I founded Parlee in 2000 with a simple but lofty goal: to build the best bikes in the world. With 20+ years’ experience in the boat-building business, I understood the capabilities of composite materials. Carbon fiber was the obvious choice to take performance bikes to the next level, but this incredibly capable material wasn’t being utilized to its full potential.
Carbon fiber opens up a world of opportunity when it comes to optimizing tube sizes and shapes. We can fine tune properties such as weight, strength, durability and compliance. And by perfecting lay-up schedules and molding techniques, we can create lighter, faster, more comfortable bikes. That’s what we’ve been doing at Parlee for years.
Fast forward, and today carbon fiber is the material of choice for almost all performance bikes. Every major manufacturer has carbon in their line. The question now is this: Which carbon fiber bike do you buy, and why?
It’s not an easy decision. Every company claims to use the highest strength materials and the most advanced manufacturing techniques. So, who do you really believe?
The reality is that carbon fiber allows designers to become stylists. Frames can be molded and shaped in all imaginable forms. But don’t mistake style for performance. My focus is on designing and engineering bikes that are fast, light, durable and fun to ride. I never use unnecessary shapes in the name of design.
Carbon fiber is perfect for building bikes because it has such a high strength-to-weight ratio—and that’s why it doesn’t make sense to focus on styling, which just adds weight and reduces ride quality. It’s akin to putting fins on a car. They may look cool, but they don’t make the car faster.
Instead, our guiding principle is efficiency. We use carbon fiber strategically to achieve a certain level of performance. To create a bike specifically for you that does exactly what it’s intended to do—whether that’s road racing, daily training rides, cyclocross or all-day epics.
Targeted performance meets tailor-made fit. That’s what defines a Parlee bike.
Bob Parlee, founder and owner