A De Rosa Story.

Apr 21 2012

Those 3 bikes were found inside a gas station years ago. A guy stopped at a gas station, filled the tank and went to pay inside. Inside,cycling pix were hanging, so  a little chat ensued,and this guy found out that some bikes would be potentially for sale, but he didnt know what. So they agreed to meet few days later,and our friend thought there was going to be a Benotto track bike,but man, was he wrong.

He entered the dark garage. Guy behind lights up the place. A row of bikes hanging in front, at the other end of the room. Walked close, trying to understand what brands the bikes were. Recognized the Legnano right away, but for the other three, he had to get close. Once below the bikes, he looked at the downtubes…DE ROSA!!!

Guy turned around,telling the owner.”Hey man,but these are De Rosa!” And the guy, [owner/mechanic] turned his face like he was worried,like [he’s] losing a sale,because the bikes weren’t what were expected.

“Yes,De Rosas,my father and me, managed pro teams, and i was mechanic as well.”

To make a long story short,those bikes belonged to ex-pro racers, and were official Sammontana bikes from the early 80s.

[He] went back 2 days later,cash in hand,negotiations were made,once the final amount was rolled out the hands,the ex-owner,grabs an extra 50 euros ,saying ” for the coffee!” and the guy goes “Ok!!”-turns around,and spread his arms and in a hook-like move, sweeps the track wheels, plus wheel covers from the garage,and says “You know,i get flats a lot!”

[On the way back] the car smelled like a dusty, greasy garage.

Gradi’s De Rosa had some sorta of city bike front wheel on it. There is an extra set of wheels, with his name on them. There is a wheel ,that probably belonged to Francesco Moser,with F:M: on it,and Ugo confirmed that it could totally be his wheel(dude managed Moser back then).

I brought the bikes to Milano ,to get them certified,thats why Ugo is measuring the bikes. He was cool,but the son wasn’t. Dude is a tall mofo,and smokes like a chimney.

He[Ugo] pretty much confirmed that the bikes belonged to Gradi and Argentin. I’ve been able to meet Gradi, and he confirmed the ex-ownership of the bike…

meanwhile, I haven’t been able to meet Argentin, but I know that he is not to keen to meet fans.

-GS Guccilife

(While this story is certainly atypical and extraordinary, we should all remember the time that existed before eBay, when the legwork involved in finding classic bicycles was all part of the purchase and the only network backing up the search was word of mouth.

As with all things the internet has simplified many tasks-at the same time eliminating human interaction and cheapening passed down knowledge. eBay strengthens the reach and weakens the integrity of bicycle searching-experts are created by staring at a screen instead of working in a shop, talking to older more experienced riders and industry types, and riding their bikes.

Time moves on, I know, but this story gives you a real taste of the PreBay World. )