Parlee Cycles have come a long way from their humble beginnings in 2001. What began as a one-man operation producing a single frame has grown into a thriving custom bike-building business that employs 15-20 people, depending on the season. In 2012, Parlee will offer 11 frames in their expanding product line that now includes road, time trial, cyclo-cross and touring models.
Further evidence of the company's growth is on display at Parlee's world headquarters in Beverly, Massachusetts; actually, the evidence is the headquarters. After spending their first eight years in smaller, cramped quarters down the road in Peabody, Parlee relocated to their present home two summers ago. The new 15,000sq ft building is roughly twice the size of the company’s former base and includes a pair of state-of-the-art paint booths that can hold up to four painters at a time.
More light and more room were the drivers for Parlee’s 2010 move into a new facility. The building is 15,000sq ft, roughly double the size of their former home
Despite the company’s growth – and accompanying success – founder Bob Parlee stresses that his operation remains true to its roots. “We'll always maintain our ability to be nimble and build new product,” he says from behind his desk in the modest office he shares with his wife Isabel, who runs the company’s day-to-day operations.
“We’re a bunch of real people and that allows us to be fairly responsive to our customers,” Isabel adds. “Even with our stock bikes, we feel like you can get a fabulous bike that’s not just crammed out by a bunch of machines and picked off a shelf. The goal is to design bikes to exacting criteria and standards so you're always getting something of quality.”
Bob Parlee with wife Isabel, who runs the small company’s day-to-day operations
BikeRadar took a tour of the new facility. Check out our image gallery and the video below for a peek behind the scenes.