Parlee Altum and ESX R 2015 – first look

Big changes for the US custom carbon masters

Parlee Cycles has introduced a new frameset called the Altum, which is set to replace the long-standing off-the-peg Z5 range for 2015.


The brand is also launching a more a more affordable version of its ESX frameset.


The Altum be available in three guises, the Altum, Altum R and the Altum Disc. These models will replace the Z5i and the Z5SLI.

The frameset uses an new own-brand fork, which replaces the Z5’s Enve unit. The Altum’s fork tips the scales at just 280g (with an uncut steerer). The fork on the cheaper Altum R weighs in at a still-respectably-light 330g.

The all-new Altum frame is 100g lighter than the Z5. It does, however, have the same round tube profiles as the Z5SLi. The cable routing through the frame is new, and the included seatpost is fixed to the frame using a hidden clamp system (like the one found on the ESX aero bike).

The altum’s seatpost is available in both inline and lay-back options:

The Altum’s seatpost is available in both inline and lay-back options

Although the Altum is an off-the-peg bike, there are plenty of options to get the fit right. For example, the headset cap is available in three fit options: a slammed 5mm, 15mm and, for those who prefer a taller front end, 25mm. The seatpost comes in inline and layback options too.

The Altum’s design takes the trend towards wider tyres into account, and although it’s still very much a racers’ rig, it will accept 28mm tyres.

Like all Parlee bikes, the frameset comes with a lifetime warranty, and full custom paint options are available.

The Altum Disc has the same geometry as the Altum, but Parlee has chosen to go with a 15mm front thru-axle design for this model. At the rear, interchangeable plates mean you can run a standard QR out back or a 142x12mm thru-axle.

The altum disc uses a 15mm thru-axle up front and is switchable between 12mm thru-axle and standard qr at the rear:

The Altum Disc uses a 15mm thru-axle up front and is switchable between 12mm thru-axle and standard QR at the rear

UK pricing for the Altum frameset range is as follows:

  • Altum: the top-of-the-range model which replaces the Z5 SLI. The frame, fork and seatpin are priced at £3,999.
  • Altum R: replaces the Z5i. The cost for the frame, fork and seatpin is £3,299.
  • Altum Disc: £3,299 for the frame, fork and seatpin.

US and Australian pricing is to be announced.

Parlee ESX R

Parlee’s new ESX aero road bike is an impressive bike, but it’s also seriously expensive. So for 2015 Parlee is launching a more affordable (albeit still pricey) version of the ESX frameset.

The esx-r is new for 2015:

New for 2015: The ESX-R is a (slightly) more affordable version of Parlee’s ESX


The new ESX-R is £700 less than the ESX (£3,299) and it comes as a chassis with frame, fork, headset and seatpin. It weighs 100g more than the top-flight model. Like the ESX, the ESX-R is available in standard paint finishes or custom options.