First look: Rapha Classic saddle


Jack Elton-Walters

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 – 15:43

Rapha aims to branch out with a new range of saddles which can be matched to its bibshorts

• Classic: £180 • Pro Team: £195

Two years in the making, the new range of Rapha Saddles are now here. Released by the premium cycle clothing brand are a Classic and a Pro Team version of the saddles, but it’s the matching of bibshorts that is the strength of the offering.

The Rapha Classic Saddle, which we have on test, has been designed for comfort during long days in the saddle, while the Pro Team version is for more aggressive riding and race.

The motivation for Rapha in developing the saddles has been to make something that matches the comfort of its bibshorts.

‘Rapha’s saddles interact perfectly with the bib shorts to provide an exceptional level of comfort, Rapha says, added that it has ‘examined physiology and riding styles and created a range of saddles more specific to the unique characteristics of the rider than ever before.’

Big claims, but Rapha usually lives up to much of its own hype. The new saddle-shorts combo will be tested over the coming weeks and months, but for now here’s a first look at the new Rapha Classic Saddle.

Find your saddle

Using the newly launched platform, you can find the correct saddle and shorts combination for you, based on your waist measurement, weight and whether you’re looking to race.

The Rapha Saddle Fit Calculator then tells you what’s best for you. The shorts come in Rapha’s stock sizes while the saddles are available in narrow (130mm) and standard (145mm) width options.

Rapha Saddles: the details

The saddles come with a foam density that has been designed to be tuned to rider weight. Key to the whole launch is the aim that the saddles work as a system with Rapha’s bib shorts (Pro Team II and Classic II), it’s said to achieve the optimal comfort through compression.

There are two different Rapha Saddle models aimed at different styles of riding and riders. The Pro Team is for aggressive, hard riding, while the Classic is for comfort over long days of riding and sportives.

The saddles are handmade in Italy with a lightweight carbon construction with the intention of maintaining a balance between comfort, weight and style.

There’s a one-piece carbon rail that runs the entire length of the saddle to provide flex and compliance for a more comfortable platform.