There are those who will tell you that carbon fibre bikes lack soul, that only "steel is real". That's simply, objectively, wrong. The essence of a bike comes not from the material, but the craftsmanship with which it is assembled, the thought and experience that goes into its construction, the expertise in its design.
There's no better example than a Parlee Z-Zero. All you need is to see, feel and above all ride one of these exceptional handmade carbon framesets to appreciate the blend of traditional skills and modern technology that blend seamlessly to produce a bike that rides like no other
Parlee isn't a brand name conjured out of thin air to create a brand image, to hark back to a mythical golden age - it's named after founder Bob Parlee (pictured above). And for him to put his name to a bike it needs to be not just light, or stiff, but to have a unique ride quality that Parlee owners instantly recognise; a combination of liveliness and stability that comes from a deep understanding of their materials.
We're bike fit specialists, obsessed with finding the perfect fit, and in Parlee we've found kindred spirits. Creating the bikes they want to ride themselves, they're not slaves to fashion, but readily adopt cutting-edge technology where real benefits can be proven. The end result is a bike like the Z-Zero, which uses an innovative technique to join individual carbon tubes, providing a ride feel that's tailored to the individual customer.
Parlee make their own tubing in-house in their Massachusetts workshop, with a range of five different layups to cater for different bike and rider types (and which are blended together in the Z-Zero to create uniquely precise custom qualities).
With each frame handmade in the USA Parlee have full control over the process from initial design to final paint.
They can alter frame geometry by as little as 0.1-degree angularly and one millimeter linearly, giving a level of precision that helps us to find the right fit for any rider and riding style. Of course not everyone needs full custom geometry, and their regular geometry is born from more than a decade of experience, providing a huge range of fit options as standard.
The handmade nature of the Z-Zero opens up a world of options:
Cable stop placement, internal Di2 and EPS routing, eTap-specific frames with no unnecessary drillings, additional eyelets, pump pegs and bottle mounts - the choice is yours.
Choose a conventional threaded bottom bracket, or opt for Press-Fit 30. Add mounts for racks, mudguards, power meter sensors and more. Select Parlee's standard 31.6mm seatpost or choose from a variety of integrated seat post options.
We work with you to ensure that your new bike meets your exact requirements, whatever they may be. Parlee's CAD system allows them to create a unique PDF showing exactly what you'll get, so you can sign off on every last detail.
Many Parlee owners opt for a 'raw' carbon finish to really highlight the neatness and beauty of their handmade carbon frame. But Parlee also have an in-house Paint Lab, fully equipped to produce unique custom designs. All paint, no decals, and as Parlee themselves say "the only limitation is your imagination".
Our interactive online Bike Builder is the perfect place to start, choose the Z-Zero or the gravel/adventure focused Z-Zero XD and build your complete dream bike.
Then get in touch and let us guide you through the myriad options available.
Nobody does carbon like Parlee, and nobody does Parlee like Bespoke. We were their first UK distributors, we've hosted the UK and European launches of many of their new models, and we have unrivalled experience fitting and building their bikes.
Check out over 60 examples of our perfectly fitted Bespoke Cycling Z-Zero builds (yes, that's the Z-Zero alone) in our Build Gallery.
Below are just a few highlights of bikes we've built, there really is an unlimited world of possibilities, from paint to component choice.
Take a look at the bike that Barry has chosen to ride in the Haute Route Ventoux, plus his dilemma of which wheels to useRead more
The RZ7 aero road bike aims to blend Parlee's traditional smooth handling and ride with real aero benefits. How does it do? Barry takes a look...Read more
GPS, power meters, Strava times... they have their place, but sometimes we just want to turn off the screens, jump on the bike and have FUN...Read more