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1988 De Rosa Professional SLX

Bike tags: Road bike | 61cm | columbus slx | de rosa | Dura-Ace 7402 | more tags >>
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Stranger things have happened, but two De Rosa Professionals in Rosso Team had me questioning
the Space-Time Continuum. While I have been actively looking for an early to mid 70s 60-61cm Team Blue
sample from the heyday of Ugo De Rosa's time, this latest '88 De Rosa Pro SLX turned up at my veritable
doorstep, just too good to pass up (Thank you JP!). I had presumably bought my very last red bike
with the Colnago Super in Saronni colors. This beast makes a few firsts for me. This is my first
Columbus SLX frame, this after all Columbus SL and Reynolds 531. It's also my first time rolling on
anything other than Campagnolo Nuovo & Super Record. And it's my very first index shifting bike of any
kind, having avoided it for too many years to admit. I was anti-index on principle.

Up until a short time ago, the idea of running Shimano on something as verifiably Italian as a De Rosa,
would have left me shaking my head, even if Dura-Ace. It was taboo. But truth be told, before this
time in the whole Campagnolo vs Shimano war, Campy still had the edge. But by the time more runs of
Dura-Ace 7400 were coming into prime, I think Campag C-Record, as beguiling as it was, dropped to
second place performance-wise. One lap of this island on this Dura-Ace Group left me incredulous.
Simply put, this drivetrain walked all over my very best sample of Campagnolo Super Record and
performed far better then the C-Record samples I have been privy to. No doubt about it as it was
smoother and faster shifting, and worked without a single hiccup, unlike some of Campag's forays
into the land of index shifting. And moving the DT shifters to friction brought equally fast and smooth
shifts. It was eye opening, indeed. Not only that, but the Dura-Ace 7402 RD was not bad to look at,
either. Ditto for the Dura-Ace 7410 crankset, arguably the best looking of ALL the Dura-Ace
cranksets. For the first time ever, I acually preferred the performance AND aesthetics of this Dura-Ace
to the C-Record although there is still a fondness for the pure beauty of the C-Record Crankset. Still,
there is no arguing the performance of this beast. Campagnolo was in second place. Ok, Italy is still
alive on this beast as there IS a later Campag Record FD, SR Seat Post, not to mention the Cinelli bars,
stem, and Italian San Marco Concor. And some Kudos to France for my favorite clinchers and the rather
rare Mavic 305 Headset, built like the proverbial Brick...

This 61cm '88 SLX sample differs from my 59cm '83 Columbus SL De Rosa Pro with a flat fork
crown vs the chrome sloping "aero" crown. I love the chrome on my 83 but marginally prefer the
aesthetics of the flat crown on the 88. The later SLX frame also has such embellishments as
chromed chainstays, chromed dropouts, and even a little heart in the rear brake bridge. Around
this time, the De Rosa shop was moving from the small place below their home, into a full-fledged
factory. True, De Rosa was now able to crank out some frames, perhaps leaving a bit of that
cottage feel of the earlier era, even post investment cast lugs. STILL, the workmanship of
this sample is VERY clean.

The ride? It's pure De Rosa 100%. While the early 70s samples, complete with heart cutouts and pressed
lugs filed with care, were surely the most collectable, the 80s De Rosa seem to handle/perform at
another level. This SLX frame is just such a beast. Succinctly put, it's my new favorite on the road
perhaps usurping the Ciöcc as my go-to bike when hauling ass with the carbon partrol looking for blood.
The Ciöcc still corners the best of all my bikes, even though the largest, although this De Rosa SLX is
very close. Interestingly, it's wheelbase is a good 3/4th an inch LONGER then my 83 Ciöcc, which was a
surprise. I might slap this entire drivetrain on the Ciöcc to compare. But right now, this damn thing
is frustrating my riding partner with his Specialized Tarmac 2 Pro. I told him he needs to
stop riding robot-turned plastic.

This bike is in amazing condition, draws plenty of praise, and is just GREAT on the road at speed.
With the Dura-Ace, it's now my smoothest performing bike. It's not going anywhere. And it
reaffirms my love for this era of Italian frame, even though now partnered with the best of Japan.

- kh


Frame & Tubing
'88 De Rosa Professional SLX ~ 61cm C-C ST ~ 59.5 TT ~ Columbus SLX Tubing ~ De Rosa/Campag Dropouts

Fork and Headset
De Rosa w/Flat Crown & De Rosa Engraving (Columbus SLX) ~ Mavic 305 Race Headset

Handlebars and Stem
Cinelli Campione del Mondo 66-44 ~ Cinelli XA 120mm ~ Ambrosio Bike Ribbon

Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7402 with 7402 Levers ~ Dura-Ace Anatomical Aero Hoods

Front Derailleur
Campagnolo Record

Rear Derailleur
Shimano Dura-Ace 7402

Shimano Dura-Ace SIS 8spd

Shimano Dura-Ace Hyperglide 8spd (12,13,14,15,17,19,22,26)

Crankset and Bottom bracket
175 Shimano Dura-Ace 7410 53/39 & Dura-Ace BB

Pedals and Chain
Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7401 / Dura-Ace HG 8spd

Saddle and Seat Post
Selle San Marco Concor Supercorsa / Campagnolo Super Record Post - 27.2

Front wheel
Mavic Reflex S.U.P. CD (32) ~ Dura-Ace 7402 Hub ~ Michelin Pro 2 Race

Rear wheel
Mavic Open 4 CD (32) ~ Dura-Ace 7402 ~ Michelin Pro 2 Race

Water Cage

21.7 lbs

People who friended this bike camchris1, wonderkid, norskagent, Cornell, alemar, nikita, J C, eaglerock, ColumbusSLX, knapprobert, Splined, Zephyrus, Wouterk, campystamp, Olej, noisyknees, TeenageShutdown., nononopositivism, the fumingator, thegrither, Fio, fanatic, moik, solofe, GEORGEPALMA, Vagrant, williamrogers, plexitone, 212swat, Sheltron IV, bdawe, Baroudeur, Jon-one, stalag13, Dannick, grobinson, ModaBisikleta, uli, cannonhugodale, Rustee, per.k, xian7, dan_young


Helium's would look superb on this machine. They are very very light factory quotes 1.5 kg for a pair and the bearings are so smooth. I use them and they are my to go to wheels when I need to roll, especially uphill.

Kindest regards


Sigh . . .

A real beaut! Very, very pretty!

I think the DA 7400/ 7402 RDs were prettier than the present versions. The cage also seemed more rigid.


Ashok Captain

Pune, India? I love that...

Never mind the Dura-Ace 7402, I just love the fact that someone in Pune, India is staring at this De Rosa SLX. Thanks for the comment and I completely agree with you. I was just thinking this the other day how this generation of Dura-Ace actually had the best combination of industrial function with aesthetic beauty. This is what's a bit over the top about the C-Record to me. It lost the purpose with swooping form over function. And the later post 7400 series Dura-Ace lost some of this quality the 7400 has. The 7402 reminds me of a more jewel-like Campag Super Record RD. BTW, dont get me wrong. I'm still totally in the Campagnolo camp for vintage rides. All my favorite bikes from the earlier era came with either NR or SR. But this HAS opened my eyes a bit.

A good combo.

I like the combination of components. I still don't have a modern ten speed. Most of mine are 9 or lower geared. Even my Miyata one thousand touring from I think 86 is only 8 speed on the rear cassette. Your DeRosa is a pleasure to behold.


kindest regards


And where...

...are the photos of this Miyata?

Anyway... My retinas are buzzing just looking at it.

Sadly, you are quite right; Campagnolo never really got indexing right in the C-Record era. Ergo brifters solved that problem (better than Shimano's STI, at least for my taste), but they bought that off Sachs. If you're going to do 7-speed Campy or less, friction is much less headache.

Ye olde eaglerock muses, " My retinas are buzzing just looking at it." Doesn't sound like a very pleasant experience, especially with that punctuation. Ironically, the '83 De Rosa's red is actually the most powerful, almost jumping out in 3-D, like no other red I've seen. While the 88 SLX is close, it does not quite have the depth of the 83. The last thing I wanted was another red bike, actually. Yet I already feel attached to this one after a short amount of time. I have some nice bikes but I feel more attachment on a personal level to my De Rosa bikes then all the others. I take that back. I do love the Raleigh pair. And there is a Pogliaghi Italcorse that will one day grace this site. I have more than a fondness for this early 70's frame. And you can rest assured, it will be Campagnolo NR, friction and all, just like old times. But there is something about the De Rosas.

"robot-turned plastic"

Love it. I've yet to get dropped by the carbon patrol on my 21.2 lb. Professional SLX. I log almost identical times on it as with my 18.0 lb. steel Bianchi with 10-spd carbon/ti Record, which is the closest thing I have to a "modern" bike. There's just something about the Pro SLX that works better.

Performance aside, you'll never convince me that DA's aesthetics exceed those of C-Record. (:

Heh. Yeah, probably right.

Yeah, I was waiting to see how long it would take before someone would opine, "Are you insane? Dura-Ace better looking than C-Record???" I'm right there with you and used to love C-Record, especially that original crank. I guess I'm talking earlier 1st gen C-Record here, mainly. Like the infamous Deltas, the RD looks a bit over the top. As if they lost some of the purpose/form driven aesthetic of the earlier beasts. I used to lust after it at one point but now it almost looks slightly bombastic. I probably wouldnt be saying this quite so strongly if not for the performance difference, though. It was slightly shocking, although admittedly, C Record when on point can do great (and I've never driven later C-Record). To be honest, I would have NEVER bought Dura-Ace as I considered it slightly sacrilegious to team it up on 80s Italian. This beast flipped my perspective and opened my thought on it.


Yes, I think the primary Dura Ace RD advantage is the dropped parallelogram design. It's just snappier, and they had it a couple years before my beloved Italians went along. I don't think any indexing system works well without it. I've actually found the much-maligned Syncro II system works great as long as it's mated to the G3 C-Record rear (with dropped parallelogram design).

De-Licious (sorry, hah)

Another beautiful bike abstrait. I dont mean this as a criticism but why the random Campag-components (seatpost and FD)? Thanks for sharing and putting the effort into the always enjoyable notes!


Thanks for the comment. I'm just shocked that someone read those damn notes. I need to buy you a beer for that alone. Yeah, the seatpost that came embedded in this beast was longer than my left arm might feel after carrying my wife's luggage up to row ZZZ at the Dean Dome. I'm pretty tall and push most of my SP to the min insertion line, but this thing was frightening. I could have used it to support my mailbox. I seemingly have more Campagnolo seatposts then brain cells, so on it went. As for the FD, it's what came with it. I dont personally own a FD after 1983 Campag SR. After eying the look of the Dura-Ace 7400 FD, I'm not too upset about this omission, either. Still, it might just bug me enough to act.


amazing bike - so much class and character.
Glad you were able to acquire it!

Thanks again

Thanks, jp...I owe you one. I would have never known it existed right down the road, all under lock and key, this in a brick ranch owned by a 5'1 retired office record keeper, now a seamstress. She didn't know a De Rosa from a Cabbage Patch Doll. The transaction was too bizarre; the circumstances more then convoluted. She rolled it out of her house like it was a sotted mule. I was flabbergasted by the strange juxtaposition.

okay, hold on a minute

I think we're going to need a back story here. Not so much an explanation of why someone with little knowledge of such a bike would own it; more an explanation of why a 5'1" person would own a bike far too big for her to ever ride...

I bet you put on your best

I bet you put on your best poker face when she wheeled it out!

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