The goal with our TT design was simple. Create the best performing bike for individual efforts against the clock.
You might expect that given our background in developing NACA-based low-drag sections, we would be speaking endlessly about the aerodynamic qualities of this design. Well, we could, it is fast in theoretical situations (i.e. by itself in a wind tunnel) but no race is won by a bare frame in a wind tunnel.
The last six years of building road bikes and year and a half building custom versions of the TT design have taught us that maximum performance depends on a unique blend of fit, ride quality, efficiency and aerodynamics. If an athlete can’t be in the ideal position where comfort and power are maximized and road shock is minimized, then all the aero tricks in the world won’t make you faster.
When we started the design phase, we focused on several key areas.
Ride Quality: As Cycling Weekly said about our road frames "the road feels smoother when riding the Parlee" As important as this is on a road frame, take into account being in a full tuck on an aero bar with a deep section front wheel and disc out back. Comfort does matter.
Fit: Low drag is great but if you can’t comfortably put out your maximum wattage, there is no point. For the first time on a stock geometry bike, you can get each of our sizes with one of two head tube heights. This is important because every athlete has their own individual position where power, comfort and aerodynamics can be maximized along with predictable handling and precise steering. This, along with our unique, multi-position seat post, provides the widest range of fit options. Fit is key.
Aerodynamics: All of the sections are bike specific, optimized NACA-derived, low-speed sections designed exclusively for the typical, variable wind conditions faced by cyclists racing solo against the wind. Equally fast in a 0 degree (head-on) as in varying crosswind conditions. Cable routing and brake mounting are as clean as possible. The cables take the shortest possible path from the controls to the point where they enter the frame. Cables remain out of the airstream as much as possible. The rear brake sits under the chain stays. The top tube is perfectly parallel to the ground. Frontal area is reduced as much as possible, but nothing gimmicky is added that takes away from the handling or set up.
Usability: Having a design that is easy to build up, easy to adjust and easy to maintain is paramount to us. A reliable, quiet riding bike is a joy to ride. All the cables run through full length guides so contamination is minimized, installation is simple and service can be performed quickly. The seat post features independent adjustment for height, setback (fore-aft) and angular (tilt) and the bike fits in standard travel cases and shipping boxes.
Weight: While our focus was on other areas first, why should any bike be heavy? Expect the TT to reset expectations for what an aero bike should weigh.
Efficiency: A quick glance at any review ever written about a PARLEE will show that we get the balance between "stiffness" and "comfort". Why should an aero bike be any less responsive? A stout drive train delivers exceptional sprints and out of the saddle feel. Expect the TT to respond to pedal input just like our road bikes.