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RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike

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De Rosa SK Pininfarina

Eye-catching collaboration with Formula One designers

De Rosa make some truly stunning bikes, and Pininfarina design cars for the likes of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati. Put those two together and it’s hardly surprising the result is something really rather special.

Step forward the De Rosa SK Pininfarina, a marriage of De Rosa’s tech and Pininfarina’s elegant shapes, which was unveiled at Eurobike in September. With Italian flair at its heart, the aero road bike is a definite head-turner, boasting an aggressively aerodynamic profile and an eye-catching design.

Ugo De Rosa’s eponymous brand has spawned from a family business to a worldwide brand, with Eddy Merckx and Francesco Moser among the former clients. When two of the cycling world’s greatest ever have called for your services, it says a hell of a lot about what you have to offer – and the same still rings true with De Rosa today.

With Italian flair at its heart, the aero road bike is a definite head-turner boasting an aggressively aerodynamic profile and an eye-catching design.

The first carbon frame to roll out of the De Rosa factory arrived in 2000, and since then their King range went from strength to strength, culminating in last year’s King XS sans brake junction. Now the SK Pininfarina has knocked the King off its perch – or should that be throne? – as De Rosa’s top-end carbon fibre machine.

It’s the brand’s first real aero bike, and you can spot the aero features without much of a second glance, the product of consultation with Pininfarina and De Rosa’s own wind tunnel testing.

RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike
RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike
RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike

De Rosa themselves put it well – it’s a bike ‘for those who want to race, for those who want to do triathlon, for those who are pretentious’. We couldn’t have phrased it better ourselves.

Svelte tube profiles are led by a slender 1-1/8” to 1-1/4” tapered headtube, and neatly-routed internal cabling offers up every slight gain. At the back, the aggressive rear wheel cut out and swept back, extended seat-tube (which creates a fairing, while still comfortably fitting 25c tyres) are most striking. The seatstays join significantly below the height of the top tube, and an integrated seatpost clamp keeps things super-aero. Direct-mount brakes also help in that regard, supplied by Campagnolo of course. Unlike on the King, they’re exactly where you’d expect to find them, tucked in behind the seatstay bridge.

De Rosa have called on every iota of their carbon fibre knowledge to blend 24t, 30t, 40t and 60t carbon fibre – woven on site – to create a super-stiff, but comfortable ride. The brand’s “Inner Mould Tooling System”, which uses 3D printing and a special resin to further boost the stiffness, all helps with keeping the weight down too. Speaking of weight, De Rosa claim 1,060g for the frame (size and colour – of which there are five choices – dependent). That’s 110g more than the De Rosa King XS but given the aero profiling that’s hardly surprising.

RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike
RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike
RCUK100 - De Rosa SK Pininfarina road bike

The machine boasts a suitably aggressive geometry, and a stiff pedalling platform is provided by the BB386 bottom bracket. The battery on electronic builds is also kept low in the seattube, though not quite low as the likes of of Lapierre’s ‘Trap Door’ tech. As you’d expect for a bike with so much packed into the frame, the top-end spec is equally impressive and thought-out.

Deep section Vision Metron 81 wheels with colour-matched decals, boost the aero profile while FSA’s integrated bar and stem combo – the Plasma – then keeps things dramatic and aero up front.

You have the choice of four builds with the SK Pininfarina, but if you want to match Italian design and Italian flair with the best Italian gruppo, then Campagnolo Super Record EPS is right at the top of the range. Mechanical and electronic Super Record and Record are essentially your choices, but you can also get the ‘budget’ build of Shimano Ultegra 6800, Fulcrum Racing Quattro wheels and 3T finishing kit for £3,499.

When that’s the budget build, with kit most would happily put on their machine, you know the top end of the range is top quality and that rings true with the De Rosa Pininfarina SK. De Rosa themselves put it well – it’s a bike ‘for those who want to race, for those who want to do triathlon, for those who are pretentious’. We couldn’t have phrased it better ourselves.

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