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Rapha’s New Pro Team & Classic Saddles: Lightweight and Comfortable Fit for Bib Shorts

Rapha Pro Team & Classic Road Bike Saddles

Rapha, known for their premium clothing, has built a reputation for high-quality bib shorts. However, they realized that the limited variety of saddles was preventing them from optimizing shorts for rider comfort. As a result, Rapha decided to design their own saddles. These saddles are specifically designed to pair with their Pro Team and Classic bibs and are tailored for different rider sizes. We have had the opportunity to Review ride the new Pro Team saddle and also have details on the Classic saddles.

Rapha Pro Team & Classic Road Bike Saddles

Rapha’s premium clothing is known for its low-key designs with occasional splashes of pink, but it’s the comfort and quality of their Pro Team and Classic bib shorts that have stood out to many riders. These shorts are designed for a close and compressive fit for fast riding or a more forgiving and softer fit for longer days on the saddle. Over the years, these bib shorts have gained a dedicated following and have continued to evolve. Now, Rapha has taken it a step further by designing saddles that are specifically tailored for aggressive road racing or endurance-focused riding positions. These Pro Team and Classic saddles aim to enhance fit and comfort at this crucial contact point. Rapha designed these saddles in-house, partnering with top saddle design specialists and an Italian producer with over 100 years of experience in making saddles. They have carefully studied cyclist physiology and riding styles to create two distinct saddle ranges that offer a more individual-specific fit. The saddles come in two widths, 130mm and 145mm, and the wider saddles use a more rigid foam to better support heavier riders. Rapha has even developed a web-based saddle calculator that suggests the ideal saddle and bib shorts pairing based on rider waist size, weight, and riding style.

Rapha Pro Team Saddles – Tech Details

The Pro Team saddles feature lightweight carbon rail construction, a synthetic leather cover, and are handcrafted in Italy. They have a one-piece looped carbon rail that provides a balance of flex and support throughout the length of the saddle. The Pro Team saddle has a lighter weight carbon shell and a thin layer of padding on top of its more flat profile. It comes in two widths, 130mm and 145mm, and also has an optional center cutout for pressure relief. The Pro Team saddle is priced at $395/345€.

Rapha Classic Saddles – Tech Details

The Classic saddles have a more curved design with increased padding. They feature a perforated synthetic cover and also use carbon rails. However, the Classic saddles have a fiber reinforced base that offers more flexibility and slightly more weight. These saddles are suitable for endurance-style riding and are priced at $250/215€.

Rapha Cycling Club Limited RCC Edition Saddles

Rapha offers exclusive RCC versions of their saddles for members of their cycling club. The Pro Team RCC saddle features an RCC print to replace the Pro Team jail bars, while the Classic RCC saddle has a pink contrast color under the perforations and an embroidered RCC logo on the tail. These RCC saddles have the same price and specifications as the standard versions, but with an added level of exclusivity.

Review: Rapha Pro Team 145mm Wide Road Bike Saddle

We have had the opportunity to Review ride the Pro Team saddle for over a month, riding on a mix of different road surfaces. Paired with a set of matching Pro Team bib shorts, we wanted to evaluate its comfort on harsh road conditions. Although the online calculator suggested a 145mm Pro Team saddle, I typically ride narrower saddles. However, I was willing to try a wider saddle, especially after having a positive experience with another 145mm Review saddle. The Pro Team saddle appeared shorter compared to my previous saddle, but its usable length was similar, and the flat shape allowed for comfortable movement. Rapha claims that their saddle padding, with foam density tuned for rider weight, sets them apart. The foam in the wider Pro Team saddle provided a firm yet cushioned feel. Despite its thin appearance, it never felt stiff, even on rough roads. In terms of comfort, it is the most comfortable saddle at this weight that I have ridden in recent memory. Although the price tag of $400/350€ may seem steep, especially when paired with the $270/230€ Pro Team II bib shorts, the saddle’s quality and performance make it worth considering. However, saddles are subjective, and it is recommended to try the saddle before making such a significant investment.

Final Thoughts on Rapha Pro Team & Classic Road Bike Saddles

Rapha has expanded their expertise in premium clothing to the world of saddles with their Pro Team and Classic ranges. These saddles are designed to optimize rider comfort and offer a tailored fit for different riding styles. With the use of advanced materials and attention to detail, Rapha has created saddles that provide a balance of support and flexibility. While the price may be a deterrent for some, those who prioritize comfort and performance may find these saddles to be a worthwhile investment. Whether you are a loyal Rapha customer or new to their products, it is recommended to try the saddles and assess their fit before making a purchase decision.

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