2017 Parlee Z-Zero
It’s surprisingly hard to quantify what a bike needs to do in order to be considered the best bike you’ll ever buy. Fit, feel, resilience; these are the ideas behind the goal of having the perfect bike. But the definition for each may very well be different for every rider. That’s where the Parlee Z-Zero comes in. With full customizing and semi-customizing options, this is a carbon superbike that you can build exactly to your personal specifications and preferences.
Parlee has a deep history of making some of the best custom carbon bikes, and doing it in the USA. Even if there are more manufacturers doing the same thing these days, that doesn’t make it any less special. And you’d be hard pressed to find a carbon producer anywhere in the world who is more adept at the art of taking such a mercurial material as carbon and turning it into a jewel of a bike. Though most carbon custom bikes necessarily make use a of lugged construction, which has its advantages and disadvantages, Parlee have perfected a joining process that is not really lugged and not really the tube to tube method used in monocoque production. They actually are taking bits from each method and then refining them. So they use the bladder molding process for the tubing in order to layer the tube according to individual customer’s ride requests, and then in the molding process the joints are fused into a united whole that they call a “monolithic structure”. That might sound very Kubrickian Space Odyssey-like, but if you take a look at how neatly each tube interface has been melded together, you’ll see what they mean.
What this will mean for you is that you will get a custom, or semi-custom if you want to save a grand by tweaking one of their eight stock sizes, that will be perfectly tailored to how you like to ride, while having the low weight that using a minimum of material facilitates. Something else keeping everything light is how Parlee have squeezed out as much metal from the frame as possible. The dropouts are carbon, as are the bearing races in the head tube and bottom bracket. They say they have an almost invisible 20 grams worth of metal in the whole frame, but without compromising the durability of the build. The Z-Zero in fact is around 10-15% lighter than the already nicely lightweight Z1, while offering improved torsional performance. The Press Fit 30 bottom bracket will also help keep the core of the bike responsive and make accelerating a snap.
This is the rim brake version of the Z-Zero, keeping it very traditional looking and light, though there is a disc brake option if you are interested in that avenue. The frame has been designed to accept internal electric cable routing, while the mechanical groupsets would need external cables. Aside from the custom sizing, for a surcharge, you can also get custom paint finishes. There really is no limit to the personalizing you can do with the Parlee Z-Zero. And there will be no limit to how much you love it from the first pedal stroke.
Fork: Parlee carbon
Rear Stay: Carbon
Fork Axle: QR x 100mm
Steerer Tube: 1 1/8” - 1 1/4”
Headset Included: Yes, integrated Cane Creek
Bottom Bracket Type: Press Fit 30
Cable Routing: External mechanical or internal electric
Front Derailleur Mount: Braze-on
Front Derailleur Pull Type: Bottom pull
Front Derailleur Swing Type: Bottom swing
Wheel Size: 700c
Brake Type: Caliper
Seatpost Diameter: 31.6mm
Seatpost Included: No
Seat Collar Included: Yes
Rear Axle: QR x 130mm
Sizes: 40.5cm XS | 44cm SM | 46cm MD | 48cm ML | 50cm LG | 52cm XL | 53cm XXL | 58cm XXXL | Full custom geometry available (+$1000)
Colors: Nude waxed or gloss clear coat, custom finishes available (+$100/hr)
Weight: 800g-975g | 1.76-2.15lbs