By Simon Smythe
British brand Parcours has launched a new wheelset that’s light enough for climbing on smooth tarmac but tough enough for gravel riding – and it has the aerodynamic rim profile that Dov Tate, an Oxford engineering graduate, wind tunnel-tested in North Carolina when he founded Parcours in 2016.
With a wide 21.5mm internal rim width and tubeless-ready the Alta is, according to Parcours, a great option for those seeking performance gains as much as it is for those seeking a responsive and stable ride.
Front and rear are built with 28 spokes for robustness, and since the disc-specific Alta is free from the constraints of a rim-brake caliper, the wide rim is ideal for a large-volume do-it-all tyre.
Precision-machined alloy hubs are fitted with high-grade EZO cartridge bearings and use a Centerlock disc fitment. The hubs take 12mm thru-axles front and rear with separate adapter kits available for other common axle standards.
The Alta will also be available with a dynamo hub for longer adventures.
Tate said: “With gravel and adventure riding continuing to increase in popularity, we wanted to cater for the rider who wants a ‘one wheel’ setup to take them everywhere. The new Alta wheelset will never be the limiting factor for your next ride, wherever that may take you.”
Ultra-cyclist Chris Herbert was one of the first to put the Parcours Alta through its paces, riding it to 22nd place in the 4,000km Transcontinental Race in August.
Herbert said: “I need a wheelset that’s fast on the road, but rugged enough to take anywhere when I head off the beaten track. Despite being all purpose, the Parcours Alta wheelset performs comparably to my old race wheels on the road – they actually feel faster, particularly when climbing, and can take far more abuse than I’ll ever manage to dish out.”
The Parcours Alta is priced at £849 with the dynamo hub option costing an extra £200.
For more information visit www.parcours.cc or find the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Parcours Alta spec
Weight: 1,460g (wheelset)
Rim depth: 35mm
Rim width: 29mm (max outer)/21.5mm (inner)
Spokes: 28 front/28 rear (2-cross lacing) Sapim CX-Ray
Hubs: Centerlock rotor fitting/12mm thru axle front/rear as standard (can be converted)
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics: