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View Full Version : DeRosa Review/Rant


dbrk
09-11-2005, 11:21 AM
I've owned a slew of DeRosas over the years--- including a wholly aluminum Planet back in the All the Rage is AL era that rode brilliantly with its stnd geos despite the added dental work I needed that year--- and last year I picked up a Neo Primato in Molteni orange. This is the last lugged steel bike in DeRosa's line-up and who knows how much (or how little) time is spent in building them. (I might not like to see everything under the paint but it's a lock that this frame will hold together for a hundred years.) I was not initially thrilled with a classic bike coming with a threadless Mizuno fork (at least painted to match) but in a bow to experience I've got nothing bad to say about it now that I've put in some miles. I put the bike up for sale awhile ago but no takers and that's fine since I'm never as comfortable selling a lugged bike as any other.

So for the past three days it's been me and the DeRosa for a coupla' hours. Yesterday I had three and a half perfect hours and (one in a row here...) actually felt great, both the bike and I. I stayed away from the good folks (some 500 of them) riding the Highlander (and related versions) and so didn't go near some of the really big climbs in the Finger Lakes but two days back got out on Gannett Hill road which counts for serious somethin'. Still there are plenty of roads here and always enough climbing. Pavement is excellent here and roads empty. I rode some gravel pack too. The bike wears Conti2000 28c which are more like 25s. I dont' think it would take any larger tire but these seem appropriate.

I'm happy to say that this is a great riding bike. It's stable, incredibly comfortable, and further evidence that, as the jerk reminds us, leave geometry to some old Italian guy and, basically, good things happen. Hands off the bars and the bike tracks perfectly. Descend without the slightest hesitation for the bike's stability, no problem on this one. I liked the handling on the Neo-Primato under alll circumstances: turning, descending, rolling, climbing, it rides beautifully. I am partial I think to DeRosa's standard geos, the fit seems easier to make for me in comparison with, say, the Colnagos. I hope to get a shot at a more recent Faema-style Neo Primato with a steel fork and I'll see if there's any important differences.

Of all the Italian bikes I've seen in recent years no product line has been more disappointing than DeRosa. I mean, that Tango has to be, without question, the ugliest, dumbest looking thing I have ever seen. Pinarello forks and stays are pretty darn fugly but DeRosa takes the take with the Tango. I'm generally of the view that about 95% of all modern bikes are aesthetic abominations (just one fella's opinion), I mean slopers, paint jobs, and tubes that aren't round, I just do not get on board with any of this. I have no idea how the other DeRosas (or that 95%) ride (and close-minded me, I've no further interest in finding out), but I utterly delighted with this steel bike in traditional geometries. It's really, really swell. Unfortunately, the Euro and prices where they are going make this stock bike now $1875 retail and for that kinda' money you can buy a lot of bikes, including boutique American builder bikes that are likely...oh....made about a million times better. But if someone just lifted the DeRosa geometry spec right off the chart, they'd be starting with something that really works well. It would be hard to make this bike ride or look anything but terrific.

dbrk

bluesea
09-11-2005, 12:15 PM
Always wondered about the handling characteristics of DeRosa. How does it compare to Colnago and Pinarello?

In terms of aesthetics, I prefer the traditional horizontal top tube. OTOH, for the rider with extremely short legs and a long torso, they are better off with a sloping geometry. The sloper will look much nicer than a traditional frame with the seatpost slammed all the way down like Fausto Coppi's setup. There is also the issue of adequate handlebar drop.

Big Dan
09-11-2005, 12:31 PM
Last year I was really close to pulling the trigger on a De Rosa Primato.
Couldn't get over the carbon fork............. :(

cinelli
09-11-2005, 03:53 PM
Douglas,

I had not ridden my Primato in almost a year. Took it out yesterday for a quick 30 miles and was reminded how comfortable a good steel bike is. Well-mannered, no surprises, just like a bike should be. Mine is a 59cm, just like yours and I seriously considered buying the orange DeRosa you have. I have not seen the new model you speak of, but I never met a DeRosa owner who was disappointed in the ride.

I've owned a slew of DeRosas over the years--- including a wholly aluminum Planet back in the All the Rage is AL era that rode brilliantly with its stnd geos despite the added dental work I needed that year--- and last year I picked up a Neo Primato in Molteni orange. This is the last lugged steel bike in DeRosa's line-up and who knows how much (or how little) time is spent in building them. (I might not like to see everything under the paint but it's a lock that this frame will hold together for a hundred years.) I was not initially thrilled with a classic bike coming with a threadless Mizuno fork (at least painted to match) but in a bow to experience I've got nothing bad to say about it now that I've put in some miles. I put the bike up for sale awhile ago but no takers and that's fine since I'm never as comfortable selling a lugged bike as any other.

So for the past three days it's been me and the DeRosa for a coupla' hours. Yesterday I had three and a half perfect hours and (one in a row here...) actually felt great, both the bike and I. I stayed away from the good folks (some 500 of them) riding the Highlander (and related versions) and so didn't go near some of the really big climbs in the Finger Lakes but two days back got out on Gannett Hill road which counts for serious somethin'. Still there are plenty of roads here and always enough climbing. Pavement is excellent here and roads empty. I rode some gravel pack too. The bike wears Conti2000 28c which are more like 25s. I dont' think it would take any larger tire but these seem appropriate.

I'm happy to say that this is a great riding bike. It's stable, incredibly comfortable, and further evidence that, as the jerk reminds us, leave geometry to some old Italian guy and, basically, good things happen. Hands off the bars and the bike tracks perfectly. Descend without the slightest hesitation for the bike's stability, no problem on this one. I liked the handling on the Neo-Primato under alll circumstances: turning, descending, rolling, climbing, it rides beautifully. I am partial I think to DeRosa's standard geos, the fit seems easier to make for me in comparison with, say, the Colnagos. I hope to get a shot at a more recent Faema-style Neo Primato with a steel fork and I'll see if there's any important differences.

Of all the Italian bikes I've seen in recent years no product line has been more disappointing than DeRosa. I mean, that Tango has to be, without question, the ugliest, dumbest looking thing I have ever seen. Pinarello forks and stays are pretty darn fugly but DeRosa takes the take with the Tango. I'm generally of the view that about 95% of all modern bikes are aesthetic abominations (just one fella's opinion), I mean slopers, paint jobs, and tubes that aren't round, I just do not get on board with any of this. I have no idea how the other DeRosas (or that 95%) ride (and close-minded me, I've no further interest in finding out), but I utterly delighted with this steel bike in traditional geometries. It's really, really swell. Unfortunately, the Euro and prices where they are going make this stock bike now $1875 retail and for that kinda' money you can buy a lot of bikes, including boutique American builder bikes that are likely...oh....made about a million times better. But if someone just lifted the DeRosa geometry spec right off the chart, they'd be starting with something that really works well. It would be hard to make this bike ride or look anything but terrific.

dbrk