Raising the Dirt on Campagnolo’s Purist Reputation

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Few brands conjure notions of road cycling purist quite like Campagnolo.

However, its reputation for quality and prestige is expanding beyond tarmac aficionados, with the company releasing its first gravel wheels and group set.

The Ekar group set, named after a climb close to Campagnolo’s headquarters in Italy, has burst onto the market as the world’s lightest gravel group set.

It shares its origins with the company’s top-of-the-range road components, Super Record. However, it comes with advancements to deal with the challenges specific to gravel riding and provide the added durability required.

Gravel riding bicycle components
Ekar shares its origins with Campagnolo’s top-of-the-range road components, Super Record, but with advancements to deal with the specific challenges of gravel riding.

That includes a rear derailleur clutch that is permanently engaged for enhanced chain retention, reliability and minimal operational noise.

There are more than 70 individual and carefully designed and engineered parts just in the Ekar derailleur, which combines carbon fibre-reinforced polyamide and anodised 7075 and 6082 alloys to optimise the balance of strength, durability and light weight.

Its mix of materials have optimised resilience to the grit and dust of hardcore gravel riding, for long-term reliable operation, while stainless steel bolts provide additional strength and long-lasting durability in tough conditions.

The derailleur can also be locked forward for easy wheel removal.

The Ekar group set combines a dedicated 1x system with a 13-speed route that features the option of a nine-tooth sprocket to provide a full gearing range with short, evenly spaced shifts and well maintained cadence levels.

The Ekar offers three cassette gearing options, from 9-36 to 10-44, to cover a full spectrum of gravel scenarios.

Campagnolo gravel wheels
Campagnolo’s first gravel-specific wheels, the Levante, weighs less than 1500g per pair, while being tough enough to tackle mountain singletrack.

Levante Gravel Wheels

The launch of the Ekar group set has been accompanied by Campagnolo’s release of its first gravel-specific wheels, the Levante, which weigh in at under 1500g per pair while being tough enough to tackle mountain singletrack.

Their ultra-light carbon rims use the same H.U.L.C. hand-moulding process as Campagnolo’s Bora Ultra WTO rims that figure prominently among professional road racing teams. The H.U.L.C. production technique ensures maximum weight-to-strength ratio.

They’re combined with aluminium hubs for wheels that balance maximum stiffness for climbing and compliance for descending.

The 30mm profile carbon rim features 2-Way Fit technology that is compatible with both clincher and tubeless tyres.

The 25mm inner width of the Levante rim accommodates a wide range of tyres from 38mm to 76mm, while the shallow central channel makes the initial seating of tubeless tyres on the 2-Way Fit rim quicker and easier during inflation.

Its hole-free upper bridge, achieved through the patented MoMag system, allows a weight saving, increased rigidity and assists with tubeless tyres because no tape is required for the seal.

Levante’s ultra-light carbon rim
Levante’s ultra-light carbon rims use the same H.U.L.C. hand-moulding process as Campagnolo’s Bora Ultra WTO rims and have small mini-hooks to ensure a particularly clean interface between rim and tyre.

The rim’s small mini-hook ensures a much cleaner interface between rim and tyre. Like a hookless rim, the mini-hook avoids a ‘bulb’ shaped profile when using larger tyres, providing greater stability and traction.

The mini-hook is also safer than a hookless rim when using smaller volume tyres at higher pressures. The system complies with the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO) clincher and tubeless standards, so Levante wheels can be matched to a vast range of tyres.

Levantes are also devoid of paint. Campagnolo’s Luxury (C-LUX) mirror finish is so smooth that no paint is needed, making maintaining and cleaning the wheels particularly easy during tyre changes

Lasered graphic details help preserve that high-quality finish, even under extreme conditions.

The Levantes incorporate Campagnolo’s tried and tested cup and cone bearings, that make servicing simple, and their free hub options are N3W, XDR and HG inclusive.

To find out more about Campagnolo Ekar and Levante, Contact Bikesportz at sales@bikesportz.com.au or phone (03) 9586 1600. You can also live chat with the team during business hours – they’re ready to help – and follow BikeSportz on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest products and brands.

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