1986 Rossin SLX racing bike
Let’s say you’re the editor of an English-language bike magazine.
Since some of you just wondered if there is still such a thing, let’s also say that the year is 1986.
As someone calling the shots at the magazine, you know that you have to have an “Italian Issue” every once in a while. An edition with nothing but beautiful eye candy for the gear junkie. One month devoted to all things Italian, guaranteed to be more colorful and interesting than the standard fare.
Your Italian Issue needs to have a factory tour at Campagnolo. You should have a look at Sidi shoes and some Italian saddles. There will be a visit with one of your favorite four: Bianchi, DeRosa, Cinelli or Colnago. If the magazine still has pages to fill you’ll hit up a couple of “smaller” brands for bikes to test or builders to interview. You probably have a list. How about Pogliaghi, Guerciotti or Tommasini? Daccordi, Olmo, Alan or Somec?
They’re all worthy of a feature, but Rossin has it all.
Rossin has a heritage story. Marco Rossin worked as chief builder for Colnago bicycles in the 1970’s before starting an independent brand. If you feature Rossin in this issue, you have some gritty race action photos to tie in to your article courtesy of Hennie Keiper and the Verandelux team. Rossin will probably buy advertising space in your magazine, so that’ll be nice as Rossin ads usually feature pretty models (we’re not talking the bikes here) that just add to the exotic Italian theme.
Of course the real draw when you feature Rossin are the bikes. They’re spectacular.
All Rossin models (the actual bikes) are beautiful. There’s a time trial bike that looks like it’s made from melted wax. The Ghibli road model is made from specially shaped tubing that really stands out. There are little details all about the frames and forks that catch the eye. This SLX is a great example. It has a semi-sloping fork crown with the Rossin “R” cast into it on each side. The rear brake cable disappears into little diamond-shaped ports on the top tube. The bottom bracket shell looks aerodynamic, not blocky, and the shift cables make a short cut through the shell on their way to the derailleurs.
Rossins typically got the full airbrush treatment. Grids, fades, paint panels in multiple colors. Elaborate but not necessarily gaudy. Like a lot of Italian bikes, for Rossin it was necessary that the decals called out the brand or model name in at least twenty different spots on the frame and fork.
Pantographed logos on the brakes, seatposts, handlebar stems and chainrings were typical. Our SLX example here looks almost plain with its Campagnolo Super Record Gruppo, the only radical equipment being the new-fangled Look pedals and the aerodynamic brake levers with their hidden cables.
One thing is certain: An Italian issue without a Rossin would be a dud.