Parlee ESX upgrade (or not)?

I have a 2016 (or maybe 2015) Parlee ESX and am pondering wether to upgrade or not?

Main thing that made me think was on a group ride, we came around a corner to find a tractor taking up all the road and everyone ahead of me was on disc brakes and they stopped so much quicker than me!

I’m 55 and thinking the extra safety of disc brakes might be useful. I’m in the UK and there aren’t many Parlees around, so it’s a pretty unique bike. I won’t ride it thru a UK winter!

So specifically, questions are

  1. Has anyone moved from an ESX?
  2. If so what did you upgrade to and how did you find it?
  3. Any idea on 2nd hand values of the Parlee? I’m in the UK, it has a Zipp 202 front and 303 rear wheel on Chris Hope hubs.
  4. Am I being daft? :laughing:

Three of my mates have S-works SL7 which they love, I don’t reckon I’d stretch to an S-works version but the pro is certainly something I’m going to look at and hopefully ride.



If it’s of minimal financial consequence, then absolutely. Safety is a great excuse to upgrade, and that added safety might actually work to your advantage some day.

That’s what you wanted to hear, right?

It’s true though. Buy the bike :wink:

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My 0.02…if you’re worried about stopping on a rim brake bike, carbon rims aren’t the answer and neither are stock pads…

I’m never one to stand in the way of a new bike day, but if you look at the parlee and can’t bring yourself to do it - there’s some really nice wheelset options out there if you look. I got a set of these - Bolt Aluminum - Wheelworks in 30mm with White Industries hubs, and they’re things of beauty…(obviously they’re in NZ< but you get the idea…)

A set of swissstop blue pads, and you’re away.

cheers, but pretty happy with the existing Zipp carbon wheels and swisstop pads I have on there now!

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What version of Swiss stop pads are you running?

New/Refresh the brake cables and housing and throw some black prince pads on and watch the bike stop just as fast as a disc brake bike with far better modulation and lever feed back.

Swisstop Black…interesting idea, cables probably 10 years old so a decent shout!! Housing is all internal so I think I’ll leave that well alone!!

Before making any “major” purchase I would have all cables and housings replaced with a new set of pads and adjusted properly.

Disc brakes do have their “place” but a lot of people “may” not benefit from them. A lot of pro’s do not like the move over as disc do not modulate as well as rim brake and have almost no positive lever feedback, but most of all they put a lot of people in trouble when they panic brake from them being overly powerful from a full lever pull.

I notice all of the mentioned above when I went to an entire new fleet of disc brake bikes. I plan on building a rim brake bike next year and leaving my disc bike for primarily crappy rainy weather. This is just my opinion of-course.

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cheers, all the housing is completely internal to the frame on the bike, not sure how easy housing replacement would be. If I just did new cables and new pads would that get me improvements?

I am not 100% familiar with the Parlee ESX so I looked up the manual which can be found

Manual for Parlee ESX here - “This is actually for a Altum not a ESX”

Reviewing the manual - it appears that the brake housing is only to the frame then the cable is ran without housing through the frame and then exits the frame to housing and ends at the rear brake. The front is just traditional style.

So this is just a normal replacement of housing and cables, nothing too integrated or challenging.

Just replacing the brake cable and pads most likely will help, but the age of a housing causes it to deteriorate over time and the internal bowden cable of the housing just simple gets less efficient.

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dirty cables and or housing can make the brake feel less responsive, feel delayed, less crisp (sorry all subjective adjectives)

I have both a rim brake bike and a disc brake bike - Do the disc brakes stop better? Generally yes - especially in wet weather

agree with Teddygram 100% - disc brakes have their place but they are not the perfect solution

I’ve also seen plenty of people dump their bikes or lock up the rear tire in full skid panic braking with discs

Looking at the manual again that is for a Altum - so a different bike. I apologize but left my post as is for anyone in the future with a edit on it.

I cannot locate a manual for the ESX - however if it truly does have full cable routing which makes sense from looking at pictures (cable enters behind the headtube and then to a direct mount bottom bracket configuration) then it still is not that difficult.

You just prepare the old housing to be pulled through the bike with either a cable/string or new cable being pulled behind it. Ultimatly this is standard work for a bike shop to perform or maybe a level 2.5/5 for a novice in home mechanic.

thanks, that links to the Altum, I’ll ping Parlee, but having a quick look the front looks pretty easy, the back is actually in a weird place just behind the bottom bracket which makes it fiddly to adjust

I am not sure if you saw my post above (this one)

Its not too bad - here is an example of a simple system just using a brake cable as a guide

Video Link

You can also go professional and buy a kit that park has

Park Tool

I have this kit and it is amazing to use and can get just about anything done.

Looking more into the ESX - that is a very nice bike, looks very sleek and aero, honestly probably just as aero and possibly lighter than anything you will find on the market in disc format.

thanks @teddygram appreciate all your help!

So I’m a reasonable home mechanic have replaced cables before, just not internal housings!

I’m in the Uk, so this is on wiggle for the kit which I assume is going to up to the task? The bike has Dura Ace groupset

Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Road Brake Cable Set | Brake Cables | Wiggle

and then I’m wondering if this lifeline tool will do the same job as the Park tools one at a lot less money!

LifeLine Internal Cable Routing Tool | Multi Tools | Wiggle

and finally a new set of Swissstop Black Prince pads

Swissstop Flash Pro Black Prince Carbon Rim Brake Pads | Rim Brake Pads | Wiggle

The Lifeline internal cable tool looks like a great alternative!

I personally am a fan of Jagwire cables - I typically use the “road pro” but they have lots of options

The flash pro is a great choice that I would recommend!

great thanks, this Jagwire set?

Jagwire Road Pro Brake Kit | Brake Cables | Wiggle


Choose your color and rock on!

Front brakes done this afternoon, feels loads better, now to worry about wether the internal cables in the rear are fully enclosed or not!! The front was so suspect rears might well be