Another Z5 – are they breeding?!
- Frame: Parlee Z5 SLi – size ML Tall
- Forks: Enve 1.0
- Wheels: Enve Smart 3.4 Clinchers
- Chainset: Shimano Dura Ace 7800C
- Levers: Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Bars: Enve Compact
- Stem: Enve 110
- Seatpost: Enve 31.6 Zero Offset
- Saddle: Fizik Antares 00
- Front Mech: Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Rear Mech: Shimano Ultegra Di2
- Tyres: Continental GP4000S
- Brakes: EE Brakes
- Pedals: Speedplay Zero Titanium
- Bottle Cages: Arundel Mandibles
Any other components worth a mention?:
Chris King R45 hubs in gold, Tune DC-14 skewers in gold, Vertebr.ae brake cables, Bar Fly Garmin mount, matte-black rubber cover for Garmin 800.
Tell me a bit about it:
Since I picked your brains so much, I figured it was only fair to let you critique it, so here we go!
Having ridden the Etape, Ventoux, Majorca and several sportives on my trusty Colnago, I decided it was time to get something different, and a bit special. After much agonising, and lusting after many, many frames, I decided American was the way to go, and Parlee do carbon probably better than anyone.
I didn’t feel the need to go full custom, and the bike fit confirmed I would be fine on one of their stock frames, albeit with a taller head tube. The upside is the Z5 SLi is one of the lightest frames you can get, and the whole bike comes in around 6.7kg, which isn’t too bad for a size 56.
I did go custom on the paint, matching the decal – as best as possible on a carbon frame – to the anodised Chris King hubs. I wanted a splash of colour to counter all the stealthy matte-black bikes out there already.
It rides fantastically, and in the month I’ve had it, has already been from London to Paris in all weathers. The wheels spin beautifully, and the Ultegra Di2 is a revelation coming from mechanical Shimano. That said, the levers and mechs will likely be upgraded when the next Dura Ace version comes out.
Can’t help wanting to break out into a bout of ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet…
I’m going to get straight into this one because it’s actually quite a straightforward build to critique: All the ‘usual suspects’ are utterly nailed, and for this bike I would probably have chosen exactly the same components – although I’d have gone Dura-Ace Di2 from the start (I don’t like the larger size and slower shift of the Ultegra Di2 I’m afraid). I absolutely love the DA7800-C chainset and there’s few components that draw such admiration from folk who know what it is. I think your approach on the colouring is absolutely spot on too Matt, and frankly I totally applaud it.
For me there’s two stand-out issues. Firstly, those chainrings and chainring bolts on the chainset really should be all black to work properly with the gold on the bike. Get some Stronglight CT2 or black Tune chainrings on there – they shift every bit as well and there’s zero concern with them working with the Di2. Secondly, I really wish you could do something with those white Enve logos. I think they need to be gloss black like this, or perhaps a gold outline to a black logo. They just stick out a bit too much as they are, and it’s a shame when the colouring otherwise works so well on the bike.
As for the upgrade to new Dura-Ace Di2 when it comes out, I’d be careful of the amount of silver on it to be honest – like the chainrings it won’t sit well against the gold. If you intend to run it as 11spd you might be looking a change of hub too (by which I mean a replacement R45 for 11spd Shimano) as it’s not yet clear how Chris King will manage the freehub arrangement to handle the extra sprocket. I believe the new DA-Di2 will be programmable to 10spd if you want though, and I may well do exactly that myself.
Big points for such good kit choice and colouring, but attention to detail on the chainrings and finishing kit is holding it back to an 8.5/10. Hardly a score to be ashamed of though!
Tags:7800-C carbon dura ace chainset,bike crit-ique,Chris King,Di2,dura-ace 7800-C,EE Brakes,Enve,Parlee,r45,SES 3.4 clincher,Tune,Ultegra,Z5
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