Rapide, which started out in life as a sub-brand of Ridgeback, is launching two new road bike series for 2016: the RL Disc Series and the RC Disc Series. These add to the existing non-disc bike lineups in the range.
Here’s what you need to know about the new bikes.
We showed you a prototype of the Rapide RL Disc earlier in the year and now the range is ready to rock.
The Rapide RL Disc bikes are designed to be versatile enough for a bit of everything: big rides at the weekend, commuting, gravel… you know the deal. Jacks of all trades.
The three models share the same 6061 aluminium alloy frame and carbon fork which offer a huge amount of clearance. The guys at Rapide say you can fit 42mm tyres in here, although 32s come fitted as standard. A skinny 27.2mm seatpost is intended to provide more comfort.
You get mudguard eyelets on both the frame and fork, so this looks like it could be a practical bike for winter, along with eyelets for a rear rack. That’s another practical measure if you’re intending to ride to and from work.
The cheapest model in the range is the £949.99 RL Disc 1 which is built up with a Shimano Sora groupset and TRP Spyre brakes. The RL Disc 2, £1,049.99, has a Shimano Tiagra groupset and TRP Spyre brakes while the RL Disc 3 (£1,199.99, pictured) comes with a mostly Shimano 105 groupset and TRP Hy-Rd cable-operated hydraulic disc brakes.
Those prices look really attractive to us, and the same goes for the RL Disc 3’s orange paint job. It cool to see a bit of colour coming back. All three bikes have 160mm front rotors and 140mm rear rotors, compact chainsets and wide-ranging 11-32-tooth cassettes.
Rapide says that the RC Disc has more of a high-performance character. It’s made from 24/30 Ton carbon fibre and comes with clearance for 28mm tyres – 30mm in some tyre brands. If you fit mudguards to the discreet mounts you’ll be able to go with 25mm tyres, maybe 28s (again, it varies between tyre brands). The disc brakes use Shimano’s new Flat Mount system and 140mm rotors front and rear.
The rear wheel uses a standard quick release while the front has a 15mm thru-axle for more security.
The Rapide RC Disc 2 (pictured), priced at £1,899.99, is the middle of three carbon models. It’s equipped with a Shimano 105 groupset complete with a compact chainset and an 11-28-tooth cassette, and TRP Spyre SLC mechanical disc brakes.
The Shimano Tiagra-equipped RC-Disc 1 is £1,699.99 while the RC-Disc 3, decked out in Shimano Ultegra components, is £2,699.99.
The Di2-ready RC Disc frameset is £999.99.
Both the RC and RL bikes come in non-disc versions at lower prices.
The Rapide disc-equipped bikes will be available from September/October although there could be a delay on the Tiagra-equipped models.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.