With more than half of their road bikes sales now getting disc brakes, Parlee made the call to update its TTiR triathlon bike to use disc brakes, arguably becoming the first major disc-only tri/TT bike on the market. Availability of wheels from Mavic, ENVE, Zipp and HED (including a disc brake full-disc rear wheel from HED) didn’t hurt the decision, but the way they went about it is quite unique.
The new TTiR is the replacement for the prior model, so it’s now only a disc brake bike, no rim brake version will be offered. Other than water bottle bolts, it shares nothing with the prior generation…it’s a complete clean-sheet redesign to be 100% optimized for disc brakes.
Bob Parlee revised the fluted tail designed on their ESX and prior TTiR bikes to improve overall aerodynamics. They were able to obtain similar aerodynamics straight on and with shallow yaw angles, but actually improved the aerodynamics on steeper yaw angles. They proved that in the A2 Wind Tunnel in North Carolina, getting results they say will likely surprise folks that think disc brake bikes are less aero. The full unveil will be at Eurobike, where we suspect they’ll have aero drag charts to bolster these statements.
“You add a little bit of surface area at the brake, including frontal, but because the cabling is a lot cleaner and the area above the wheel is cleaner means any loss you have at the rotor is offset by gains on the rest of the bike,” Parlee’s Tom Rodi told us. You can’t just look at the additional drag at the rotor area in isolation.”
Part of their aerodynamics trickery are carbon fiber caliper covers. Rodi says they do not trap heat as they’re totally vented on the top and back sides, adding “We probably could have made them closer fitting, but we wanted to ensure universal brake compatibility. We’ve played with other versions, but we wanted to play conservatively and not spook anyone with this first iteration.”
Other gains were had by designing their own fully integrated front end, including the fork, with a select modular cockpit parts (pads, hardware and extensions) produced for them by Profile Designs.
“With the plethora of wheel options available now, and the performance offered by disc brakes, we knew this is the direction we had to go after riding (prototypes),” Rodi said. “This is it. There’s no more reason to offer one with rim brakes.”
The bike is available for pre-order through dealers for shipping in November. Retail starts at $6,299 for complete bikes, framesets should also be available. They’ll come stock in a gloss black, but Parlee’s in-house paint team can pretty much do anything you want.