2021 Parlee RZ7 LE
There are a lot of boutique bike brands these days making some pretty nice bikes. But there can hardly be a brand whose name stands for quality and attention to detail more than Parlee. The Parlee RZ7 aerodynamic road bike is just the latest in a long line of exceptional creations coming out of the Massachusetts company.
When starting out to design their top aero road bike, Parlee started where any expert in fluid dynamics would: the tube shapes. He had already been using a tube shape called Recurve for TT and tri bikes. For the RZ7 he has developed a second generation version of the tube profile, which is a proprietary airfoil design. It has evolved out of a low speed NACA tube shape that Bob Parlee used when developing America’s Cup racing sailboats. This means that it will improve drag reduction compared to other NACA airfoil shapes and it balances lateral and vertical stiffness of the tube sections. The resulting ride quality remains excellent without sacrificing the aerodynamics. Focusing on the improved aerodynamics, Parlee has developed their in-house handlebar and stem system that will completely hide all cables, while being optimized for electronic groupsets. It makes the frame look great to us while being invisible to the wind.
Of course, aerodynamics is only one side of the coin. How the rigidity is balanced with the ride quality also plays a huge role in defining this as the ultimate road machine. The Recurve tube design maximizes torsional stiffness to guarantee efficient power delivery. Every time you jump to outsprint your buddy on your group ride, you will feel the effectiveness of this design, which has been enhanced by the Press Fit 30 bottom bracket.
Another proprietary design that makes the RZ7 a joy to ride, and especially descend, are the integrated through axles. Parlee has actually reduced the length of the standard road through axles, but a centimeter in the rear and six millimeters in the front. This not only saves weight, but gives the frame a narrower frontal profile, enhancing the aerodynamics. They have even hidden the heads of the axles in a countersunk hole molded into the frame and fork. Nevertheless, they have still been able to design the frame and fork so that you can fit up to 32mm tires.
And to mitigate any concerns about any aero handicap disc brakes necessitate, Parlee designed removable SpeedShield carbon fiber fairings to cover the disc brake calipers. Now, if you are planning on racing this bike in any UCI authorized events, you will have to remove them, but if you are planning on using it for triathlons, or just to rip the legs off your riding buddies, then it will be a great way to get the braking benefits from the disc brakes without enduring all that drag.
Not only is this one of those rare beautiful looking aero bikes, but it also manages to be among the lightest as well, with a medium size tipping the scales at a very impressive 870 grams. That’s a good number even for an un-aero climbing-oriented bike, but pretty unusually light for an aero frame. Parlee has developed the RZ7 with the intention that it will be a great fit for just about everyone. After years of custom building, they have a huge database of past stock and custom geometries, which has helped them optimize their Flex Fit sizing. For the RZ7 they will offer 7cm of spacers for under the integrated stem. To increase adjustability, the seat post has been designed with a reversible rail clamp which makes it possible to run it with either 0 or 25mm offset.
The Parlee RZ7 comes in five sizes ranging between XS and XL. Even if you are a firm believer in the n+1 rule, once you buy a RZ7, you’ll likely never feel the need to ride anything else.
Frame: High modulus carbon
Fork: Parlee RZ7 Disc
Rear Stay: Carbon
Fork Axle: 12mm Thru x 100mm
Head Tube Diameter Top: 47mm
Head Tube Diameter Bottom: 52mm
Steerer Tube: 1.5” - 1.25”
Headset Included: Yes, Cane Creek IS47/IS52
Bottom Bracket Type: Press Fit 30
Cable Routing: Internal, Mechanical and Electronic compatible
Front Derailleur Mount: Braze-on
Wheel Size: 700c
Max Tire Clearance: 32mm
Brake Type: Disc, flat mount
Seatpost Diameter: Aero
Seatpost Included: Yes, Carbon 0mm or 25mm offset
Seat Collar Included: Yes
Rear Axle: 12mm Thru x 142mm
Sizes: XS | SM | MD | LG | XL |
Colors: Gloss Platinum with Silver and Kandy Red accents and logos
Frameset includes the Parlee Carbon Cockpit: Handlebar (40cm, 42cm, or 44cm options), Stem (90mm, 100mm, 110mm, or 120mm options), Seatpost, & Bottle Cages
*Specs are subject to change. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.