As you might imagine, we have a pretty long reading list these days, and scour a lot of sites for news and insight. One that I picked up on the other day had an interesting post about DeRosa's new bike, which by all evidence is a white-labeled frame out of a Chinese company's catalog. It was on display at the Taipei show, available as a private label frame for all and sundry. I think we actually considered this frame.
For those who don't know DeRosa's history, the brand is a titan of Italian cycling history. Many of Merckx's greatest victories were gained on DeRosa frames, and Francesco Moser won the World Championship on a DeRosa.
So what does this say? First, it says that the famed Italian aesthetic is nearly as good as ours - a graphically sparse presentation on a matte-finished 3k weave looks great, doesn't it? As Paris Hilton would say - that's hot.
Second, the viability of supplying frames in this manner is too attractive and prevalent to be ignored. We're building a brand from scratch and have a lot on the line - our personal integrity and significant investments. We aren't entrusting the continuance of one of cycling's most storied names to what we're doing, but from all appearances that's exactly how the custodians of top brands are proceeding.
For a brand with one of the richest histories in the sport, which sponsors some very high profile teams teams (Fly V Australia), the recognition that private label frames from OEM manufacturers are so worthy gives us tremendous confidence that we are merely at the forefront of a transformation that has become nearly inevitable.
If you look closely, you can also see that they have taken the chance to slap a bit of Capital Letter technology onto the frame. Funny.