De Rosa Protos Ultegra Complete Road Bike - 2016

Sale $4,299.99 $7,999.00 46% off

Item # DER000D

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  • Black Gloss, 50.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black Gloss, 52.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black Gloss, 54.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black Gloss, 55.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black Gloss, 57.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black/Red/White, 52.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black/Red/White, 54.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • Black/Red/White, 55.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • White, 52.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • White, 54.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • White, 55.1cm ($4,299.99)
  • White, 59.1cm ($4,299.99)
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Item # DER000D

First exception.

Whenever we're approached with the next great innovation in frame technology, we're often reminded of the old adage that — ahem — it's not the bike that matters, it's the engine. The down tube and bottom bracket of the De Rosa platform we chose for our in-house Protos Ultegra Complete Road Bike may finally give the lie to that axiom, though. Compared to your typical race machine, the Protos' gigantic drive spine affords a claimed 35% increase in stiffness-to-weight ratio, and we've chose to dress that increased efficiency in a full complement of Shimano's Ultegra 6800 kit — including the crankset, a spot where many manufacturers skimp on their factory builds. As much as we loved the revamped Ultegra, though, the Protos is the obvious star of this show.

Few frame manufacturers have the penchant for capturing the imagination of cycling romantics like De Rosa. Maybe it's the 50+ years of history behind the brand. Maybe it's the postcard-sized images of Merckx riding the frames we pinned to our walls as kids. Or maybe it's the online image searches for "Moser Roubaix," also on rebranded De Rosas, that we turn to while bored at work. Whatever the case, the brand's got pedigree. Despite that long-standing presence as a big, historical deal, though, the Protos' unconventional (to say the least) frameset design indicates that De Rosa's not afraid to push the limits — or blow them up to proportions approaching caricature.

As you might expect given its down tube, we believe that the Protos may be the stiffest road racing bike that we've ever rolled through our doors. Whether during sustained solo efforts or long, gradual climbs, the bike almost feels like it's pulling the pedals through the dead spot for you. Taking a quick glance through the other bikes we carry should give the reader a sense of the enormity of that statement, which is itself almost as impressive a claim as the Protos' oversized down tube is large. Almost. The oversized drive spine means that, when our legs are telling the Ultegra crank to up the pace, the Protos seems capable of jumping from the speed of noodle to full-on sprint almost as soon as the freehub engages. There's no hesitation or wind up — it just goes.

Even under riders in the 176lb/80kg range, the frame is virtually impervious to flex. That aggressive efficiency is mirrored in the Protos' geometry, which is low and predatory — perfect for diving through corners on the inside line. The head tube alone measures between 20 and 30mm shorter than on models that we'd typically considered slammed for crits or fast circuit races, definitely bucking the current industry trend toward upright "endurance" geometries in favor of undiluted racing aggression.

In addition to the tube shapes, the frame owes its effort-rewarding stiffness to three different carbon fibers. Half of the material used is TI 800, which is a modulus that we typically see as the stiffest part of a frame. Here, it's the "comfort" material, which goes some way toward explaining the Protos' obscene stiffness-to-weight ratio. Key areas of power transfer are made with the even stiffer TI 1000, and a final reinforcement of XN60 carbon adds the equivalent of rocket fuel to the Protos' titanic power transfer spine.

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
50% TI 800 carbon fiber, 40% TI 1000 carbon fiber, 10% XN60 carbon fiber
Fork Material:
carbon fiber
Shimano Ultegra 6800
Front Derailleur:
Shimano Ultegra 6800
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano Ultegra 6800
50 / 34 t Shimano Ultegra 6800
Bottom Bracket:
Shimano Ultegra SM-BB72-41B
Crank Arm Length:
[sizes 47-52] 170 mm, [sizes 54-55] 172.5 mm, [sizes 57-61] 175 mm
11 - 25 t Shimano Ultegra 6800
Shimano CN-HG-700-11
Shimano Ultegra 6800
Brake Type:
dual-pivot rim
Zipp Service Course
Handlebar Width:
[sizes 47-50] 40 cm, [sizes 52-57] 42 cm, [sizes 59-61] 44 cm
Bar Tape:
Cinelli Cork black
Zipp Service Course
Stem Length:
[size 47] 70 mm, [sizes 50-55] 90 cm, [size 57] 100 cm, [sizes 59-60] 110 cm
Fizik Aliante R7
Zipp Service Course
Mavic Cosmic Elite
Mavic Yksion Comp
Tire Size:
700 c mm
not included
Recommended Use:
road race
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years on frame
Actual Weight:
Black Gloss, 55.1cm: 7720g

sizing chart

Protos size by rider height


Geometry chart

De Rosa

Geometry Chart



Seat Tube


Effective Top Tube


Head Tube


Seat Tube Angle


Bottom Bracket Drop




47.1cm 44.5cm 50.77cm 11cm 75o 26.7cm 40.2cm
50.1 cm 47.5cm 51.98cm 11.75cm 75o 26.7cm 40.2cm
52.1cm 49.5cm 53.49cm 12.62cm 74.4o 26.7cm 40.4cm
54.1cm 51.5cm 54.49cm 13.47cm 73.9o 26.7cm 40.56cm
55.1cm 52.5cm 55.45cm 14.4cm 73.5o 26.7cm 40.7cm
57.1cm 54.5cm 56.5cm 15.6cm 73o 26.7cm 40.9cm
59.1cm 56.5cm 57.5cm 17cm 72.6o 26.7cm 41.1cm
61.1cm 58.5cm 58.93cm 19cm 72.6o 26.7cm 41.1cm

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full on race machine

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you know the De Rosa heritage it's easy to understand why this is such a race worthy bike. Sometimes larger size frames can be a little noodley but the Protos is not at all. If you are smaller, like myself at 5'7" the ride is very stiff almost to a fault so not perfect if you have back or shoulder issues, it's a race machine, not a gran fondo toy. I was fine with it even on the small size but I just think it may not be for everyone. I have frames that I can build up with any components as well so just get in touch with me for any customization