Parlee ESX aero road bike unveiled

US brand enters aero fray with slippery lightweight offering

Meet the Parlee ESX – the exotic US brand’s first dedicated aero road bike. It’s taken at least two years to develop.


Parlee unveiled the radical-looking frameset (£3,999/US$5,400) today and claim the size 56cm m/l  – measured on the top tube rather than seatpost – weighs around 950g.

BikeRadar first reported that the company founder Bob Parlee was working on an aero bike in 2011.

The company, who built their reputation on super light road frames with an excellent ride quality, said they didn’t want to sacrifice either of those two hallmarks and claims the ESX performs similarly to their range-topping Z5 SLi. Certainly a scan of the ESX’s geometry table across the five sizes ranging from small (52.5cm c-c) to extra large (58.5cm) reveals them to be similar.

The frameset’s aerodynamic flourishes include a proprietary tube shape called Recurve. It’s described as having a ‘fluted tail’. Parlee claim the shape delivers the right blend of low drag, high torsional stiffness and low weight.

The radical shaped tubes at the front end brought to mind the Boardman AiR/TT time trial bike recently launched in Kona at the Ironman World Championships

And check out the Specialized Venge-like profiled steering spacer. Its presence means riders can choose between a ‘short’ and a ‘tall’ version, say Parlee, meaning it should interest those who prefer a slighter higher position.

The frame is mechanical and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and compliant and there’s a port BB area to make installation and servicing easier.


The frameset price includes frame, fork and seatpost, available with zero or 2.5cm setback.