You don’t just find jerseys and shorts in Rapha’s huge and constantly changing clothing collection, there are now also shoes, helmets and glasses, and its latest expansion appears to be a range of saddles.
In an email newsletter sent out recently outlining some of its plans for the year ahead, the London-based company let on that it plans to launch its own saddle this year.
We don’t have a lot of information to go on, but the photos do appear to show a saddle that looks very similar to Fabric’s ALM saddle. Such a collaboration wouldn’t be a surprise, it has worked closely with other brands to launch into new sectors, such as Giro with shoes and helmets.
Apparently, the new saddle has been two years in development so maybe we can expect some differences to Fabric’s ALM saddle. Rapha says the saddle, available in Classic and Pro Team variants, has been designed to exactly match the chamois from the corresponding Rapha bib shorts, and with different widths available. More than that, it says weight will also be a factor in the saddle choice.
A closer design between saddle and shorts is an area we can expect to see more brands move into. Fizik, the Italian company best known for its extensive range of saddles, launched its own bib shorts last year that are designed for certain types of riders and to work perfectly with specific saddles.
“The shape and design of the new Rapha Classic and Pro Team Saddles exactly match the chamois pads from the corresponding Rapha bib shorts, and you’ll be able to shop according to weight and width to find your perfect perch. You’ll ride in sync with the bike, ready to enjoy the freeing feeling of flight on two wheels,” explains the company in its email newsletter sent out to customers last week.
What else can we expect? They’ll be lightweight thanks to minimal shell designs, and carbon rails. The Fabric ALM Ultimate saddle weighed just 153g when we tested it two years ago. And if it’s anything like that saddle, it’ll be expensive, at least £200, though the Classic should be a little more affordable hopefully.
The saddles are expected to be launched properly in April so more news nearer the time.
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.