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Parlee represents the highest in quality, performance, and innovation.
Parlee began with the philosophy of building bicycles of the highest quality and performance, always focusing on the engineering potential of carbon fiber. While other companies focus on the marketing potential of carbon fiber, Parlee is always striving to improve their bikes through engineering. As Bob Parlee himself has said; "I am an engineer, not a designer."
In the 1990's Bob Parlee knew exactly what the cycling industry needed in order to see a significant evolution in performance and design. Carbon fiber was already widely used in auto sports, defense, and aerospace; but was still overlooked by the bicycle industry. Through his 20 years of experience building carbon fiber sailboat hulls, he knew that this as of yet rarely used material could and would build the highest performance bicycles in the world. Just over 10 years on, and we all now know what he knew in the 1990's; carbon fiber allows manufacturers to manipulate the design of their frames to acheive incredible stiffness, compliance and scant weights. So what should you expect from the man that started the revolution? The highest quality carbon fiber frames in the world. Parlee spends 40 pain-staking hours building each frame - nearly four times longer than the average custom bicycle frame.
Parlee first introduced the concept of custom carbon fiber frames to the cycling world in 2000, and then the first custom carbon time trial frame in 2008. These two innovations allowed Parlee to offer a feature only seen in metal frames to date; a frame built specifically for them. Due to the high cost of carbon molds, most companies offer a very limited number of sizes in carbon frames; Parlee was the first company to solve this problem.
In addition to offering custom geometry on nearly all of its framesets, they have also been setting the benchmark for frameweight from the beginning. In 2004, Parlee shipped a Z1 frameset that broke the 900 gram benchmark; at a time when most were still stuck well above 1000 grams. Again in 2010, Parlee introduced the Z5, which routinely broke the 800 gram mark. While these numbers may be astounding, they are even more so given the quality of the bicycles that they represent.
Parlee produces 100% of every bicycle they sell; the tubes, lugs, dropouts, bottom bracket shells; even the carbon fiber cable stops and bottle bosses are made in-house. This is all to ensure that nothing is overlooked in production; guaranteeing that every bike is perfect.
The first frameset Parlee produced was the Z1; a frame that is still around today. This model still represents a very familiar shape today, though through massive changes to the bicycles tube and lug construction, it is lighter, stiffer and more compliant than ever. It is still revered as one of the most advanced and sought after frames in the world.
All of their frames share some relationship with their flagship Z1; a bike against which all others should be judged.