Updated Parcours Alta gravel wheel is wider, more aero and is made with new impact-resistant carbon

From rocky American fire roads to good old British mud-baths, the Alta can do it all, according to Parcours

Parcours Alta wheels
(Image credit: Parcours)

British wheel brand Parcours has launched a new version of its 700C Alta gravel wheelset that has a wider, hookless rim and also benefits from the aerodynamic profiling of its road wheels.

Additionally, the rim features what Parcours claims is "unique" impact technology called IMPACT+. This involves using a more flexible resin at the edge of the rim which protects it against, for example, bottoming out a low-pressure tyre. The 650B version of the Parcours Alta, which got a perfect score when we reviewed it last year, is also to be updated with this tech.

Parcours Alta wheelset pack shot

(Image credit: Parcours)

The original Parcours Alta, launched in 2019, had an internal rim width of 21.5mm. The new version widens out to 24mm and is optimised for gravel tyres between 38mm and 50mm. However, says Parcours, it can be run with anything down to a 28mm road tyre up to 55mm fat rubber.

The rim is now hookless - the original Alta used a more standard hooked tubeless rim profile - in line with more modern wheels for both gravel and road.

Parcours founder Dov Tate conducted a groundbreaking aerodynamics study using marine anemometers to analyse the real-world wind conditions bike wheels were facing, and the resulting #thinkwider concept - which originally informed the design of the Parcours Strade wheelset, launched in 2020 - has been applied to the new Alta.

Parcours Alta rear wheel on gravel

(Image credit: Parcours)

In terms of the actual depth of the rim, the Alta goes up from 35mm to 36mm.

The weight of the original Alta was a claimed 1,460g; the new Alta comes in at 1,500g, according to Parcours, which is still impressively lightweight considering the bulking out of the dimensions.

The hubs run on high-grade EZO cartridge bearing hubs and are fitted for 12mm thru-axles. Adaptor kits are available for other standards. A dynamo front hub (SON Delux 12) is available as an upgrade.

Parcours also has a reputation for very competitive pricing: Tate's business model allows him to take on the best gravel wheels from the big brands despite designing the wheels in house and owning the moulds. The new Alta is priced at £899/$1,199, only £50 more expensive than the 2019 version.

As part of Parcours’ Monument Range, the Alta wheelset comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing and workmanship defects. All Alta wheelsets ship with a tubeless kit included.

The updated Alta wheelset is available with a number of different freehub options:

* Shimano/SRAM 11-speed (also compatible with new Shimano 12-speed
* Campagnolo 11/12-speed
* Campagnolo N3W 13-speed

Here's the full spec:

  • Price: £899/$1,199
  • Rim depth: 36mm
  • Rim width (external): 33mm
  • Rim width (internal): 24mm/hookless
  • Weight: 1,500g (685g front/815g rear)
  • Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray (28 front/28 rear)
  • Hubs: Parcours Disc Centerlock

Check out the wheels at Parcours' website for more info.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. 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 most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.