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 Post subject: Calfee, Colnago, Parlee?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:54 pm 
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A long-shot I guess, but has anyone ridden all three, or at least two of them?

Specifically a Calfee Tetra Pro, Colnago C50, and Parlee Z2. All three frames are from the mid/late 2000s, would fit very well, and are in mint condition. The Calfee and the Parlee both have "extra-stiff" tubing. The C50 is a Mk2, so it also has more HM tubing.

I am 6'-1"; 220#; not a racer.

I'm asking if there are critical differences between these frames, distinguishing qualities/weaknesses versus the others, and if one might be considered generally better and more versatile for a larger rider. The C50 is about half-again the cost of the Calfee/Parlee, but is it half-again "better"?

Thank you.

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"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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 Post subject: Calfee, Colnago, Parlee?
Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:54 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:10 pm 
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The critical difference would be the ride quality.

I've had a Calfee Dragonfly, a Parlee Z4, and a Colnago C59 (current ride). The Dragonfly was too stiff in the rear end. The ride beat me up such that I felt I was dodging every imperfection in the road. When the road was as smooth as glass, the Dragonfly felt like it was the fastest bike I've ever owned. It had this great lively feeling like you could pedal 2mph faster.

I enjoyed the Z4 and was totally happy with it but I wanted to try a Colnago. The C59 just had a bit more magic sauce to it. It feels "lively" though less than Calfee. The Z4 felt a little wooden in comparison (only a little) as I said I was happy with the Z4. The C59 is also slightly more comfortable than the Z4. The C59 achieves that magical 'stiff and comfortable' at the same time that reviewers often talk about.

I'd personally stay away from your two extra stiff options. Do you really want or need that? Maybe if you are riding criteriums?

BTW, I'm only a little lighter than you - 205lbs - 6 ft.

I'd go with the Colnago mostly because I'm a big Colnago fan. I'd also be afraid of a brutal ride on the two frames with extra stiff tubes.

The C50 should be a bit more plush than my C59.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:36 pm 
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I'd go Parlee. Colnago 15 years ago.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:22 pm 
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Location: New Zero Kanada 43° 40' 0" N, 79° 25' 0" W
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'.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:53 pm 
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Thanks all.

2 out of 3 for Colnago, so far, which is also what my gut tells me from having researched on various forums, etc. I have found that Colnago seem to be slightly more preferred than Parlee (although Parlee does "win" in some people's experience), with Calfee usually third. The stickler being that most people say that all 3 are really excellent frames.

MyM3Coupe wrote:
I'd go Parlee. Colnago 15 years ago.

What about 10-8 years ago?
The Parlee Z2 is a 2006.
The Colnago C50 is a 2008.
The Calfee Tetra Pro is 2007/08.

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"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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:08 am 
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cadence90 wrote:
I am 6'-1";


I find it very, very hard to believe a Colnago would fit you. Unless you like to run 15cm stems. Colnagos have extra short top tubes. Colnagos require extra long stems to fit. Look around at all bike manufacturers websites. All of the standard geometries. Colnago has shorter top tubes than everyone else. Is this because only Colnago knows how to build bike frames? And every other frame maker on earth is clueless? Or is everyone else right, and only Colnago is wrong? Given the odds I'd say Colnago is the wrong one and everyone else is right. After all, its fairly easy to make a test frame. I would guess all the other frame makers have experimented with frames over the years. They tried the Colnago extra short top tube and concluded its wrong. 99 saying this is the right top tube length. 1 saying the short top tube is right. Who is right?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:30 am 
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RussellS wrote:
cadence90 wrote:
I am 6'-1";


I find it very, very hard to believe a Colnago would fit you. Unless you like to run 15cm stems. Colnagos have extra short top tubes. Colnagos require extra long stems to fit. Look around at all bike manufacturers websites. All of the standard geometries. Colnago has shorter top tubes than everyone else. Is this because only Colnago knows how to build bike frames? And every other frame maker on earth is clueless? Or is everyone else right, and only Colnago is wrong? Given the odds I'd say Colnago is the wrong one and everyone else is right. After all, its fairly easy to make a test frame. I would guess all the other frame makers have experimented with frames over the years. They tried the Colnago extra short top tube and concluded its wrong. 99 saying this is the right top tube length. 1 saying the short top tube is right. Who is right?

I'm not sure I follow.

I have had a custom Kish ti for !2+ years; it fit perfectly than and it fits perfectly now.

A Colnago C50, 62 Trad, has the exact same 585mm TT, and all the other geo is very close.


Attachments:
Kish - Colnago C50 62T Frame Geometry.jpg
Kish - Colnago C50 62T Frame Geometry.jpg [ 21.83 KiB | Viewed 1428 times ]

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"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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:34 am 
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Location: Calgary
I'm your height, probably about 30 pounds lighter. I've owned at least one Colnago since 1995. I've also owned three Parlees and a number of other high end bikes (Pinarello, Pegoretti, Lemond, Moots, Wilier, Litespeed). I've owned six C40s, a C50, EP, EPS, EC, 50th anniversary and various metal frames. I've owned two Z1s and a Z4. A 59 cm Colnago with a 12 cm stem is a perfect fit for me so I don't know what the guy who says you can't get one to fit is talking about. Heck, my older son who's 6'4" has a 58S C50 and it fits him fine.

The advantage of the Parlee will be that it's probably lighter, perhaps by as much as a pound. That might not be an advantage at your weight.

If you're getting stock geometry, the Colnago will be stable at any speed, probably a bit slow handling at low speeds. Parlee stock geometry is a bit less sure handling in my opinion. Ride quality is probably pretty much a toss up between the two, Parlee might be a bit smoother. My younger son and I went on a 60 km ride a few years ago with my C50 and Z5 and we both thought the Parlee was a bit better ride. Your weight might make the C50 a bit more attractive to you than it was for me and the Parlee might be e bit soft. Personally, I'm a C40 guy now (my bike inventory is 5 C40s - lifetime supply - an EP, S&S coupled Moots for travel with Colnago geometry). I guess if you asked me to pick between the C50 and Z2 (I think it's just a Z1 with a sloping top tube), I'd go with the Colnago for handling. However, if the Parlee was even a slightly better fit, that might tip me over to picking it. Both are great bikes and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either brand.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:09 am 
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@c50jim:
Excellent reply; thanks very much.
That's quite a list of bicycles, wow!

I really don't understand what the "at 6'-1" you can't fit a Colnago" comment was about, either, especially considering that the poster has no knowledge of my proportions, etc. Anyway....

Yes, the Parlee Z2/Alpha-Q GS10 = 1644g. My Kish ti/Alpha-Q Sub3 = 1811g. The Tetra Pro/Ouzo Pro = 1875g. I don't know the C50/Carbon 75 weight (I guess the heaviest of all), but frankly f/f weight is of 0 concern to me.

It seems that the Calfee is rapidly losing ground, but I'm still torn between the C50 and the Z2. The C50 is newer by 2 years; is in fantastic condition (the Parlee is excellent too, though); and is a Mk2, which is nice. From all I have gathered, both frames will fit me well, with neither one having some critical advantage/disadvantage.

My understanding of the Parlee Z1/Z2/Z3 differences is this:
Z1 = "full custom" sizing, level or sloping tt option.
Z2 = same tube set as the Z1, but "semi-custom" sizing only, level tt only. This is the one I'm considering.
Z3 = same tube set as the Z1, but "semi-custom" sizing only, sloping tt only.

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"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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:24 am 
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My highly subjective 20 cents worth for indeed what it is worth..........

I am a steady paced comfort seeking rider ie) not part of the go fast set at all.

I rode a C50 2010 model for 4 or so years - the last of the C50's made) size 52 sloping.

I rode a Z2 of a riding 'acquaintance' for maybe 20 minutes whilst he tried my C50 over a road I have ridden over maybe a hundred occasions at the time. We both had Time RXS pedals otherwise it would never had happened. I was told it was a Z2 as it had not a sticker or decal on the bike to identify it at all, just a matt black tube and lug frameset.

I remember the seat of the pants feel was that the Parlee was a much lighter, stiffer / racier proposition - quite pronounced, even startling.

My C50 had 24mm heavy CG Pave tubular tyres fitted, his Parlee had 23mm, thin skinned Schwalbe Ultremo R.1 clincher race slicks fitted. The road surface was pretty ordinary too, however, I know a stiff less compliant frame when I ride one and the Z2 was just like that. I have no idea what size the Z2 was but it was close enough for me to ride it without issue.

Yet to clap eyes on anything from Calfee........... and here in Australia I'm not likely to either.

Z2 exciting and perhaps unforgiving. C50 predictable and most forgiving.

I've also ridden an original model Wilier Cento Uno and a Ridley Helium which also felt very much more race / speed orientated than any of my Colnago frames.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:39 am 
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eric3737 wrote:
go Parlee

What I would "go with", rather, are replies in the vein of what AJS914, GonaSovereign, c50Jim, and MJB have posted...in other words replies with actual, useful information.

MJB wrote:
My highly subjective 20 cents worth for indeed what it is worth..........

I am a steady paced comfort seeking rider ie) not part of the go fast set at all.

I rode a C50 2010 model for 4 or so years - the last of the C50's made) size 52 sloping.

I rode a Z2 of a riding 'acquaintance' for maybe 20 minutes whilst he tried my C50 over a road I have ridden over maybe a hundred occasions at the time. We both had Time RXS pedals otherwise it would never had happened. I was told it was a Z2 as it had not a sticker or decal on the bike to identify it at all, just a matt black tube and lug frameset.

I remember the seat of the pants feel was that the Parlee was a much lighter, stiffer / racier proposition - quite pronounced, even startling.

My C50 had 24mm heavy CG Pave tubular tyres fitted, his Parlee had 23mm, thin skinned Schwalbe Ultremo R.1 clincher race slicks fitted. The road surface was pretty ordinary too, however, I know a stiff less compliant frame when I ride one and the Z2 was just like that. I have no idea what size the Z2 was but it was close enough for me to ride it without issue.

Yet to clap eyes on anything from Calfee........... and here in Australia I'm not likely to either.

Z2 exciting and perhaps unforgiving. C50 predictable and most forgiving.

I've also ridden an original model Wilier Cento Uno and a Ridley Helium which also felt very much more race / speed orientated than any of my Colnago frames.

Very interesting, thanks much.

This makes me wonder...given that I have my Kish ti, which is very comfortable.
I wonder if the C50 would be a bit redundant to it, even if c-f versus ti, while the Z2 might provide a snappier, stiffer, maybe more interesting difference?

That definitely is something to consider, if in fact the Parlee is generally considered stiffer than an equivalent-sized C50. I wonder how the Z2 and C50 would compare to the Kish.

I am also curious as to this: the Z2 f/f is definitely the lightest of the bunch, and yet is the oldest of the 3 c-f frames (the Kish ti is from '05). How is it that it is generally regarded as the stiffest frame of the 3? Is it due to the modulus/lay-up/stiffness goal that Parlee was aiming for, even back then; i.e. that Parlee really looked for high stiffness as a primary consideration?

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"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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:54 am 
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Location: bottom edge of Australia
I now ride a 2008 Colnago EP size 56 trad. I have ridden my boss' 2008 EP in size 52 Sloping. They are quite different rides in my subjective opionion. The sloping frame EP is more racey, my trad geometry EP is an all day pacer.

I consider the EP a significant step up in stiffness and 'flickability' compared to the C50 which is truly armchair smooth in comparison (fitted with same saddle, wheels, tyres etc).

Maybe you can hunt down an EP frameset as they sell for similar prices to the C50 framesets? Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:03 am 
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Thanks MJB.

Yes, I would think that a sloping would feel different than a trad.
I gather what you are suggesting is that, in a Colnago, an EPS, EP, EPQ, C59 are closer to the Z2 than the C50 is?

I would have no problem looking for any of those models. I was very close to an EPS, but the steerer had been cut to about 20mm too short, so I passed.

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

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"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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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:53 am 
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Parlee (used to?) let you / advise you which tubeset to use. they have four - http://parleecycles.com/wp-content/uplo ... besets.jpg.
(http://parleecycles.com/custom/)

They also change the lug layup to tune the feel.
so... i guess i am saying not all Z2's will be equal feeling.

Oren


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Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:53 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:04 am 
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OrPe wrote:
Parlee (used to?) let you / advise you which tubeset to use. they have four - http://parleecycles.com/wp-content/uplo ... besets.jpg.
(http://parleecycles.com/custom/)

They also change the lug layup to tune the feel.
so... i guess i am saying not all Z2's will be equal feeling.

Oren

Thanks Oren. Exactly. I wrote to Parlee last week with the frame serial number, to see what they can tell me about this specific frame, but they have not replied yet.

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"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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