Components

Rapha Debuts Pro Team & Classic Saddles

Rapha has built its name on premium, high-quality clothing. The companies’ bib shorts are no exception, but Rapha felt that saddle variety was limiting its ability to optimize shorts for rider comfort. So, Rapha designed its own saddles designed to pair with its Pro Team and Classic bibs.

For two products that spend so much time together, it’s exceedingly rare to see a company provide both a bib and a seat in its product line. In fact, as far as I can tell the only other company to take on such a pairing is  Fizik, in introducing  their LINK shorts  in  2017.

Similar to how Rapha has started offering bib shorts with chamois width and densities that vary across size range, saddles come sized to fit as well. Rapha studied cyclist physiology and riding styles to create two distinct saddle ranges both of which come in two widths 130mm & 145mm. More rigid foam is placed in the wider saddles to better support heavier riders.  To help you find your setup there is a  simple web-based saddle calculator  that will suggest the ideal saddle & bib shorts pairing for your waist size, weight & riding style.

Both saddles feature lightweight carbon rail construction and a synthetic leather cover. They all feature a one-piece carbon rail that runs the full length of the saddles with a 7x9mm oval clamping surface.  The Pro Team saddle gets a lighter weight carbon shell, and just a thin layer of padding on top of its more flat profile. The 130mm version claims a weight of just 144g.

The Classic saddle gets a more curved and classic looking design, with more padding and a perforated synthetic cover.  The Classic  shares the same carbon rails as the Pro Team, but adds a fiber reinforced base that is more flexible and heavier.

The Pro Team saddle comes in a solid and cut out version, and is offered in black or a Rapha Cycle Club colorway. The Classic does not offer a cut out version and is available in white, black or the RCC colorway. The new Rapha saddles are handmade in Italy by Selle Italia.  Nothing in the lineup is cheap, it is Rapha after all. The Pro Team will set you back $395, while the Classic comes in at $250.

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