One look at the new ESX, and you know what this bike is about. It looks fast. And as the wind-tunnel data proves, it is fast. The most radical design ever created by Parlee took years to develop —and when it comes to performance, we’ll put it up against any other aero road bike on the market.
Every road rider is drawn to the promise of more speed. Ride faster with less effort? Sure, who doesn’t want that? That’s the whole idea behind the “aero road” bike category.
The question is, at what cost? What will you sacrifice to improve aerodynamic efficiency? Until now, the answer to that question has been pretty predictable. Ride quality gets sacrificed. As aero performance goes up, comfort goes down. Most aero road bikes put speed first, comfort last. Maybe pros can live with that on race day, but it’s less than ideal for an everyday road bike.
That’s not a trade-off that Parlee has ever been willing to make. Parlee built our name on delivering superior ride quality. It’s what sets them apart. And it’s what led to the creation of the ESX.
Several key technologies put this new bike in a class of its own. Its sleek, wind-cheating profile starts with a patented tube technology called Recurve. Bob Parlee’s background in designing and fabricating boats served this project well. His experience creating shapes and sections that move through fluid with optimal efficiency helped inform the design process of Recurve tubing. With its unique “fluted tail” shape, Recurve delivers the ideal blend of low drag and high torsional stiffness—along with road-smoothing comfort that is so often lacking in aero bikes.
The other factor that was deemed critical from the start of the ESX project was weight. The typical way to improve aerodynamics is to create airfoils and added shapes—but a big part of the signature Parlee ride quality centers around a lightweight chassis. Adding material to create airfoils, or to shore up stiffness, wasn’t an option. In the end, after many prototypes and iterations, the design team was able to achieve its goal of hitting all the aerodynamic goals with a frame that still has excellent torsional stiffness and weighs less than 950 grams.
All of the details on the ESX frameset contribute to its overall feel on the road. It features added clearance for larger 25-28c tires, which optimize speed and smoothness for all road surfaces. And its Recurve technology seatpost is available in 0 and 25mm setback sizes so you can dial in your position.
Hidden cable routing for electronic or mechanical drivetrain systems comes standard, and the frame can accommodate internal Di2 batteries. The all-carbon PressFit 30 bottom bracket produces maximum pedaling stiffness and power transfer. The frame features direct mount, aerodynamic, integrated front and rear brakes.
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