Parlee Chebacco first ride [frame] review£3,999.00

Do-it-all superbike from the US carbon king

No, this isn’t a misspelt Wookiee, the Parlee Chebacco’s handle comes from the Native American name for a lake north of Boston, and is the New England carbon pioneer’s take on an adventure road bike.

Parlee Chebacco spec overview

  • Weight: 8.6kg (57.5cm)
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2 50/34, 11-32
  • Brakes: Shimano BR RS785 hydraulic discs
  • Wheels: Mavic Kysrium Pro disc all road
  • Finishing kit: Parlee carbon stem, bar and seatpost, Fizik Arione saddle, 40mm Clement XPlor M50 tyres

Parlee Chebacco frame and equipment

The Parlee’s head angle is slacker than traditional cyclocross bikes to create a smooth, stable ride at speed
The Parlee’s head angle is slacker than traditional cyclocross bikes to create a smooth, stable ride at speed

The sculpted triangulated top-tube/head-tube junction takes it design cues from Parlee’s lightweight Altum road bike and sits well with the profiled tube shapes. The tapered straight-bladed fork ends with a 12mm thru-axle. Slender flattened seatstays emerge from the wishbone design, while the chainstays are flared and widened to accept larger tyres than your average road-going bike.

The Clement tyres add weight to the robust Mavic wheels, but we appreciated the soft supple feel and the grip from the tread on dusty gravel descents

The hidden mudguard mounts are a welcome inclusion, as is the modular dropout design allowing you to switch between thru-axles or standard quick releases. The frame’s cable routing is neatly executed; it’s all internal with the rear brake hose running down the shortest path from down-tube to chainstay. This also allows for the disc brakes to be mounted on the inside of the triangle.

Geometry-wise it sits closer to an out-and-out road bike over a cyclocrosser, with 73-degree seat and 71.75-degree head angles. The bottom bracket drop of 70mm is more road than traditional ’cross and the 103.9cm wheelbase is only stretched a little to allow for bigger rubber. The cockpit set up on our 57.5cm test bike allowed for a good racy position.

Parlee Chebacco ride impression

The Shimano stop/go gear performed as reliably and impressively as we have come to expect
The Shimano stop/go gear performed as reliably and impressively as we have come to expect

While the fat 40mm rubber makes it a tarmac pootler, we switched in a set of wheels with more modest 28mm rubber, turning it into a true road warrior — fast, comfortable, light and lively. When you consider the frame weighs between 870g and 980g, depending on size, that’s extremely light for an all-road machine; it’s light for a road bike.

In its fat-tyre guise, you get a very capable dirt bike. The Clement tyres add weight to the robust Mavic wheels, but we appreciated the soft supple feel and the grip from the tread on dusty gravel descents. With a huge 11-32 cassette, climbs didn’t pose any threats either.

The Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain is reliable, as usual, the RS785 hydraulic brakes continue to impress and the carbon Parlee stem, bar and seatpost are top-class additions, a setup you’d pay in excess of £700 for.

Parlee Chebacco pricing

The Parlee Chebacco
The Parlee Chebacco

The downside is a price tag for a complete bike that would cost over £7,000. If your pockets are deep, and super-light pro tour superbikes don’t float your boat, the Chebacco is a fine road machine that’s impressive off the beaten track too.

Parlee Chebacco early verdict

Pure unadulterated all-round fun that comes at a price.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
  • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 112cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

Related Articles

Back to top