Parlee Z-Zero road bike review

Purpose built and refined for exceptional performance

Road Bike
The Parlee Z-Zero is the top-of-the-line (nearly $8000) offering from Parlee, a boutique bike brand out of Massachusetts.

The Parlee Z-Zero is the top-of-the-line offering from Parlee, a boutique bike brand out of Massachusetts (click to enlarge).

Lowdown: Parlee Z-Zero Road Bike

Thanks to Matt at Red Lantern Cycles in Menlo Park, California, RoadBikeReview was given the chance to test ride another super bike, this time the Parlee Z-Zero. The Parlee Z-Zero is the top-of-the-line offering from Parlee, a boutique bike brand out of Massachusetts.

Like its predecessor, the Z-1, the Z-Zero is one of the few carbon frames made right here in the USA. Indeed, each Z-Zero frame is custom made for each rider. A complete CAD drawing is made in advance detailing frames measurements, and customer can work with Parlee to alter certain measurements to get the exact ride characteristics they’re looking for. Because of the customization, limited volume, and time-consuming build process, list price for the frame is $7899. But how does it ride? Read our full review below.

Stat Box
Frame: Parlee Z-Zero carbon Tires: Vredestein Fortezza TriComp Pro tubular
Fork: ENVE carbon Saddle: Selle Italia Turbomatic
Drivetrain: Shimano Dura Ace mechanical Seatpost: ENVE
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace Available sizes: 16 base sizes in regular and tall
Crankset: Shimano Dura Ace 53×39 Size tested: 56cm tall (2.5cm taller head tube)
Bars: Deda M35 Weight: 14.3 pounds
Stem: Deda 35 MSRP: Frame, fork, headset $7899
Wheels: Corima 47 S+Tubulars Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pluses
Minuses
  • Incredible climbing ability
  • Steep price
  • Lightweight
  • Rough ride
  • Exclusivity
  • Understated look

Review: Parlee Z-Zero

It’s remarkable how you can get a feel for a bike fairly quickly. After just a few rides, you can sense the feedback from the front and back of the bike, as well as how fast it handles and how fast it accelerates. Riding the Parlee, I was reminded of my Cervélo R3. (I think the R3 is one of the most revolutionary bikes of all time, combining light weight, hill climbing ability with it’s massive top and down tubes, comfort with it’s tiny seat stays, and even a reasonable price.)

Parlee does not start fabrication without knowing the rider's needs.

Parlee does not start fabrication without knowing the rider’s needs (click to enlarge).

The “around the block road feel” went like this:

  • Slightly muted ride; not a ton of feedback through the frame. Comfortable but not jarring.
  • Remarkable, instant acceleration. Definition of a bike that shoots forward.
  • Quick handling though not nervous or twitchy
  • A lot of toe overlap
Continue to page 2 for more of our Parlee Z-Zero review

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About the author: Twain Mein

Twain Mein is fascinated with the technology and gear aspect of cycling, and is a longtime product reviewer. Twain has been doing triathlons since 1987 and has been ranked in the Top 50 U.S. National Age Group on numerous occasions.


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