|Hannes and his BIXXIS Titanio|
|BIXXIS Titanio - Doriano De Rosa|
|Martina De Rosa|
100 days BIXXIS
At the end of the cycling season 2015 I was hanging my bike on the hook and wondering how to survive the boring off-season. In no way I thought, that I would ride on a new bike in 2016. But – how so many times in life – it comes out differently than expected.
In late November 2015 I noticed, that Doriano De Rosa has separated from his family business „Cicli De Rosa“ and launched the new brand „BIXXIS“ (Biciclette Italiane per il XXI secolo – Italian Bikes of the 21th century) with his daughter Martina to create bespoked steel and – soon to come – titanium frames. I became curious and was regulary visiting BIXXIS on Facebook and Instagramm for further news. And the first picture of a titanium frame put a sting in my mind. But I didn´t need a new bike. So I asked myself what I really needed and noticed immediately that this was the wrong question. The correct question should have been „What do I want ?“ So I thought about who I am, how I ride, what I need and what I don´t need.
I´m a 50+ cyclist from Austria (I´m not a native english speaker – so sorry for my imperfect writing). I don´t race and I don´t do competitive group rides. I like long rides – hilly or in the mountains – and sometimes I participate in „Gran Fondos“ in Italy. In my life I had never won a single race or a serious sprint during a group ride and I suppose I never will.
It was clear: if buying a new bike there was absolute no room left for compromises. It had to be italian, „fatto su misura“, comfortable, versalite, lively, smooth and light. Not superlight, but durable. Some friends in my age are riding carbon-„superbikes“ and they still refuse to recognize that this bikes are for racers and not for us normal mortals. According to my opinion this bikes often are too stiff, too harsh and too uncomfortable. That´s why my friends get ... too tired … after some hours in the saddle. I wanted an „ageless“ bike that will still look good and not outdated after some years. When I looked at this criteria it was soon clear, that a titanium frame would meet my demands best. And could I have found a better and more experienced frame-builder than Doriano De Rosa? And like all the bikes I owned during the last 30 years the new one will be equipped with mechanical Campagnolo Chorus or Record. Disc-brakes are an absolute no-go.
Reading this lines may seem to you that I am „retro“, but I´m not. I´m just tired and bored of reading each year, that the next-year-models are xx % stiffer, xx % lighter, xx % more aero and faster. And I am tired and bored seeing this „xx % better“ bikes in the magazines and showrooms only a few month after having bought a new one. I´m not retro, but I don´t want to hassle anymore with cracking bottom-brackets and silly internal cable-routing affecting shifting and braking performance. And I don´t want to bleed disc-brakes, recharge batteries or update a software on a road-bike. I just wanted a bicycle – a pure and simple machine.
After exchanging some mails I made an appointment with Martina De Rosa and on January, 29th I traveled to the BIXXIS headquarter in Seregno near Milan. Doriano took all the time needed to take my measurements, to discuss and explain each single detail of the frame, including paint-scheme and colors. Then he invited me to a guided-tour through his workshop – what a highlight! As Martina finished tapping on her calculator I decided to order not only the frameset (frame, fork, custom Chris King headset and PMP titanium seatpost) but rather the complete bike build up with Campagnolo Record, Eurus wheels and some Deda parts. Because BIXXIS had still to wait for the titanium tubes the delivery date for my bike was unclear. But Martina kept me always up to date with some e-mails. From the moment the tubes were in house, it only took some weeks and on April, 28th I traveled again to Italy to pick up my new bike.
Please say never again, that Italians are unpunctual. Exactly at the agreed time Doriano, Martina and I met at the parking lot in front of the BIXXIS headquarter – each of us coming from another direction. With a smile on his face Doriano took „my“ bike out of his car and said: „Here it is. I hope you like it.“ Of course I liked it. It was a true masterpiece – un vero capolavoro. Forty years of experience of one of the world´s most valued framebuilders focused on a single bicycle – MY bicycle. The handover was very friendly and when I left Doriano and Martina it seemed to me that there was this particular kind of a quiet craftsman´s pride in Doriano´s eyes.
Now it´s 100 days I ride the BIXXIS Titanium. Although I don´t intend to write a full review of this bike I want to share some impressions. I don´t believe that the „best bicycle“ exists. Maybe there is the best suitable bike for a given rider and his requirements. If so, I found mine. It provides all the positive characteristica you will expect from a modern racing bike. But there are two things that deserve special mention: fit and handling. If you ride only for 1 or 2 hours many bikes will fit fine because your body adapts to the contact points (handlebar, saddle and pedals). But it´s a different game if you ride many hours and you get tired and there is no force left in your body to compensate for insufficient fit. Here the BIXXIS shines bright. No matter how long I ride and how tired I am, my position on the bike is still perfect. There is no pain in the shoulders, neck or somewhere else caused by searching a pleasant position. There is just pain in my legs from the last steep climb – nothing else. And the handling is superb. The bike is equipped with a fork developed by Dario Pegoretti – the Pegoretti „Falz“. The interaction of the frame with the fork is „magic“ - sorry, I can´t describe it any better. Fast, maneuverable and always secure in the closest curves and the most challenging descents. So maybe I was wrong and the „best bicycle“ really exists – waiting in the basement of my house for the next ride with a lousy rider. Poor BIXXIS.
Thank you for reading.
De Colnarello (Hannes)
Photo + Text-Copyright by: Hannes
Dear De Rosa fans, in case you want to contribute to my blog feel free to send in your photos, stories, articles, illustrations etc. related to De Rosa. Looking forward to your mails, Marcello – email: firstname.lastname@example.org