Parcours founder Dov Tate (left) and head of marketing Amy Marks

For the masses: British wheel brand Parcours is bringing aerodynamics to the people

“I always think about accessibility in two ways,” said Dov Tate, founder of British carbon wheel brand Parcours. 

“One way is that we talk about aerodynamics, and how we design the wheels, how we optimise them, and how riders should think about it. 

“But then also in terms of price point, and making sure we can be as affordable as possible, for as many riders as possible.” 

Parcours, founded in 2016, was established with precisely that accessibility at its heart – a brand to make riders faster, for less. 

Since its founding, the small Surrey-based team has built Parcours into a component brand that punches above its weight, both in professional racing and in the cycle market.  

I recently made a trip to visit the Parcours team at their office space in Puttenham, just outside Guildford. 


Since the start of the Covid pandemic, we have been reporting on the many issues sparked by the global supply chains, soaring demand, and the sudden drop-off in bike trade sales, but Parcours has seen a very different ebb and flow over the last few years.

“I think as an aftermarket upgrade, we had a slightly different path,” said Tate.

“We didn’t attract the day one beginner in the same way some of the larger brands did, because we didn’t have that sort of entry-level target, so the first few months of lockdown were quite uncomfortable.

“But then it was really when the consumer started to realise that they, by and large, had maintained their income, reduced spending, but increased riding, and were looking for a treat or to upgrade their bike that they’d been riding for three or four months. 

“That’s when things really started to take off, around mid-2020.”

Parcours has rapidly grown its sales since the peak of the pandemic, but has still faced its own supply chain and logistical issues, particularly surrounding the EU, but Tate said that being more dynamic and flexible allowed the brand to adapt to rapidly changing events. 

“It’s been a challenge, but one the business has come through very strongly.” 

Embrace the new

So what next for the wider industry? The bike trade is in a very difficult spot, with major brands forced to make cutbacks and the closure of some significant companies in the UK. But Covid lockdowns also saw countless new bike riders open the door to the cycle industry, and many will stick out their new found love of two wheels. 

“For the industry as a whole, it’s obviously going to have its challenges, but also its opportunities,” said Tate. 

“As an industry it’s our responsibility to not look the gift horse in the mouth in terms of the opportunities that the last few years have given us, and make sure that we capitalise in a sustainable way.

“We’ve got to be realistic and say that we haven’t necessarily responded as well as we could have done in the past to similar opportunities, but at the same time there is a real interest in cycling.  

“There are a lot of people who started [cycling] recently, who are beginning to convert into committed enthusiasts and it’s important that we retain them. 

“Equally we’ve got a really good base of existing riders who have been with us through the pandemic, that we need to continue to serve as they progress as riders.”

For the future

So what next for Parcours? The brand specialises in lower-cost wheelsets for the road and gravel market, but a chunk of business also comes from the triathlon market. 

Pre-Covid, around 50% of revenue came from triathletes, but during 2020 that dropped to zero as triathlon events vanished from the calendar due to lockdowns. But the big recent announcement for Parcours caters to the returning triathlon market – a collaboration with hub-shifting pioneer Classified to offer a disc wheel with Classified’s Powershift system. 

On the Classified partnership, Tate said: “I think as a smaller business with a smaller team, with any exposure or marketing activity, it’s about maximising bang for buck. 

“It’s trying to figure out how we maximise the benefit of what we’re doing in our activities, working in partnerships is only going to amplify that.” 

“The Classified partnership is a perfect example whereby we’ve both brought technical expertise in our relevant spheres, and we’ve both bought marketing and sales reach within our particular spheres.

“To me, that’s the definition of a perfect partnership.”  

And for the future, Tate has plans to open up Parcours to private investment, in the hope of growing the business further. The brand is now open to outside investment to help capitalise on current success, and deliver on some of the plans for the brand, further R&D, broadening the reach of the business, and improving the existing operations.

“This is very much fundraising from a position of strength,” said Tate.

“We’ve got some really exciting plans for the business over the coming short to medium term, and this is really looking at massively accelerating them, and giving us the opportunity to run multiple initiatives.” 

Read more: Nominations are now open for the BikeBiz Awards 2023

And finally, Parcours is also hoping to expand the OE (original equipment) side of the business, aiming to partner with bike manufacturers to get its wheels on more bikes in future. 

In other news...

What is PR and how can it help your business?

By Kate Allan, Compete PR This piece first appeared in the September edition of BikeBiz …