I understand your desire to have the ISP for the look, normally I think many ISP's look clunky because of the topper, but it looks good here, because the topper is "slammed" and painted in the same color as the frame.
I would have chosen standard seat post, because I know that I do tweak my saddle height a bit from time to time. And I don't think I could have imagined that the ISP could be made to look like that
I agree with you on most ISPs. They end up looking quite awful once a topper is added, as most of the toppers on the market are horrible appendages that just destroy the otherwise clean lines. Parlee uses either a Ritchey topper (for setback, and it's awful) or Tune (for no setback), and I think it integrates nicely when painted.
I've been messing with my fit now for ~9 years, so I've gotten to the point where I'm pretty OCD about saddle height (743mm), and I don't change it. The few bikes I have are all set up identically. I knew that if they did the ISP correctly, I could get the topper "slammed" and not expose any bare carbon. The only experiment here is the new Arione 00, which has a stack height of 4cm as opposed to the previous Arione's I've ridden (CX), which had a stack height of 5cm. If I don't like the new Arione, I'm a bit stuck.
I can't wait to hear how it rides..Bike 1
I tried to search your posts to figure out how you mad your decision for a Parlee and what bikes you have owned before.. Would be interesting to know a bit about along with your ride report!
: I started out 9 years ago with an Orbea Lobular 100 (aluminum front triangle, carbon rear). It was an interesting bike and very stiff, but it suffered from a terrible speed wobble at 38mph. Being basically new to the sport (after a 20+ year hiatus), I assumed it was rider error until I got on something else and realized that the geo of the frame was fundamentally screwed. Sold that on Craigslist after about 2 years to make room for a huge step-up.Bike 2
: My wife told me to buy a bike that I'd keep for 10 years, so I bought a Parlee Z3 (M/L Tall). I absolutely loved that bike. It did everything well and always left me feeling like it had more to give. Owning that bike pushed me to become a better cyclist and I truly fell in love with the sport. That was my first 5k+ mile year. Last February 24th, however, I was descending a hill near my house (Claremont Ave for those of you in the East Bay of the Bay Area), and a minivan cut directly across the road in front of me. The Garmin says I went from 40 to 0 as I took the impact with the front of the bike and then my face. I won't go into the gory details of my condition after the rapid deceleration, but the Parlee did not survive. Headtube separated from the top tube and down tube. I place the order for the Z-Zero in March.Bike 3
: When I started racing (~4 or 5 years ago?), I bought a CAAD 9. That is perhaps the best handling bike I have ever ridden (until today). The geometry of that bike was the basis for my Z-Zero. It is truly astounding what Cannondale can do with aluminum. I still ride that bike quite often. It was to be a race and bad weather bike, but now it has DA 9k mechanical, Mavic CCUs, and a ROTOR 3D+ SRM. The front-end on that bike is so perfect that I made sure to get the Z-Zero to match exactly (at least with respect to geometry).Bike 4
: This was an impulse buy. A friend had a 2010 Colnago EPS 56 traditional that he'd decided didn't quite fit him, so he bought the same bike in a sloping 52. I told him I was bored and asked him what he wanted for it. He simply gave me a price I couldn't refuse, so I bought it, built it up with 7900 (oh, the horror), and rotated it with the Z3. It's an incredibly stiff bike -- sometimes too stiff. I wouldn't do a 100 miles on it, but it feels absolutely efficient and rock-solid. I love the colorway (AKBL), and I was lucky enough to get an FSA Plasma bar/stem painted to match by Colnago, so this won't be going anywhere. Currently, though, it's hanging on the wall without a grouppo.Bike 5
: Bike 5 is "the bike". I finally got a chance to put a few miles on the Z-Zero today (~36 miles with ~3,650 ft of climbing). My riding partner today perhaps said it best. "It's like when you are handed a very high-end watch and you can literally feel the difference in quality and workmanship." The bike is, for me, perfect. The bottom bracket is ungodly stiff, yet the frame is compliant, and I feel confident that I could ride it for 100+ mile days without issue. The front-end does feel like my Cannondale, yet it's even more rock-solid. At the same time, it's not a freightliner. Changing direction mid-corner is effortless and without drama. A little nudge of the bar or a shift in weight, and the bike responds with aplomb. On fast descents, I felt like I was going 5mph slower than the Garmin indicated; I kept having to double-check. Two words come to mind. One is somewhat clinical, and that's "neutral", as it simply takes whatever input you give it and responds immediately but without any edginess. The second word is "sublime." Carving one of the technical mid-speed descents, I was literally grinning from ear-to-ear at the character of the bike. For me, it's perfect.