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Bike of the Day #8 - Parlee Z5 SL custom build

Well, today we have something special for you...one of our first custom shop bikes! Today's BOTD is Jonathan's Parlee Z5 SL:  [caption id="attachment_977" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Jonathan's Parlee Z5 SL in all her glory"][/caption] Designed by Bob Parlee in Beverley, Massachusets, Parlee have become reknowned for incredible ride quality, outrageously low weights, amazing geometry options for almost every rider, and a complete custom bike program to boot! In fact Cyclingnews.com just reviewed the Parlee Z5 and called it "lusciously creamy but still surprisingly sharp." Like a fine cheese ;) [caption id="attachment_981" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Super Record RD is one of the prettiest components around - light and stiff as well"][/caption] Jonathan's ground-up custom build is actually the lightened Z5 SL model - it features an upgraded ENVE 1.0 fork, carbon fibre seat-clamp and FD clamp, matte black ghost paint job (which saves a further 40-60 grams), and titanium hardware kit.  The result is a bike that is 100-150 grams lighter than the already svelte Z5. What you do not lose with the SL is the Z5's BB30 interface, tapered Cane Creek carbon headset, or enormous range of 12 sizes...those are all still there.  Pricing on the Z5 is $3,700 and on the Z5 SL $4,700 including full professional fit at Blacksmith Cycle. Full review and more pics of this killer stealth steed, after the jump... [caption id="attachment_983" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Carbon Parlee seatpost clamp, ENVE seatpost and 2012 Specialized Romin saddle"][/caption] The Details: Parlee Z5 SL - 14.9 lbs complete The Build: Z5 SL M/L frameset with Campy Super Record and ENVE carbon components, including ENVE 1.45 tubular rims built on a Powertap rear hub and Alchemy ELF front. [caption id="attachment_980" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Arundel Gecko tape, ENVE carbon stem and bar - new compact shape coming soon"][/caption] The Ratings… Ride-quality/Comfort: 10/10 Front-end Stiffness: 8/10 BB Stiffness: 8/10 Style/Aesthetics: 8/10 Technology/Weight/Value:  9/10 Total = 43/50 - highest score so far! [caption id="attachment_979" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Powertap hub for real wattage analysis on Jonathan's Garmin 800"][/caption] The Good: Ridiculously low weight, ultra comfortable ride (CyclingNews kept checking to be sure the tires were inflated), sharp handling, ghost paint, and high-quality finish. The Bad: Not the stiffest frame in the world, nor the lightest, literally speaking. But those are relative rankings - this bird is still plenty stiff and light enough for most. The Skinny: In Jonathan's words: "I can say that from my perspective it is more responsive (quicker, more nimble), adaptable and comfortable than my old Pinarello Paris.  The aesthetic sense to everyone who has seen it is amazing – very understated and elegant, with a great finish quality.  I can’t think of anything that I would consider changing on it..." [caption id="attachment_982" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Super Record Ti compact crankset rolls on ceramic bearings"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_978" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="1.45 front rim on an Alchemy ELF hub with Vittoria 25mm EVO clinchers"][/caption] Thanks for checking in! -Mike          

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