Pro Bike: Francesco Moser’s 1979 Paris-Roubaix De Rosa

A closer look at the De Rosa that Francesco Moser rode to victory in the 1979 Paris-Roubaix

The 1990s were crazy times for bike designs, and the unique demands of Paris-Roubaix pushed bike manufacturers further than ever. Steve Bauer tackled the 1993 Classics seasons on an Eddy Merckx bike with a 60 degree seat angle and a 110cm wheelbase, while Johann Museeuw rode the 1994 Hell of the North on a full suspension Bianchi – or at least he did until the rear suspension packed up with the subsequent slow bike change taking him out of the front group.

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But long before this, riders were tackling the very same pavé on bikes that were little different from the machines that they rode for the rest of the season. Bikes like this, the De Rosa that Francesco Moser rode to victory in the 1979 Paris-Roubaix.

Built by De Rosa, but with Moser’s name on the down tube, the bike is made from Colombus steel tubing and is equipped with a 6-speed Campagnolo Super Record groupset and Mavic Special Services des Courses wheels, topped with Vittoria Pave CG Servizio Corsa tyres that are a far cry from the 32mm tyres that we sometimes see used in the race nowadays.

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However, those tyres did not serve Moser well in 1979, as he punctured while riding solo towards the finish in Roubaix. But a quick bike change meant he was not caught by his pursuers (Roger de Vlaeminck, Joop Zoetemelk, and Hennie Kuiper) finishing with a 40 second lead to take the second of three consecutive wins in Paris-Roubaix.