De Rosa was founded in 1950 by Ugo De Rosa, a biking enthusiast who set up his own bicycle manufacturing business at the age of 18. Things moved quickly for the talented young designer, and it did not take long for him to earn acclaim from some big names in the biking world for the quality and design of his models.
His first big break came in 1958, when Raphael Geminiani asked him to build a racing bike for him. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that things really began to get exciting for De Rosa, as the company began to produce bikes for a number of professional racing teams, including Feama, Tbac and the Max Majer team.
By the end of the decade De Rosa was supplying bikes to Gianni Motta, and things only got better over the next few years when De Rosa became the official frame builder for the Molteni team, which was captained by Eddy Merckx. The success of Merckx brought even further success for De Rosa, and by the 1980s demand was increasing from across the world. This led to an expansion of the company, and the involvement of De Rosa’s three sons who took over various aspects of the company once it had moved to a new and bigger location.
These days, De Rosa bikes are known across the world for their quality, stylish design and reliability, and the company’s connection with a number of top racers has granted it a level of prestige that is the envy of many other bicycle manufacturing companies.
The King 3 is one of the most popular models in the De Rosa range. Riding a King 3 is all about getting a fantastically smooth ride with great handling, and the bike really is built for speed and responsiveness.
It incorporates single-body technology for increased stiffness, employs a quality monocoque design, and is made from T-700SC carbon fibre which is one of the most resistant materials available. At 950 grams it is incredibly light, which is excellent for acceleration and for speed when on the track, but the composite material from which it is made is very rigid, helping to increase safety whilst travelling at such speeds.
The stiffness is enhanced further by the oversized DT midsection, and the integrated headset and saddle support improve comfort levels for the rider. It comes in 10 different sizes and is fitted exactly to each rider’s specifications to produce a bike that will give the absolute most at all times.
At 200 grams lighter than previous King models, the price tag of £2430 reflects the improvements in the design. This is a bike for serious performers, and will be found being ridden by some of the best riders in the world.
Coming in at £4,749, the Titanio Ti2 is geared towards providing a professional riding experience whilst focusing specifically on comfort and reliability. Described by the makers as “on the leading edge of technology”, it comes with numerous features which make it such a great choice for a pro racer.
The bike is made-to-measure using titanium alloy tubes, which lends it the properties that make it so unique. Titanium alloy provides elasticity, lightness, comfort and precision, and the bike performs well in each of these areas.
It has a CNC-machined head tube which has been precision welded to increase stiffness in the front end of the bike. It also has a rear triangle made of Ti 6AI / 4v titanium alloy which, as well as being both lighter and stiffer, increases the acceleration of the bike a great deal. The bike comes in 26 frame sizes to allow for the perfect fit for each rider.
The Protos uses a unidirectional carbon fibre layering technique to create lightness and resistance in the bike. The weight of the bike is an incredibly light 990 grams, but this does not hinder its reliability. The Protos is a strong model that can be put under the extreme conditions that professional racing exerts.
It comprises a high-density carbon fibre bottom bracket shell for strength and stiffness, making it ideal for the most demanding of sprinters. The lightness makes it great at going up hills and accelerating off the mark, and according to De Rosa it is “created for pure competition”.
The Idol is made using a triple monocoque design, which increases strength whilst at the same time decreasing weight. For this it is an agile but durable bike that can put up with the most extreme racing conditions.
The acceleration of the bike is one of its strong points, and this is created in part by the compact front triangle and the rearward arcing seat stays. These ensure that the right pressure is exerted in all the right places, and as well as providing acceleration it provides the bike with a high degree of stability when it goes around corners.
The frame comes in six different sizes, and like most of the De Rosa range is made to measure. It is available in both black and white models.
At 1.5kg, the Pista may not be as light as some of the other frames in the De Rosa range, but this is because it is built for the track instead of the road. For this reason it develops upon some of the characteristics of the Merak, itself a road bike, to make it more suitable for the extreme pedalling exertions experienced on the track.
The aluminium frame is very tough, and the full carbon fork with straight blades provides a fantastic steering experience. The main triangle is built using a hydroforming technique, the purpose of which is to increase mechanical resistance, so important when on the track. The frame is available in six sizes.
The Avant is a mixture of the modern and the classic all in one design. Composed of a carbon monocoque structure, the bike is fairly light and responds incredibly well to the demands of the rider. It has been designed to concentrate on weight, reactions, safety and manoeuvrability, and although it is one of the cheaper models in the De Rosa range it is still intended to have the same high performance levels.
One of the features which makes the bike so fast is the oversized bottom bracket area, which is specifically designed to transfer power to the pedals. At 1.6 kg it is certainly not the lightest model in the range, but the price tag and the performance make up for that.