De Rosa

DeRosa – Vintage Steel Bikes

Country: Italy
Founded: 1953, Milano

The history of DeRosa Steel Bikes

The DeRosa brand, instantly identifiable by the famous heart shaped logo on the headtube, in the lugs and on the fork crown, was founded by Ugo DeRosa, a framebuilder who was to achieve near legendary status. The company began as a one-man workshop where Ugo crafted racing bicycles which quickly gained a reputation for their high quality. In 1958 DeRosa was asked by notable professional racing cyclist Raphael Geminiani to construct him a bicycle for the forthcoming Giro d’Italia.

By the next decade DeRosa bicycles were regularly ridden at the highest level of competition, and he was providing handbuilt bikes for the top teams, including Faema, Tbac and Max Majer. At the close of the sixties DeRosa became the official framebuilder for Gianni Motta and his famous Sanson team. DeRosa also provided a few bicycles for the up and coming Eddy „Cannibale“ Merckx, although it was not until 1973 that Ugo DeRosa became the official bicycle supplier for him. Eddy Merckx and his dominant Molteni team would garner a multitude of trophies on bikes framed by DeRosa, including first place finishes in the foremost of the great stage races, the Tour de France, as well as the gruelling Giro, the prestigious Milan-San Remo and the road racing World Championships.

By the middle of the Seventies DeRosa’s reputation amongst the professional ploton was secured, and consolidated by the successes achieved by Francesco Moser, then riding for the Filotex squad, and later also by Roger DeVlaeminck, by then riding in the colours of sponsor Sanson.Ugo DeRosa signed distribution deals which further expanded the reach of his brand to include the major overseas markets of the US, Soviet Union, Japan, Belgium and Germany.

The Eighties saw Ugo’s children Danilo and Doriano learn the secrets of bicycle frame construction under the direct tutelage of their father, whilst sibling Cristiano assumed the duties of running the business. In the Nineties Ugo DeRosa became a keen advocate and pioneering champion of the use of titanium for frame construction. In 1994 Ugo DeRosa debuted his prestigious Titanio models, upon which Team Gewiss rode to emphatic victories in the major races such as that of Evgeni Berzin in the 77th Giro d’Italia and that year’s running of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day classic, and the second place overall finish in the ’94 Tour de France by Latvian rider Piotr Ugrumov. Aluminium frames were added to the DeRosa range in 1996, and at the beginning of the 21st century Carbon Fibre framesets were also added to their product line-up. In 2005 the latest generation of steel framed De Rosa bicycles, the Corum, brought the original framebuilding material, steel, bang up-to-date. It must be noted that DeRosa have always offered pro quality steel frames, even whilst their competitors were turning away from steel to the more contemporary materials. The DeRosa Nuovo Classico was a staple of the DeRosa product range throughout the period when steel was deemed unfashionable and antiquated.

Top DeRosa models

DeRosa were notable for their distinctive diamond shaped chainstays, available across all models.

’70s

DeRosa Strada Record, DeRosa Strada Super Record, DeRosa Pista Record

’80s

DeRosa Professional Corsa Columbus SL tubing.

DeRosa Professional SLX Columbus SLX tubing.
As supplied to Team Sammontana (ridden by Moreno Argentin)

DeRosa Aerodinamica

DeRosa Primato. Columbus EL tubing.

’90s

DeRosa Giro d’Italia. Columbus Neuron tubing. Reinforced „webbed“ bottom bracket casting.

DeRosa Nuovo Classico. Columbus SLX, TSX tubing.

DeRosa Pista Classico Brain, SLX, TSX

DeRosa Titanio. Columbus Hyperion titanium frame tubes.