Parlee Chebacco gravel adventure road bike

Parlee’s Z Zero XD was introduced at Sea Otter this past spring as their go anywhere, do anything all road bike. But that one’s a very expensive, full-custom-only tube-to-tube bike that’s not within most people’s budget.

Fortunately, this new bike is the production version of the Z Zero XD. Named Chebacco after the original name for Parlee’s home area of Essex, way before Massachusetts was a state. There’s a rough gravel and dirt road there that they use to test their bikes, and they joked that they should make a bike just for it. Now that bigger tires are en vogue, the time was right, and the Chebacco was moved into production.

Complete bikes will start at $4,500 with 105, Ultegra at $5,000 and Ultegra Di2 at $6,000. Frameset price is $4,000, so yeah, just get the 105 complete bike. If that seems odd, consider it an indication that they’re looking to be more of a bike brand than a frame brand…

parlee-chebacco-gravel-adventure-road-bike-03

Frame weights are running around 950g, which is a bit heavier than their road bikes. It shares a lot of DNA with the Altum, which explains how they kept the weight down for a bike that could be so versatile.

They found that other bikes in the category could be a bit harsh on the front end when run with narrower road tires. Most gravel/adventure road bikes are running 30-40mm tires, which masks a lot of road vibration and bumps. But when they put a 25 on them it wasn’t as comfortable, so they tuned the Chebacco to ride comfortably with standard road tires, too.

Rider positioning and sizing basically mirrors the Altum, so if you ride a medium on that, you’ll ride a medium here, too. But the head angle is a bit slacker, and chainstays are punched out a little, too. That stretches the wheelbase enough to make it more stable off road, but since Parlee’s road bikes are on the quick side, it doesn’t make it a slouch by any stretch.

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There’s clearance for a 40c tires with fenders. It’s running their fork with 15mm thru axles. They looked at 12mm and flat mount, but we’re tired of waiting for parts and industry to come together, and with a 15mm front, there are way more wheel options and their molds can always be sized down to fit a 12mm thru axle if that takes over.

parlee-chebacco-gravel-adventure-road-bike-09

Rear runs a modular dropout system that accommodates 12×142 thru axle and standard quick release.

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The bottom bracket section should look familiar to Parlee fans, just with a less pronounced rounding in front of the crank’s spindle. The backside slopes off, which should hopefully keep mud and muck from settling there.

Available in October.

ParleeCycles.com

16 comments

  1. JBikes on

    “…that’s not within most people’s budget…”
    Oh thank god they solved that problem… (yes, sarcasm people).

    Joking aside, its nice, but I think the frameset pricing is a slap in the face regardless of their desires.

    Reply
  2. Liberty555 on

    I hate to ruin your day Heffe and JBikes but I don’t think Parlee have you in mind when it comes to their business model.

    It’s funny that people will think it’s ok for a company like Lightweight or even Zipp to sell a set of wheels that cost as much but that a whole bike frame can’t?

    I can’t afford a Parlee or a Ferrari but I don’t moan about it!

    Reply
  3. JBikes on

    I not complaining about the price of the bike, I actually think its not too bad. But I do laugh that they want to be a “bike brand” instead of “frame brand” and there way of doing this is grossly overpricing their framesets (in relation to their built bikes).

    My comment was more poking fun a the statement that their Z Zero XD is not within most people’s budget, but this supposedly is. Apparently that went over your head.

    Reply
  4. Veganpotter on

    Yup, still pricey but its a least in the ballpark with the big brand’s high end bikes. I guess average Joe could buy one if he’s smart.

    IF this is made in the US, that’s a remarkable price for a smaller company. If its made in Asia like some of their other frames, it seems overpriced for what you’re getting(just like any other higher end carbon frame made in Asia)

    Reply
  5. Yerma on

    Dear Bikerumor, Although I appreciate your showing photos of cyclocross and gravel/adventure bikes SEAT stays to indicate the perceived tire clearance, it’s not very useful. Rarely are the seat stays the limiting factor. It’s the chain stays. Limited by the bb standard used by the manufacturer and the amount of tube layup/manipulation. I know it’s easier taking a photo of the tire and seat stays but please stop pointing out that there is clearance for xx mm tires as a caption to the ss pic. What matters is the clearance at the CS near the bottom bracket.
    Yours truly,
    35 years of riding and racing.

    Reply
  6. Ditto on

    Dear Yerma of 35 years of riding and racing,

    “There’s clearance for a 40c tires with fenders.”

    The pictures were to illustrate clearance for tires with fenders.

    Furthermore, chainstay clearance/manipulation are fairly well represented in the last two images.

    (deleted)

    Yours Truly,

    35 years of being a terrible rider with good reading skills.

    Reply
  7. Mike on

    ^—- What Yerma said.

    – Guy who still doesn’t get how a “gravel” bike isn’t just cyclocross bike barely more tire clearance, but whatevs.

    P.S. And in my day I road my 10 speed Schwinn Paramount with 23c tires on doubletrack and liked it. Shaddup. Get off my lawn.

    Reply
  8. Yerma on

    Ditto: 1. The tires in the photos are not 40c. 2. If you can tell the space from the two photos of the bb/seat stay area, your imagination is even better than your reading skills.

    Reply
  9. Frank on

    I give Parlee credit for getting the tire clearance right. So many other manufacturers are missing the mark on that. Good looking bike too. I’d like to see the geometry and specs on their website (if they are there, I couldn’t find them).

    I do wish some of these gravel bikes would come equipped with SRAM so I could run a MTB rear derailleur and cassette. We have some wicked steep climbs in the Driftless Region here.

    Reply
  10. Frippolini on

    USD 4000 for a 105 bike … they can’t be serious.
    Been in the bike area for a long time, familiar with many brands, and two things strike me…
    1. I can get a far better bike for USD 4000 than what they advertise here.
    2. Have hardly heard of Parlee, and I doubt that I’m the only one.
    With the two factors above, I think its going to be a hard sell for Parlee.
    Otherwise the bike looks nice, but for USD 4000 … I’ll pass.

    Reply
  11. Sevo on

    Frippolini-if you haven’t heard of Parlee youmre either new to the sport or not paying attention. They’ve been around 12-15 years.

    Reply
  12. JBikes on

    Parlee has been around awhile and build nice custom and production carbon bikes.
    Without riding it, it would be hard for anyone to say how it’s priced compared to competitors. A bike isn’t just geometry and components.
    I like what they said about tuning with low volume tires instead of relying on fat Rubner for a nice ride.

    Reply
  13. Ditto on

    Yes, my imagination – otherwise known as experience – is quite good.

    But yet, my point remains.

    You criticized the photo, the caption of the photo indicated clearance with fenders, which is not (generally) influenced by chainstay clearance.

    You then went on a tangent about how people don’t understand things as well as you do, citing your extensive riding and racing experience (as if it matters. I’ve used hammers with more technical know-how than pro racers, and Thursday night MAMILS who could detail the nominal gains from position and drivetrain friction services).

    Tires are Mud Wrestlers at 33, and with my imagination (again, some would call it experience) I can estimate what a 40c would inflate to on the Mavic hoops being used. I’m sorry your experience (or, as some would call it, ‘imagination’) does not help you do this.

    Otherwise, you are lambasting BR over a moot point – which was that images of the seat stays do not adequately demonstrate clearance for the ‘maximum recommended tire size’ put out by a manufacturer.

    Since you are undoubtedly aware that inflation changes casing size based on things such as pressure, innertube type/tubless, rim, and rim depth & width you can understand why taking a photo of ‘lots of clearance’ or ‘little clearance’ at the chainstay would not fulfill your specific point of interest either.

    You may want to learn how to trust that when a manufacturer, such as the quality company as subject of the original article, states the maximum recommended tire size – it will *generally* fit with a minor amount of clearance.

    If, for some reason, you absolutely *require* to know if some 40cc tires will mount up to these specific mavic rims at the completely unknown inflation pressure… I would recommend asking a local parlee dealer to demo the rig for you. They would likely be more than willing and very happy to accommodate interest – as, generally, people in the bike industry do love bikes.

    What people in the bike industry do not like is being told they are doing an inadequate job by someone with experience but without perspective.

    Have a great day, go ride a bike.

    Reply
  14. yerma on

    Nice!
    You win! Feel better?

    The photos do a great job telling me the clearance… at the seat stays.
    I apologize to BR for “lambasting” them. i.e. asking for photos of the tire/clearance at the cs.

    Not really a question of trusting the manufacturer. In fact the Parlee I owned a number of years ago was quite nice.
    I’ve also owned a few cross bike that stated a max width at the cs and it turned out to be untrue. Imagine that. carbon layups vary and advertising is optimistic. *generally*.

    But you’re right… mea culpa.

    Now where did I put my slide rule…

    Reply

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