Parcours Wheels, Making Aerodynamics Accessible

Parcours made our list of innovative UK brands, so here’s a little more background on this growing wheel brand.

Parcours founder Dov Tate started the company after realising that here was something missing from the market: an affordably priced and aero-tested wheelset. So while the rest of us would have bemoaned the cost of an aero wheelset, Dov set about making one. Being a keen cyclist and with a background in engineering, this was something he could reasonably tackle. So Dov spent 2016 researching suppliers and testing in a specialist wind tunnel in North Carolina. Here he was able to analyse existing products and ideas, before making some initial designs.

Next it was time for a trip to China to research materials and processes. He was looking not only to create an aero wheelset that would be fast, but one that would be durable and robust. No good having a super-fast wheel if it falls apart on the first pot-hole! And later that summer of 2016 Parcours was launched with three wheels, the Grimpeur, Passista and Chrono. That’s an amazing time-line from initial design to actual product in less than a year.

Parcours have added a textured braking surface on their rim-braked wheels

Working with Nottingham Trent University

One of Parcours big finds came about from their partnership with the Sports Engineering Department at Nottingham Trent University: they called this the #thinkwider Project. You can read all about the research on their website, but the most noticeable features are the differently shaped front and rear rims. The research found that as each wheel experiences crosswinds differently, then they need their own unique shape to cope. This also led to rim height and width differing between front and rear rims.

And this research wasn’t limited to wind-tunnels and CFD programmes. Using sensors normally used in the world of yachting, they were able to measure the effect of cross-winds on their wheels in the real world. This has helped them produce wheels that are fast and stable when the wind blows: another important safety feature.

The Classified Powershift hub is an option on some wheels

Aero over lightweight

The reason most people will be upgrading their wheels is to gain an aerodynamic advantage, previously we were all obsessed by weight. However nowadays the emphasis has moved to aero gains, weight is still a factor, but it’s not the primary factor. And as we said before Parcours haven’t forgotten about the safety factor. Their wheels have passed both the UCI and European Standards for wheels. These include passing “roundness” tests, resisting deformation and surviving simulated crashes. So you can ride Parcours wheels with confidence.

Since that initial range of three wheels, their range has increased to thirteen wheels. This covers road-disc, road-rim and gravel wheelsets. So let’s take a closer look at those wheels.

Road Disc Wheels

Ronde

Parcours Ronde wheelset
Parcours Ronde wheelset

The Ronde is Parcours do-it-all wheelset. Aerodynamically optimised around a 28mm tyre, the Ronde uses a different front and rear rim profile to provide stable handling and maximum speed on all surfaces. Designed to be ridden over tarmac, cobbles or trails could the Ronde be your wheel for the Classics? You can choose between EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings and you can also add a Classified Powershift hub.

Rim depth35.6mm (front) / 39.3mm (rear)
Max rim width32.0mm (front) / 30.5mm (rear)
Internal rim width22.5mm
Weight1,400g (635g front / 765g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (24 front / 24 rear)
Lacing pattern2-cross (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

Grimpeur

Parcours Grimpeur wheelset

The Grimpeur as the name suggest is the wheelset for mountain goats. The 40mm Grimpeur is the lightest wheelset in the disc range at 1,395g. But what goes up has to come down, so the U-shaped rim profile has been optimised to make the descents as fast as your ascent. You can choose between EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings.

Rim depth40.0mm
Max rim width27.0mm
Internal rim width19.0mm
Weight1,395g (640g front / 755g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (24 front / 24 rear)
Lacing pattern2-cross (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

Strade

Parcours Strade wheelset
Parcours Strade wheelset

According to Parcours the Strade is is “their fastest mid-depth disc brake wheelset across all road surfaces and can be used for almost anything; club rides, light gravel, racing or bikepacking odysseys.” It uses all the #thinkwider research to make a fast wheel that can also handle all-road riding. Sounds pretty impressive. The Strade comes with EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings and you can also add a Classified Powershift hub.

Rim depth49.2mm (front) / 54.0mm (rear)
Max rim width32.0mm (front) / 30.5mm (rear)
Internal rim width22.5mm
Weight1,520g (705g front / 815g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (24 front / 24 rear)
Lacing pattern2-cross (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

Chrono

Chrono Disc wheels
Chrono Disc wheels

The Chrono is all about straight line speed and stability, making it perfect for time-triallists and tri-athletes. Parcours say the Chrono is now 17% more stable in crosswinds than previous models thanks to the #thinkwider research. It also comes with either steel EZO or Kogel ceramic bearings and you can have a Classified Powershift hub.

Rim depth68.6mm (front) / 75.7mm (rear)
Max rim width32.0mm (front) / 30.5mm (rear)
Internal rim width22.5mm
Weight1,620g (745g front / 875g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (24 front / 24 rear)
Lacing pattern2-cross (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

Chrono Max

Chrono Max wheel

The 83.6mm deep Chrono Max keeps the handling qualities of the previous front wheel, but with a 4.1W reduction in drag at 30mph. Pair it with their disc rear wheel for ultimate race day speed. The hooked rim is optimised for 28mm tyres, with the lower pressures keeping you comfortable on longer rides, leaving you fresher. You can choose between EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings.

Rim depth83.6mm
Max rim width32.0mm
Internal rim width22.5mm
Weight1,620g (745g front / 875g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray 24 front
Lacing pattern2-cross
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

Disc2

The Disc2

The Disc2 has been designed around a tubeless 28mm tyre and shows no aero penalty up to 30mm. So you can ride a wider tyre at lower pressure and stay fresher longer. The Disc2 can be paired with the Chrono or Chrono Max depending on race day conditions.

Rim depthFull carbon disc
Max rim width30.5mm
Internal rim width22.5mm
Weight1,240g
HubParcours Disc Centerlock

Road Rim Wheels

Grimpeur

Grimpeur rim braked version

The rim-brake version of the Grimpeur has all the same specs as the disc-brake version, but comes out 45g lighter. So if you’re a real weight-weenie you could ride this version up, then swap to the disc-brake version for the down hill! The Grimpeur has been aero-optimised for 25mm tyres and you can run them with tubes or tubeless. To help improve braking, the Grimpeur has a textured braking surface, featuring a high TG resin. Available with either EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings.

Rim depth40.0mm
Max rim width27.0mm
Internal rim width19.0mm
Weight1,350g (595g front / 755g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (20 front / 24 rear)
Lacing patternRadial (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Rim Straight-pull

Passista

Passista wheelset

The Passista is the road all-rounder, designed for typical UK cycling on roads that never climb, or descend, for too long. Optimised for 25mm tyres, the rims have the same textured braking surface as the Grimpeur. And at 56mm high you’ll enjoy the aero benefits, without having to worry about cross winds. Available with either EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings.

Rim depth56.0mm
Max rim width27.5mm
Internal rim width19.0mm
Weight1,450g (630g front / 820g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (20 front / 24 rear)
Lacing patternRadial (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Rim Straight-pull

Passista/Chrono

Passista/Chrono Wheelset

The Passista/Chrono wheelset has been designed to offer a particular set of characteristics. With a 56mm front and 86mmm rear Parcours are looking to satisfy riders who are worried about the handling qualities of deep rims. Lighter riders, or newcomers to time-trialling and triathlon set-ups can be feel confident on this combination of a shallower rim on the front and deeper rear rim driving the bike. The Passista is designed with 25mm tyres in mind and both rims have a textured braking surface. Available with either EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings.

Rim depth56.0mm (front) / 86.0mm (rear)
Max rim width27.5mm (front) / 29.0mm (rear)
Internal rim width19.0mm
Weight1,550g (630g front / 920g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (20 front / 24 rear)
Lacing patternRadial (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Rim Straight-pull

Chrono

Chrono rim-braked version

As with the disc-brake wheels the Chrono is the most aero rim-braked wheelset. Here the #thinkwider developments have led to a 15% reduction in crosswind forces, resulting in a more stable wheel. And a wheel that’s more stable will mean a faster wheel, as you’re not fighting to keep the bike straight and true. A perfect wheelset for testers and triathletes. Available with either EZO steel or Kogel ceramic bearings.

Rim depth77.0mm (front) / 86.0mm (rear)
Max rim width29.5mm (front) / 29.0mm (rear)
Internal rim width20.0mm (front) / 19.0mm (rear)
Weight1,655g (735g front / 920g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (20 front / 24 rear)
Lacing patternRadial (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Rim Straight-pull

Disc

Rim brake version of the Disc

The full carbon Disc wheel has been designed time triallists and triathletes. Tubeless ready with a 17.5mm internal width and revised internal rim profile, the Disc can be run with a wider tyre at lower pressure. This will give you a more comfortable and faster ride. The rim has also has Parcours’ textured braking surface for improved stopping power. The Disc can be combined with either the Passista or Chrono front wheel depending on conditions.

Rim depthFull carbon disc
Max rim width29.0mm
Internal rim width17.5mm
Weight1,380g
HubParcours Rim

Gravel Wheels

Alta

The Alta gravel wheelset

The Alta features hookless rims with IMPACT+ technology. This is a flexible resin that is used on the rim’s edges, to protect against impacts. The 24mm internal width will allow you to run a wide range of tyres and the low pressure used off-road won’t pose a problem for a hookless rim, which are limited when it comes to higher pressures. Twenty-eight spokes laced 2-cross, combined with wider tyres will make for a stronger wheel, perfect for a pre off-road wheel.

The Alta can be specced with a SON Delux 12 dynamo front hub, great for running your lights or charging your devices. You can also have the Alta built with a Classified Powershift hub to compliment your 1x drive-train. Bearings are EZO steel and the hubs are fitted with 12mm thru-axles.

Rim depth36.0mm
Max rim width33.0mm
Internal rim width24.0mm (hookless)
Weight1,500g (685g front / 815g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (28 front / 28 rear)
Lacing pattern2-cross (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

Alta 650B

With the Alta 650B you can run wider tyres

If you want to run really wide tyres on your gravel bike, then you could run a set of Alta 650B wheels. While 650B wheels are more practical on smaller frames, running them on a standard frame lets you use bigger volume tyres. These can make gnarlier off-road surfaces a lot more rideable and wider tyres can be run with even lower pressures.

The Alta 650B wheels have the same specifications as the 700C versions, apart from the spoke count. The smaller rims use shorter spokes and being shorter are stronger, so the Alta 650B only has twenty-four. Again you can have these built with a SON Delux 12 dynamo or Classified Powershift hubs. The precision machined hubs are fitted with EZO steel bearings and take 12mm thru-axles.

Rim depth35.0mm (650B)
Max rim width30.0mm
Internal rim width25.0mm (hookless)
Weight1,360g (620g front / 740g rear)
SpokesSapim CX-Ray (24 front / 24 rear)
Lacing pattern2-cross (front) / 2-cross (rear DS/NDS)
HubsParcours Disc Centerlock

So there you have the Parcours collection, there will be something for every cyclist among those thirteen wheelsets. And if you want something a little special, check out the Chrono wheels on the Handsling Bikes entry to the Cycle Show’s Jaw Dropper competition that we wrote about recently.

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