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TECH NEWS

Rapide reveals new RL Disc and RC Disc road bikes

New disc brake-equipped road bikes in both aluminium and carbon from Ridgeback spin-off brand

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.

 

Rapide RL Disc

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 RC Disc

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.

www.rapidebikes.co.uk

 

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. 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.

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11 comments

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matthewn5 | 8 years ago
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Head tube length isn't the key measurement. Stack and reach are.

In size 'S' with a 546 effective top tube, stack and reach are 559 and 380 respectively. That's 1mm higher and 3mm shorter than a Canyon Ultimate CF in Medium. As raced in the TdF. Do you really think you'll notice the difference?

Mind you, the wheelbase looks quite a lot longer, and you would notice that.

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fukawitribe | 9 years ago
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I know what the different fits are, and detailed the size differences further up this thread. As for "old school", my old racer from the 70s was more laid back than a full on race bike but it's true there's more choice now and the geometries are more suited to a wider range of people.

I understand your annoyance that with some manufacturers the full on race geometry is more expensive, but that's partly economics and partly realising that not everyone wants such a stretched out position - not I'd out necessarily good for them. That said there are still plenty of race geometry bikes and I think for most people it would be easy to get as low as practical with say something like a Madone in H2. Hey, if push comes to shove you can always put a massive drop set of bars on for even lower positions and that extra retro look!

Less choice, of race geometry, yes maybe. Better choices in general, I'd say yes but clearly YMMV. Little or no choice of race geometry, nah - still bags of it out there.

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mrmo | 9 years ago
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when your talking performance, you mean H2, compare H1 and H2 geometry. H1 is old school, H2 gains you 20mm.

However to get H1 means a substantial outlay, as for money?? Would you rather race a top end Madone and cry when you crash it, or race something a bit cheaper?

Some people like aggressive bikes, but ever more come with pretty long head tubes which makes it harder to get low and out of the wind.

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crikey | 9 years ago
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I was commenting on a chap I saw and his struggle to actually stand up comfortably. He was riding a Norco and it was too tall for him to be able to lock his arms. Maybe he bought the wrong size.

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crikey | 9 years ago
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I thought it was a product of the photography against a brick wall, but measuring my bikes suggest that the minimum head tube height I would get on the frames with the same top tube would be 3-400mm too high.

Especially considering the suggestion that these bikes are capable of off road stuff, it would seem a bit strange to limit adjustment in this way; you need a bit of weight on the front to make it grip.

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fukawitribe replied to crikey | 9 years ago
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crikey wrote:

I thought it was a product of the photography against a brick wall, but measuring my bikes suggest that the minimum head tube height I would get on the frames with the same top tube would be 3-400mm too high.

Especially considering the suggestion that these bikes are capable of off road stuff, it would seem a bit strange to limit adjustment in this way; you need a bit of weight on the front to make it grip.

Unsure what bit of the geometry you think is making it unable to get over the front of... here's the geometry

http://www.rapidebikes.co.uk/geometry

..very similar to a Domane, not much off a standard fit Madone (when considering effective top length). I can assure you there is no issue on- or off-road on a Domane getting weight on the front.

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mrmo replied to fukawitribe | 9 years ago
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fukawitribe wrote:

..very similar to a Domane, not much off a standard fit Madone (when considering effective top length). I can assure you there is no issue on- or off-road on a Domane getting weight on the front.

which is part of the point, in a 58 your looking at a headtube c20cm long, old school parallel geometry gets you around 17cm. A 30mm difference is actually quite a lot. I accept some riders want a nice high front end, but some don't and it would be nice to have the choice, it is easier to go higher than to go lower, I note that the more "aggressive" geometry seems to come if you spend lots of money....

As for the point of off road, the Boone and Crockett have far shorter head tubes than the cheaper Domane.

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fukawitribe replied to mrmo | 9 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

..very similar to a Domane, not much off a standard fit Madone (when considering effective top length). I can assure you there is no issue on- or off-road on a Domane getting weight on the front.

which is part of the point, in a 58 your looking at a headtube c20cm long, old school parallel geometry gets you around 17cm. A 30mm difference is actually quite a lot.

That's about the head tube length of a performance fit Madone in a

58cm (ETT 57.2cm) HT 19cm
60cm (ETT 58.6cm) HT 21cm

- not typically considered an overly high front end...

mrmo wrote:

I accept some riders want a nice high front end, but some don't and it would be nice to have the choice, it is easier to go higher than to go lower,

There is, don't buy something with the geometry you don't want - there are plenty of them - or slam and/or flip the stem. What is it you're missing out on ?

mrmo wrote:

I note that the more "aggressive" geometry seems to come if you spend lots of money....

That makes commercial sense doesn't it ?

mrmo wrote:

As for the point of off road, the Boone and Crockett have far shorter head tubes than the cheaper Domane.

Of course, they're both CX bikes in a race geometry - i'm merely pointing out that there is more than enough weight on the front using a Domane or Madone and no problem with applying more. Is it an ideal choice for CX ? No, of course not, but neither is it a problem - particularly considering the target market.

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fukawitribe | 9 years ago
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Which bikes are you looking at guys ? Unless i'm mis-reading the geometry (far from unlikely) these seem to have head-tubes not much different from a Trek Domane and about an 20mm longer than a Spesh Tarmac or Trek Madone pro fit... not something that's going to stop anyone getting over the front if they get the right size frame.

Edit : sorry, about the same as a standard Madone and 20-30mm taller than the pro-fit.

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crikey | 9 years ago
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I was thinking exactly the same thing. I watched someone trying to climb up a hill near my house and as he stood up to pedal, he wobbled about all over the road because his headtube was so big that he couldn't get any weight over the bars.

All these bikes seem to be designed for people who can't bend over.

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mrmo | 9 years ago
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Why does it seem that all bikes are coming through with ever longer headtubes. Do we really want to go the way of 29er MTBs and start fitting negative rise stems to get the bar height correct? Some people like high bars, some don't.

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