Saying we spotted the De Rosa Protos at the CORE bike show isn’t technically correct. We actively went Protos hunting.
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If we had the Italian panache we would have greeted it with ‘bellissima’, alas – we’re English and muttered something like ‘that’s alright innit’.
And it is.
The rather trusting chaps at i-Ride allowed us to escort the full bike, pictured below, back to Croydon for a closer look and a quick mental tot up of components and the wheel set will give you an idea just how trusting they were. In fact, I can confirm that it comes with an eye-watering price tag of £11,999. To be fair £6k of that is in the Campag Super Record EPS groupset (£4k) and Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR 50s (£2k). So in theory, you could opt for a more affordable build and nearly halve that price.
Digital Record is an option
This is the second coming of the Protos, the first time round was back in 2006, but six years is a long time in the carbon industry, so the name is about all that the siblings share. The new Protos is a beefcake in comparison. The down tube certainly caught our eye as one of the largest profiles around, but a combination of high modulus and high strength carbon means it’s down to less than 800g for the frame (150g lighter). De Rosa is known for being more inclined to start trends than follow them, and the ethos is apparent in the overall angular profile. The forks especially turning their nose up at current conventional ‘aerofoil’ shape used by most by appearing square and flat.
Neat internal cabling
But defying convention is what makes the Protos a head-turning stunner. It’s all but a very clean-looking frame thanks to internal cabling. The battery placement could do with a bit of re-think in our opinion, but guess it has to go somewhere, as if you’ve bothered to dig this deep into your pocket, you may as well splash out for something electric.
Available now with either Shimano Dura-Ace or Campag Super Record (both mechanical and electronic) in eight off-the-shelf sizes.
Frameset is under 800g
The Protos comes in at a staggering £11,999