SOC14: Parlee Cycles Updates Z-Zero with House-Made Tubes, ESX Aero Road Bike Shipping


When we visited Parlee in Massachusetts a while back, they had a single roll press for Bob to play with. Now, they’ve started making their own tubes 100% in house. Before, ENVE was making their round tubes, but now they’ve got a huge new hydraulic heat press and are bladder molding all of their tubes about 20 feet from where the frames are pieced together.

Parlee’s sales/marketing director Tom Rodi says it’s been a three year process, and it means all the tubes are now shaped, no longer just round. That includes the seat- and chain stays. For now, they’re not bladder molding entire sections of the frame as one piece…just making the individual tubes that way. They’re still joint wrapped like before, which gives them full control over the lengths and angles – They are full custom, after all…


“Before, and we were very happy with the quality of tubes we were getting from ENVE, but we were limited in how much we could innovate,” said Rodi. “From a manufacturing stand point, this will let us continually tweak, test and improve. And we feel like we have a better end product now that’s all truly custom from the ground up.”


This has let them tweak the top-end Z-Zero road bike a bit. Beyond the tube shapes, they’ve been able to create modular cable stops so the bikes can easily swap between running electronic or mechanical drivetrains. Overall weight on the Z-Zero frame won’t change much, but the tuneability of the ride quality will be that much better. Side note: Rodi says last year they were shipping about 20% of Z-Zero frames as disc brake models, but he anticipates that number being 50% within a year or so.

Some legacy frame parts for the Z1/2/3 models will likely continue coming from ENVE for now.


The first few production bikes of the Parlee ESX Aero Road left for customers’ homes around Christmas time, but now they’re up and running full speed, with a size run of demo bikes on hand at Sea Otter.


Parlee-Cycles-ESX-aero-road-bike-2014-updates Parlee-Cycles-ESX-aero-road-bike-2014-updates


The ESX was their first to use their own fork and seatpost, designed 100% in house.





Like the Z5, the ESX is made in Asia in stock sizes, not custom like their upper end Z-series.




Rico - 04/18/14 - 5:47pm

I like the paint and custom tubes, sweet jams.

Xris - 04/18/14 - 5:56pm

Loving that ESX more and more.

Devin - 04/18/14 - 8:39pm

Looking good Parlee. Molding all your own stuff in house is where it’s at, no more being at the mercy of suppliers. That’s one of the best things about working with carbon- with raw materials you can make just about anything, not so easy making your own Ti tubing…

Vince Pearl - 04/18/14 - 9:02pm

I would love to see these guys make a traditional geo frame like Colnago.

pornitswhatlwouldratherbmaking - 04/18/14 - 9:18pm

The Zero is sa-weet!!!

Bicycle Playground - 04/18/14 - 10:52pm

Amazing bikes, awesome company. Congrats on bringing the tubing in-house!!!

We’re proud to be a dealer in Huntington, NY.

Bicycle Playground

Kim Roberts - 04/18/14 - 11:15pm

Fantastic news, and another example of Parlee’s willingness to innovate and comit to superior customer satisfaction.

We also are a very proud Parlee dealer, in Melbourne Australia.

1Pro - 04/19/14 - 1:39pm

set that record straight man, the ESX is 100% Chinese made. this articles tends to lead folks to believe otherwise.

CXisfun - 04/19/14 - 2:06pm

@ 1Pro: “Like the Z5, the ESX is made in Asia in stock sizes, not custom like their upper end Z-series.”

That wasn’t clear enough?

yahoo - 04/19/14 - 4:24pm

So wait, all this time they were selling round tube frames, they weren’t the best possible design?

All the fan boys can really wet their pants when Parlee start producing their own carbon fiber too!

Psi Squared - 04/19/14 - 4:32pm

Being able to read is important: “Like the Z5, the ESX is made in Asia in stock sizes, not custom like their upper end Z-series.” So much for that whole “leading” thing.

1Pro - 04/19/14 - 7:40pm

you sticklers…

anybody else want to point it out? line up.

1Pro - 04/19/14 - 7:43pm

i re-track my sarcasm, that single line buried in a series of pics… thats how i missed it and i stand by my 1st statement.

Jimmer - 04/20/14 - 4:32pm

1Pro. There’s not much reading to do bro. Just stick with it before you get your type on.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.