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