Parcours Chrono race wheels review

Are the Parcours Chrono your next wheelset for long-distance triathlon?

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
Credit: The Secret Studio

Since their launch in 2016, Clapham-based Parcours have sought to build a reputation for offering affordable and accessible speed. Apart from opting for a disc wheel, the tubeless-ready Chrono set with stealth decals is touted as the company’s fastest option, and for 2019 it’s received an upgrade. “We set out to design a wheel that would offer the same class-leading aerodynamics but with improved handling in crosswinds,” says owner Dov Tate. 

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Why are deep-section aero wheels faster?

Save for an updated carbon lay-up, the 86mm deep rear wheel remains largely unchanged. However, the front hoop has a new rim profile and has dropped from 86mm to 77mm deep, so you’ll still need valve extenders. The result, claim Parcours based on their own wind-tunnel testing, is a front wheel that performs from a pure aerodynamic perspective within 0.1 watts of its predecessor, while a reported 15% side force reduction is said to offer improved handling. There’s also a 100g weight saving for the combined wheelset.

Parcours supply carbon specific blue brake pads and the relatively large 12.5mm deep brake track makes installation easy (and reduces the risk of accidentally damaging the carbon rim). In addition to bladed spokes (18 front/24 rear) and alloy hubs fitted with high-grade EZO cartridge bearings, Parcours has looked to make the Chrono faster by improving the transition from rim to tyre on the front hoop, with the most bulbous part of the rim now closer to the wheel’s edge. With an external rim width of 25mm (internal circa 21mm) the Chrono follows the trend for accommodating wider tyres and, onto the tarmac, they’re instantly a great match for our 25mm clinchers.

Although far from sluggish, as you might expect for a deep rim wheelset weighing just below 1,700g, the Chrono aren’t the quickest at getting up to speed, but for non-drafting events and less technical courses this is less of a concern. And once up to cruising speed, it feels like staying there is easier than normal, and the distinctive noise of the wheels slicing through the air only encourages you to push on. For such deep wheels, they’re stable in crosswinds, perform well on climbs with steady gradients and the braking is reliable when descending.

Overall, then, the fast, relatively light, stiff, and competitively-priced Chrono are a very appealing wheelset for long-distance tri. Yet, even with improved handling in crosswinds, our main question would be just how versatile is a 77mm deep front wheel? The answer will depend on your racing schedule.

Verdict: Look, feel and sound fast. Another winning wheelset from the Brit brand  88%

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