British-based Rapide Bikes launched in 2014 and for the firm’s second-year range, they’ve introduced two disc-ready frames: the carbon RC Disc and the alloy RL Disc.
The RC Disc complements the existing RC line-up, which includes four caliper brake bikes from £1,199.99 to £2,999.99. The RC Disc remains a dedicated road machine but is designed to be versatile, meaning there’s clearance for 28mm tyres (and up to 30mm with some tyre brands), while you can also fit mudguards thanks to the discreet mounts, reducing tyre clearance to 25mm (again, you may be able to squeeze in something wider, in this case 28mm tyres, depending on the brand).
The frame is made from a mix of 24 and 30-ton carbon fibre and is based around the same ‘endurance’ geometry as the existing RC range, so it’s a fairly relaxed riding position. A medium frame (there are six sizes, from XXS to XL) has a 558mm effective toptube and 176mm headtube, with a stack of 575mm and a reach of 385mm.
The frame uses the new flat mount disc brake standard, first introduced by Shimano but now being adopted by a range of manufacturers. Flat mount gives the frame a far cleaner look than the existing post mount standard. The front wheel is secured by a 15mm thru-axle, providing a little more stiffness and wheel security, while the rear uses a standard quick release.
Three bikes will make up the RC Disc range. The top-of-the-range RC Disc 3 (£2,699.99) has Shimano Ultegra components with Shimano ST-RS685 hydraulic mechanical shifters and Shimano BR-RS805 calipers.
Meanwhile, the mid-range RC Disc 2 (£1,899.99) pictured above gets a Shimano 105 groupset and TRP Spyre SLC mechanical disc brakes, and the RC Disc 1 (£1,699.99) wears a Shimano Tiagra groupset and TRP Spyre mechanical discs. All three bikes have a compact chainset paired with an 11-28t cassette. Availability is slated for October, and you’ll also be able to get hold of the frameset for £999.99.
Alloy RL Disc gets more tyre clearance and lowers price
If the price of the RC Disc is a little punchy, then Rapide have gone all-in on disc brakes by also offering the aluminium RL frame in a disc-ready version.
Again, it’s another machine designed with versatility – and British riders – in mind, thanks to mudguard mounts at the front and rear, while there are also rear rack mounts, so it could conceivably work well as a disc-equipped winter bike or light tourer.
The frame is made from 6061 aluminium alloy and that’s paired with a carbon fibre fork. There’s even more clearance than on the carbon RC Disc, with room for huge 42mm tyres.
Three models form the range, opening with the RL Disc 1 at £949.99, with a Shimano Sora groupset and TRP Spyre brakes. Step up a level and the £1,049.99 RL Disc 2 gets a Shimano Tiagra groupset and TRP Spyre brakes, while at the head of affairs the RL Disc 3 (£1,199.99) is dressed in a Shimano 105 groupset and TRP HyRd cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes. All three bikes get a compact chainset with an 11-32t cassette, provide a wide range of gears for climbing the steep stuff.