It never rains, it pours when it comes to new bikes thrown in our direction. The De Rosa King has been top of the shopping list for carbon frame buyers over the past few years. The Protos saves 130 grams over the standard King, which isn't much, but it has been reported that this is a step on in terms of rider comfort and rigidity.

We're lucky to get an early look at this Protos, seeing as so far they seem to have sold them as soon as they arrive in the UK.

The big story behind Protos is the unidirectional carbon and the increased stiffness to weight ratio that this has to offer. At this point we hand over to the De Rosa website: "Elite among the elite, giving excellent performance thanks to the single-direction lightweight carbon frame. A real throughbred of racing, it is the result of our extensive research into carbon fibres and the best way to use them in relationship to lightweight and mechanical strength. Our construction technology means that this model can also be made to measure."

The carbon fork has a exclusive 'monocoque' construction and even has carbon dropouts for shaving every last ounce from the front end. It's available in sloping and custom geometry, or off the peg in many standard sizes. Full builds also available.

The reports from pro riders on De Rosa last year have been good and this one has one very happy owner, who's pleased to be able to ride a 'big' bike that weighs so little yet rides so predictably.

As Doriano De Rosa says: “Through the use of uni-directional carbon fibre, we’re taking out the emptiness that can bulk up cross threaded carbon fibre tubes, there isn’t much else we can take out, and I challenge anyone to make a lighter frame without affecting the strength and rigidity."

We should have a full report on this bike very soon. And yes, there will be some more 'budget' bikes very soon...

Frame: Protos Uni-directional Carbon Fibre

Fork: De Rosa full carbon fork

Headset: Campagnolo Hiddenset 1 1/8"

Stem: Deda

Bars: Deda

Tape: Carbon bike ribbon

Brakes: Campagnolo Record

Levers: Campagnolo Record 10-speed

Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record

Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record

Cassette sprockets: Campagnolo Record 10 12-25t

Chain: Campagnolo Record 10-speed

Cranks: Campagnolo Record 53x39T

BB: Campagnolo Record

Pedals: Speedplay

Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 3

Tyres: Continental Force/Attack 700x20&23c

Saddle: Selle Italia SLX

Seat post: De Rosa carbon

• Sizes: (Standard) 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60 and 61cm

(sloping geometry) 45 46.5, 48, 49, 52 and 54cm

• Colours: Black

• Price: Frame only £2835.00 (includes fork, hidden Aheadset and Carbon De Rosa seat pin)



De Rosa - the name says it all A 'true' full carbon fork Campag Record Throughout
Sculpted and reinforced BB Top notch spec. Protos - understated class