March 17, 2009

Parlee's bespoke service

Tom Rodi from Parlee called me yesterday afternoon. Only four hours after I’d mailed Bespoke. Tom called me from the US, to my number in the UK. When he arrived at work.

That, alone, is stunning service. But it gets better.

We had a chat for half an hour. We talked about my weight (not at great length ;-)) and how Parlee’s stock framesets are aimed at a wider audience, and therefore are built stronger than is required for a 64kg man. This means a harsher ride for the slight of build such as myself. The steering is designed to be stable and predictable, which it is, and not for your average criterium rider. These elements are all changable for a bespoke frame.

The conversation progressed to how I like my bikes to feel. How I like to ride uphill, and how I like to ride downhill. We even talked about what kind of power outputs I was capable of (handy that I’ve been riding for a few weeks with a PowerTap then eh?)

Based on all these variables Tom suggested we aim for bespoke tubing choices - the ‘compliant’ carbon for the top and down tubes, and the SL [super light] for the rear triangle. This should give a lightweight frame with the comfort for 200km days - my intended riding.

I came away from the call feeling very excited, pleased, and much more like I was now party to a true bespoke process.

Bring it on, I’m buying a Parlee Z2.