Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
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As said, you really should test ride as many of 'em as you can, but FWIW the new Rapids are a terrific deal IF you're looking for a flat-bar road bike. Really, though, the ONLY thing 'hybrid' about it is the absence of dropbars.
Note that the frame/fork is brand new, and is essentially a version of the Defy frame adapted to flat-bars, using the same 'sl' alu. as the Defy. I've ridden the Rapid 1 (and pretty much all of the competitors mentioned above), and am buying one. The bike is very quick, very light (the RO even lighter), and (important to me, I'm very old
) very comfortable without resorting to 'devices' to smooth the ride. I like the simplicity of the overall design, and I like the fact that it uses road caliper brakes rather than v's.
That brings up the one limitation: if you're looking to be able to use larger (more than 28s) tires and/or carry much weight on the bike (it will take a rack, but you'd be limited to a pretty light load, e.g. creditcard touring), look elsewhere. It's the bike I've been waiting for, but ymmv