Earlier this year, Parlee Cycles seemed to be the latest victim of the pandemic’s boom-and-bust cycle, declaring bankruptcy and entering restructuring. What they couldn’t tell us then was that there was a plan, and a new owner was about to come along.
Now, the brand is back in business, with long-time fan of the brand John Harrison as the new owner and CEO. Founder Bob Parlee will focus on design and engineering, and they say they were able to keep almost their entire team through this process and everyone’s reinvigorated and excited for the next phase.
I interviewed Harrison for our podcast to hear all about it, listen to that episode here, and check the official press release below. If you’re not familiar with the brand, here are a few of the bikes we’ve covered and reviewed over the years…
The Parlee RZ7 is their aero road bike and was one of the first with fully-integrated stealth routing and shielded disc brakes.
The Parlee TTiR was one of the first TT/triathlon bikes with disc brakes and incredibly forward-thinking for its time. While these types of bikes make for great press and buzz as platforms for trying wild new aero ideas, they’re also very low volume. So, the TTiR will be discontinued by the end of this year.
Parlee Cycles Press Release
FROM PARLEE: Parlee Cycles announced that it has been acquired by an avid cyclist and independent investor. The acquisition of the brand and 100% of the assets of Parlee Cycles signals the end of their Chapter 11 restructuring and ensures the longevity of the renowned brand. The business will operate under a newly formed entity named Parlee Composites, Inc., with John Harrison assuming the role of President and CEO.
Bob Parlee, the founder of Parlee Cycles, is broadly considered one of the leading designers and original masterminds of the carbon fiber bike industry. He has designed nearly a dozen award-winning and highly sought-after bikes throughout his storied career. Bob will remain on the executive team as Chief Designer and will turn 100% of his attention to the design and development of future models. John, as CEO will focus on the development of operational excellence in the business and the expansion of sales and marketing efforts. The existing Parlee Cycles team will transition to the new organization and Parlee Composites expects to begin hiring almost immediately to support the growth anticipated in 2024.
Parlee Composites is committed to fostering growth of the legendary brand through manufacturing innovation, expansion of their global dealer network and the introduction of some exciting new models. The organization will remain dedicated to their global network of dealers and will make investments to ensure a frictionless experience through ordering, customization, fulfillment, and support.
“There are many thousands of Parlee fans around the world and I am delighted to be able to shepherd the organization into this new era and continue to deliver products that delight our customers” offered John Harrison, Parlee’s new CEO. “The scope of our plan is audacious. We’re simultaneously expanding the business and working on some truly amazing new projects that we’ll be excited to announce in 2024 and 2025”.
Bob Parlee, founder of Parlee Cycles added, “We’re delighted to work with John. He has an enormous depth of experience in sustainably scaling small businesses. He’s already been engaged with the team at Parlee and is quickly making a positive impact to our operating effectiveness”.