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.