Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bristol, British Isles
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De Rosa built some of the Team Molteni bikes from 1974 to 1976 and then the C&A team 1977-8 - others during this time were built by Kessels. Most of the Molteni team DR built frames were plainer than the standard offering from De Rosa in the period – the lugs did not feature heart cutouts, there was no heart engraving in the fork crown and the seatstay caps were not even engraved De Rosa.
Jan Heine's The Competition Bicycle
has a number of pictures of a De Rosa that was used by Merckx in the 1974 season. The fork crown is not even chromed.
Below are some pics of what I am now certain is an ex-Team Molteni De Rosa frame which I suspect is from 1975, the bottom bracket DT and ST ports both feature hearts and the chainstays are the DR pattern diamond shape. It does have a chromed fork crown. Looking at some pictures of Team Molteni bikes from these years you certainly see that some frames have the chrome fork crown:
And here is picture I collected from somewhere (apologies to the original photographer for not crediting them but I have not kept a record of where I found this picture) on the net of another ex Molteni Team bike showing once again the plain lugs and fork crown.
There are exceptions - there's one picture of Merckx racing on a DR with DR panto'd chainset at http://chainedrevolution.com/CS/phot...picture16.aspx
And on Speedbicycles.com there's a Merckx De Rosa that is supposedly 1973 (the year before DR was officially supplying any TM frames) which has heart cutouts in the lugs etc…
De Rosa (like some other top Italian builders) also certainly supplied some riders prior to the TM connection…