Parlee Cycles introduces third‐generation gravel model: The refined Chebacco XD

parlee chebacco xd review
Parlee Chebacco in Nardo Gray

Parlee ushers in 2021 with their innovative, third generation, go‐anywhere adventure model, called the Chebacco XD.

parlee chebacco xd review
Parlee Chebacco in Quicksand

“For us, gravel has been amazing” says founder, Bob Parlee. “Gravel riding and racing are just plain fun. These bikes have the speed and feel of road bikes and allow for adventure on roads less travelled.”

parlee chebacco xd review

Parlee first introduced its now best‐selling model, the Chebacco in 2015. “The ironic thing was, we didn’t call it a gravel bike back then,” says marketing manager Tom Rodi. “We called it a multi‐surface bike. Now, ‘gravel’ bike is as universal as the term mountain bike” and Parlee has grown what was once a niche product into their number one category of bicycles.

parlee chebacco xd review

The Chebacco XD evolves in two key areas: storage and tire clearance.

parlee chebacco xd review

On the storage front, the Chebacco XD has storage mounting points on the top tube, under the down tube, and utility mounts on both fork legs as well as the normal two bottle cage mounts in the main triangle. Bob noted while in Emporia, Kansas in 2019 for the DK200 that many of our riders were asking us for more storage for longer events.

parlee chebacco xd review

While the additional tire clearance will not be as visible as the storage mounts, it will be welcome to those who ride in loose or sloppy conditions. The Chebacco XD now has room for 700c x 45mm tires, the maximum according to Shimano and SRAM that still allows for the use of 2x drivetrains.

parlee chebacco xd review

Per Rodi, average tire volume has been creeping up the last five years since the Chebacco was first launched: “We don’t expect everyone to go right to 45mm out of the gate. A lot of clients will still find 35‐40mm as the sweet spot, but the added mud clearance will be welcome for all.”

parlee chebacco xd review

Parlee began to sell 1x drivetrain options three seasons ago and with the launch of SRAM AXS with the Eagle option, 1x sales have increased considerably. Even so, 2x is still the majority of sales. “With the introduction of gravel‐specific 2x drivetrains, we wanted to allow for maximum choices for our dealers and clients.

parlee chebacco xd review

45mm as a maximum allows for both 1x and 2x options and still yields great all‐around performance.” The Chebacco XD also allows for the use of 650b wheels and tires.

parlee chebacco xd review

The Chebacco XD is available as a value‐packed stock model as well as the premium customizable LE configuration. More on the LE configuration coming in a future article.

parlee chebacco xd review

The base model is available with GRX 600/800 mechanical starting at 3,499.00 and the GRX 815 Di2 for 5,299.00.

parlee chebacco xd review

Custom finishes are available through the in‐house Parlee Paint Lab on the LE versions and have proven to be an immensely popular option. Clients have been doing as much customization on gravel as on road bikes through 2020 and Parlee plans to increase capacity in its Paint Lab in 2021 to account for this.

Gravel Cyclist will be reviewing the Parlee Chebacco XD in the not too distant future, watch this space.

Parlee Cycles


  1. Avatar GCWANNABEE

    45 mm tire the maximum for 2x drive trains, according to shimano and sram?

    • JOM JOM

      I was a little perplexed by this as well. The Otso Waheela C, a bike I have reviewed, easily accepts 700c x 50mm, 2x drivetrain. Shimano 105 hydro 2x in the case of the bike I reviewed. A mate in Orlando who I showed in the recent Clermont Lost in Central Florida video, owns the same bike with GRX Di2 and 48/31 2x chainrings.

  2. Avatar Jay Price

    45mm plus or minus a couple mm in 700c seems like more or less the standard now for what a current-generation gravel bike should accommodate… but I haven’t seen any of the groupset manufacturers say there was a technical hard stop at that number. I can run that with a Dura-Ace di2 front on diverge and with GRX even more should be doable
    Anyway, this Parlee is a handsome bike for sure…colors are lovely.

  3. Avatar Ron

    The reach on the Chebacco seems kind of short for each given frame size?

  4. Avatar Josh Vandall

    this looks promising. And no eye-searing Specialized-style paintjobs. Yellow and red don’t go together, folks. Green and black like Gravedigger is proper. Hope the chainstay length and BB drop are suited to cyclocross, too. Or is such a mention of CX blasphemy on the gravel cyclist’s site lol. Keep up the great stuff, JOM

  5. Avatar Larry Brenize

    Is this a carbon frame? I would be curious what the GRX 600/800 mechanical weighs out of the box.

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