find on every complete bike. Of course, that is what you’d expect when you’re shelling out around £600 for a BMX, but it’s still worth noting.
As Subrosa and The Shadow Conspiracy are brother companies, the Malum is kitted out with some choice aftermarket parts from Shadow. From the ground up, we’ve got the excellent Contender tyres (the choice of Isaac Lesser and Trey Jones, no less), the celebrated Ravager pedals, the Odin stem (in a nice anodised gold), and Joris Coulomb’s signature Maya grips. Many of these parts are commonplace on choice setups around the world, so to get them all on the Malum straight out of the box is a sweet deal.
Whereas some complete bikes set their sights onto specific terrains or riding styles, the Subrosa Malum remains malleable to the individual rider. Street? Yes. Park? Absolutely. Trails? Carry on. Do it all, under the rose...