The new Parlee RZ7 is their new top-level road bike, incorporating everything that makes a properly modern road bike into one speed machine. It’s aero, but also gets disc brakes and big tires, and the entire package is streamlined with hidden everything. It’s all possible thanks to plenty of custom designs and parts they’re making on their own, which is how they like to do it…

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2020 Parlee RZ7 aero road bike tech details

2020 Parlee RZ7 aero road bike tech details

The bike uses their Recurve tube profiles, which are a modified truncated “flute tail” design that originated on the ESR and TTiR triathlon bike, which was also their first to use the disc brake fairings. Testing at the A2 Wind Tunnel the RZ7 showed an average of 17% better aerodynamics than the Altum Disc with less than a 100g weight difference.

Those gains are made by using their own handlebar, stem and headset sections that completely hide all cables, hoses and wires inside the cockpit and frame. Everything runs from the stem into the steerer tube, then exits out of the steerer into the downtube.

2020 Parlee RZ7 aero road bike tech details

The tube shaping is also a big part of it, and part of the good looks. The downtube has a subtle curve to follow the front wheel, with part of the frame wrapping around the fork’s crown…

Which begged the question: What happens when the wheel gets thrust around during an accident? The fork crown will make contact with the downtube/headtube section, so they reinforced the carbon in that area so neither part will be damaged. They say this was lighter than adding any sort of bump-stop, and it’s better than just letting the bar swing all the way around and impact the top tube.

2020 Parlee RZ7 aero road bike tech details

2020 Parlee RZ7 aero road bike tech details

They use a custom thru axle, and hide the threaded insert on both the fork and rear dropout. Because incremental gains.

Bigger gains are made by using carbon fiber fairings to cover the disc brake calipers.

The fairings bolt on from the inside, so you’ll need to remove the wheel to remove them.

It’s not just about aero, they also wanted to make it perform better. They say it has a 7% stiffer bottom bracket section than the Altum, and it’s also plenty comfortable. It’s disc only, which allows for up to 700×32 tires. The RZ7 will be available in five sizes and uses Parlee’s modular fit system to accommodate a wide range of rider heights and torso lengths.

The first run of 100 bikes will be this Factory Edition, all with high-end builds and special finish, including this plaque with number plate. Complete bicycles start at $6,599 for the Ultegra Di2 configuration with SRAM RED eTap AXS at $7,989.00 and Dura-Ace Di2 at $8,479.


  1. While the thinking behind a fairing is sound, the application within the current racing environment is not. At any sanctioned UCI event, you’ll be required to remove them. If you’re not racing, and won’t be on or near the podium, the incremental gain is a puff of hot air. I don’t like how the UCI operates a lot of the time, but thems the rules.

    These are done well considering, but the coverage needs to be structural to be allowed. Seeing as most flat mount brakes are similar sizes, it’s not a stretch to expect that at some point.

    • Lucky for you, they’re mounted by just a few bolts that your World Tour Mechanic should have wrenches to remove.

    • The structural fairing rule has been something that’s been a pet peeve of mine for a while now. The Pinarello Bolide utilizes non-structural brake fairings so somehow that’s side-stepping that rule.

  2. that is one beautiful bike, checks off all the boxes for my next road bike. I’m really surprised at the prices, seems a lot lower than similar builds from other manufacturers

  3. I think a number of the big mfgs have a nicer and better thought out aero bike, but they don’t get near this one on price. Which does raise the question as to how custom this bike is, where it’s made etc. Not that I really care, but often time boutique bike buyers do care about such things.

    • Parlee is always about the quality. I work for a parlee dealer. Everything that I have seen from them is nicer, more comfortable, and way more customizable then most brands out there. They offer the Core models witch are pretty much like how you would get a bike from specialized, cannondale, ect. Then thy have the LE models that are all custom to order. I have not seen this bike yet, but I have seen quite a few renderings of the bike when it was just a computer sketch. This bike in my opinion wasnt made to be the full race areo bike. It was made to be a COMFORTABLE areo bike. It will ride like no other areo bike out on the market.

  4. 17% more aerodynamic than the Altum? I have an Altum. It’s a very comfortable bike, great for long days in the saddle, but it’s as aerodynamic as a brick wall.

  5. This looks great. I was thinking of how few nooks and crannies I would have to get into in order to clean after a mucky road besides being an comfortable ride. I saw it at Sea Otter but glad I can read more here.

  6. Beautiful bike! Caught my eye in Road Bike Action. I’ve never had a Parlee, but am aware of their strong reputation. Regarding price — the stock wheels are DT Swiss E 1800 Wheels in spite of the many pictures with ENVEs. If you would want carbon wheels, you’ll need to bump the price accordingly.

  7. Nice Bike, however, you will get a lot more aero savings from an aero handlebar (like Cervelo’s S5) than from those silly brake and wheel fairings you will have to remove if you are racing in an UCI event.. so it seems Parlee needs to get a better aerodynamicist or to get their design priorities straight.

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