Giant Rapid 3 review

Fast and versatile offering

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£550.00 RRP

Our review

Good value, fast, versatile and loads of fun
Skip to view product specifications

If you print the word rapid on a bike you’d better be sure it’s no slouch. Happily, this urban machine from Giant doesn’t disappoint.

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It looks fast, and certainly as if it should cost a lot more than its £550 price tag, with a snappy paintjob bringing out the best of a frame that’s like a showcase for different aluminium tube shapes. The final look is not unlike a kind of aero praying mantis, with the high front end and gently arching down tube.

Some of the hydroformed frame tubing is butted, with the thickness of tubes varying along their length. That might go some way to explaining the Rapid’s reasonably low all-up weight, as our XL 58.5cm model weighed in at 10.9kg with SPD pedals.

Point the Rapid down the road and you’ll be more than happy with how quickly you’ll spin up to speed. There’s no discernible flex wasting your effort from either the own-brand wheels, the angular rear stays or the chunky rectangular handlebar stem.

The only thing that might have you backing off on steep uphill corners is the occasional involuntary power wheelie, as the high front end tilts your body weight over the back wheel just a little bit too much. But bend your elbows a little like you know you should and all your effort will translate to gratifyingly quick acceleration instead.

Giant promise a ‘blend of flat bar control and road bike speed’ with the Rapid, and it delivers. What the company don’t shout about is how versatile this quick bike is too.

Subtly drilled eyelets mean you’ll easily be able to fit a rack and mudguards for shopping, winter hacking or sprightly touring, and there’s plenty of clearance in the frame and fork for mudguards and a wide range of fatter or knobbly tyre options.

When it comes to the gearing, again Giant have added to the Rapid’s versatility and broadened its appeal by fitting a triple chainset allied to an eight-speed cassette. This gives a mountain bike-like range of lower gears that will let you spin up practically any gradient.

While the Shimano Sora/SRAM/FSA mix drivetrain needs a deliberate sweep of the thumb to change into a bigger cog with the Shimano Rapidfire-style shifters, the dual-pivot calliper brakes are confidence-inspiringly good.

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Not one piece of kit detracts from the Rapid’s comfortable, slick ride. Even the saddle felt good enough for a bike costing five times as much as this.

The look is not unlike a kind of aero praying mantis, with the high front end and gently arching down-tube
The look is not unlike a kind of aero praying mantis, with the high front end and gently arching down-tube:
www.smithpic.co.uk

Product Specifications

Product

Name Rapid 3 (10)
Brand Giant

Available Sizes S M L XL
Rear Derailleur SHIMANO Sora
Weight (kg) 10.9
Stem Giant Connect
Shifters SHIMANO SL-R225 & SL-R221 24 speed
Seatpost Giant Connect
Saddle Giant Performance Road
Rims Giant Sport Road, Double Wall
Rear Hub Shimano 2200
Handlebar Giant Connect, flat 31.8mm
Bottom Bracket FSA Cartridge
Front Hub Formula Sealed
Front Derailleur Shimano R443
Frame Material Giant AluxX aluminium, Fluid Formed
Fork Advanced-Grade Composite, Alloy OverDrive Steerer
Cranks FSA Tempo, 30/42/52
Chain KMC Z72
Cassette SRAM PG850 12-26
Brakes Alloy Dual Pivot
Brake Levers Tektro Alloy