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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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.
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.
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.