De Rosa SK Pininfarina
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.