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Ratio Rides: MJ’s Retro-modern De Rosa

It’s been a while since we posted a Ratio Rides article, but when we saw MJ’s unique De Rosa build we had to hear more. It’s not often you see this much attention to detail in a bike build – this is really something special!

The Rider

Hi! This is MJ, originally from Seoul, Korea but currently living in Vaasa, Finland.

My main passion was classical music as I’ve studied as a musician. However, since 2010, from the moment I sat on a road bike saddle until now when I ride my bike, learn how to do service, or even create customized components, it’s always released my stress.

I finally noticed that my true passion is something different. So recently, I have started a new chapter of my life. I’m currently working as a bike mechanic.

The SEtup

The De Rosa Neo Primato 98’ frame arrived to me on October 2021 from a dishonest seller from Italy, who hid the fact that the chainstay was poorly pinched by the previous owner.

Yes. It was a considerably scammed deal. Eventually, I couldn’t reach the seller any longer and any further solution couldn’t be found. It was very difficult to face the fact that I got a damaged frame and I did not know whether the frame could be restored.

But the restoration project began when I found a local frame builder, who has had a long enough experience as a builder.

Since the frame damage was quite significant, the restoration couldn’t be done perfectly but thankfully the structure (Diamante chainstay) got back its shape and durability.

Once the frameset was all prepared, the components were the new mission.

I considered putting the same era’s drivetrain such as 8 or 9 speed Campagnolo groupset, but I noticed that the Ratio Technology launched the 12-speed ratchet for Sram mechanical shifters.

That news changed my entire plan to move on with the Sram groupset.

Also, by the time I learned how to polish aluminum components and the DIY engraving with the electro etching method, as well as creating logo stickers with my cutting plotter.

The first version of the restored De Rosa was completed.

It worked very smoothly with 10-36 cassette and customized 46t single chainring.

However, I could face a couple of issues soon, the rust came up on the surface of the frame as it was still a bare metal frame.

Also, the aesthetics could not give me full satisfaction, as the rear derailleur and 10-36 cassette looked too bulky.

At this moment, Ratio Technology launched the 2×12 Upgrade Kit with 11t jockey wheels.

As the new plan had been made, I purchased brand new Rival 11-speed front & rear derailleurs and left shifter.

As soon as the package arrived, I disassembled all components to make a customized silver groupset inspired by Campagnolo’s old-style groupset.

The initial plan was to go with a Campagnolo 5-arm crankset with an 11 speed customised chainring, but I was lucky to find a 3rd party company that manufactured the aluminum crankset which was compatible with the Sram 8 bolt direct chainring system, and I could make a silver polished crank arm for the Sram Red AXS chainring.

Everything went quite smoothly besides the respray for the frame.

It took a total of 3 paintwork attempts that included defective paintwork by 2 different painters, but eventually, the frame got a beautiful coat of powder. Special thanks to the real professional painter who made it out perfectly.

The amount of time that I had to wait was about 2 months.

During the waiting time, I decided to make the final piece of art for the bike, which was to maximize my DIY engraving skill into a seat post and stem.

It was indeed a complicated and time-consuming procedure but in the end, the result was quite meaningful.

And eventually, the frame got all the prepared components and finally reached the moment of great rebirth after a year and several months.

the kit

If I hadn’t found Ratio’s ratchet system, the De Rosa would have never had its uniqueness. It’s working like a charm and it is crisp. Well done to the team at Ratio Technology!

One of the great creations in the cycling industry!

The Ride

This bike will be my main training bike for this year.

Unfortunately, the roads are all still covered with a bunch of snow here in Finland, so it is quite difficult to ride outside, but I can’t wait to hit the road later this spring.

And I’m planning to bring the bike to my home country for the summer holiday to test the 12-speed drive efficiency in hilly terrain.

Massive thanks to MJ for telling us about the story behind his bike. If you have a build and a story to share, just contact us.