This lightweight Roval Rapide handlebar adds to their growing component line-up offering a faster aero carbon bar for road riders looking to go fast without compromise. While their debut Alpinist one-piece road cockpit hit the low weight checkmark, its super high price and lack of adjustability made it a non-starter for most roadies. Now at half the price, this WorldTour-proven bar promises reduced aero drag at a weight lighter than many conventional rounds carbon bars.
Roval Rapide aero carbon handlebar – more rapid, less weight
The Rapide handlebar was a simple enough project for Roval. Taking advantage of access to Specialized’s in-house Win Tunnel wind tunnel, the Roval team set out to make a fast airfoil shape for their new compact carbon road bar.
How much faster is the new aero handlebar?
Roval vaguely claims that their Win Tunnel work saves 20 seconds over a conventional round bar in the course of a road race, without any more detail. They did work with the pros of Deceuninck–Quick-Step though to settle on the shape & ergonomics of the new Rapide bar. And that seems to have delivered solid results already. Together Mark Cavendish and Sam Bennett have already chalked up ten individual stage race wins this season on the new bar.
The aero tops of the bar sweep slightly forward to allow more space for the rider’s arms & legs in the sprint. The carbon tops also feature a unique textured surface for grip even when wet without bar tape. There’s also a molded-in step to the bar just after the bend for a flush finish to your wrap job & smooth transition from tape to the unwrapped tops, plus full internal cable routing & Di2 junction box compatibility.
The compact bar features a shallow 125mm drop & short 75mm reach, plus a nice little 2° of flare at the drops for extra room for your wrists. At just 225g claimed for the 31.8mm bar (42cm), Roval says it’s the “lightest aero bar in its class“, also making it lighter than many standard spec round carbon bars.
Roval Rapide light aero bar – Pricing, options & availability
The new lightweight Roval Rapide aero handlebar sells for $300 direct from Roval, or through your local Specialized/Roval bike shop. The Rapide bar comes in four sizes – 38, 40, 42 & 44cm – and should be available now.
Other new Roval gravel & mountain bike wheels, plus new gravel dropbar…
Did you also notice today was new Roval day? Specialized’s in-house component brand has introduced new $650 Traverse Alloy enduro wheel (read our coverage here) that are super close to carbon weight, more affordable Terra C & CL carbon gravel wheels, and even a new Terra carbon gravel bar. Plus, we’ve been riding those Terra CL wheels, and the performance for your money is hard to beat!