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Hi all, picked up an old De Rosa at the dump today....(15 posts)

Hi all, picked up an old De Rosa at the dump today....huez
Apr 10, 2002 3:00 PM
I was quite stoked as it was just my size.

However, I have no idea how nice of a frame it is.

It looks like early to mid 80s. It is blue with yellow De Rosa stickers, chrome right chainstay, and fork crown. It has no serial number, Columbus tubing with no specific tubing designation except for Acoia Speciale? or something like that, it has the world champion rainbow sticker on the top tube with Super Trophy Prestige with leaves around it, It says Eddy Merckx 1973, 74, 75. It has rear Campy horizontal dropouts and it looks like the front dropouts have De Rosa stamped on them under hte skewer marks. It looks nice, the lugs look nice with the BB shell having little "milled out" areas to save weight. I weighed it and its exactly 4lbs in a 54. Not bad for an old steel ride.

Anybody know anything about this? Thanks.
I take it its gonna have Italian BB threads too?huez
Apr 10, 2002 3:35 PM
I also easily fit my current 9 speed wheel in with just slight spreading? Is this OK?

Anything else I need to watch out for?
I take it its gonna have Italian BB threads too?Walter
Apr 10, 2002 4:58 PM
To the best of my knowledge DeRosa didn't make anything cheap so I'd say you've got a find there. Being a bit of a retro fan myself (Basso with Campy S. Record) I'm jealous. Check out this link for some info: I'm surprised that your 9 speed fit easily as the bike sounds like it should have 126mm spread between dropouts. It's not hard for a good shop to spread the DOs so that's possible but why, if the bike had been "modernized" would it have been in a dump? Damaged? Stolen and stripped? Maybe someone just finally got tired of it and didn't consider an old steel frame worth anything. If so the prev. owner could have made a sizable error. I'd definitely get the frame checked out if it's straight you've got a keeper or, I'd imagine, a nice eBayer. Your choice.

Yes, it'd have Italian threading.
need a bottom bracket?quadzilla1
Apr 10, 2002 5:23 PM
I have an Italian threaded Ultegra one I'll give you for free (just pay me for actual shipping). Brand new, in the box. It is missing the actual ball bearings, but those are cheap. Box says Size 36 x 24 70 x 115mm. Model bb6400. I might add, also found in the trash after a swap meet !
Yes, please.huez
Apr 11, 2002 7:33 AM
Although I hope to go Euro on the spec, this should help me get started. Thanks. Please shoot me an email at

Oh, where would I get these bearings?

Also maybe its destiny that these two parts go together since they were both thrown away:)
You lucky dog...Lone Gunman
Apr 10, 2002 6:23 PM
You could go over to Classic, post a message and see what they come up with. Tons of old school knowledge there, might even sell it to a needy buyer, just don't tell them where you got it.
You're busted.arafat_fan
Apr 10, 2002 7:06 PM
"Hi all, picked up an old De Rosa at the dump today...."
Hi to you too!
Wow, what are the chances of that happening.

"I was quite stoked as it was just my size."
Wow, I get stoked when they put cheese on my Whopper and never charge me for it. I can only imagine your degree of stokedness dude!

"However, I have no idea how nice of a frame it is."
Hmmm, that is like looking at Jennifer Lopez and saying you cannot figure out if she is attractive or not.

I have seen the frame you "found" for sale as well. I already have one DeRosa, but another certainly would not hurt. Thank-you for the alert.
You have a DeRosa "Professional."guido
Apr 10, 2002 8:54 PM
I have one, too: dark blue, DeRosa's favorite color, made in 1983 or 84, purchased in fall of 84. Chrome at the same places. The Columbus decal with no tubing specified means that it is SL, 1.0 mm at the butted ends, .6 mm in the middle. The junctures of the frame are made very stiff by investment-cast short-point lugs and Cinelli investment cast BB, which makes the handling sure-footed and resilient, directing the road shocks to the middle part of the tubes where they get magically absorbed and yield a comfortable ride.

That nice flat fork crown makes a major contribution to the character of the ride: very stiff sideways but flexy fore-aft, largely due to the slightly longer fork blades, but also from the design of the fork crown. Grant Peterson of Rivendell has touted the flat fork since his early days. He and Richard Sachs still swear by them.

The angles on my 54 cm.(c-c) feel like about 74 or maybe 74.5 in front and 74 or 73.5 in the rear. The bike rides aggressively, quick steering, rider up over the crank, but the longish top tube, flat fork crown, and all those excellently brazed Columbus SL tubes with the short-point lugs, make the bike really responsive and comfortable at the same time. It loves to whack up hills and go hard and fast. I'll never get strong enough to break it, as much as I've tried, and it has survived more crashes than I can count and never had to be straightened.

But it has never beaten me up in a century. Quite the opposite, the bike continues to work with you to the bitter end.

I still use a 126 mm axle on mine, but 6 speed freewheels are getting hard to find, and 7 speed freewheels nick paint off the seat stay. Notice the "diamond" shaped chainstays? Stiffens up the rear triangle, noticeable when sprinting and climbing.

Mine also has a 1 inch headset, Italian BB threads and 27.2 mm seatpost. You can still get rear dropout adjuster screws if they're missing on yours.

Have fun building up and riding a true classic! This model is a replica of the bikes DeRosa built for Eddy Merckx at the peak of his form, as the sticker signifies. This is the bike that turned Merckx on to DeRosa's design philosophy which their respective products both still share, more or less.
why I never find anything? or win the lottery?cyclopathic
Apr 11, 2002 5:42 AM
maybe because I don't play? hmm
Alright Guido! We have a match! This is great. Heres more info.huez
Apr 11, 2002 7:29 AM
Amazing we have the same size also. The internet is great. I saw another picture of a supposed '87 frame that has the same stickers.

This one I got is not in perfect condition, its got a decent amount of scratches most of which arent through the paint which by the way looks to be of very high quality. Some are through the blue and you can see a whitish primer. And the chrome on the fork crown is starting to peel a bit. But there are no dings or bends. It looks to be perfectly straight.

Anyway, yes, I slid a 27.2 seatpost into it and it slid in like butter, so I was happy about the size and smoothness.

I do need some dropout screws. Those should be available right?

So, where does the SL Comumbus fall? Is SLX better? I was only slightly into bikes in the mid-80s and all I remember was SLX and Tange Prestige back then. Yes, I did notice the diamond shaped stays, very nice. I didnt know for sure if De Rosa made a low end frame, but this one has some great attention to detail that led me to believe it was a high end model. By the way, was this the top of the line then? The fact that I picked it up at the dump was one reason why I thought it might be low end.

Im excited to get this thing built up and on the road.
Alright Guido! We have a match! This is great. Heres more info.Walter
Apr 11, 2002 3:24 PM
There's a guy on eBay, I think WWCyclery is his handle and he regularly sells the DO screws. I bought 2 pair from him awhile back. He also sells some other retro Campy stuff. I've got a Campy QR seatpost skewer on a steel Colnago that I picked up from him for like $9.

No I'm not related and you can probably get the screws from any # of sources.
Whoa...did you really find that bike in a dump?guido
Apr 11, 2002 9:15 PM
Discarded? I'm stunned. That frame is a high end model, the only one DeRosa made at the time, probably one of the last he actually brazed himself. He made stock frames to sell in the US, which were exact replicas of the frames European racers coveted. He also did a fair amount of custom building for European customers in the 70s and early 80s.

By the mid 80s, his sons were old enough to help Daddy and he started turning over tasks to them. At one point, about 86 or 87, Branford Bike published a statement about how they weren't going to sell DeRosa's anymore, because of alignment and brazing problems. But DeRosa and his sons got through it, and Branford Bikes did too.

The Italians, including Colnago, DeRosa, Masi, Cinelli, built with Columbus SL tubing in the 70s and early 80s. For over 10 years, SL and Reynolds 531 competed for the honor of "best." SL frames were a little stiffer than 531 frames, so SL was the favorite for racing and 531 was what all the tourists wanted.

By the mid 80s, the high-end builders had all switched to SLX, the same formula and dimensions as SL, but with added rifling inside the seat and down tubes where they meet the bottom bracket lug, in an effort to stiffen up the BB.

SLX lasted only a few years as the tubing du jour, because the rifling added weight, and it rode a bit harsher than the old SL. So Columbus brought out TSX, which was thinner and lighter, and also had rifling in the top tube.

Around 1990, EL-OS was the latest stuff, and by then I lost track. That's when they departed from the SL formula, in efforts to make the tubing lighter, to compete with the aluminum and titanium frames that were coming out and threatening steel's market share. The rest is history, as they say.

SL is Columbus' classic tubing, in my opinion. It's strong, light enough to be responsive and keep up on climbs, but it isn't the best tubing for really hard mashing. I have to tighten the wingnut on the rear shifter to prevent the derailleur from downshifting on the steepest hills. It wants you to get up a good head of steam, and then it just screams up hills and along flats.

Your LBS probably has drop-out adjuster screws, but if not, I'm pretty sure Branford Bike or Harris Cyclery has them. Classic Rendevous and Rivendell also have stuff that might look good on that bike.

That 87 frame on Campyonly would be great for parts, but the frame is probably dialed in to the American market more-so than yours or mine, with no chrome on the fork crown and both chainstays chromed.

Gita Imports may have painted your bike. Imron was the choice. DeRosas were known for having alot of clear coat over the decals so they wouldn't peel off.

Let us know how it rides!
Yes, in an effort to reduce landfill, they have a yard wherehuez
Apr 12, 2002 1:02 PM
they pile up lawnmowers, skis, bathtubs, sinks, furniture, campershells, bikes, etc. Then they sell the stuff to the public for peanuts. I got the DeRosa for $2. I work for a construction company and were in the process of building a few new buildings there and every time I go by the job I swing by the bikes just to see if there might be anything cool. Its almost always Huffys. My eyes lit up when I saw the DeRosa! It was nicely hung on a trailer hitch bike rack.

Any ideas on who could do a good job painting and chroming this thing if I decide to?
Amazing what people throw away!!guido
Apr 12, 2002 11:33 PM
CycleArt in California has been painting frames almost as long as DeRosa has been building bikes. The LBS or the local frame builder might know someone who does it. The trick is to get a set of decals from Gita or whoever's importing DeRosas now, or from the factory. CycleArt can do a complete restoration. They used to charge in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred dollars. I'm not sure how they deal with the chrome, but they'd know what could be done.

Interesting story about how it turned up at the landfill. How little the general public values bicycles makes a sad commentary. It'll make a great ride, painted or touched up!
I just filed a police report...Slipstream
Apr 11, 2002 5:58 AM
Someone stole my priceless De Rosa out of my backyard.