With the aerodynamic road bike market showing no sign of cooling, Parlee has chosen to launch its first aerodynamic frameset – the ESX.
Named after Essex County in Massachusetts, the area where Bob Parlee grew up and where a lot of the testing for the new frame occurred, the name stuck. As it’s typically a flat area next to the sea, it also catches some strong winds.
Parlee has taken a measured approach to this highly-technical area of bike design and rather than trying to take the established manufacturers head-on they’ve opted to strike a middle ground. Whilst the frame is obviously aerodynamic – it’s been developed in the windtunnel at MIT – the ride quality and weight were still very high on the priorities list.
As a result, Parlee has spent something approaching five years developing the tube shapes, use of specific carbon grades, resins and of course the all important lay-up schedule to create a bike that offers both a reduction in drag but retains the great ride characteristics Parlee has become known for.
In the process, Parlee created a new tube profile and have called it Recurve, this ‘fluted tail’ shape is proprietary to Parlee and according to their press officer blends “low drag with high torsional stiffness”.
The ESX has a list weight of 950g for the frame and comes capable of running mechanical or electronic groupsets, it can also run 25 or 28c tyres and is available in five flex-fit sizes, each of which can give a boosted headtube length that’s 26mm higher.
Expect to pay £3,999 for the frameset with the first frames being delivered to dealers in December 2013.