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Bob Parlee started off building boats, including high end carbon fiber racing boats. During 24 years of doing that full time, he tinkered with some bicycle design work on the side. Unable to sell those designs to others, he gave the shipyard the heave-ho to pursue other businesses, including bikes. He also had a 30 acre oyster farm, but a blight that hit the northeast killed his million-plus oysters just before harvest. He called it quits on that and focused 100% on custom carbon fiber bicycles.

He set up his first shop in an aerospace prototype manufacturing company that had all of the carbon fiber building equipment. It was just a little 12′ x 12′ office, but it gave him access to the machines he needed, and they relied on Bob’s growing expertise in the material to troubleshoot their own projects. He built his first 30-40 bikes there. Parlee Cycles then moved to a 4,500 square foot facility in Peabody, expanded to 6,000 before moving to their current 14,000 square foot building in Beverly, Massachusetts, in summer 2010.

Here, they do custom carbon fiber bicycle manufacturing, prototyping and more, including making their own small parts for their bikes. By most standards, it’s a very small operation, but for cycling nuts it’s an amazing showcase of how composite bicycles can be made. There were a few things we couldn’t photograph and can only talk about in generalities, but for the most part, they gave us a free pass to ask anything and document the process from start to finish…

Read all about here from Bikerumor

 
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