This year Parlee has expanded its aero road lineup with the all-new ESX-R. Built around the same design principles as the game-changing ESX, the newest model blends Parlee’s proven Recurve aero frame technology with uncompromising ride quality aimed at everyday road riding and racing.
Featuring a unique fluted tail shape, Recurve delivers low drag and high torsional stiffness, along with a smooth, compliant ride quality that’s often lacking in aero road bikes. The original ESX design, introduced in 2013 after several years of development and testing, was proven in wind-tunnel testing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to have less aerodynamic drag than key competing aero bikes (see aero data). And compared to the Parlee Z5 road bike, the ESX-R can save riders between 57 and 95 seconds over a distance of 40km.
Testing results and data speak for themselves, but where the new ESX-R truly shines is the way that it feels when you’re out on the road. In the effort to achieve certain aerodynamic goals, many aero road bikes make compromises in the less tangible factors such as cornering, climbing and overall handling characteristics. Not so with the ESX-R. One of the added benefits of Recurve tubing design—which is most evident around the areas of the frame that are exposed directly to the wind around the head tube, top tube and down tube—is that it helps produce a quiet ride.
Overall, great care was put toward developing aero solutions that stay true to Parlee’s high standards of light weight and exceptional ride quality. Handcrafted with strategically placed blends of carbon fiber material, the new ESX-R frame weighs 1025 grams. The fork, which also plays a major role in aero performance, weighs 370 grams.
The ESX-R’s unique seatpost design, which extends the Recurve shape seamlessly through the seat tube and seatpost, further boosts aero performance and is available with a 0 or 25mm offset that lets riders dial in their position.
Hidden cable routing for electronic or mechanical drivetrain systems comes standard, and the ESX-R frame can accommodate internal Di2 batteries. The all-carbon PressFit 30 bottom bracket produces maximum pedaling stiffness and power transfer. The frame features direct mount, aerodynamic, integrated front and rear brakes, and provides enough clearance for 23-28mm tires.
As with the ESX, the ESX-R is available in five Flex-Fit sizes, with 10 unique stack-and-reach combinations for a perfect fit.