Long live the King! The King XS is the latest machine in the King series from De Rosa. First things first, it’s a stunning frame, as you’d expect from the hallowed Italian marque. It’s also one of a number of 2015 bikes to adopt direct mount brakes, which use two bolts to strap each brake directly to the frame, rather than a single mounting bolt which passes through the frame or fork. That results in a marginal aerodynamic improvement but, more significantly, increases rigidity and stopping power.
The rear brake is hidden behind the bottom bracket and that’s allowed De Rosa to remove the brake bridge and fine-tune the heavily-profiled seatstays to improve comfort. Otherwise, the De Rosa King XS, available as a frameset only, is made from a blend of T1000, T800 and XN10 carbon fibre and De Rosa state a claimed weight of 950g – so it’s unlikely to trouble the scales, either.
Price: £2,999 (frameset only)