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Parlee Z5 Now Shipping – 800g Road Bike Frame!

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Parlee Cycles has begun shipping the Z5, a new-for-2010 road bike that takes everything they liked about their already light Z4 and shaves 1/3 of a pound.

Weighing in at around 800 grams, it claims to have all of the hallmark Parlee traits – lively road feel, comfort, fit, light weight and durability – while increasing BB stiffness and improving ride comfort. The bike is also available in an industry leading 10 stock sizes with Parlee’s unique Flex-Fit® system.

How’d they do it?  “Optimization of areas of the seat mast, dropouts, and lay-up schedule yields (on average) a 140-160 gram weight savings over our previous generation Z4 while increasing BB rigidity and ride comfort.”

What this means in actual grams saved is shown after the break…


From their website, here’s how and where they shaved weight versus the Z4:

DROPOUTS: Changed from a 2-part forged aluminum to a one-piece carbon fiber dropout.
Savings: 20 grams.

SEAT STAYS: Changed from the wishbone (as used on Z3 and Z4) to the classic, more labor intensive twin stay (with a co-molded carbon brake bridge) of the Z1.
Savings: 25 grams.

BOTTOM BRACKET: Changed the interface from traditional threaded to thread less BB30 interface.
Savings: 30 grams. (This also allows for the use of the new BB30 compatible cranks, some of which are as much as 200 grams lighter than their traditional predecessors.)

LAY-UP SCHEDULE: By carefully examining every square cm of carbon fiber prepreg, we found areas of redundant material that was able to be eliminated. By examining the structure for wasted fiber we are able to have a higher strength at a lower weight, no trade-offs. The benefits include crisper acceleration and better tracking.
Savings : 25 grams.

SEAT LUG: By moving to the next generation mold technology and moving to twin stays instead of the wishbone, we were able to eliminate the seat lug.
Savings: 20 grams.

SEAT CLAMP: Designed and built a carbon clamp that performs as well as its aluminum counterpart.
Savings: 7 grams.

FORK: The reality is that the safety regulations have changed the fork landscape for good such that many forks are no longer available or they are 20% heavier than they were 2 years ago. We found that a gentler taper to the fork, specifically from 1.125″ to 1.25″ provides all the additional strength needed while improving tracking, handling and weight savings.
Savings: 30 grams.

Across the 10 sizes, claimed frame weights range from 775g to 875g, which is extremely light, especially for the larger sizes.

Bob Parlee, Owner and Designer of the new Z5 stated, “We are very excited to bring the new Z5 to market for 2010- it is the next step forward from the Parlee Z4 in terms of performance, and showcases all we have learned in the past with our Z4 and our custom bikes all wrapped up in a great package.”

The Parlee Z5 has a suggested retail of US $3900 for frameset, and they offer build kits with Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.

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