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New Parlee Taos Gravel Bike is all about Traction

parlee taos gravel bike shown from the side

Hot on the heels of their Ouray all-road bike comes the Taos, a versatile gravel bike with the same monocoque “nude” carbon frame construction but a focus on delivering next-level traction.

Inspired by the wide variety of terrain around Taos, New Mexico, their latest creation fits huge tires and uses a dropped-stay, heavily sloping frame design to soak up chatter and keep your wheels planted. It also replaces the Chebacco as their stock offering, though you can still get a full custom Z-series gravel frame if you want.

An all-new frame

parlee taos gravel bike shown from front angle.

Like the Ouray, the Taos’ frame is a full monocoque design, made in one piece in their new European partner factory, and comes with a waxed finish sans paint.

parlee taos gravel bike shown from rear angle.

This design gives them complete control over the entire bike’s ride quality in ways that tube-to-tube or lugged construction can’t. And they do it with such precision that every UD layer you see is exactly how it comes out of the mold, perfectly placed and absolutely functional…there are no added cosmetic layers, finishing, bonding, overwraps, or filler.

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike carbon fiber layup.

Which is why they offer it with a nude finish that has nothing but a durable wax coating over it. That makes it lighter, with a claimed average frame weight under 1kg, yet it’s tough enough to withstand the elements and a few knocks. Because it’s a gravel bike, high-impact zones are reinforced, and rubberized protective shields cover the bottom of the downtube near the BB and the chainstays.

About that traction

parlee taos gravel bike shown from non drive side.

With the one-piece construction, Parlee is able to tune the carbon fiber used in the seat tube, top tube, and seat stays to be more compliant at the saddle than a typical gravel bike. They claim it has 20% more compliance at the saddle than is typical. While you feel that as more comfort, it also means the rear tire has more consistent contact with the ground, which translates to better traction as the wheel skips less.

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike tire clearance.

The Taos fits up to 700x50mm (2.0″) tires, which maximizes the tire patch and volume, also aiding in grip and comfort. They say it all adds up to a bike that offers better traction than anything else on the market.

It’s also fast…

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike drivetrain.

The bottom half of the bike is stiff for efficient power transfer. Whether you’re grinding up a climb, hammering for the finish, or just making the miles disappear as quickly as possible, it’ll make the most of all your watts.

Subtle aero touches help with this. The top of the downtube is a subtler version of their wind tunnel-proven Recurve design, and all cables and wires are hidden inside the stem and frame for a full stealth look. Parlee isn’t making any aero claims for the Taos, but it’s designed with single-day races like Unbound, BWR, etc., in mind.

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike internal storage compartment in downtube.

As such, it has three bottle cage mounts (two inside the front triangle, one underneath) and top tube bag mounts, plus their first-ever internal downtube storage compartment. But that’s about it. You can strap more bags to it, but it’s not intended for fully-loaded bikepacking.

…and versatile

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike front axle flip chip.

The Taos’ geometry is suspension corrected. Its fork has a 425mm axle-to-crown measurement, similar to modern gravel suspension forks. Add any 30-40mm fork you want and geometry barely changes.

Keep it rigid and you can use the flip-chip dropout to change the fork offset from 45-51mm. While it’s billed as a gravel bike, Parlee knows many riders like their bikes to pull double duty, and this one’s compatible with tires down to 700×32. Change the fork offset to adjust the handling to suit your tire size and needs.

Geometry & standards

parlee taos geometry chart.

The Taos is offered in six frame sizes, each with the option for standard or tall head tube setups. This, along with full custom component builds for every bike based on your fit data, ensure almost every rider can find a perfect fit aboard the Taos.

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike cockpit.

The bike comes with integrated headsets for stealth routing, and they use the common headset standards so you can use any common setup from FSA, ENVE, Token, Deda, PRO, etc.

closeup of parlee taos gravel bike cockpit.

They also use a standard round seatpost and T47 BB. The front brake comes standard with a 160mm rotor as the smallest size, which lets you easily switch to a 180mm rotor without any special adapters. The rear brake sticks with the common 140/160 sizing.

Spec overview

  • Construction: One-piece, UD (uni-directional) carbon monocoque frame and fork
  • Design: All-road geometry with modular Flex-Fit system
  • TT Slope: Sloping, 15-21 degrees (size-specific)
  • Tire Clearance: 32-50mm (measured)
  • Seatpost: 31.6mm, round, 0mm or 25mm offset, replaceable external clamp
  • Cabling: Full internal routing, electronic drivetrain only
  • Bottom Bracket: T47, internal, 85.5mm width
  • Drop Outs: 142mm thru-axle, UDH (Universal Derailleur Hanger) compatible, 140/160 rear rotors
  • F. Derailleur: Braze-on, removable, includes 1x blanking panel
  • Standard Finish: Nude, waxed carbon – Parlee Paintlab custom paint available
  • Fork Specs:
    • Full carbon
    • Integrated crown race
    • Hidden cabling
    • Flat mount disc
    • 100mm thru-axle
    • 160/180 rotor compatible
    • Suspension fork ready geometry
  • Headset: Integrated IS52 upper and lower, stainless bearings
  • Flex-Fit Spacers: Included ENVE, FSA, and PRO short and tall top caps and universal fit cap

The Taos will be available through Parlee’s dealer network with a wide variety of builds.


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10 days ago

No pricing. Guessing something ridiculous like €6k for the frameset? Geo’s good, but there’s not going to be much compliance with a 31.6 post even if the seat tube is very short – at it won’t effect rear wheel traction much anyway despite what they claim. There’s nothing approaching flex stays here to aid traction. Moreover … why stop at 50mm clearance on a brand new bike when everyone and their mother is trying to run 53mm (2.1″ tires) now?

Mr. P
Mr. P
10 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

“Flexing” seatsays won’t really flex as they are a supported triangle. However, flexing through the top tube and seat tube is less supported and where flex comes from.

9 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

Frames take a few years to develop and set up production for. 2.1″ or more on light carbon gravel bikes is not mainstream, maybe some Unbounders and garage tinkerers, but generally it’s getting into tyre-bike mismatch ground imo/ime.

6 days ago
Reply to  Oliver

If you want bigger then a 50mm on a gravel bike then you’re on the wrong bike. Your comments regarding compliance and traction are pretty uninformed considering you don’t have any clue as to the type of probation of the cloth being used. You’re just assuming.

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