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Thread: Parlee Z4

  1. #26
    Parlee fan!
    Reputation: santosjep's Avatar
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    2 years on a Z4

    A little over two years have come and gone since I walked out of the doors of Wheelworks (MA) realizing my Parlee dream. To date, this purchase gave me one of my favorite rides. It would be a difficult choice between the Seven and the Z4 but the tides are swelling a little more towards the black and blue. I love how it fits underneath me and its responsiveness. What's not to love? It really is a great bike.

    With the Z4, it made my SOMEC seem unexciting since the last time I threw my legs over my Italian dream bike (circa 2005). I admit, I died a little. Never did I expect the SOMEC dethroned at any level. So much so, the only reason why I'm keeping my Starlight now would be just for sentimental reasons. The SOMEC marked my understanding of a "good ride". This is clearly subjective. Back then it was the best I've ridden (compared to the Dogma, Dual and some Fondriests). I loved it. To explain what I mean by a "good ride" would be nebulous at best and would probably differ from each of your definitions. It's that resounding ping of a perfect golf swing, the click of a satisfying photo shoot. It's what makes you go "Ahhhhh.... this is it!" Back then, it was the Starlight. Today... the Z4.

    Joe

    Here's what it looks like today:

    Ow.. ow.. oww... CRAMP!

  2. #27
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Are any of you guys ridding a Z4 in a size L? I'm starting to wonder whether its stiff enough in the bottom bracket?

  3. #28
    S-Works Tarmac SL3
    Reputation: NealH's Avatar
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    The Z4 in "L" rides very well, and is plenty stiff enough in the drive train. There is no noticeable flex, at least from my 180 lbs. Its not quite as stiff in the drive train as the SL3 Tarmac, but unless you are really cranking out power its doubtful you will tell much difference - though its there. More noticeable is the front end stiffness difference. The SL3 Tarmac provides a very direct feel to the road and confident handling manners that elude the Z4 and many other bikes. Its just a stiffer and more "focused" feeling front end, with zero vagueness at any speed or turn angle. Parlee resolved this on the Z5 and it also provides that super confident directness and control. Same with the drive train on the Z5. The Z5 has a different fork which likely explains at least some of the improvement.

    Having said this, the Z4 is a great bike and I am picking straws when I speak of the differences. So don't make a mountain out of a molehill. I could be very happy if the Z4 was the only bike I owned. And one could always put the new fork on it. But if I was buying new, I would go for the Z5.
    Last edited by NealH; 06-15-2011 at 03:34 PM.

  4. #29
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    Hey Neal, I have a Z4 Large. I'm about 185 and hear some front derailleur rub when climbing out of the saddle. I agree the front end would benefit from a taperd steerer too. Should have gotten the z5 in retrospect.

  5. #30
    Parlee fan!
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    Z4 and Z5

    Quote Originally Posted by rubbersoul View Post
    Are any of you guys ridding a Z4 in a size L? I'm starting to wonder whether its stiff enough in the bottom bracket?
    Hi rubbersoul,

    I test rode a on Z4 L and didn't feel any noticeable frame flex. Believe me, I was looking for it. It turned out, the ML suited my preference for riding with longer stems better. The Z4 L is plenty stiff for me (200lbs). As a satisfied/happy Scott CR1 rider, I quickly became a Z4 fan after a 35 mi ride.

    The Z4 and Z5 both have very stellar ride characteristics. The ride quality is almost the same (at least for me). The difference between the two I felt on climbs. Though the Z4 is a good climber, the Z5 is more responsive especially when I get off the saddle. Both bikes are on similar set ups (same size/wheels/cockpits) just different drivetrains. The difference is incremental for a recreational rider like myself. However, they may mean the world for climbers and sprinters.

    If I could only keep one of these two bikes, I probably would go for the Z4. The reason will be very subjective. It's simply because I'm happy with the build/ride quality as I am with the Z5 but it was the Z4 that raised the bar for me with carbon bikes.

    Best,

    Joe
    Ow.. ow.. oww... CRAMP!

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