We've just returned from seeing the first bike in the world that's built up with Campagnolo Athena EPS electronic components, the stunning De Rosa Merak. Distributor i-ride.co.uk invited us down earlier this week to get a close look.
Previously the Italian company's flagship race bike (it's since been superseded by the King), the Merak was completely updated for 2012. It has all the credentials for a seriously fast race-ready bike, and at £1,999 for the frame and fork it's still commanding top-end money.
The frame is a real head-turner. The top tube elegantly flows around the aero shaped seat tube into the seat stays. A BB30 increases stiffness for getting the power down.
And it's a clean looking frame with the wiring routed internally, though the frame still carries the drillings necessary for a conventional mechanical groupset.
The De Rosa Merak Athena EPS model is new for 2013 and will cost £4,299. That includes 3T Ergosum Pro bars and Arx Pro stem, Prologo Zero Ti 1.4 and Continental Ultra Sport 23c tyres.
We put it on the scales and it weighed 7.6kg (16.75lb). Fit some lighter wheels and it'll be nudging 7kg...
It's available now from www.i-ride.co.uk. You'll have to be quick if you want one, though. They've only got eight complete bikes at the moment, with another dozen coming soon.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.