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Parcours Ronde wheelset review

Primed for climbs and cobbles, can the Rondes from British brand Parcours really be the best of both worlds?

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£1,049
Parcours Ronde review

Following on from the Strade last year, the Ronde is Parcours’ second carbon disc brake-only wheelset designed from the ground-up.

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With a shallower rim profile and robust build for year-round use, longevity is also guaranteed since Parcours offer a lifetime warranty on the Ronde for peace of mind.

Like the Strade, the proprietary rim profile was created following an R+D project in collaboration with Nottingham University.

Differential rim depths result in a 35.6mm front wheel with a U-shaped rim and 39.3mm rear with a V-shape, which acknowledges the different ways front and rear wheels handle yaw angles and wind velocity.

Aerodynamic optimisation was finetuned in the A2 Wind Tunnel, with results from Parcours’ detailed white paper showing the Ronde outperformed the Enve 3.4AR and Zipp 303S wheelsets at certain yaw angles – impressive considering the much lower price.

The Ronde is optimised for 28mm tyres, but capable of taking 25mm at the slimmest and far wider at the other end, although Parcours’ white paper claims aerodynamics diminish beyond 28mm.

A claimed weight of 1,400g a pair isn’t the lightest out there, but similar or lighter to much pricier mid-depth wheels, such as Shimano’s DuraAce R9170. Hooked rims mean the Ronde wheels are capable of taking clinchers with tubes or tubeless tyres, and we used both set-ups over our test period.

Installation was neither particularly easy nor troubling, with a tubeless-specific track pump needed initially to seat our tubeless tyres.

On the road, the Ronde do everything you expect workhorse wheels to do but with less weight, which helped on climbs. Impressively stiff, they tackle potholed roads with ease, and the hubs with Parcours’ standard EZO bearings hum pleasantly and engage well.

Some extremely wet and blustery early weather gave us the opportunity to test the crosswind performance, and we were very impressed with the stability. Are the differing rim profiles to thank for this? With not a hint of a wobble from the front wheel, we’re convinced it makes a difference.

Most triathletes with the budget for additional wheels will have a training set and some properly deep-rim options for tri race-day, but if you can also afford to invest in a fast year-round wheelset on your best road bike, the Ronde will serve you very well on battered British roads and certainly won’t hurt your average speeds, either.

Verdict: Light, fast and dependable wheelset at an affordable price 

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Score: 91%