A Journey of a Lifetime with De Rosa
The story of Italy’s De Rosa bicycles begins in the aftermath of World War II and continues into the 21st century—withstanding the test of time and competition.
In 1947, 13-year-old Ugo de Rosa would hang out in the workshop of his relative Filippo Fasci and dream of building a bike and becoming a cycling champion someday. Six years later, as Italy recovered from World War II, De Rosa launched his own bike manufacturing business. Decades later, he continues creating bicycles with the same strength, desire, and enthusiasm as in those early years.
De Rosa, now 81, is still convinced that the bicycle has room for improvement. “I want to contribute to the evolution of this fascinating vehicle, which is at the same time so simple and so complicated,” he says.
For the past 60 years, De Rosa has brought his business from a small workshop to one of the world’s finest companies in the cycling world. His charismatic figure is closely linked to the Italian racing bicycle. His name is part of a restricted list of frame artists and animators of that “movement” of the 1960s, who were decisive in the success of Italy as a leading bicycle manufacturer.
Some of the great cyclists who have trusted the De Rosa brand are famous Giro d’Italia cyclist Raphael Geminiani, who met de Rosa in 1958 and who immediately wanted him to be a mechanic of his team; Van Looy, the King of Fast Finishes; Gastone Nencini, Gianna Motta, and Eddy Merckx.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Italian steel bicycle frames were what American bike riders coveted. “Italian bicycles were a way of being Italian, without never leaving the streets of America,” says Ron Miriello, an American graphic designer, artist, and speaker, who also happens to sculpt and document the influences and traditions of Italian craftsmen, and is a fan of De Rosa.
If you’re lucky, you only get married once. For 30 years, my De Rosa has been my only wife and will forever be my one great love.
Today, De Rosa lives by his philosophy that nothing extraordinary is ever borne from a formula, but by imagining what is not there and doing it. His wife Mariuccia, and sons Danilo, Doriano, and Cristiano, are into the family business with the precise aim of increasing the prestige of the De Rosa brand each year.
Owning a De Rosa bicycle is like owning a great piece of Italian cycling heritage and history. The De Rosa steel bicycles is like a precious family heirloom that you can pass on to the next generation and to the many more that follows.
DE ROSA EVOLUTION
Italy was recovering from World War II and a racing bicycle was still a luxury. The only available material for making frames was steel.
It was only in the second half of the 80s that the bicycle underwent transformation not only in shape but in content. Titanium frames distinguish themselves for their elegance, neatness of form, and reliability. These make the De Rosa EOS and XS titanium frames stand out.
Aluminum alloys were used on frames for road bikes, sometimes too superficially. To avoid this pitfall, De Rosa began making alloy frames only when that material had no more secrets for him. Masterpieces such as the Dual and Merak took shape, frames that are appreciated all over the world.
The success of these innovative frames, a perfect equilibrium of performance and comfort, met the demands of modern cycling, in competitive and amateur fields.
The first all-carbon frame weighing only 1,050 grams, the “Cinquanta” is a highly special racing frame, possessing the rigidity of a monocoque, and high riding comfort.
The 60th anniversary is celebrated with the publication of the book Sessanta in English and Italian. Four models of the Black Label line were also launched.
Carbon is the evolving material. You will see the difference among manufacturers because the methods of composition of the fibers, different resins, and methods of bonding are the bases on which they diversify and compete.
Thus, the ultimate road racing machine- PROTOS was born. The end result of such renowned skill and evolution of unparalleled know how.