The latest Parcours Grimpeur Disc wheels are light enough to excel on the tarmac while being so tough that you can smash them over rocks and tree roots with little concern for their wellbeing. They won't break the bank either.
- Pros: Excellent weight and build quality
- Cons: Err...
We've been seeing some brilliant, lightweight carbon fibre disc wheels coming through the office lately, and these Grimpeur Discs are some of the best.
With a 40mm-deep U-shaped carbon rim they weigh in at just 1,406g with the tubeless rim tape fitted, which ties in well with Parcours' claimed weight of 1,390g bare.
Fitted to the Flanders Forte cyclo-cross frameset that we had in for testing, the wheels offered snappy acceleration, and their low weight helped the whole bike feel flickable at the front and rear for hopping over potholes, rocks and other obstacles.
Obviously, being fitted to a cyclo-cross bike they spent most of their time off-road and they took the knocks and bumps from the gravel tracks and tree roots of the local singletrack without issue.
Parcours has gone for a build of 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes front and rear in a two-cross lacing pattern which certainly feels stiff and gave no issues with trueness even after a fairish amount of abuse. Hard acceleration and heavy braking did little to upset them either, from a stress point of view.
In the interests of fairness I swapped out the knobbly tyres for some slick 25mm Panaracer Race C Evo 3 tyres for a bit of climbing and descending on the local roads.
The results on the steep hills were impressive, that lack of weight meaning they felt sprightly as I clawed my way up, with loads of stiffness for when I was cornering and braking hard on my way back down.
The EZO bearings inside the machined aluminium alloy hubs roll smoothly even after seeing plenty of rain, mud and grit over the test period, and the 40mm-deep rim gives you a slight aero advantage over a standard profile wheel. The engagement of the pawls is fast too.
The rim itself has a maximum external width of 27mm but edge to edge where the tyre meets measures 25.5mm, so it does make the tyre sit a little wider than the width states on the carcass. The 25mm tyres came out at about 26.5mm, for instance.
Both tubeless and tubed tyre setups were easy to fit and remove, without the need to use tyre levers or anything when fitting.
As standard, the Grimpeurs come with a Shimano/SRAM freehub but you can choose a Campagnolo one at the time of ordering. Removing the cassette to weigh the wheels after about 400 miles saw no damage to the freehub body from the cassette digging in under load; it still looked pretty much brand new – I've definitely seen a lot worse.
The Grimpeurs are impressive value, when you take everything into account, including the weight and build quality.
I absolutely loved the JRA Gecko carbon wheelset, which is the same weight, albeit with a shallower 23mm rim, and with just as impressive build quality. The Geckos cost £850, which is very good for such a set of wheels, but the Grimpeurs manage to beat that with a price of just £819.
The similar weight (1,490g) Acros Road Disc C 28 wheels will set you back a total of £1,549.99, showing further how well priced the Parcours are.
Overall, the Grimpeur Discs pretty much offer it all, whatever type of riding you like to do.
Lightweight race wheels that are just as at home on the gravel as they are on the road
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Parcours Grimpeur Disc wheelset
Size tested: 700C, 40mm deep
Tell us what the wheel is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Parcours says, "The Grimpeur is our lightest, shallowest wheel. The all-new 40mm rim is ideal for when the road starts to head for the clouds. But of course, what goes up must come down so the Grimpeur also has the aerodynamic benefit of a U-shaped rim and Sapim CX-Ray spokes.
"With an internal width of 19mm, the clincher rim is also tubeless-ready. A wider tyre is the perfect match, allowing riders to choose to run a lower tyre pressure, giving a smoother, more comfortable ride whilst also reducing rolling resistance.
"Without the requirement for a braking surface, our disc brake rim profile has been designed for the optimal rim/tyre interface. Our precision-machined alloy hubs are fitted with high-grade EZO cartridge bearings to deliver smooth running in all conditions and use a Centerlock disc fitment. The hubs are fitted for 12mm thru-axles front & rear, however adapter kits are available for other axle standards."
A solid yet lightweight set of wheels that work just as well on the road as they do off it.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Rim Depth: 40mm
Max rim width: 27mm
Edge rim width: 25.5mm
Internal width: 19mm
Model: Sapim CX-Ray
Count: 24 (front) / 24 (rear)
Lacing pattern: 2 Cross (front & rear)
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
The wheels stayed true throughout the test period.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Very easy indeed for both tubed and tubeless setups.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The wheels come supplied with tubeless rim tape and it does the job.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Thanks to their low weight and build quality they work well on every terrain that I tried them on.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Great weight to stiffness ratio.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
I wouldn't say there is anything to particularly to dislike.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The excellent JRA Geckos are 30 quid more, but these are comparable if not even better.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Grimpeurs are very versatile wheels that deliver excellent performance whether you are tackling a day in the mountains or bombing around your local gravel tracks.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!