Calfee, Colnago, Parlee?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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MJB
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by MJB

cadence90 wrote:Have you ever had the chance to compare the Colnagos/Parlees you rode to a ti frame?


No, never sampled a Ti let alone spent a day on one.

My experience is that the C50 is a heavier, considerably more 'compliant' frameset than the EP and from 3rd party evidence the EPS/EPQ and C59 / C60.

If you ride several hours at a time on poor road surfaces, the C50 is still the best frameset I've ridden. However, I ride a couple of hours at once if I'm lucky, usually no more than 4 at a pinch and the EP frame I have is very pleasing in that it's lighter, more responsive and yet every bit as stable as the C50 was.

OrPe wrote:They also change the lug layup to tune the feel.


Now that is a pearl of information.

by Weenie


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cadence90
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by cadence90

MJB wrote:
cadence90 wrote:Have you ever had the chance to compare the Colnagos/Parlees you rode to a ti frame?
No, never sampled a Ti let alone spent a day on one.

My experience is that the C50 is a heavier, considerably more 'compliant' frameset than the EP and from 3rd party evidence the EPS/EPQ and C59 / C60.

If you ride several hours at a time on poor road surfaces, the C50 is still the best frameset I've ridden. However, I ride a couple of hours at once if I'm lucky, usually no more than 4 at a pinch and the EP frame I have is very pleasing in that it's lighter, more responsive and yet every bit as stable as the C50 was.
OrPe wrote:They also change the lug layup to tune the feel.
Now that is a pearl of information.

Thanks once again, MJB. That is great info.

Do you recall your feelings regarding the EP versus the C50/Z2 switch ride you did? Was the EP much closer to the Z2 than your C50?

You should try ti someday! A Baum, maybe? :wink:

If Parlee ever reply to my queries, I would be interested in the lug layup details. I wonder how much they can really "tune" a frame through the lug specification, and how that is even "quantified".
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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OrPe
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by OrPe

MJB wrote:
cadence90 wrote:
OrPe wrote:They also change the lug layup to tune the feel.


Now that is a pearl of information.



You got me to question myself... so i had to make sure i am not misleading you guys...
It's here, directly fro parlee's site (and i remember reading it elsewhere as well)

Custom carbon fiber lug lay-up combined with five tube set choices allows for perfect optimization and ride tuning.
Z1s are also available with semi-sloping geometry up to 8 degrees, and can be upgraded with one of five custom crafted tube sets:
the benchmark UD, super light SL, extra stiff XL, compliant CL, or visually alluring X-woven.
Hidden, internal Di2 or Campagnolo EPS V2 wiring is also available.

http://parleecycles.com/z123/

Oren

ironman1
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:51 pm

by ironman1

Having owned a tetra Pro and still own a dragonfly, both with normal tube sets, not the extra stiff. I can tell you both ride OK but to me are not very stiff at the bottom bracket. Both bikes were 54cm. and I weigh 150 lbs. or less at race time. At your weight I would thing the Calfee would be way to flexy unless the stiff tube set makes a huge difference. Have had Colnago Extreme-c, M10 and now V1-r. I know they are not an C 50 but the handling of Colnago's is what sets them apart, they just ride "right". the handling is definitely slower which I personally like, especially more stable at 45 + MPH. I have done several 50 mile rides on a friends Parlee Z3, great bike, a little lighter and great handling. I think many would go for the Parlee IF strictly racing if your not, back to the Colnago. With all that being said wheels, tires, bars, saddle all make up how the bike feels. I think you get used to whatever you ride after a while. I love the ride of my Colnago's and on several occasions done 50+ mile rides on quicker frames such as the older Cervelo R3. When starting they seemed super quick handling, by the end of the ride handling was OK, getting back on My Colnago at the end of the ride the Colnago felt like I was steering a yacht but within a mile or so was happy to be back on it.

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cadence90
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by cadence90

OrPe wrote:
MJB wrote:
cadence90 wrote:
OrPe wrote:They also change the lug layup to tune the feel.

Now that is a pearl of information.

You got me to question myself... so i had to make sure i am not misleading you guys...
It's here, directly fro parlee's site (and i remember reading it elsewhere as well)

Custom carbon fiber lug lay-up combined with five tube set choices allows for perfect optimization and ride tuning.
Z1s are also available with semi-sloping geometry up to 8 degrees, and can be upgraded with one of five custom crafted tube sets:
the benchmark UD, super light SL, extra stiff XL, compliant CL, or visually alluring X-woven.
Hidden, internal Di2 or Campagnolo EPS V2 wiring is also available.

http://parleecycles.com/z123/

Oren


Thanks much again Oren. Parlee replied today: the frame is a 2006 Z2 (level TT) in their "standard cloth" which I think equates to the "benchmark UD" (but could be "extra stiff XL"); I have asked them to confirm.

Fantastic customer service from Parlee, by the way. They also provided the original build sheet.

ironman1 wrote:Having owned a tetra Pro and still own a dragonfly, both with normal tube sets, not the extra stiff. I can tell you both ride OK but to me are not very stiff at the bottom bracket. Both bikes were 54cm. and I weigh 150 lbs. or less at race time. At your weight I would thing the Calfee would be way to flexy unless the stiff tube set makes a huge difference. Have had Colnago Extreme-c, M10 and now V1-r. I know they are not an C 50 but the handling of Colnago's is what sets them apart, they just ride "right". the handling is definitely slower which I personally like, especially more stable at 45 + MPH. I have done several 50 mile rides on a friends Parlee Z3, great bike, a little lighter and great handling. I think many would go for the Parlee IF strictly racing if your not, back to the Colnago. With all that being said wheels, tires, bars, saddle all make up how the bike feels. I think you get used to whatever you ride after a while. I love the ride of my Colnago's and on several occasions done 50+ mile rides on quicker frames such as the older Cervelo R3. When starting they seemed super quick handling, by the end of the ride handling was OK, getting back on My Colnago at the end of the ride the Colnago felt like I was steering a yacht but within a mile or so was happy to be back on it.

Thanks much ironman. I agree. I'm definitely much larger than you, so the Calfee is out.

I am not racing, so that is not a determinant. My main quandary is which, between the Parlee Z2 and the Colnago C50, would provide a good, but different, ride than my Kish ti.

My heart (also because I am Italian), says to buy the C50; but my head, if it is still clear, thinks the Z2 might be a better complement to the Kish. With no experience on either (or any c-f for that matter) it is really a very difficult choice.
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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MJB
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by MJB

Was the EP much closer to the Z2 than your C50?


Yes, the EP is better than the C50 at converting my effort into forward progress just like the Parleeand others. However, the EP does not feel as twitchy as the Parlee. The Parlee was the sort of ride where you had to concentrate on where it was pointing as it was more easily upset by loose gravel, stones and uneven road surface. Tyres and wheels would have accounted for some of this.

I'll put it this way - The Parlee Z2 felt like it demanded maximum effort, it was lighter and just went forwards with less effort, even more so than my current EP, but I do find sloping geo bikes do this for me. I'd not like to ride the Parlee in a group situation because I'm too used to my Colnago bikes which handle very predictably even over poor quality road surfaces.


You should try ti someday! A Baum, maybe? :wink:


I live just 1 hour drive from the Baum factory ................ :lol:

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cadence90
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by cadence90

MJB wrote:
Was the EP much closer to the Z2 than your C50?

Yes, the EP is better than the C50 at converting my effort into forward progress just like the Parleeand others. However, the EP does not feel as twitchy as the Parlee. The Parlee was the sort of ride where you had to concentrate on where it was pointing as it was more easily upset by loose gravel, stones and uneven road surface. Tyres and wheels would have accounted for some of this.

I'll put it this way - The Parlee Z2 felt like it demanded maximum effort, it was lighter and just went forwards with less effort, even more so than my current EP, but I do find sloping geo bikes do this for me. I'd not like to ride the Parlee in a group situation because I'm too used to my Colnago bikes which handle very predictably even over poor quality road surfaces.

Thanks again, very helpful.

You should try ti someday! A Baum, maybe? :wink:
MJB wrote:I live just 1 hour drive from the Baum factory ................ :lol:

So, just about a nice 2.5 hour ride solo on the Z2, or in a group on the EP!!! :D

Baums look so stunning to me, even though I have never seen one irl.
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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MJB
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by MJB

So, just about a nice 2.5 hour ride solo on the Z2, or in a group on the EP!!! :D

Baums look so stunning to me, even though I have never seen one irl.


More like a 3+ hour ride- I'm no speed demon...............

Think I'll be keeping my Master X Light as my 'iron horse' option for a long time to come.

Wookski
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by Wookski

GonaSovereign wrote:I owned a Calfee Luna Pro. It was a smooth-riding bike and looked lovely. I found it to be not stiff enough through the bb and chain stays. It was a nice bike, overall.

I own a Colnago EPS (timeline: c40> c50 > EP > EPS>C59>c60) and it’s a full-on race bike. Plenty of torsional rigidity in the head/downtube and bb/stays. You’ll definitely feel more of the road, but does it ever go. The C50 I tried was comparable in terms of road feel.

155 lbs, 6'.


EPS is a very relaxed geo- not at all comparable to a c50.

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cadence90
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by cadence90

MJB wrote:More like a 3+ hour ride- I'm no speed demon...............

Think I'll be keeping my Master X Light as my 'iron horse' option for a long time to come.

Very nice.

Wookski wrote:EPS is a very relaxed geo- not at all comparable to a c50.

Wookski, could you amplify on that? I'm curious.

And, if the EPS is "not at all comparable to the C50", where do the C59 and C60 sit, relative to the C50 and the EPS?
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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madcow
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by madcow

Sounds to me like you might be overthinking this. I've ridden all 3... 4 if we're still talking about the EPS.

As far as collecting ride comparisons I don't think you can do it accurately, or more appropriately should do it. The Z2 and the Calfee have too many variations in the frame builds, so chances are no two are really going to ride the same. When people talk about ride quality often times this is strongly influenced by the build of each bike. Stem length, seatpost, tire size, tire brand, rim depth, spoke count, spoke gauge, flange spacing.... The list can go on and on but the point is that there are a ton of different things that go into defining the ride quality of a bike, not just the frame. So unless someone has ridden a Colnago and then taken all parts and moved them to a Z2 (which happens to have the same build specs as the one you're looking at) there just isn't a straight comparison.

Here's the secret in my opinion, they're all top shelf bikes and they all are great riding. By changing different aspects of the build you can fine tune the ride of each. Don't overthink it, you can't really go wrong with any of them, go for the one that speaks to you the most. If you're buying a complete bike and have the chance to ride it, I would suggest this in order to make sure the fit is proper.

I did read the entire thread and thought somewhere I saw that the Parlee had an Alpha Q fork. If that's the case I'd definitely not ride that fork. So consider the cost of replacing the fork if you go that route.

Also I saw somewhere discussion of the difference of the Z1 and Z2. The part that seemed overlooked was the seat stay junction. The Z1 typically uses two individual stays from drop out to seat tube, the Z2/Z3 uses a wishbone.

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kgt
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by kgt

madcow wrote:Don't overthink it, you can't really go wrong with any of them, go for the one that speaks to you the most.

That.

c50jim
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by c50jim

Good thoughts from Madcow. I did move parts from a C50 to a Z1 (slightly different than Z2 but probably fairly close unless it's some special order) so I have the comparison he's looking for. I'll repeat that I think both are really good bikes, I prefer Colnago handling and ride Colnagos because of that.

As Colnago ride quality and stiffness goes, I'd say the EP is underrated. I thought the ride of my EPS was worse than my EP. EP is stiffer than C50, EC or C40 but still OK for me and probably quite good at your weight. I still have my EP, sold the EPS. For Colnago ride quality, from sweetest to stiffest, I'd rank them C40, EC, C50, 50th, EP, EPS. I haven't ridden the C59 or C60.

The one thing that I wonder about for you is weight. My older son, who outweighs you by a bunch, has my old steel Tecnos and a C50. He prefers the Tecnos even though it's a bit small for him because he just doesn't get the ride he wants from the C50. So, I wonder how well my thoughts on frames would apply to you. Because of the weight, I'd be inclined to think Parlee might be whippy for you. If you're corresponding with them, ask them what they think of a stock Z2 for someone your weight. I'd also wonder about ti for you. Yes, I've owned ti (a couple of Litespeeds and three Moots) and my current travel bike is a Moots with Colnago geometry. Ti rides fine for me and I'm just as happy to ride 4-5 hours on my Moots as my C40s (or my EP) and if I were buying a new bike, I might go with a Moots RSL with Colnago geometry (do you catch that recurring theme? Colnagos just work really well for me). A custom ti might be good for you but it will cost a lot more than any of the used bikes you're looking at.

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cadence90
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by cadence90

madcow wrote:Sounds to me like you might be overthinking this. I've ridden all 3... 4 if we're still talking about the EPS.

As far as collecting ride comparisons I don't think you can do it accurately, or more appropriately should do it. The Z2 and the Calfee have too many variations in the frame builds, so chances are no two are really going to ride the same. When people talk about ride quality often times this is strongly influenced by the build of each bike. Stem length, seatpost, tire size, tire brand, rim depth, spoke count, spoke gauge, flange spacing.... The list can go on and on but the point is that there are a ton of different things that go into defining the ride quality of a bike, not just the frame. So unless someone has ridden a Colnago and then taken all parts and moved them to a Z2 (which happens to have the same build specs as the one you're looking at) there just isn't a straight comparison.

Here's the secret in my opinion, they're all top shelf bikes and they all are great riding. By changing different aspects of the build you can fine tune the ride of each. Don't overthink it, you can't really go wrong with any of them, go for the one that speaks to you the most. If you're buying a complete bike and have the chance to ride it, I would suggest this in order to make sure the fit is proper.

I did read the entire thread and thought somewhere I saw that the Parlee had an Alpha Q fork. If that's the case I'd definitely not ride that fork. So consider the cost of replacing the fork if you go that route.

Also I saw somewhere discussion of the difference of the Z1 and Z2. The part that seemed overlooked was the seat stay junction. The Z1 typically uses two individual stays from drop out to seat tube, the Z2/Z3 uses a wishbone.

Thanks madcow, for the precise overview.

Most important, the fork issue you point out is certainly not a minor one.
The fork is an Alpha-Q GS-10, Parlee painted. Per Parlee:
"The fork is indeed an Alpha Q GS-10 fork. We would not have spec'd that fork if it wasn't a good fit for all sized riders, as a custom bike builder we have to work with many different sized and shaped people. I think that you would find this fork to be comparable with the Sub 3."

So (and with no disrespect at all for Parlee), if the GS-10 fork, given A-Q's subsequent departure from the market, is suspect in the least, then that is an issue for me. It is simply not worth the safety risk, especially considering that the fork is 10 years old now. A new replacement fork, even not painted to match, would put the total price in a different orbit. In any case, irregardless of any price, potential failure is a risk I simply do not want to take.

So, thank you very much for the heads-up; it is greatly appreciated, and extremely professional of you to have pointed out this critical factor.
Last edited by cadence90 on Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

by Weenie


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cadence90
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by cadence90

@ c50jim: all excellent points, thanks much.

I do have a custom ti, a Kish from 2004. I still ride it all the time and love it.

This thread has been extremely educational for me. I think, in the end, that I may be back to looking specifically for a Colnago.
"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri

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