GIANT RAPID 0
Sometimes, you’ve just gotta get to work as fast as you can. At this point, your standard urban town bike just doesn’t cut the mustard. Up-right positioning, slacker seat angles and chunky tyres don’t equate to rapid-spinning wheels, even if they add comfort. Thankfully, Giant’s Rapid 0 is rapid by name and rapid by nature. Stick a dropbar on there and it’s virtually a road bike, so if you’re constantly running late and have a decent-length commute, the Rapid 0 should be on your shortlist.
The frame is pared with a composite fork and post, both designed to provide insulation from the road buzz that inevitably travels through the alloy frame. It’s a good thing, too, as the skinny Giant PR Disc 2 wheelset and 28c P-R3 tyres roll fast and hold speed but have very little give. The narrow tyres don’t feature any significant tread, though still instill confidence in the wet. The in-built puncture protection doesn’t make them feel sluggish and heavy, either.
The kit Giant have plugged into the frame is very competitive on a bike of this ilk. Power is transferred through a 2x11 Shimano groupset – 105 mechs and cassette, and a RS 700 set of shifters. These are a highlight with a beautifully engineered composite thumb lever, and double release on the smaller thumb lever for quick shifting up the block. The crank is a 34/50 FSA model with easily serviceable threaded BB.
Bringing it all to a halt are Shimano M395 brakes – they offer bags of power and modulation, which are ideal for dodging errant drivers. The bar’s narrow and the stem long for a stretched position, and while they’re not fancy bits of kit, the cockpit is comfortable enough thanks to the soft ridged grips.
Ultimately, this bike is ideal for longer commutes where you’re holding good speed. The skinny tyres feel racy, as does the head-down, arse-up position gained through the long, narrow cockpit. If your riding is exclusively weaving through stand-still traffic, we’d opt for something taller at the front with chunkier tyres, but if you’re after speed, we’d get a Rapid. 8 A road bike with flat bars – fast and to the point
Words: Tom Marvin Photography: asdesign. uk.com