Parlee Z1 SL - Finally a Keeper?...

Who are you (no off-topic talk please)

Moderator: Moderator Team

Tinker, Taylor, Tart
Posts: 2138
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:00 pm
Location: Sydney, Aus.

by RichTheRoadie

I was watching this one on eBay for *an age* - it was barely used and in immaculate condition. The geometry was in the right ballpark for me too (55cm TT, 58cm ST), but the HT always seemed too tall (20.4cm); and I wasn't entirely comfortable with how my saddle would look on a seatpost at my saddle height with the 72.5º seat angle. I got it down to a price that made it worth the gamble, so I took the plunge:


I have a long leg and a short torso. Part of the gamble with the bike was an experiment to be able to run a normal length stem (110mm) with a normal reach bar (circa 90mm) despite my disproportionate body. This is because I otherwise tend to force myself to fit bikes that are realistically slightly too long in the reach by using 70mm reach bars. If you've never had reason to use such short reach bars, you won't understand that the difference between riding on the tops and the hoods doesn't feel like much of a change; which can be a problem - especially if you genuinely need to rest properly on the tops for a bit, or when you're cooked at the end of a ride.

I've also arrived at the conclusion that the migraines I get are related to posture and neck strain - some of which comes from riding bikes that are realistically too low for me. The tall front end of this helps resolve that (with the Deda stem the bars are circa 20mm higher than recent builds); and gives me more room for future adjustment via higher angle stems and spacers (with the new fork) should the need arise.

Not pictured is the new fork, which I ordered partly because the one it came with is old, measures as a 50mm rake rather than the 45mm the frame was designed around and is cut slightly too short. Due to the already-limited availability of 1-1/8th forks, I went with a Pegoretti Falz v2 - perhaps an odd decision, but it was the only fork I could find at a reasonable price (I bought it raw and had it glossed for less than the price of a matte-finish Enve that wouldn't have matched the frame) and I know I like how the Falz rides, so I think it'll actually be a good choice.

In future it'll probably most often wear these Lightweights too (unless I decide to sell them), but I'm awaiting a new freehub for them at the moment.

The ride of this thing has blown me away. My last 3 builds (in as many months) have all been very firm race bikes - this is at least as responsive as all of them, yet smoother. Not bad for a 12-year-old frame... and so much so that I made a fairly big claim on Insta recently:

"Bold statement time: If I ever make noises about selling this bike, shoot me. In the face. Twice. Preferably point blank. It ain’t ever gonna get better than this...

I’ve had 48 bikes since July 2003 - I might finally have found a keeper."

It is genuinely the best bike I have ever ridden; and, for once, I might actually keep hold of it.

Some more pics:






More pics will follow - with the new fork and the WR Compositi seatpost that it is also now wearing - once I have the Lightweights sorted.

Build list as follows:

Parlee Z1 SL frame
Pegoretti Falz v2 fork
Tune Bobo headset
Deda Superleggera stem (110mm)
Zipp SL88 bars (40cm wide)
Parlee seat clamp
WR Compositi seatpost (PMP currently pictured)
SQlab ErgoWave 612 carbon saddle
Full Campagnolo Super Record 12v groupset (170mm cranks, 52/36t rings, 11-29t cassette)
Dura-Ace 9000 pedals (need replacing for 9100s soon!)
Campagnolo Bora 50 / Lightweight Gipfelsturm Schwarz Edition wheelset

Weight TBC

by Weenie

Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:11 pm

by LewisK

It's stunning! I worked in the trade a while back and sold a fair few Parlee frames and custom builds. Their engineering, craftsmanship and attention to detail is top notch. I had a Z5, probably the best bike i've ever owned. Wish I never sold it! Enjoy :-)

User avatar
Posts: 2908
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:44 am
Location: Canada

by LouisN

Yes, geometry looks pretty much oriented for a long legs-short torso type.
One of my favourite framesets. Good job :beerchug:

Louis :)

User avatar
Posts: 8679
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

Awesome! I would keep it if I where you.

Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:35 pm

by physeter

I have also a 11 years old Z1 sl and still ride it and enjoy it.

There is something special in those frames.

User avatar
Posts: 567
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:00 pm

by JKolmo

Very very nice!!

Posts: 511
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

i like how they don't drill any holes into the tubes
even the water bottle mounts are epoxied on

Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:24 am

by tonchy

Wow, such a nice frame.
And with LW's...YES PLEASE! :)
Ridley Helium SL eTap
Ridley X-Night SL eTap
Klein Aura V
Giant Defy Advanced 2 HRD di2
Trek Superfly 6

User avatar
Posts: 5054
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:57 pm
Location: Vicenza

by micky

Looks ballistic! Thumb up from me!

Posts: 2198
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:41 am

by Wingnut

I think it's great that an older frame is being utilized and after so many bikes passing by (48?) this one it at the top of the list so far...something to be think about when considering how we update for the sake of change rather than hanging onto something that works...
Last edited by Wingnut on Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:36 pm
Location: GA

by bencolem

I've had a Z1, a Z1 CX and an ESX and currently have a Z5 and a Z-Zero XD. Apart from the ESX they've all been some of the nicest bikes I've ever owned (Serotta Meivici stops it being a stop-out). Only thing I don't get is that for someone who has such baller components why you're only buying the frame and fork because the price was cheap. Get a Z-Zero custom made to your size and spec and never look back...

Tinker, Taylor, Tart
Posts: 2138
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:00 pm
Location: Sydney, Aus.

by RichTheRoadie

bencolem wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:04 am
Only thing I don't get is that for someone who has such baller components why you're only buying the frame and fork because the price was cheap.
You misunderstood me. I didn't buy it *because* it was cheap - I wanted it for ages but there were lots of things I couldn't resolve without actually building it that could have been expensive mistakes. It was only when it became cheap enough to take the gamble that I decided to take the risk.
bencolem wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:04 am
Get a Z-Zero custom made to your size and spec and never look back...
Yeah, cos I have $9k laying around to do that... I wish!

User avatar
Posts: 757
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:27 pm

by dj97223

Great photography. :thumbup: I've had my Z3 for almost 14 years and still love it. Parlee's customer service is second to none if you ever have any questions for them. What is that bar tape?
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

Posts: 3825
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

love my Parlees... Have had a couple Z5.. still have 1 frame that I scavenged to build a ww Z-Zero and then sold it... no regrets because I funded a Z-Zero XD which I love. Ended up getting the disc TTiR as well. Comtemplated a RZ7 when it was rumored early on, but when I was in the market it was only avail in complete bike, which I passed on.
2019 BMC TM01 Road UCI config 7.36kg

Posts: 2316
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:16 am

by flying

Round tubes & lugs in carbon what's not to like :beerchug:

Nice :thumbup:

by Weenie

Post Reply