As my 40th birthday treat to myself, I'm investing in my first serious road bike purchase having ridden my trusty Trek Madone 5.2 for the last 10 years.
After a couple of test rides, I'm in love with the Parlees. Unfortunately my wallet isn't but hell, it's a treat eh!
My riding is mainly c. 50 to 70 mile weekend rides at avg. 17mph on pretty ordinary UK country roads. The odd 100 mile plus sportive here and there and some road bike time trials (not competitive) and maybe having my first go at Cat 4 road racing on new bike but not with nay true podium ambitions.
I've got an opportunity to buy a demo ESX at a bargain price with Di2 Ultegra, DT swiss R21s and Fzik kit.
Or an Altum-R 2016 with same gear.
But the Altum-R is coming out c. £1,000 more (by virtue of the ESX being an ex-demo bike but in as new condition). And this really is stretching my definition of a treat
So while my head says the Altum-R for a more comfortable ride and more suited to my all round needs, the ESX is looking mighty attractive at that price. But I didn't start out planning to buy an aero bike that is a bit loud and with brakes mounted low.
But that aside, the geometry looks exactly the same so as far as I can figure.So it is just aero styling, a stiffer frame and a bit more weight (not much).
So am tempted by the ESX but a bit fearful of compromising comfort and all round suitability or the Altum. Comfort being important to me given the occasional sore neck.
Appears there are a few folk on here who have owned both so welcome so views please - JimV, Kode54?
i think if comfort is key...i don't have a problem with either. i have 25mm tires on the ESX. same on the Altum. Enve 6.7 SES on the ESX, Enve 4.5 SES on the Altum. head tube on both are taller than most bikes like my AX which is 10mm lower. so if you think you'll get sore neck from a low head tube on the Parlees...i doubt it with either. one issue with the direct mount brakes...you have a limited selection. i'm using EE brakes and the bottom rear brake does get dirty. the seat post is a proprietary design with Kammtail (sp?). i recently got a set back one from Parlees for a better fit. its a comfort type of seat post which absorbs some road shock. i have the same on my Altum.