Carbon fibre aero wheels are an expensive upgrade but prices have gradually been falling over the years. Parcours is a brand new company with the bold ambition to make aero accessible for all.
It has launched three wheelsets, each featuring a carbon fibre clincher rim, with prices ranging from £700 to £800. The rims are manufactured from Toray T700 carbon fibre and all use the latest U-shaped rim design, which all the leading rim manufacturers are now using. All rims are clincher only but they’re not tubeless-ready.
Sapim CX-Ray spokes are used across the range and laced to its own design hubs, which are CNC-machined from 6061 aluminium and weigh a claimed 76g for the front and 208g for the rear.
The Grimpeur (£700), at 1,465g, is its lightest offering and uses a 38mm rim with an on-trend u-shaped profile. The rim has an 18.2mm internal width and 26mm external width.
With a 56mm rim and weighing 1,560g, the Passista (£750) looks like a good all-round choice suitable for a range of conditions. This wheelset uses a slightly different profile rim, with an internal rim width of 17.5mm and 27mm external width.
Finally, the Chrono offers an 86mm rim and a wheelset weighs 1,800g and costs £800.
The new company first launched the wheels at the London Triathlon Expo and it has even spent time in the A2 Wind Tunnel in North Caroline to put them through their paces.
It tested the Passista, a wheelset with a 56mm deep rim against a Shimano RS11 24mm wheelset, a common wheel on new bikes, and found savings of up to 15 watts depending on the yaw angle, which it says translates to nearly 67 seconds over 40km at 50kph. Testing was with a 23mm Schwalbe One tyre. It also tested against a Zipp 404 Firecrest clincher and found it was within 1%.
If you’re interested in the aero testing you can see more details and graphs on the company’s website www.parcours.cc/pages/aerodynamics
How good are the prices? Well, probably the cheapest carbon fibre clincher that we've seen here at road.cc is wiggle's own Cosine brand, with a 45mm carbon fibre clincher wheelset costs just £600. You can read our review of those wheels here. But typically you're look at well over a grand for a carbon wheelset and many times that if you're looking at one of the big names like Zipp, Enve or Mavic.
More info at www.parcours.cc
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.