The British cycling wheel brand, Parcours, has unveiled three new wheelsets called the Chrono, Chrono Max and Disc2 that were developed in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and Dr Steve Faulkner following a detailed study of “wind speed and direction” – otherwise know as aerodynamics. 😉
Offering a fusion of speed and stability, the new Chrono wheelset (68.6mm front, 75.7mm rear) is an extremely versatile race day wheelset option for triathletes, time trialists and or road cyclists alike. Maintaining the class-leading aerodynamics of the previous generation wheelset, the new Chrono offers an improvement of over 17% in way of crosswind stability when compared with the previous iteration, achieved thanks to #thinkwider technology. Aerodynamically optimised around a 28mm tire, the Chrono wheelset is also tubeless-ready and disc-brake specific to accompany a wider rim profile.
Offering maximum aerodynamic benefit while maintaining handling stability, the Chrono Max (83.6mm deep), is Parcours’ fastest ever front wheel. Developed specifically for a 28mm tire, the Chrono Max is also tubeless-ready and disc-brake specific. Saving over 4W versus Parcours’ previous generation front wheel, the Chrono Max handles like a shallower rim profile thanks to the #thinkwider technology, allowing it to maintain the handling stability of the older 77mm model, despite the extra rim depth and increased straight-line speed. This makes it the perfect option for the athlete seeking outright performance and speed, without compromise.
Parcours has also launched its first full carbon rear disc wheel to be truly optimized for wide tires, the new Disc2. With an internal rim width of 22.5mm, the Disc2 rear wheel can also be run with a tyre up to 30mm wide with no aerodynamic penalty. The Disc2 saves over 120g in weight over the previous Parcours disc wheel, making it the ideal choice for riders wanting to maximize their aerodynamic advantage.
All three models have been designed from the ground up using #thinkwider technology, developed following the results of an in-depth scientific study carried out by Parcours in association with the Sports Engineering department at Nottingham Trent University and Dr Steve Faulkner. This revolutionary research showed that the Real World Yaw angles – the angle between a cyclist’s direction of motion and the relative wind vector – experienced by the front and rear wheel are consistently different by an average of 1.5 degrees, giving rise to the engineering of differential profiles for the front/rear rims. The front, U-shaped, blunt rim design provides optimal aerodynamics at the higher yaw angles observed at the front wheel, while having the added benefit of enhancing cross wind stability. The rear, V-shaped, sharper rim profile is used to optimism aerodynamics at the lower yaw angles it would experience.
Dov Tate, the founder of Parcours, said, “we’re really excited to be launching our new Chrono, Chrono Max and Disc2 wheel line ups, bringing the fastest wheels we’ve ever ridden to market. This is the culmination of our biggest and most in-depth development project to date, bringing together a number of partnerships with leading names in both the academic and athletic worlds. We can’t wait to see how our riders get on this week in Kona on our #thinkwider wheels”
The new range is already tried and tested in elite level racing, with the Parcours athlete roster helping to provide feedback on the prototype models throughout the 2022 season. Parcours athlete and long distance professional triathlete from New Zealand, Kyle Smith, was the first rider into T2 at the IRONMAN World Championships in St. George, Utah, riding the new Chrono Max and Disc2.
Smith said, “the new wheels have been absolutely amazing. The width of the rims make the ride super smooth and comfortable. Paired with a set of 28mm GP5000’s Tubeless, it makes the ride seamless. The confidence I have in them is unbeatable. I know I’m riding on the fastest wheels and that’s an amazing feeling. It’s an amazing thing to be able to trust the wheels when you rack them in transition too. Knowing that the build quality on the wheels, Tubeless tires and Ceramic bearings is so good, it’s one thing I don’t need to worry about failing when I get out onto the bike.”
In 2020, Parcours launched the Strade, the brand’s first wheelset using its #thinkwider rim profiles developed in conjunction with the Sports Engineering Department at Nottingham Trent University. #thinkwider introduced a differential front and rear rim profile, designed to optimize performance for the real-world yaw angles observed at the front and rear wheel of the bike.
The front wheel sees, on average, a higher yaw angle so our front rim profile uses a more “blunt”, U-shaped design. Prior testing has shown the more rounded shape allows airflow to remain attached for longer around the rim, reducing turbulence and therefore drag. With the rear wheel, average yaw angles are lower, requiring a different design philosophy. Here, a “sharper” V-shaped design has been shown to provide the optimum aerodynamic performance.
You can read all about the original #thinkwider development program here:
Following the launch of the mid-depth Strade in 2021, Parcours has applied #thinkwider technology to a shallower rim depth, leading to the launch of our Ronde all-road wheelset. Both the Ronde and Strade set new benchmarks for aerodynamic performance paired with a wider tire, as well as enhanced handling stability in crosswind conditions.
#thinkwider aero design background
Now Parcours has taken the next step, using their experience from the Strade and Ronde design projects and applying the company’s #thinkwider design principles to a deeper-section (>60-70mm+) wheelset. These wheelsets are most commonly seen within three use cases, each with slightly different priorities:
Based on previous projects involving its Strade and Ronde wheelsets, Parcours outlines the two main benefits:
Continuing on from the Strade and Ronde projects, any wheelset would therefore need to be:
However, when looking at the application of #thinkwider to a deeper section wheel, Parcours decided to split the two potential benefits and look to maximize each one individually. The rationale for doing so was threefold. Firstly, a deeper section rim will present more surface area to a crosswind, thereby increasing sideforce felt by the rider. For a deep section rim, this has a much more significant impact on overall handling than the rim profile or shape, so potential benefits from #thinkwider design are slightly reduced. Furthermore, the introduction of the Strade had created a significant gap in Parcours’ product line-up for a very fast, yet stable wheelset. Secondly, as the brand’s fastest legacy wheelset, the Chrono, had already been heavily optimized for aerodynamic performance, meaning again any savings were likely to be smaller than previously seen. Finally, with a deeper section wheelset, the use cases and user requirements for a wheelset are more diverse (see above), so it was important that they could offer the widest possible choice to its riders.
The wheelsets retail as follows:
Chrono (68/75mm): £1,199 / $1,599 / €1,559 for wheelset
Chrono Max (83mm): £600 / $800 / €780 for front wheel
Disc2: £1,049 / $1,399 / €1,359
To find out more about the #thinkwider project, please visit: https://www.parcours.cc/pages/thinkwider, and for more information about the full range of Parcours wheels, please visit www.parcours.cc.
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