First Impressions: Giant Rapid 2

I must admit I have never given road bikes a fair chance up to this point. The few I have ridden where either the wrong size, or were grotesque Franken-bikes pieced together from old parts. I never warmed up to drop bars because of previous neck and shoulder injuries, so the opportunity to ride the flat bar Giant Rapid 2 has shed new light on my road riding future.

My first thought was that the Rapid was simply an entry-level road bike with a flat bar slapped on. I’m glad to say this is not the case. Giant has specifically built this bike from scratch, stretching out the cockpit to better accommodate the flat bar. The combination produces a more stable ride than I had ever imagined. One of my main problems on the road has always been traffic, and this bike instills confidence while maneuvering around cars. The bike is also equipped with an adjustable stem height. You would be hard pressed to be uncomfortable on the Rapid 2.

The ALUXX SL Aluminum-tubed frame is butted, extruded and manipulated in all the right places to offer a firm platform, while retaining a somewhat subtle ride. The first thing I noticed when building up the bike where the cool frame lines and tube shapes. It is a very streamlined looking machine. The smooth lines also blend perfectly through the integrated headset and into the composite fork, a welcome feature for the price point of $925.00 MSRP.

Seconds into my first ride I realized I couldn’t go back to riding caged pedals. They had to go. I swapped them for SPDs, and made a few other minor tweaks. This left me with a very fast and efficient commuter bike beneath me. My commute to work is definitely much quicker on the Rapid 2. The 27-speed drivetrain makes it easy to find the right gear, and the Tektro brakes do an adequate job of stopping the Giant.

My future plans for the bike include utilizing the fender eyelets and a few higher-mileage, long weekend trips. Watch for a full print review in the near future.

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