De Rosa SK Pin­in­fa­rina

BIKE TEST

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Ben Andrew

De Rosa is a name that many cy­clists will in­stantly rec­og­nize. The brand, which is based in Mi­lan, Italy, has a rich her­itage of craft­ing beau­ti­ful bi­cy­cles. With its roots in steel-frame build­ing, while also of­fer­ing mod­els in alu­minum and ti­ta­nium, De Rosa has been fo­cus­ing more heav­ily on car­bon-fi­bre frame con­struc­tion than ever be­fore.

n de­sign­ing the com­pany’s full-car­bon aero road bike, the SK Pin­in­fa­rina, De Rosa part­nered with au­to­mo­tive-de­sign firm Pin­in­fa­rina, which is known for its col­lab­o­ra­tion with such brands as Fer­rari and Alfa Romeo, among oth­ers. The re­sult is a lively, dev­il­ishly fast and aes­thet­i­cally stun­ning ride that is sure to turn more than a few heads wher­ever the road takes you.

The frame­set is con­structed of 60T, 24T, 40T and 30T car­bon in as­cend­ing quan­ti­ties. The frame has a mix of swoopy curves, aero tubes and a rel­a­tively clas­sic main tri­an­gle. The re­sult is a light­weight bike that climbs well and de­scends even bet­ter. The aero tub­ing cre­ates a stiff rear end that helps you pro­pel the bike around steep switch­backs. When the road flat­tens or turns down, the bike is amaz­ingly fast. Through the cor­ners, the SK han­dles pre­dictably and pre­cisely.

While by no means an Endurance bike, the SK Pin­in­fa­rina pro­vided a sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able ride, how­ever the com­bi­na­tion of the stiff aero frame­set and Pin­in­fa­rina-branded Cam­pag­nolo Bora One 50 wheels did pro­vide a good amount of road feed­back to the sad­dle while rid­ing over rough and patched road sur­faces.

Though I am not a reg­u­lar Cam­pag­nolo user, the Super Record EPS groupset was a pleas­ant sur­prise. At the shifters, the shift pad­dles pro­vided a smooth and pos­i­tive feel while chang­ing gears. Com­pared to the Super Record me­chan­i­cal, the lo­ca­tion and de­sign of the thumb pad­dle is far more er­gonomic, al­low­ing for easy shift­ing from the drops. The Super Record EPS groupset’s shift­ing is crisp and pre­cise, and the min­i­mal ca­bling com­ple­ments the SK Pin­in­fa­rina’s look. This is coun­tered by the larger pro­file of the front and rear de­railleurs.

When it was time to come to a stop, the direct-mount Super Record brakes did a fine job and of­fer am­ple tire clear­ance and brake mod­u­la­tion.

The Cam­pag­nolo Bora One 50 wheelset had 24mm Vit­to­ria Open Corsa SR tires mounted. The combo was fast-rolling, and the Open Corsa tires gripped well on the tar­mac. The 50mm pro­file of the wheels added to the lively feel of the bike, and they are adorned with colour-matched Pin­in­fa­rina brand­ing.

The test bike was equipped with an FSA K-Force han­dle­bar and FSA OS-99 CSI stem. The K-Force bar was com­fort­able dur­ing long days in the sad­dle, and the com­pact curve of the bar made rid­ing even more of an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence. The SK Pin­in­fa­rina is of­fered with an FSA Plasma in­te­grated bar and stem, which is painted to match the frame. The Plasma fur­ther in­creases the fan­tas­tic look of the bike.

In 2016, the SK was the bike of choice for the De-Rosa-spon­sored Nippo/ Vini Fan­tini team of Dami­ano Cunego. This sea­son, the team is rid­ing on the De Rosa Pro­tos.

The rac­ing pedi­gree of the SK Pin­in­fa­rina is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent af­ter only a few pedal strokes, how­ever the bike will be equally en­joyed by those look­ing for a fast fondo ride or a steed ca­pa­ble of trash­ing your rid­ing com­pa­tri­ots at your lo­cal weekly rides. While the price tag is steep, the SK Pin­in­fa­rina af­fords you the op­por­tu­nity to own a bike steeped in the rich cy­cling his­tory that the De Rosa name is fa­mous for.

The rac­ing pedi­gree of De Rosa’s SK Pin­in­fa­rina is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent, yet it pro­vided a sur­pris­ingly com­fort­able ride.

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