Doriano De Rosa founds Bixxis with his daughter Martina in 2015, but his frame-building experience dates back to much earlier.
It’s 1975. At only 14 years of age, Doriano starts working in the workshop of his father Ugo, frameworker of historic cyclists like Eddy Merckx.
But let’s not get lost in details. This is Doriano recalling those times:
At the time we only had one type of metal – steel – and only one method of building:brazing tubes and lugs. After long time of training with the file, I timidly strated brazing. It was 1977; after a year I had my very first frame.
His father’s guidance along with daily encounters and exchange of ideas with cycling pros of that time taught Doriano to interpret right away needs and desires of the cyclist he was talking to.
Those were years of intense professional growth and refining.
At that time, lots of pros used to hang out at the workshop. Many asked for bicycle frames with particular inclinations and special geometries: this way I’ve been lucky enough to expand my knowledge and expertise literally day after day – not only from a merely geometically point of view.
I had fun while I progressed, so much that building a made-to-measure frame became my bread and butter.
Personal experiences go hand in hand with the evolutions in techniques and markets. At the end of the Eighties, along with the traditional method of braze welding, the innovative TIG – Tungsten Inert Gas – welding technique made its way into the daily life at the workshop.
Soon enough I witnessed the first actual breakthrough in industry: the TIG welding. This new method enabled a significant technological advance in bicycle-building, that is the chance to use lighter tubes with different diameters and shapes.
For me that meant quite a lot: I’ve always loved working with steel. It’s a live material, it’s got a soul: steel gives substance to any design idea and breathes life into the product. After all, steel is real.
Even if steel was love at first sight, his curiosity towards more inexplored went on. In the following decade new materials take center stage, just like titanium.
And then, at the beginning of the Nineties new materials came up: particularly, titanium alloys became more and more common. It almost felt natural to start building bicycle frames in this fantastic material. The transition was nowhere near easy: I didn’t have that much information but, at the same time, I couldn’t wait to place my hands on it.
I mean, I was totally attracted from a material with such incredible mechanical properties.
Besides being fantastic for its properties, titanium had become the metal that Doriano De Rosa started feeling as “his own”. He embarked on a personal adventure of study and research, to go beyond all that he had already learned so far.
If I had taken advantage of my father’s invaluable teachings on working with steel, I was totally alone faced with the challenge of titanium.
After countless mistakes and sleepless nights, I began understanding how to handle it, which attentions to pay when preparing tubes and, above all, what cautions to take while welding.
Even the design stage was affected by this set of endless discoveries: choosing the right section and wall thickness, along with the study of particular CNC-machined details.
It was a tough time, but with lots of satisfactions. Now a new chapters starts…
A new adventure
Yes, in the new millennium Doriano wonders what his compass is really telling him about the future and feels his desire to genuinely rediscover the origins. This is how Bixxis begins.
I wanted to get back to basics. I wanted to go on building bicycle frame guided by one simple idea. That’s where Bixxis comes from: true craftmanship as the only orientation to foster even more passion into sturdy – yet contemporary – bicycles built with the metals I love: steel and titanium.
Bixxis means exactly that: “Biciclette Italiane per il XXI Secolo”, Italian bicycles for the twenty-first century. The products I want to create will always be children of their time but are meant to last in the decades to come.
It’s not and it won’t be easy. After all, nothing has even been, but it’s right there where I find passion and fun.
This is Doriano’s story
You can find him in Seregno, at the Bixxis workshop or you can write to him from here.