The 2023 Parapera Aeras² is designed for speed on asphalt and gravel roads with its low weight and aero optimisation. The sleek look and perfect design also add a level of exclusivity. Can the speed-gravel Batmobile strike the right balance between form and function and thereby combine the best of both worlds? We put it to the test to find out.
2023 Parapera Aeras² I 7.98 kg (size L) I € 8,069 I Manufacturer’s website
According to current fashion trends, function is now cool. Sweatshirts no longer just have the fleece on the inside, but on the outside, too. And you can wear camo and military style to the office or club. But what good is design that looks functional but isn’t? In truth, the challenge is to make functionality look elegant. And that’s exactly what the 2023 Parapera Aeras² tries to achieve. Parapera have expanded their portfolio and, in addition to the Aeras, they have now introduced the more performance-oriented Aeras². Its aero features and aggressive riding position promise more speed, all while boasting an exclusive and elegant look. Do form and function harmonise on the 2023 Parapera Aeras² for € 8,069?
What sets the 2023 Parapera Aeras² apart? Aeras and Aeras = Aeras²
The 2023 Parapera Aeras² isn’t the successor to the Parapera Aeras. Instead, it’s a standalone model and an all-new gravel bike from Parapera, much of which is different from its namesake. When developing the 2023 Parapera Aeras², it’s evident that there was clear focus on aerodynamic optimisation, and thus minimising wind resistance. The dropped seat stays, large, elongated surfaces on the frame and components, integrated seat post clamp, one-piece cockpit, and complete internal cable routing promise noticeable aero gains. However, this also increases the gravel bike’s total weight significantly, tipping the scales at 7.98 kg in size L. Depending on the size, this is a weight increase of about 500 g. The geometry of the 2023 Parapera Aeras² is much sportier, as it’s geared towards performance rather than long distances. It’s not all that much more expensive, however, with the Parapera Aeras costing just € 400 less for a similar build.
The design of the 2023 Parapera Aeras² – Not bat!
The design of the 2023 Parapera Aeras² can only be described as a success. You can immediately see the stark differences in the design compared to the Parapera Aeras, which suit the Aeras² to a tee. The matt black finish and discreet glossy black decals make a high-quality and classy impression. The one-piece cockpit blends seamlessly with the frame, with matching shapes and proportions. Ultimately, what you get is an elegant and sporty gravel bike with Batmobile flair. Of course, aero features such as internal cable routing and an integrated seat post clamp also contribute to the bike’s clean look. Clearly, form and function harmonise on the 2023 Parapera Aeras².
Further notable details on the 2023 Parapera Aeras²
The D-shaped seat post is so elongated that it’s almost got more of a droplet shape. With a maximum tire clearance of 34 mm, it’s more of an all-road bike than a gravel bike, though Parapera refer to it as a “speed-gravel” bike, and you’ll only be able to ride proper gravel roads to a limited extent. The 3 degrees of flare in the drops of the handlebar don’t help either.
Models and components of the 2023 Parapera Aeras²
The flagship Super Record EPS groupset from Campagnolo matches the exclusive impression of the 2023 Parapera Aeras², probably being the most rarely spotted drivetrain on an (all-)road bike. Unfortunately, it’s not the best performing groupset, and the electronic thumb shifter messes with the otherwise very clean looking cockpit. The hydraulic disc brakes also form part of the Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset. Rounding it off are a set of deep 45 mm rims with Parapera branding and Tune Prince/Princess hubs, resulting in a practical and impressive package. You can make adjustments to the components in the online configurator. This includes the groupset (Shimano 105 Di2 and Shimano Ultegra Di2), wheelset, tire width, crank length, and handlebar dimensions.
Parapera Aeras² 2023
Seatpost Parapera Carbon Aeroa D-ShapedBrakes Campagnolo Super Record 160/160 mmDrivetrain Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc 2×12Stem Parapera Carbon Aero 105 mmHandlebar Parapera Carbon Aero 410 mmWheelset Parapera Carbon Extralight SLS 45 mm Tune Prince/Princess 12 x 100/12 x 148 mm Through AxleTires Schwalbe Pro One TLE 700 x 32c 32Cranks Campagnolo Super Record 172,5 mmCassette Campagnolo Super Record 11-32T
Size XS S M L XL
It’s got the looks, but the Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset can no longer keep up in terms of shifting performance.
The geometry of the 2023 Parapera Aeras²
As already mentioned, the geometry of the 2023 Parapera Aeras² differs significantly from its sibling. It is designed less for the long haul and more for performance. It comes very close to the Atmos², Parapera’s lightest bike, though Aeras² has a longer reach and shorter stack. Furthermore, the chainstays have become shorter, which should result in increased agility. In terms of geometry, the 2023 Parapera Aeras² thus falls in the race bike category.
First ride review of the 2023 Parapera Aeras² – Racing through Gotham
The moment you swing your leg over the 2023 Parapera Aeras², you’ll miss looking at it. The sporty and fast look is confirmed when climbing aboard the gravel bike. As such, it’s difficult to ride this bike in a relaxed manner, as it immediately puts you into race mode. With this riding position, you should definitely have core strengthening exercises in your training plan. Nevertheless, the handling is very precise, making the gravel bike easy to control. It’s only when riding very slowly that the 2023 Parapera Aeras² feels slightly nervous and restless. The faster you ride, the more stable the bike becomes.
Speed anyone? Yes, please!
Surprisingly, the off-road performance is relatively good despite the skinny tires. Smooth gravel roads are a lot of fun aboard the 2023 Parapera Aeras², and it deals well with bumps. For rides on rougher gravel roads, however, you’ll still want to max out the 34 mm tire clearance. The handling remains good-natured and predictable even off road. During a sprint, the 2023 Parapera Aeras² consistently converts your wattage into propulsion. Despite weighing almost 8 kg, it feels light-footed, even on climbs. Unfortunately, the shifting performance of the Campa Super Record EPS can no longer keep up with the competition in terms of precision and ergonomics, and you can feel it, too. However, this only comes at the cost of fun on certain rare occasions.
Who is the 2023 Parapera Aeras² for?
Those whose focus is on speed, who mainly ride on asphalt roads, and occasionally want to take a detour along moderate off-road terrain will be well served with the 2023 Parapera Aeras². Especially if you aren’t looking for an off-the-shelf bike. The exclusive design makes it stand out from the crowd, but with understatement instead of overstatement.
Our conclusion on the 2023 Parapera Aeras²
The 2023 Parapera Aeras² is a sporty all-road racer that feels most comfortable on asphalt roads. However, with wider tires fitted, it’s certainly not averse to the occasional gravel detour. Its performance aspirations are clearly noticeable, which makes it less suitable for long hauls. The aesthetics of the gravel bike’s clear design language needn’t hide from the competition, striking a good balance between form and function regarding aerodynamics, off-road suitability, and style.
Pulling through: the 2023 Parapera Aeras² delivers a very coherent overall concept in terms of form and function.
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Words: Martin Staffa Photos: Mike Hunger