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Verdict: 
Good but doesn't quite hit the mark especially at this price
Weight: 
8,500g

With an internally-cabled carbon frame, electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes De Rosa's Idol is pretty much the definition of today's road bike technology. It's a lovely bike to ride and dare I say it pretty to look at (sorry 'discs on road bikes' haters) but with an 8.5kg weight and an average wheelset for the price tag I can't help but feel it's a bike looking for a marketplace.

De Rosa reintroduced the Idol to their range for 2014 though rather than bring it back in its original guise they've embraced everything that's new in the cycling world. The line-up includes both rim and disc brakes with a range of kit at different price points. Our test model is the Ultegra Di2, Shimano BR-R785 hydraulic disc equipped option priced at £3699.

A planted ride, but a bit subdued

On paper the geometry places the Idol somewhere between a race bike and an endurance style machine. You've got 73° angles for the seat and head tubes to give quick handling and a forward race position but the near meter long wheelbase calms things down a bit.

This translates to the road as well. The feedback is of a solid, planted bike and you always know what it's up to and going to do. Rough surfaces do little to faze it and the Idol is a very mild mannered machine making it a decent choice for long days in the saddle.

The 54.5cm size we've got in on test actually has a 56cm top tube length and 15.4cm head tube. The 54.5 comes from the seat tube which De Rosa measure from BB to just above the top of top tube. Although the tube is curved I wouldn't go as far as to say that the Idol is a compact. For its size it has quite a long cockpit, again hinting at the performance riding it's intended for.

This allows you to adopt a flat back position in the drops for those efforts off the front or into a headwind. Spreading your weight across the bike makes for balanced descending and thanks to the tapered head tube and steerer the front end remains tight when you're pushing into the bends. The handling is quick enough to get you in and out of trouble and the Idol is fun to ride but it's not a challenge either.

This pretty much sums up the entire ride feel of the Idol. It's subdued, a bit lacking really. Accelerate it from cruising pace and yeah you get the speed increase but you don't really get anything back for your effort, it doesn't excite in a way a frame of this style should.

Climbing is hampered by the Shimano RX31 wheels. At 1831g, they're pretty heavy for the wheels on a bike that costs the thick end of four grand. We reviewed these at the end of last year and my opinion mirrors Dave's in that they are very good wheels but they aren't something you want on a lightweight speed machine.

It's a shame as they just take the fun level down a notch and don't let the Idol really show its full capabilities when attacking hills or accelerating.

I swapped in a set of lighter weight wheels from another test bike and the 300g drop in rolling weight did make a marked improvement to climbing and acceleration but it further highlighted the lack of excitement in the frame regardless of speed.

Faultless braking & shifting

This is my first long term test on Shimano's new BR-R785 hydraulics and they are literally amazing to use. There is a lot of talk about modulation when it comes to discs and this is the real bonus with the Shimano brakes; you can feel everything at the lever. The rear wheel does lock, only about the same as a pin sharp caliper brake but you can just feed out the power a tiny bit and it's instant. Not only is braking better in the wet it's more controllable too.

I was sceptical of Shimano's recommendation of 140mm rotors front and rear as previous cable or hydraulic/cable brakes I've ridden with 140mm rotors have lacked the power for heavy braking. I've much preferred the feel of 160mm discs.

With the BR-R785's it'd be overkill and after some hard braking efforts from 50+ mph there haven't been any symptoms of fade or boiling fluid.

The new hydraulic levers aren't group-specific but these Di2 options fit the hand well even with the hydraulic reservoir sitting at the top. In fact electronic shifting seems to work really well with hydraulic discs, you can modulate the braking while changing gear at the same time which is really noticeable on the twisty sections and allows you to set the bike up for the corner easier.

Di2 continues to get better and better in its operation and this latest Ultegra iteration has a much lighter feeling touch to the buttons and a smoother shift even under load. The rear mech barely looks any different from the mechanical version now which is better for aesthetics and the front is getting there.

It's a full Ultegra groupset which is what you'd expect for a bike of this price. The four arm chainset paired with that massive BB junction means stiffness under acceleration is phenomenal.

As always once set up it stays spot on. The Idol uses the latest internal version which means that once everything is installed you don't need to touch it again. When it comes to charging the battery everything is taken care of at the junction box under the stem, you just plug the USB cable in there.

The 50/34T chainset paired with an 11/25T cassette gives you a decent spread of gears though to make the ascents a touch easier on the knees.

Uprated frame for disc compatibility

The Idol Disc uses an upgraded frameset over the standard rim braked version to cope with the extra braking forces put through it from the discs.

It's a blend of T1000 (70%) and T800 (30%) Super High-Modulus carbon fibre with a lot of emphasis around the chainstays and fork legs. Using these materials and lay up De Rosa say that they've created a stiff frame that is also comfortable out on the road.

The frame shape is a common theme that we see on this style of bike. Starting with a tapered headset you get a large diameter (well it's more of a triangular profile but you get the gist) oversized downtube for tight steering and a stiff front end.

The bottom bracket uses the Pressfit BB386 standard with its size dictating the huge BB junction which practically matches the 34-tooth chainring in diameter. It certainly gets the power down in conjunction with the oversized box section chainstays. These remain narrow before kicking out at near the dropouts for extra heel clearance due to the 135mm disc hub spacing.

The upper half of the frame, top tube, seat tube and seatstays all take on a much more swooping, slender approach to absorb as much road buzz as possible from the frame, promoting much more comfort in real terms than any lay up or material choice.

The disc fork doesn't suffer from any braking force issues at all and it's very stiff in all directions. The tapered 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in diameter steerer is carbon, keeping the weight down. You get internal disc hose routing which keeps things tidy and the dropouts are for a standard 9mm quick release, as are the rear dropouts.

All the cabling on the frame is internal too using blanking plates and differing inserts depending on whether you are running electrical or mechanical shifting. It gives a tidy look to the frame and the entries on the left hand side of the down tube are staggered to avoid tight angles.

Sensible kit without being flash

The handlebars and stem are both 3T's Ergosum Pro, mid-range alloy components that marry good looks with stiffness and plenty of position options. It's a stiff set up but not over the top and works well with the frame.

The seatpost is from FSA. It would have been nice to see a 3T one to complete theme but the carbon SLK fitted does the job and is easy to adjust. I've used loads of FSA posts over the years and they always remain durable.

On top of this is a Prologo Keppa ti 2.0 saddle. Harsh would be a polite word for it I reckon. It's not uncomfortable but it's borderline. Should you be putting the miles in it would pay to invest in some decent shorts.

As I mentioned earlier the Shimano RX31 wheels are heavyweights for a bike of this cost and class. Acceleration and climbing are both blunted but on the plus side they are pretty much bombproof. These have remained true throughout the test period, they've seen some rain and salt too without any ill effects to the hub or bearings.

The Continental Grand Sport tyres roll pretty well in this 25mm guise but again could do with upgrading to make the most of the frame. Grip is good though and they've resisted punctures and cuts. You can squeeze 28mm tyres into the frame but it's tight and doesn't leave much room for foreign objects.

Conclusion

The De Rosa Idol is a nice bike. The frame looks good with all the swoopy profiles and it certainly delivers on the stiffness front while being relatively comfortable. It handles well too, nothing special but it holds a line and you get plenty of feedback through your contact points.

The frameset is £2399.99 on its own which is a massive chunk of money so it's easy to see why the budget wheels have been specced and this leads me to my biggest issue with the Idol Disc.

What is it trying to be? You can't race it, not yet anyway, because of the discs but even if you could it's way too heavy in this guise. You could spend more on lightweight wheels but then you're looking at least at a £4k build price for a bike that will struggle to compete with something half its price.

Sportive riding? Yeah okay you don't need the acceleration but the added weight of those wheels comes into play again: sportives tend to be hilly.

It's like De Rosa have taken a standard rim-braked Idol and added discs just because everyone else has. That's increased the weight and price while giving you lower spec heavy wheels but the ride and handling just doesn't have the sparkle, the wow factor that I expect from a bike at this price to justify the outlay.

Verdict

Good but doesn't quite hit the mark especially at this price

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: De Rosa Idol Disc

Size tested: 54

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame: Super Hi-modulus carbon, disc specific

Fork: Super Hi-modulus carbon, disc specific

Steerer: Tapered 1 1/8 - 1 1/4

Wheelset: Shimano RX31

Brake Levers/Gear Shifters: Shimano Hydraulic Di2

Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Brake Calipers: Shimano BR-R785 Hydraulic Discs

Chainset: Shimano Ultegra with Token Pressfit BB

Chain: Shimano Ultegra 11 speed

Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11 speed (11x25)

Handlebars: 3T Ergosum Pro

Stem: 3T Ergosum Pro

Seat Post: FSA SLK

Saddle: Prologo Keppa ti 2.0

Tyres: Continental Grand Sport

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Looking at the geometry charts the Idol is a fast endurance style frame with sporting aspirations but with an extended wheelbase and head tube to give a stable, slightly more upright ride. It delivers on the stability but is found lacking on the 'sporting'.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

The overall quality looks good although the naked raw carbon finish isn't to everyone's taste. The clean look of the internal cabling makes for a stylish uncluttered looking frame.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

A mix of T800 and T1000 high modulus carbon used in various layups and orientations to provide the ride quality, stiffness and resistance to those disc braking forces.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

For a 54cm frame it has a long top tube of 56cm which does lead to quite a stretched out position. Steep angles give tight handling.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Height is pretty standard although the reach is a bit of a stretch, geo charts are here: www.derosanews.com/english/DEROSA30_Idol_Grey_Disk.html

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

For such a stiff frame the Idol is comfortable, not what you'd call an armchair ride but fine for a few hours in the saddle.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Stiffness at the key points, head tube, fork and BB area all show little in the way of flex.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Power transfer was good through the frame. The wheels take the edge of though

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

Yes, a small amount.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Neutral, missing a bit of sparkle.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling is fine, very easy to live with and you get decent levels of feedback. The whole ride just feels a little muted though.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The saddle is quite harsh so I would change that to something a little more plush.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The alloy 3T bars and stem are very stiff without being uncomfortable.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

Change the wheels for something lighter to give the Idol a bit of a boost.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

Ultegra Di2 is a beautiful groupset that is ever improving. The levers work so well with the hydraulic setup with regards to hand position and Shimano's 11 speed cassettes give a great range of gears.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

Good wheels and tyres but so under-specced for a bike of this price.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

3T stuff is decent quality and looks good too. The bars were comfortable with their shallow drop working for riders with smaller hands.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? I could take it or leave it.

Would you consider buying the bike? No.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? No.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
6/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

The Idol just feels like it's lacking something to me, there is no real excitement. It doesn't do anything badly, it's a competent bike but at this price it's found wanting in almost every aspect.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Kinesis T2  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

39 comments

Avatar
jetblack [17 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

shame - sounds like the UK importer could of kitted the bike out with better wheels. I Ride - take note!

Avatar
twowheeltoys [60 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

If this was the type of bike I was after I would definitely go for the non Di2 version, £700 buys a lot of cables.
Also at over £3500 you are in De Rosa 888 SuperKing territory without the ‘new’ technology.

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Just the excuse needed for a wheel upgrade. And a decent set of wheels deserve a dura ace cassette, and then you may as well upgrade the chain when it needs replacing, and then a better saddle, and maybe the handlebars....  17

But at least it's not another Trek

Avatar
Bryin [37 posts] 3 years ago
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OH BOY! A bike that is heavier by a 1kg than anything in it's price range and less aero too! I am so excited to get electronic shifting and disk brakes so I can enjoy a very small improvement in front shifting and almost no improvement in braking while I spend a TON more money. Because that is what cycling is about today- SPENDING MONEY. I need to spend more than others so I can feel special. I need to show up on rides with the best bike so my mates will think I am cool.

Avatar
Kadinkski [722 posts] 3 years ago
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Bryin wrote:

OH BOY! A bike that is heavier by a 1kg than anything in it's price range and less aero too! I am so excited to get electronic shifting and disk brakes so I can enjoy a very small improvement in front shifting and almost no improvement in braking while I spend a TON more money. Because that is what cycling is about today- SPENDING MONEY. I need to spend more than others so I can feel special. I need to show up on rides with the best bike so my mates will think I am cool.

To each their own, but if that's your thing why would you get so excited by this? Its small-fry. You should get an Aurumania.

Avatar
Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
jetblack wrote:

shame - sounds like the UK importer could of kitted the bike out with better wheels. I Ride - take note!

Hi Jetblack, I'm Paul from Bike Swanky and I hear you  1

We sell and lease a lot of these bikes to our Members. They seem very popular.

The wheels are a definite area for improvement. They're heavy compared to other wheelset options. There is a good explanation why they've been specd by i-ride.

The first reason is that, as you know, i-ride import and distribute DeRosa frames in the UK. Please note that, frames. They don't bring in complete bikes. DeRosa is a frame manufacturer.

Therefore, they need to spec bikes they import themselves. You'd think that that would give them a degree of flexibility. However, they also distribute Fulcrum in the UK. Fulcrum were supposed to have launched their disc specific wheelset last year, but didn't. I-Ride are limited in their choice of other brands to select as they can't really offer wheels that compete with Fulcrum on the bikes they spec. They do distribute Token and 3T as well, but they're a lot more expensive and not OEM which brings me onto my next point:

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). I-ride have to be able to spec the bikes they distribute at a price that keeps them competitive. So they use OEM parts. When they're looking at parts to spec at OEM they have a limited parts bin to choose from. Whilst drivetrain components are available across the range from Sora to DuraAce etc, wheelsets are not. Also, remember that these are disc equipped bikes, so different levers etc are required. OEM parts have price points dependent upon the volume a company buys in. There is only 1 disc model that I-Ride bring in at the moment so the OEM prices will not be great.

Furthermore, DeRosa, Argon 18, and Orro, are niche brands. This obviously means that volumes are a lot lower than the mainstream brands, so the OEM prices for other components that I-Ride get are not as keen as say someone like Cannondale, or Giant can negotiate.

So I-Ride are having to balance a comptitive price point, with drivetrain spec options that customers demand, with finishing kits that "fit" with the marque of the brand. Which means that there has to be a compromise somewhere, and in this case it is the wheels.

Whilst these wheels are somewhat heavy compared to more expensive alternatives, they are still very good at what they were designed for. They are CX wheels. When the Idol disc was released there were very very few road disc wheels available to choose from at any price point. Quite a few manufacturers specd rebadged MTB wheels. I-Ride chose to go with CX wheels as the best compromise.

The Shimano RX31s are absolutely bomb proof. They're more than up to the job of handling the forces of the disc brakes and they cope with the motherload of potholes we're all regularly experiencing on our regular road rides.

They give the bike an added degree of flexibility for commuting as well as sportives. If you want to go faster, then there are definitely lighter wheels available. But if they were specd on the bike at the outset, I imagine that it would be closer to a £4k bike.

Finally, it's worth taking a peak at the reviewer's profile. Price point is a significant driver for him. I agree that there are less expensive options, but frankly, they are not DeRosas. Even with the RX31s fitted, the bike remains an object of utter gorgeousness:) Naturally, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm pretty sure that most people don't think it's in the eye of their bank manager.

If anyone would like to have a demo ride on an Idol disc or an Idol calliper get in touch with us on 020 8133 6432 or click on this link:
https://bikeswanky.co.uk/bike/demo-derosa-idol-disc-ultegra-11-grey

We can arrange them nationwide as we run an extensive demo fleet of our own bikes for you to try.

Avatar
Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Kadinkski][quote=Bryin wrote:

OH BOY! A bike that is heavier by a 1kg than anything in it's price range and less aero too! I am so excited to get electronic shifting and disk brakes so I can enjoy a very small improvement in front shifting and almost no improvement in braking while I spend a TON more money. Because that is what cycling is about today- SPENDING MONEY. I need to spend more than others so I can feel special. I need to show up on rides with the best bike so my mates will think I am cool.

Hi Mungecrundle

Non Di2 equipped equivalent bike reviewed here:
http://road.cc/content/review/137530-cannondale-synapse-carbon-ultegra-disc
Note the weight.

I've already noted the price BTW, but adding Di2 usually adds around £800-£1k to the price point. The equivalent Synapse, weighs the same and costs just £200 less.

As an aside, if it weighs the same as the Idol disc, but was reviewed by road.cc as being let down by the weight, and subsequently scored less, it might be argued that fair comparison was not being made.

Nevertheless, the bike could definitely be improved significantly with better wheels.

Avatar
Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Comment edited to add as reply to quote below.

Keeps it all in context  1

Avatar
Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

Just the excuse needed for a wheel upgrade. And a decent set of wheels deserve a dura ace cassette, and then you may as well upgrade the chain when it needs replacing, and then a better saddle, and maybe the handlebars....  17

But at least it's not another Trek

Couldn't agree more on all counts  1

A set of Reynolds ATR or Assaults would give the bike a "rather spanking" finish  1 LOL

Some American Classics would be a great option too. Their 19mm axles would keep it good and robust and light  1

Avatar
Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
twowheeltoys wrote:

If this was the type of bike I was after I would definitely go for the non Di2 version, £700 buys a lot of cables.
Also at over £3500 you are in De Rosa 888 SuperKing territory without the ‘new’ technology.

Hi twowheeltoys,
I invite you come and have a go on one of our Di2 equipped demo bikes.
We've found the main advantage of Di2 being when you're going uphill.
It is much smoother in the shifting if you need to do it whilst still applying power.

The latest version is equipped with firmware that allows for multiple shifts at a time if you keep the button on the lever compressed.

It's difficult to convey any advantage in words. You need to try it to feel it  1

Avatar
andygravett@gma... [9 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I have had my 2015 de rosa idol disc ultegra not di2 now for a few months, i have ridden several hundred miles on it and love it!! it goes up hills very very well and it feels fine to me weight wise , i have to run off the bike and have not had any trouble with that either so see no problem in racing it either, would suggest if you have issues racing it or hills, just train harder  3 my only upgrade was to an ISM road saddle as the standard one is not very comfortable but i have ridden ISM for the last 3 years so just used to them i suppose. 170 km wooler wheel sportive next so that will be a wee test but dont think the idol will have any issues  1

Avatar
stuke [335 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
Bike Swanky wrote:

Finally, it's worth taking a peak at the reviewer's profile. Price point is a significant driver for him.

I'm not quite sure how you've come to this conclusion, the fact that I ride an Aithien perhaps? If that's the reason, I bought that particular bike because I consider it as the best frame in its class and considering in its current build it would have a rrp around/higher than that of the Idol I wouldn't say price point is the defining factor, a relative 'value for money', yes.

Bike Swanky wrote:

I agree that there are less expensive options, but frankly, they are not DeRosas.

I guess this statement sums up why you do your job and I do mine.

I couldn't care less what badge is on the down tube, if the bike doesn't deliver what I'd expect it to for it's given price point and intended use then I will review it accordingly.

The wheels are an issue but as you'll see from the review they aren't the be all and end all. Using the Hunt 4Season wheels which are a good 350g lighter improved acceleration and climbing but still couldn't make up for what I consider a frame that is lacking in passion and excitement compared to others I've ridden either at this price point, cheaper or more expensive.

Avatar
twowheeltoys [60 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Bike Swanky wrote:
twowheeltoys wrote:

If this was the type of bike I was after I would definitely go for the non Di2 version, £700 buys a lot of cables.
Also at over £3500 you are in De Rosa 888 SuperKing territory without the ‘new’ technology.

Hi twowheeltoys,
I invite you come and have a go on one of our Di2 equipped demo bikes.
We've found the main advantage of Di2 being when you're going uphill.
It is much smoother in the shifting if you need to do it whilst still applying power.

The latest version is equipped with firmware that allows for multiple shifts at a time if you keep the button on the lever compressed.

It's difficult to convey any advantage in words. You need to try it to feel it  1

Cheers for the offer and I will not deny there will be advantages in the new technology but personally I am happy enough with good old fashioned cables especially with the price differences as they are.
To me, a luddite spec 888 Superking remains a far more appealing choice.

Avatar
Barry Fry-up [187 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Bike Swanky wrote:

Finally, it's worth taking a peak at the reviewer's profile. Price point is a significant driver for him. I agree that there are less expensive options, but frankly, they are not DeRosas. Even with the RX31s fitted, the bike remains an object of utter gorgeousness:) Naturally, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I'm pretty sure that most people don't think it's in the eye of their bank manager.

seriously, what does that even mean? you think it's pretty, so it's worth the £3.7k price tag just because of that? the fact that the less expensive options are 'not de rosas' is neither here nor there. and another disc road bike that costs exactly the same amount of money has just got a 9/10 from the same reviewer on this website.

i can't imagine what possible reason you could have for talking this bike up in the comments, i mean it's not like you're actively involved in selling them or anything. what? oh.

Avatar
Chasseur Patate [151 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Reviews and opinions are subjective, I've ridden an Idol (albeit in Campag form with Racing threes) and found it a bit of a cracker to be honest. I certainly wouldn't call the frame 'subdued' or 'nothing special'.

Still, I guess that's what test rides are for.

Avatar
Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
stuke wrote:
Bike Swanky wrote:

Finally, it's worth taking a peak at the reviewer's profile. Price point is a significant driver for him.

I'm not quite sure how you've come to this conclusion, the fact that I ride an Aithien perhaps? If that's the reason, I bought that particular bike because I consider it as the best frame in its class and considering in its current build it would have a rrp around/higher than that of the Idol I wouldn't say price point is the defining factor, a relative 'value for money', yes.

Hi Stu,
First of all, thank you for doing the review. I know it can be a somewhat thankless task. I recognise that "everyone is a critic" and I can imagine how difficult it must be to give a balanced review on any bike without someone challenging it.

Since you are riding a Kinesis Aithein I guess that means that you are sub 14 stone. The Idol doesn't have any rider weight limits.

I've no idea how tall you are but judging from the photos in your profile I'd hazard a guess that you are a very fit and capable rider.

Your comments above also indicate that you've compared the Idol to your own bike, which is only natural. It's great that you ride a British brand BTW  1

Comparing the geos, it's surprising how different bikes with very similar geos behave and perform. However, the reality is that they do.

The Aithein is a seriously rigid and fast frame, and yes, it certainly exels in it's class. Meanwhile, the Idol is a comfortable and fast frame. The carbon lay up on the Idol allows this blend. 6000 Series Alu just won't have the same properties, especially with the tubing profiles used on the Aithein. If you love the Aithein then I am not in the least surprised that you didn't like the Idol.

As for value, £650 vs £2,500? That's got to be a difficult pill to swallow too  1 However, material costs, time of manufacture, manufacturing skills, etc etc will all contribute to the price difference.

By the way, we do some work with race teams and Idols are not bikes we recommend to them. The SuperKing or King XS would be a more accurate comparison IMHO, although clearly not on price  1 The Idol remains an aspirational bike, and it will help improve an amateur racer's times and performance (with wheel upgrades). The stock bike is better suited to riders that like going on long rides or competitive sportives. It's the engine inside that'll determine what speed they average. The bike will help them remain "spritely" for handling the "ardours" of family life when they get back, instead of complaining of painful lower backs or sore necks  1

Everyone agrees that some better wheels would help it accelerate better. So maybe it just didn't meet your particular and personal requirements from a bike.

Everyone is different and everyone rides differently. The reason I've posted so much on here is that you are in a very powerful position as a reviewer and I believe that you've not given due credit to the bike itself for what it is and what it is intended for. It is your opinion and I respect that. I also have an opinion based upon someone less fit than yourself, somewhat heavier, but still an enthusiast of the sport.

Bike Swanky wrote:

I agree that there are less expensive options, but frankly, they are not DeRosas.

stuke wrote:

I guess this statement sums up why you do your job and I do mine.

I couldn't care less what badge is on the down tube, if the bike doesn't deliver what I'd expect it to for it's given price point and intended use then I will review it accordingly.

Quite the contrary actually. A perk of my job is that I get the opportunity to ride a wide variety of bikes (we run a huge demo fleet). It helps us to get a thorough understanding of the bikes, so that we can give clear and impartial advice to our Members. I've been on club rides with bikes our £700 Roux bikes to £5000+ Argon 18s. They all give me great pleasure and they're pretty damned good. They all do their job very well indeed. At around the £2k-£3k mark it is very difficult indeed to find a "bad" bike nowadays. Different criteria come into effect that are maybe more ethereal. It's a shame that the DeRosa did not "float your boat" so to speak, but it does for me and most other people that ride it.

Furthermore, I wasn't making a point about the badge on the bike. We sell and lease over 50 brands of bike. DeRosa often stand out as being a brand that conveys real artistry and flair in their frame designs. We've not found that this negates the function of their frames at all, but actually enhances it. The simple fact is that you pay for this. With other mainstream brands it does sometimes seem that the art goes as far as paintwork, or flair is at the expense of function. But hey, that's just my opinion.

stuke wrote:

The wheels are an issue but as you'll see from the review they aren't the be all and end all. Using the Hunt 4Season wheels which are a good 350g lighter improved acceleration and climbing but still couldn't make up for what I consider a frame that is lacking in passion and excitement compared to others I've ridden either at this price point, cheaper or more expensive.

Passion and excitement? Really? I tend to find that comes from within.  1
What would be really useful as a comparison would be to be able to compare like with like. Did you take the bike on the same route you've taken others on using Strava? It could give a more objective comparator to use?

I can assure you that the many Members who have Idol discs from us feel very passionate and excited when they ride their bikes  1 Their smiles say it all really.

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
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twowheeltoys wrote:
Bike Swanky wrote:
twowheeltoys wrote:

If this was the type of bike I was after I would definitely go for the non Di2 version, £700 buys a lot of cables.
Also at over £3500 you are in De Rosa 888 SuperKing territory without the ‘new’ technology.

Hi twowheeltoys,
I invite you come and have a go on one of our Di2 equipped demo bikes.
We've found the main advantage of Di2 being when you're going uphill.
It is much smoother in the shifting if you need to do it whilst still applying power.

The latest version is equipped with firmware that allows for multiple shifts at a time if you keep the button on the lever compressed.

It's difficult to convey any advantage in words. You need to try it to feel it  1

Cheers for the offer and I will not deny there will be advantages in the new technology but personally I am happy enough with good old fashioned cables especially with the price differences as they are.
To me, a luddite spec 888 Superking remains a far more appealing choice.

Yep - we've got one of those on demo with a Record build too  1 LOL Absolutely awesome bike. It comes with a warning sticker saying refuses to be ridden slowly  1

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
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Barry Fry-up wrote:

seriously, what does that even mean? you think it's pretty, so it's worth the £3.7k price tag just because of that? the fact that the less expensive options are 'not de rosas' is neither here nor there. and another disc road bike that costs exactly the same amount of money has just got a 9/10 from the same reviewer on this website.

Hi Barry
If you mean this review: http://road.cc/content/review/149005-mason-definition-road-bike then I have 2 words for you:
"Dom" "Mason".

Dom is a frame design wizard and is extremely highly regarded. Snr DeRosa designed frames for Eddy Merckx and is also well regarded  1

Oh, and Dom also designed the Aithein, Stu's bike of choice. A little bit of hero worship is slightly inevitable  1 It takes one to know one, I think Dom's prodcuts are fantastic as well.

Oh and BTW, check this out: http://www.bianchibikes.co.uk/bianchi_infinito_cv_disc_ultegra_di2

Price £5,600. Same rims I believe  1

Value is all relative  1

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Barry Fry-up [187 posts] 3 years ago
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Bike Swanky wrote:

Hi Barry
If you mean this review: http://road.cc/content/review/149005-mason-definition-road-bike then I have 2 words for you:
"Dom" "Mason".

Dom is a frame design wizard and is extremely highly regarded. Snr DeRosa designed frames for Eddy Merckx and is also well regarded  1

Oh, and Dom also designed the Aithein, Stu's bike of choice. A little bit of hero worship is slightly inevitable  1 It takes one to know one, I think Dom's prodcuts are fantastic as well.

Oh and BTW, check this out: http://www.bianchibikes.co.uk/bianchi_infinito_cv_disc_ultegra_di2

Price £5,600. Same rims I believe  1

Value is all relative  1

so what's your point? again? you think dom's bikes are fantastic, but because stu has bought one of these fantastic bikes, he's now bent? should he buy a bike that isn't fantastic? you're not really making much sense.

You'll have to convince me that the snr de rosa who made merckx's bikes had anything to do with the technical aspects of this one, because i'm pretty far from convinced of that at the moment.

value isn't relative, it's absolute. a bike is either good value, or it isn't. if that £5.6k bianchi rides like the absolute best bike in the whole wide world, it might be good value even though it's very dear. the de rosa doesn't quite, in stu's (bent) opinion, so the value equation doesn't stack up so good.

mostly i'm waiting for the review of this: http://road.cc/content/news/149354-just-rose-xeon-cdx-4400

less than two grand for hydraulic discs on a bike that weighs a full kilo less than the de rosa? if it's a goodun, then *that's* what i'd call value.

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
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Barry Fry-up wrote:

so what's your point? again? you think dom's bikes are fantastic, but because stu has bought one of these fantastic bikes, he's now bent? should he buy a bike that isn't fantastic? you're not really making much sense.

You'll have to convince me that the snr de rosa who made merckx's bikes had anything to do with the technical aspects of this one, because i'm pretty far from convinced of that at the moment.

value isn't relative, it's absolute. a bike is either good value, or it isn't. if that £5.6k bianchi rides like the absolute best bike in the whole wide world, it might be good value even though it's very dear. the de rosa doesn't quite, in stu's (bent) opinion, so the value equation doesn't stack up so good.

mostly i'm waiting for the review of this: http://road.cc/content/news/149354-just-rose-xeon-cdx-4400

less than two grand for hydraulic discs on a bike that weighs a full kilo less than the de rosa? if it's a goodun, then *that's* what i'd call value.

Hey Barry. Thanks for that. QED  1

If you're determined to mismatch what I'm saying and put words into my mouth which I'm clearly not communicating at all, then there's very little point continuing the convo with your good self  1

P.S. Stu, are you able to clarify whether the bike was weighed with or without pedals.

Here's the DeRosa story for everyone: http://www.derosanews.com/english/S1_Story_Company.html

Here's Rose's story: http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/content/about-rose/history

I'll let everyone draw their own conclusions  1

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Just found this interesting section from the Bowlan Palace review by Stu:

"The handling is quick without being overly skittish, though you've got to treat it with respect. If you need to change your line at speed the slightest input will do it. Over compensate, though, and you've got a tussle on your hands.

That's in no way a criticism at all; it's how a race bike should handle, bike and rider as one with a smooth change of direction from you changing the bike's position, with pin-point accuracy. Get it right on a fast twisty descent and it's a lovely feeling as the Palace banks from one direction to the next. It becomes addictive."

I imagine that is what Stu finds to be a criteria for a frame with "passion" and "excitement".

Great on a race specific bike; not so helpful for most cyclists who want a beautiful bike that is fast and will keep them perpendicular to the ground  1

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dave atkinson [6319 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

Just found this interesting section from the Bowlan [sic] Palace review by Stu

Stu tests a lot of bikes for us. 66 is the runnning total, i think, since 2009. Some are race bikes, some are not. There are singlespeeds, tourers, commuters, flat barred bikes, disc bikes, high-end racers, the works. He has a breadth of knowledge of many different types of riding and many different types of bike, which he's able to draw upon to write a review.

if you 'imagine' that he has one particular thing that he's looking for in every bike, based on two paragraphs out of one of those 66 reviews, then you 'imagine' in error.

Quote:

Your comments above also indicate that you've compared the Idol to your own bike

no, they don't. you were suggesting that stu liked a cheap bike, he was asking whether it was because he rides an aithein. that doesn't 'indicate' anything of the sort. you're the only one making that comparison.

but since you are, and since you're claiming that the idol is a 'comfort' sort of a bike, it's worth me pointing out that the stack-to-reach ratio of the 54cm idol is 1.39, which is very much in race territory, and almost identical to the superking 888, at 1.38.

Quote:

I also have an opinion

yes, you do. yours isn't really impartial though, since you sell de rosas. if i sold de rosas, i'd say they were good. but thanks for sharing.

You're calling the idol 'aspirational'. we're calling it 'good' - that's what three and a half stars means. It could be better. but it is good, take heart from that, eh.

All bikes are weighed without pedals, by the way.

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notfastenough [3725 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I like fast bikes, but ones with neutral handling. Indeed, I passed up the opportunity for the Aithien because I'm not the most confident descender, so maybe the Idol would suit me.

However, you know what? Bike swanky, you should probably stop digging. As it stands, the bike is still a looker and will handle differently with different kit, for different people to form different opinions.

You'd be far better leaving it at that, than making people think twice about engaging in a dead-end discussion with Bike Swanky where any opinion that disagrees with yours is to be argued with ad infinitum.

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 3 years ago
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As an actual owner of a De Rosa Idol, this very model, who has paid over actual cash at an actual bikeshop, and actually rides it whenever I can, maybe my opinion might count?

I could of bought a similar spec bicycle from another manufacturer for about £600 less.

The De Rosa is approx. 1Kg heavier than my old steel framed bike which is vintage 1998.

The De Rosa does feel slightly dead compared to my old bike, which fairly 'twangs' when putting the power down.

The wheels on the De Rosa are not brilliant, even I can feel them dragging at speed compared to the Mavic Ksyriums on my old bike.

But...

Overall the De Rosa is faster and I can climb off after 2 hours without the neck and shoulder ache that was starting to seriously impinge on my enjoyment of cycling.

Trek, Specialised, Cannondale etc; All very fine bikes but I wanted something a little bit not mainstream, and I really like the lines of the De Rosa. Basically I enjoy owning something that is beautiful as well as functional.

It would be nice to have my decisions vindicated by a 5 star rating from a respected reviewer of these things, but I'm perfectly happy with my choice as the bike does exactly what I need it to, and better still I now have the perfect excuse for some Reynolds Assaults.

M

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

I like fast bikes, but ones with neutral handling. Indeed, I passed up the opportunity for the Aithien because I'm not the most confident descender, so maybe the Idol would suit me.

However, you know what? Bike swanky, you should probably stop digging. As it stands, the bike is still a looker and will handle differently with different kit, for different people to form different opinions.

You'd be far better leaving it at that, than making people think twice about engaging in a dead-end discussion with Bike Swanky where any opinion that disagrees with yours is to be argued with ad infinitum.

Hello notfastenough,

It's very easy to misunderstand intention in a forum type environment. Comments made "tongue in cheek" can come across as a "dig". I may have been guilty of misunderstanding others' comments too.

My intention was to give another point of view, to be as informative as possible and yes, challenge something that I disagreed with. I certainly do not set out to offend or disagree for the sake of disagreeing. I'm a cyclist first, business owner second. Perhaps I have been too direct in my written comments without clarifying my intention. An infected and fractured knee-cap can make you a little grumpy  1

Inevitably sticking my head above the parapet leaves me vulnerable to all sorts of feedback. I fully acknowledge that any reviewer does exactly the same thing when they review, so "chapeau" to Stu for keeping up the reviews.

At the end of the day I think that it's great that people like Stu do what they do and road.cc make reviews of products accessible to cyclists to give them a point of reference to make their decisions.

Enjoy a bank holiday full of riding everyone. Sunday isn't looking too pretty our way - No steel bikes that day  1

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
notfastenough wrote:

I like fast bikes, but ones with neutral handling. Indeed, I passed up the opportunity for the Aithien because I'm not the most confident descender, so maybe the Idol would suit me.

However, you know what? Bike swanky, you should probably stop digging. As it stands, the bike is still a looker and will handle differently with different kit, for different people to form different opinions.

You'd be far better leaving it at that, than making people think twice about engaging in a dead-end discussion with Bike Swanky where any opinion that disagrees with yours is to be argued with ad infinitum.

Hello notfastenough,

It's very easy to misunderstand intention in a forum type environment. Comments made "tongue in cheek" can come across as a "dig". I may have been guilty of misunderstanding others' comments too.

My intention was to give another point of view, to be as informative as possible and yes, challenge something that I disagreed with. I certainly do not set out to offend or disagree for the sake of disagreeing. I'm a cyclist first, business owner second. Perhaps I have been too direct in my written comments without clarifying my intention. An infected and fractured knee-cap can make you a little grumpy  1

Inevitably sticking my head above the parapet leaves me vulnerable to all sorts of feedback. I fully acknowledge that any reviewer does exactly the same thing when they review, so "chapeau" to Stu for keeping up the reviews.

At the end of the day I think that it's great that people like Stu do what they do and road.cc make reviews of products accessible to cyclists to give them a point of reference to make their decisions.

Enjoy a bank holiday full of riding everyone. Sunday isn't looking too pretty our way - No steel bikes that day  1

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Hey Dave,
We'll discuss all that over coffee and cake some time  1
I ride DeRosas and it's the way that they ride that makes me want to make them accessible to more cyclists; rather than we sell DeRosas so lets promote them.
I'm glad you're passionate about what you do, and I'm sure you understand that I am too  1
Believe it or not, I am on your side. I've missed the industry school class which taught "Thou shalt not challenge a journalist" What a Luddite I am! :)LOL
Hope your back continues to improve, fella.

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noodle man [19 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I recently bought the di2 disc version of this bike and have to say i was shocked at the weight. I have changed the bars to ritchey wcs carbon and the saddle to a selle italia slr kit carbonio. Ive also put dura ace crank plus Fsa k light seatpost and vision metron 40 tubular wheels on the bike. While i'm aware this has added hugely to the cost of the bike, it has transformed it from a comfortable, gorgeous bike into something much more competitive. None of the changes i made were strictly necessary but if you have lightweight racing bikes in your stable and buy one of these, the weight really is a shock.
I absolutely love the bike now but would i recommend buying one in its standard form? Probably not.

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Bike Swanky [66 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Hello Noodle man,

That sounds like you've created a real dream machine! Sounds like you've made some fantastic upgrades. Do you have any pics?

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crikey [1251 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Hmmm.
Bike Swanky, you should realise that you're not actually doing yourself or the product much good...

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