Roval’s pro-level Rapide Cockpit is their fastest handlebar ever

Specialized claims new set-up saves four watts over the previous two-piece bar and stem

Clock13:05, Tuesday 30th May 2023
Specialized’s new Roval Rapide cockpit

© Specialized

Specialized’s new Roval Rapide cockpit

After months of sightings within the pro peloton, Specialized’s new Roval Rapide cockpit has finally broken cover, and they claim it’s their fastest handlebar yet, saving four watts over the previous two-piece Rapide handlebar and Tarmac SL7 stem.

The new integrated bar and stem was designed hand-in-hand with pro riders with a focus on aerodynamics and has already experienced plenty of success in the pro peloton. SD Worx duo Lotte Kopecky and Demi Vollering used it throughout their all-conquering Spring Classics campaign.

It was also part of Fabio Jakobsen's (Soudal-QuickStep) set-up on stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico when he took a sprint victory via a bike throw, with Specialized’s Ride Science Team calculating that the new cockpit “delivered an extra 32cm gap over the 250m sprint compared to a two-piece aero bar and stem - the winning edge”.

Key to creating this 'winning edge' is an aerodynamic design that reduces the amount of hardware - exposed cables and bolts - compared to a traditional two-piece setup, leading to a more aerodynamic profile. This, Specialized claims, is what saves four watts.

There are other benefits to removing the hardware too, with a weight saving of 50g (100mm x 420mm set-up) compared to the previous two-piece bar and stem. Clocking in at 310g (100mm x 420mm set-up), it’s not the brand’s lightest one-piece cockpit, over 50g heavier than the Alpinist (110mm x 420mm set-up), although that’s their pure lightweight offering.

Completing the trinity of aerodynamics, weight and stiffness, Specialized also says the cockpit’s premium high-modulus carbon fibre construction results in a higher stiffness-to-weight ratio.

As you’d expect, a pro-level cockpit like this doesn’t come cheap with a price tag of £475/€580/$600, but finding the right fit is made easier by a choice of 15 different bar and stem combos, with stem lengths from 75mm to 125mm and handlebar widths between 380mm to 440mm. Specialized has also opted for a fairly standard 125mm reach and 75mm drop, with a -6º stem angle

Check out the new Roval Rapide cockpit here.

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