2014 S-works SL4 DA Di2 or Parlee Z5 SLI DA Di2

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Bradcycles
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:05 am
Location: san francisco bay area, ca

by Bradcycles

I am thinking about getting one of these bikes as my next bike. I currently have a S-Works SL3 with Sram RED. I have loved my SL3. I really have no complaints. But, I'm interested in getting a new bike with the DA Di2 since I've heard good things about it. I do all types of riding and racing - fast group rides, long hilly rides, road races, and criteriums. I tend to be an all around rider - pretty good on flats/rollers and sprints, and can be an ok climber at times, too.

The appeal of the SL4 to me is that I'm a very happy SL3 owner, and I imagine I'd feel the same way about the SL4. The appeal to me of the Parlee is that it's something a bit different from what everyone else has, and I've heard good things about the bike. I think I might be able to get the Parlee for slightly cheaper than the SL4. I'd likely get an SRM or Garmin Vector pedals for either setup. I did a short test ride the other day on the Parlee and thought it felt really nice, but I have a hard time making a judgment on just doing a 20 minute ride around flat roads. I think I'd need to ride a bike for at least a week straight under various circumstances to really get a sense of how much I'd like the bike.

Any thoughts as to which would be the better bike for me? Anyone who has ridden both bikes and has thoughts on the differences between the two?

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kaaos
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 5:34 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by kaaos

here is one review from someone that is dealer for both, Parlee and Specialized:

http://velove-cycles.com/?p=196#axzz2bMJslWtU

by Weenie


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53x12
Posts: 3762
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:02 am
Location: On the bike

by 53x12

I can't tell you what bike to get. Can only tell you what I would do if I had $$$ to spend. I would get either a Crumpton or a Parlee at this point. Partly due to them being different than anything I have ever owned. Partly based on the reviews and reputation. And partly due to them just looking amazing.

You seem happy with the SL3, but what will the SL4 give you that the 3 doesn't? A little more stiffness, some fewer grams and maybe some more comfort? I am hearing a SL5 is due to be released soon, but don't know if that is true. Ultimately the Parlee would be a completely different bike and feel than the SL3. That could be a good thing if you want to experiment and try something new. If you wanted to try Di2 out there are other great frames as well.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

Sykes
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:35 pm

by Sykes

If you have a bike that you love, why not just have a Di2 upgrade kit installed? This could be done sub $2k at a LBS or sub $1.5k if you buy online. I bought mine for $900 from PBK. Of course if you want a new bike, then get a new bike, but if you truly love your current one and just want to try Di2 that is what I would do.

FWITW I don't have any experience with the two frames you're looking at. Just trying to offer you another option.

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carlislegeorge
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:13 pm

by carlislegeorge

First off, I'll preface my comments as coming from a recreational rider that just likes to go as fast as possible but doesn't race at all, and has no aspirations for such.

I owned a 2011 Tarmac SL3 Pro Project Black (not S-works) with Dura Ace 7900/7950. I rode it about a year and a half; it was a great bike in all respects.

When I wanted to try Di2, I decided on a new frame, in part because of snob appeal...I just got tired of seeing a million Spesh bikes every time I rode, and have never thought the S-Works justified the premium for a Spesh.

I did a long test ride on the 2012 Parlee Z5 SLi and was sold immediately. At the time, I was trying to choose between the Parlee and a Colnago C-59. The Parlee does everything my Tarmac did and more, with subtle ride characteristics I've never felt anyplace else. I also got a slightly taller head tube.

So you see where my preference is. Having said that, if I was going to ever buy another Spesh, it would be the S-Works SL4...with a decent paint scheme.
2011 Tarmac Pro SL3 Project Black (gone but not forgotten)
2012 Parlee Z5 SLi (just because)
2014 Colnago C59 (why not)

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Velovecycles
in the industry
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:56 am
Location: Melbourne

by Velovecycles

Coming form someone who owns both of the bikes in question (S-Works SL4 and a Parlee Z5 SLi), I can tell you that both bikes are stunning bits of kit. You'd be happy with either. I have also owned an S-Works SL3 - the upgrade to the SL4 is a noticeable one: in terms of stiffness, yes, but especially in terms of comfort - the SL 4 is a far superior riding experience than the SL 3, it descends with more confidence, feels noticeably stiffer (especially in the front triangle and BB), corners better and feels far smoother over less than perfect roads. if you've had an S-Works SL 3 then you'll be both amazed and pleased at the upgrade to the SL 4.

Having said that, the Parlee Z5 SLi is better again than the SL 4 - the frameset just disappears underneath you, getting out of the way of your enjoyment of the ride. It descends like it's on rails, feels a little stiffer and slightly less comfortable than the SL 4 but still manages to insulate your contact points from road buzz. In short, it feels lively and not at all dead or wooden - the SL 4 can feel a little less lively at times.

If you can get a Parlee Z5 SLi with similar/the same finishing kit as an S-Works SL 4 for less money, then I'd absolutely jump at that. You won't regret joining the Parlee family for a second!
Bikes:
Parlee Z1 - Custom Geo, Custom Paint, Super Rec.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Geo, Wax Finish, Enve 3.4's CK Hubs, Record.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Paint & DA Di2, Custom White Ind Wheels.
No.22 Great Divide - Custom Geo, Super Rec & eeBrakes.

poppiholla
Posts: 471
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:18 pm

by poppiholla

Where do you live and is the brand important to you? I ask you this question because in the end you have to be in love with your bike. If you don't feel emotion or love for a Parlee it does not matter if the Parlee is the better bike. In the end it is the emotion that counts. I own a Tarmac S-works sl4 and I love the bike. I also like the Parlee z5sli and I would love to try one, as I also want to try a Colnago C59, but it makes me proud when people are staring at my S-Works and making nice comments on the bike.
If you live in a country where Parlee is not a well known brand people are not going to see that you actually have a beautiful brand and bike to ride. a lot of people in Europe are not familiair with Parlee bikes. So you have to be honest with yourself: Is the "snob" part important to you and do you like it when people see that you have a expensive bike. If the answer is yes, buy a S-works. If the answer is no: follow your heart!

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Velovecycles
in the industry
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:56 am
Location: Melbourne

by Velovecycles

Poppiholla: I live in Australia. To be utterly frank, the Parlee brand is not exceptionally well known here. Having said that, people who are into cycling in a big way do know the brand. I personally love my S-Works Tarmac SL 4 and do get a lot of compliments on it whenever I ride it. Having said that, I'm far more the type of person who buys things based purely on the quality of the item and not on the brand name and any *snob* value that may be associated with it. Owning both an S-Works SL 4 and a Parlee Z5 SLi, I can tell you which one is the better bike to ride - the Parlee wins without any doubt. I love the Parlee just as much as I love the S-Works and I wouldn't want to give up either, but when it comes time to select a bike for the day with noting in mind but the sheer enjoyment of the ride, I pick the Parlee Z5 SLi more often than any of my other rides.
Bikes:
Parlee Z1 - Custom Geo, Custom Paint, Super Rec.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Geo, Wax Finish, Enve 3.4's CK Hubs, Record.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Paint & DA Di2, Custom White Ind Wheels.
No.22 Great Divide - Custom Geo, Super Rec & eeBrakes.

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MarkGiardini
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:55 am
Location: Vladivostok

by MarkGiardini

Where in Australia man? You can always have a ride of my Venge!
KWalker wrote:chill out perv dogs, homegirl is still only 17.

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Velovecycles
in the industry
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:56 am
Location: Melbourne

by Velovecycles

MarkGiardini: Mark, you KNOW where I am! I sold you your Venge!! And thanks, but I have my own :>
Bikes:
Parlee Z1 - Custom Geo, Custom Paint, Super Rec.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Geo, Wax Finish, Enve 3.4's CK Hubs, Record.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Paint & DA Di2, Custom White Ind Wheels.
No.22 Great Divide - Custom Geo, Super Rec & eeBrakes.

poppiholla
Posts: 471
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:18 pm

by poppiholla

Hi Velovecycles: Thanks for your opinion. I agree with you. I did not ride a Parlee. In the Netherlands 90% of the cyclists do not know Parlee bikes. You never see one in the wild.
I am very curious about a Z5sli and I would love to test ride one.
I did not want to make any judgement about a z5sli or a S-works. I only want to give the topic starter the advice to be honest in his decision for a bike.

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MarkGiardini
Posts: 494
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:55 am
Location: Vladivostok

by MarkGiardini

Well hello Mr Roberts :grin:
KWalker wrote:chill out perv dogs, homegirl is still only 17.

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Velovecycles
in the industry
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:56 am
Location: Melbourne

by Velovecycles

:>
Bikes:
Parlee Z1 - Custom Geo, Custom Paint, Super Rec.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Geo, Wax Finish, Enve 3.4's CK Hubs, Record.
Parlee Z Zero - Custom Paint & DA Di2, Custom White Ind Wheels.
No.22 Great Divide - Custom Geo, Super Rec & eeBrakes.

Bradcycles
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:05 am
Location: san francisco bay area, ca

by Bradcycles

thanks to everyone for their input - it's super helpful. it's especially helpful reading the comparisons between sl3, sl4, and the parlee. based on the input, i'm definitely leaning towards getting the parlee. i live in the san francisco bay area, and specialized bikes are very common here. every group ride has lots and lots of specialized bikes. people also have parlees around here, but they certainly aren't anywhere near as common. for me, i just want the best quality ride (and lightweight) - any "snob" appeal isn't important to me. for the new bike i get, i'm planning to use my existing wheels with it (enve 3.4 carbon clinchers with the new alchemy (black) hubs and the enve 6.7 carbon clinchers with chris king (red) hubs).

poppiholla
Posts: 471
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:18 pm

by poppiholla

I think it is a good reason to buy the Parlee Z5SLI when everybody else rides Specialized. In the US Parlee and Specialized S-works both have a huge "Snob" factor so this is not an issue. :-)
I think it would be very wise if Parlee should make direct sales possible through their website in Europe.

by Weenie


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