After weeks of speculation, along with some spurious photos that recently emerged on the internet, Campagnolo has officially lifted the curtains on its new 13-speed Ekar groupset.
Named after Mount Ekar, a small mountain punctuated by gravel roads that’s located just north of the vaunted Italian brand’s headquarters in Vicenza, Italy, not surprisingly, the new Ekar is aimed squarely at the gravel segment, featuring a carbon crankset that’s available in an array of 1x chainring options ranging from 38T, 40T, 42T, and 44T to meet all riding conditions.
The crankset also features Campagnolo’s steel Ultra-Torque spindle, Hirth-joint and a narrow 145.5mm Q-factor that’s available in lengths of 165, 170, 172.5 and 175mm.
Additionally, in order to tackle the rigorous demands of gravel cycling, the Ekar is available in a number of cassette options that are broken down into three categories, Endurance 9-36T (9-10-11-12-13-14-16-18-20-23-27-31-36), Gravel Race 9-42T (9-10-11-12-13-14-16-18-21-25-30-36-42) and Gravel Adventure 10-44T (10-11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-26-32-39-44), along with a newly designed N3W freehub body that’s compatible with other existing Campagnolo groupsets, including the company’s current wheelsets and five other popular wheel brands like Fulcrum.
Naturally, Campagnolo had to design a new rear derailleur for the Ekar groupset as well, which uses a newly developed “2D parallelogram trajectory”, 12T upper and 14T lower composite pulleys and carbon-reinforced composite P&B knuckles, along with parallelogram links, clutch and pulley cages that are made from lightweight aluminum with stainless steel hardware.
For shifting and stopping power, the Ekar relies on Campagnolo’s classic Ergopower levers, which feature a slightly longer thumb control and revised hood ergonomics that make for easier shifting across all hand positions. The controls are adjustable for reach as well, which is particularly helpful for riders with smaller hands
The Ekar’s flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes (140mm and 160mm) utilize a slightly tweaked master cylinder and a new angular caliper that works alongside the same mineral oil based system that was designed in partnership with Magura, while the brakes pads comprise the same organic friction compounds to keep things quiet and the same backing plates as other Campagnolo road disc brakes for easy compatibility.
The Ekar is driven by a newly developed chain as well, which uses what Campagnolo calls an “ultrasound bath lubrication impregnation system”, wherein every link is fully saturated with lube to ensure strength and longevity. Moreover, for the first time, the chain is available with an optional master link for easier assembly and maintenance.
As for bottom brackets, the Ekar gets ProTech seals and an additional composite plastic tube that fits between the cups to protect the sealed stainless bearings from the elements. The bottom brackets are available in BSA, ITA and T47 for BB86, BB30, BB30A, BB386, PF30 and BB RIGHT pressfit standards.
All in, the new Ekar tips the scales in at an impressive 2,385 grams, making it what Campagnolo claims is the lightest gravel specific groupset on the market.
Depending upon the configuration, Campgnolo says pricing for the new Ekar groupset is around $1,700, with availability starting now.
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