De Rosa will bid to make a comeback in pro tour racing with a financial and management boost from an investor group that includes former Intense Cycles CEO Andrew Herrick.
Speaking to Bicycle Retailer Herrick suggested that the investors have backed De Rosa as it can be agile against its larger competitors. “We’re not so worried about the macro economics of the industry,” he told the site, “adding that there’s always an opportunity for a small brand in this age of niche brands.”
Herrick, also the co-founder of Pedro’s, is the managing director of Outdoor Capital Partners, a US-based investment group with eyes on cycling, snowsports and ‘urban mobility’. Other recognisable industry names on the team include Eric Horton, formerly Giro’s head of design. Likewise Michelle VanGilder has background in sourcing and supply with the now Rossignol-owned Felt Bicycles.
Despite the investment, the De Rosa business remains led by Ugo De Rosa’s sons, Cristiano and Danilo. Ugo remains the company chairman, while three grandsons work at the company’s showroom.
The ambition, it is said, is to return De Rosa to the pro tour next year with an announcement on the formation of riders due shortly. Since the opening in 1953 De Rosa has built bicycles for victors of the Giro D’Italia, Tour de France and World Championships. Many of those bikes were built by Ugo himself.
In business terms, Herrick is looking to influence the business towards European and North American growth, with the gravel segment set to benefit from investment.
The modern business comprises manufacture and assembly across China, Taiwan and Italy. The catalogue recently added electric road bikes as built in Asia from carbon, but assembled in Italy. Frames found within the catalogue are made from steel, carbon, titanium and scandium.
In the UK i-Ride distribute the De Rosa brand to the bicycle trade.