The De Rosa Story


De Rosa was established in Milan in 1953, in an energic city, full of ideas and animated by the desire of ransom of the postwar period. Its founder Ugo De Rosa begins his career in the world of professional cyclism as mechanic, but he soon starts working within the production of frames. His bikes are “geometrically innovative” and riders aim at cycling with them. From Cusano Milanino (that still is the home of the brand), De Rosa frames cross first the national borders and then the European ones. Between the 60s and the 80s lot of professional cyclist demand to use the frames with the red hearts during their competitions. It’s the 1973 when De Rosa becomes the Molteni official bikes supplier, the team where the legendary Eddy Mercks runs and he personally chooses Ugo De Rosa as his personal mechanic. The personal relationship with Eddy Mercks will be of a crucial importance for Ugo and for the future of De Rosa company, since the study of the performance and the precision of both lead to improvement that had been unknown until then.

A few years later, Ugo De Rosa builds the bikes for Francesco Moser (that would win three Paris-Roubaix with those bikes). The ongoing study of the materials, the passion for bikes and the love for cycling are transmitted to his siblings that continue the activity undertaken from the dad, always aiming at the excellence. The production in titanium rapidly join the one in steel and is, still today, the metal that perfectly represents the frame production of De Rosa. During the 90s, the care in the details and the hunt for perfection are enhanced by the hunt for performance and lightness. Aluminium makes its entrance in the production, rapidly followed by the material that would mark the epochal changement in the production: carbon. It’s in fact with this new material that De Rosa experiment more and will be used for most of the topof-the-range products. From the KING to SK, born from the collaboration with Pininfarina, to the last model Protos, these bikes best represent what De Rosa can offer to the riders of the teams that decide to join the Red Heart. 4 materials, 3 professional teams and a pursuit of the absolute: these are the keys that guide the brand born more than 66 years ago.


For the first time the company marks the bikes of a Professional team with the “Heart": it happens with the green bikes supplied to the G.B.C. in 1973 with Panizza, Francioni and Turrini. De Rosa continues to build for several professionals: in '73 he arrives at the Molteni as an official mechanic of Eddy Merckx and with him begins a professional partnership without equal: Merckx is demanding and his sensitivity as a rider helps Ugo to understand where to improve the bike. In '76 Ugo builds for Francesco Moser (who with those bikes wins three Paris-Roubaix) and in the Giro d’Italia 74 on a hundred riders, eighty ride on frames built by De Rosa (although not always marked with the heart).


At the end of the 1960s, the frames crossed national borders: in Europe, amateurs and professionals began riding on De Rosa bikes and, from there to a few years, the “Made in Cusano Milanino" frames crossed European borders. During the decade there are several riders who start to choose De Rosa as a builder: Ugo builds for Gastone Nencini's Max Mayer, in '69 begins the collaboration with Gianni Motta that will last throughout his career, as well as that with Eddy Merckx. These are the years in which Rick Van Looy won the world championships: De Rosa is his mechanic and follows him in the team car.


TIG welding has its debut: using pipes of different sections allows De Rosa to fully realize its "personalized" bikes, realizing his construction philosophy. These are the years of Moreno Argentin, Gianbattista Baronchelli.


De Rosa chooses to use titanium: material for the chosen few, represents since then the material for connoisseurs. Strong as steel and light as aluminum, Doriano gives it shape with all the processing difficulties involved. A De Rosa in titanium is the official bike of Team Gewis contributing to the successes of Argentin, Furlan, Berzin and Ugrumov. The bikes of the heart is on the podium of all the classics: Milano-Sanremo; Liege-Bastogne-Liege; Freccia Vallone; Giro d’Italia; Giro di Lombardia; Tour de France.


Aluminum is the new material: already in 1994 Danilo, who ride the Gran Fondo and builds the bikes, senses that there is a desire for new materials and something different in bicycle world. The frame starts to change because the tubes of section are larger and allow different graphics that give space to emotions and colors. Thus began the rise of this metal, technically versatile, light and reactive that allows high performance. The Merak becomes the frame "testimonial of a technical and emotional change": several successes with Casagrande, that achieved the second position to the Giro d'Italia, Pellizzotti and Caucchioli. The new millennium starts with the victory of Vainsteins and the 2000 World Championship is marked by Merak. The frames are made of steel, titanium and aluminum: they are known and mature materials. The latest generation forks are made of carbon, a young material with potential to emerge.


Danilo and Cristiano have learned that evolution is born on the road, the novelties are in the minds of those who ride, in the sensations and desires of those who ride the bike from the saddle. From personal experience they understand that the turning point will be carbon. The new millennium is born with the KING which embodies the De Rosa philosophy of the "Customized" frame. With the improvement of resins and bonding, carbon becomes for De Rosa the ideal material with which to pursue its company head-line that makes its "one-to-one" "tailor-made".


The ascent is unstoppable. On the occasion of the company's 50th year, De Rosa makes the Cinquanta, a celebratory frame that arrives on the market with the brand of KING X-light. The era of the modular frame begins: five modular monocoque pieces. The frame thus becomes full carbon and the seat tube section increases to 35 mm. Weights start to fall: a medium-sized frame reaches the threshold of 1,000 - 1,100 grams but De Rosa knows that the improvement in uphill performance can not be separated from safety on the way down. The exasperated search for a "target weight" goes alongside the research on materials and the construction of a frame that gives greater stability and handling. The KING X-light is chosen by Savoldelli, Garzelli, Tonkov. During the last races, Protos (Prototype) makes its debut with which the two riders win some stages in the Giro d'Italia.


The construction of the frame undergoes an important turning point with the construction of the monocoque frames that simultaneously contribute to containing the weight and favoring performance for appreciable downhill reactivity. The KING3 is born, the third version of the frame that more than others represented the successful result of research and development in the company: the carbon used -K1- is the highest quality fiber used to the best of its potential. The KING3 receives accreditations in Italy and abroad: these are the years of Di Luca, another important rider for his sensitivity and collaboration in his improvement. Carbon conquers the market and De Rosa is among the few companies to maintain production on the four materials.


The 60th anniversary is celebrated with the publication of the book "Sixty" in 2 versions, Italian and English, which tells and summarizes the story of De Rosa brand. In addition the Black Label line is launched. 4 models with the 4 materials of the De Rosa history revisited in an innovative way.


The bike designed specifically to be used by De Rosa grand tour teams, racing by its nature. Light and reactive, for complete riders ready to compete on any ground.


From two Italian excellences born an exclusive road bike, very light and designed by the two historic houses with new technologies and exclusive materials: De Rosa and PININFARINA.


A single word chosen to express the result of titanium processing, which has represented the excellence of De Rosa for over 25 years. Anima is born from here, from the desire to translate the vision and the frame culture of De Rosa into a product. The first De Rosa titanium bike to use Campagnolo 12 speed.