A modern cycling wheel has to do so much more than carry you across the tarmac. Whether you’re taking part in time trials, triathlons or longer road races, a wheel that’s optimised for aerodynamics, ride comfort, smoothness and stability can have a significant impact on your performance. That’s why leading brand Parcours (opens in new tab) have teamed up with top research scientists to ensure their latest generation of wheels and wheelsets get you to the finish line faster and fresher than ever before.
Parcours’ #thinkwider (opens in new tab) research project is a collaboration with scientist Dr Steve Faulkner and Nottingham Trent University’s sports engineering department. Their in-depth Aero Design Project (opens in new tab) showed that the aerodynamic forces experienced by your bike’s front and rear wheels are significantly different. In fact, they discovered that the “real world” yaw angle (the difference between a cyclist’s direction of travel and the relative wind vector*) differed by an average of 1.5 degrees between the front and rear wheels.
Parcours first incorporated these findings into their Strade and Ronde wheelsets, where the higher yaw angles experienced by the front wheel were accommodated for using a blunt, U-shaped rim to enhance aerodynamics and crosswind stability. A sharper, V-shaped rim profile then helped to improve aerodynamics at the rear.
Subsequent models like the Chrono – Parcours’ fastest wheelset so far – have also been designed from the ground up, with #thinkwider technology applied to deeper rim depths. By incorporating differential front and rear rim profiles into the design, these wheelsets blend the comfort and rolling resistance benefits of a modern, wider tyre, with significantly improved aerodynamic performance.
Parcours’ latest update to the Chrono promises to maintain the aerodynamics of the previous generation, while improving the wheels’ crosswind stability by 17%. These new time trial and triathlon wheelsets allow riders to run a wider tyres without compromising on aerodynamic performance, which also translates into enhanced handling on your ride. Choosing a combination of the Chrono Max front wheel and Disc2 rear, meanwhile, can help to further reduce drag when you’re out on the road.
To show what to expect from Parcours’ exciting new set of wheels, here’s an in-depth rundown of the new line-up.
Chrono wheelset (68/75mm) (opens in new tab)
Parcours say the new Chrono wheelset is the most stable deep section wheel they’ve ever ridden, as well as being suited to pretty much any ride conditions you might encounter. Its fusion of speed and stability promise to make it a versatile race day option for triathletes, time triallists and road racers alike.
Excitingly, the latest Chrono wheelset (which incorporates a 68.6mm depth front wheel, with 75.7mm depth at the rear) takes advantage of the latest #thinkwider technology to improve on the previous iteration’s crosswind stability by more than 17%. Aero optimised for running with a 28mm tyre, the wheelset also features a hooked rim to maximise tyre compatibility.
Chrono wheelset price: £1,199 / $1,599 / €1,599
Chrono Max front wheel (83mm) (opens in new tab)
The fastest front wheel option Parcours have ever produced, the Chrono Max has the potential to unlock new standards of performance. Like the Chrono wheelset, it’s been developed specifically for a 28mm tyre and, despite having increased rim depth (83.6mm), takes advantage of the #thinkwider innovations to handle like a wheel with a much shallower rim profile.
Saving more than 4W over the previous generation of front wheel, it’s the perfect option for any athlete looking for outright performance and speed – and it’s best paired with the Disc2 rear wheel for the ultimate race-day set-up.
Chrono Max price (front wheel only): £600 / $800 / €780
Disc rear wheel (opens in new tab)
The first full carbon rear disc wheel truly optimised for wider tyres, and – with a 22.5mm internal rim width – the widest disc wheel currently available, Parcours’ Disc2 can run with a tyre of up to 30mm width without aerodynamic penalty. The Disc2 has the added benefit of being a disc brake-specific wheel, which means the wheel profile has been designed to account for the brake rotor. Parcours are also planning to publish further research findings demonstrating the reduction in handling instability from running a rear disc wheel.
All that makes the Disc2 the ideal choice for anyone seeking outright speed and performance, especially time triallists and triathletes.
Disc2 price (rear wheel only): £1,049 / $1,399 / €1,359
Disc2 + Chrono front price: £1,599 / $2,199 / €2,079
Disc2 + Chrono Max front price: £1,649 / $2,199 / €2,139
For more information on Parcours’ new #thinkwider aero range, visit www.parcours.cc (opens in new tab). Parcours are also conducting research to quantify the benefits of wider tyres and lower tyre pressures, which will be published once finalised.
All EU prices quoted above are inclusive of European import taxes and duties.
* The relative wind vector is the resulting direction of airflow when both the rider’s motion and wind direction/speed are taken into account.
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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.