With the 2012 Parlee Z5 SLi on sale and the 2013 Z5i now in stock we’ve been moving ahead building up a gaggle of new bikes. This got me thinking about all the completed bikes I haven’t posted yet. I decided to start with a not so recent SL Road build we worked on with Nick from Crumpton Cycles. Cutting-edge thoroughbred builds like this are my favorite, a bike I’d gladly race — ideally set up too light for the UCI 6.8kg rule like this one.
Nothing tops a handmade frame built by a master. Attempting to keep the magic happening, a few other standout features on here are the forged Praxis Rings on the THM M3 cranks. The Praxis rings may not topple the weight weenie contenders but they do shift better than any other aftermarket ring set I’ve ridden — on par with the best offerings from Campagnolo and Shimano. This combo with the M3 cranks is a perfect marriage and THM now specs these as their stock chainrings on their cranks. These exotic beauties in the matte finish look great with this frame.
For wheels we laced Enve 3.4 tubulars with CX-Ray spokes on Tune hubs. This makes for a fast configuration that can stay on the bike all the time, without the need for swapping out to something lighter on a long climb or shallower when the wind gets gusty. I have been very impressed with the speeds that result from the aerodynamics of 3.4s along with all the new Smart-designed wheels. And the braking performance of EE brakes and Enve pads is the best setup I’ve ever tried by far, with all the confidence inspired from incredible power and modulation.
Completing the build is a Campagnolo Super Record 11 speed mechanical drivetrain. Of course our differing loyalties can devolve into holy wars over which is the best componentry over all others. But with the SR parts there is a solid identity being established for this bike: as a light and brilliantly-made thing of beauty that is meant to be kept onto for a long time.