A Kingly De Rosan Afternoon

De Rosa King 3
De Rosa King 3

I went by the bike shop today to meet up with someone selling his Giant ’07 OCR C1. It had few miles on it and it was a size L. Edward from the Giant shop inspected it for me and told me that it was worth $1,200, no more. That confirmed what I had thought. My guess was that it wasn’t worth more than $1,000. Sure it hadn’t been ridden much, but the new equivalent bikes from Giant were going for the same price that he wanted for his 3-year old bike.

Anyway, this was beside the point, since when I tried it out, it felt too big. I usually ride M sized frames. This was an L. It was too big. I told him that for the price that he wanted for his old bike, I could snag up a top-of-the-line ’09 Kuota KOM frame with about 1,000 km on it and fit it out with crap components which I could upgrade over time.

De Rosa King 3
De Rosa King 3

It was nice meeting him and going to the shop again. At the shop, Edward told me that he had sold his TIME VXRS Ulteam to get the De Rosa King 3 in lightning green, which he had hanging around in his shop for a few weeks. He told me that he also sold an Orbea Orca to a girl. Things are booming at the shop. He outfitted the King 3 in Campy Super Record 11. It looked very good. His gut feeling is that Record 10 is better than Super Record 11, but he hasn’t tried it out enough yet. I told him that if you consider the price, SRAM Red is slightly better than Campy, but at that point, it gets down to personal preference.

I found it hard to try out the bike in busy alleys. I would have preferred to take out the bike onto a bike path for 30 minutes and really ride it. That’s what I will do in the future. Riding a bike around for about 10 minutes didn’t give me a good idea. The bike felt big, too big for my taste. It wasn’t nervous at all and it was pretty slow.


Edward told me that the ’10 Giant models started trickling in over that past few weeks. They had a preliminary book for the ’10 models. I didn’t have the time to check it out, but I will. The seller was actually an avid mountain biker and he was looking to purchase a Giant Reign X 0 but was frustrated to find out yesterday that the X 0 won’t be sold in Taiwan, at least that’s what his Giant shop told him. He didn’t check with Edward, but I got the feeling that they could order in pretty much anything he wanted.

You can get a ’09 Pinarello Prince outfitted with Bora wheels and Campy Super Record 11 for $7,500 in the US. I had found out that the Pinarellos were made in Taiwan. Logic dictates that they would be quite a lot cheaper than the $4,500 price for a frameset. I haven’t yet sat down and talked this through with Edward, but he knows that I know. I’d expect the same bike to sell for something like $5,500-6,000. These frames are ordered directly from the factory here and aren’t sent out of time. This is true for the Wilier frames as well. They are made by Mitsubishi.

I had researched the King 3 frames by De Rosa before, but I couldn’t remember what had put me off them. The frame did look gorgeous, but I didn’t take the time to inspect it closely. The frameset costs about $5,300 in the US, but I had been put off some of their paint schemes. They looked too simple and the bike had received some mixed reviews from users.

Basically, the frame weighs about 1,120 kg and the paint job sucks. There is no clear coat on it and it can easily be damaged. Sounds strange on such a premium frame. The finishing on a Colnago EPS and TIME RXR Ulteam look really good compared to this cheap finish. The same can be said for the Wilier Cento. It has a cheap quality to it. That’s not all. When I discovered the issue with the shifting problems, I completely disregarded Wilier from my list.

So for now, it’s still looking good for a second-hand KOM. My budget is about $2,000 for a complete bike and getting stuff second-hand saves me a bundle. Just to give you an idea, a new ’09 Kuota KOM frame costs $2,400, ’09 SRAM Red costs $1,400 new, Fulcrum Racing Zeros cost $1,200 new. This doesn’t even include odds and ends, like handlebar tape, etc. Luckily, the frame I’m looking at comes with a Kuota Katch stem/handlebar as well as a headset. I can get SRAM Red second hand for about $850. However, I won’t be getting that in the beginning. I’ll be getting cheaper components in order to keep the price within my budget. I’m sure that I can scrounge up an old Dura Ace set or Ultegra at an affordable price.


At the shop, I spotted a Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile from ’07 equipped with Campagnolo Record. I didn’t have time to browse, so I’ll be back later in the week to ask prices. I also checked out the Colnago EPS outfitted with Super Record that one of the boys at the shop owns.

It was fun going there. Things will settle down once I have my own frameset. I don’t mind waiting a few weeks to build it up, which is probably what will happen. That way, the budget can be increased and I’ll get the components and wheelset that I want. All second-hand of course, since I won’t be paying a premium to get new stuff. However, I’ll have my LBS build it up for me and get me the odds and ends.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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