Launched last week, Rapide is a new brand from the company that produces Ridgeback and Genesis Bikes, with an initial range of seven road bikes starting from £649 and rising to £2999. They also launched two kids' bikes with 24in and 26in wheels.
There is history in the Rapide name, dating back to the 1990s when Rapide was first used for road bikes before evolving into a range of hybrid bikes. In the same way that Genesis Bikes grew from a single model in the Ridgeback range into a full brand in its own right, so has Rapide separated to become a fully independent brand.
Phil Hammill, Brand Director at Rapide said: “We are delighted to finally unveil this debut range from Rapide, a range we have been working hard on for two years. We have already received some great feedback from those who have been involved and we are really happy with how the range has turned-out and confident the cycling public will feel the same.”
Rapide has pitched the bikes at cyclists who value a comfortable position ideal for tackling the many sportives and charity rides that have sprung up across the country in the past few years. The company says it has “paid particular attention to frame sizing and fit, resulting in a unique geometry to provide a perfect mix of handling, responsiveness and ride comfort." The same geometry is shared across the range.
The Rapide range is split into four carbon and five aluminium models. The aluminium range, priced between £649.99 and £899.99, feature 6061 tubesets with double butting tubes on the top three frames. Each frame carries mudguard eyelets and are specced with long drop calipers so it’s really easy to add some ‘guards. All the bikes come ready fitted with 25mm tyres.
The carbon models, priced from £1,199.99 up to £2,999, share the same carbon fibre frame. The frame features a tapered head tube and optimised tube profiles to deliver the required ride balance and handling. It's a very neatly finished frame, with a tapered head tube, oversized down tube and slender seat stays, and the internal cable routing keeps the lines smooth.
This is the top-end £2,999 RC4 which gets a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset. Rapide has used internally routed gear cables and the frame is compatible with Di2 and EPS electronic groupsets, with the necessary drillings.
Most bikes are specced with compact 50/34 chainsets and 11-28 cassettes, the top model here gets a 52/36 chainset.
This meanwhile is the £1799.99 RC3, which sits smack in the middle of the range. It uses the same frame as the top-level model but features a Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset and complements that with Fulcrum Racing 7LG wheels and Continental UltraSport II 25mm tyres.
They use own-branded handlebars, stem, post and saddle right across the range.
All Rapide bikes are offered in six sizes and the geometry is shared across the carbon and aluminium versions. A medium measures up with an effective top tube of 55.8cm and a tall 17.6cm head tube, though it’s not nearly as tall as some other bikes in this sportive category. Stack is 57.5cm and reach 38.5cm.
Rapide has also developed two kid’s bikes, the RL24 and RL26, the number referring to the wheelsize. They both cost £399 and cater for riders from eight years and upwards.
And as luck would have it, we’re currently giving you the chance to win a brand new Rapide RC1 road bike worth £1,199. All you have to do is head over to the competition page, bung your name and email address in the relevant boxes and you’re in with a chance of winning a new bike.
The Rapide website - www.rapidebikes.co.uk - is now live where you can see the full range in detail.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. 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.