Campagnolo Introduces New 1×13 Ekar Groupset for Gravel Bikes
Campagnolo has finally entered the gravel market with its new 1×13 Ekar groupset for gravel bikes. Drawing on its long history in racing, the Ekar groupset combines some of Campy’s best modern features with new gravel-specific technology. Not only is the Ekar 1×13 claimed to be the lightest gravel groupset available, but it is also more affordable than a Chorus 2×12 gruppo. And it’s available now!
Campagnolo Ekar Dedicated 1×13 Gravel Groupset
Campagnolo reminds us that their component brand was “born before the roads” in Italy back in 1933 when they introduced their first dedicated gravel groupset. Named after Mount Ekar, a small gravel mountain north of Campy’s headquarters and factory in Vicenza, Italy, where the Ekar groupset was developed and tested, this new groupset is designed for amateur gravel racing, fast bikepacking, and riding on a variety of terrains.
While Campagnolo still prioritizes speed, the Ekar groupset focuses more on durability, braking power, control, and the ability to handle long gears without worrying about chain drops.
Campagnolo Ekar 1×13 Gravel Groupset – Technical Details
To make all this work, Campy has taken the best technology and features from its all-terrain road disc groups and simplified them into a 1x configuration with a clutch rear derailleur and a 13-speed range for smooth shifting across a wide range of gears. Going from 2×12 to 1×13 not only helps reduce weight but also makes the groupset more affordable.
But what’s new in the Ekar groupset? Besides the obvious new graphics, the carbon cranks are a standout feature. These are Campagnolo’s first single-ring cranks outside of the Pista track cranks. They come in relatively small ring sizes of 38T for “adventure,” 40T for “pure gravel,” 42T for “fast gravel,” and 44T for “e-gravel.” The carbon cranks have a narrow Campy Q factor of 145.5mm and are available in lengths of 165, 170, 172.5, and 175mm. They also include injection-molded crank arm protectors for added durability.
But what truly sets the Ekar apart is its 13-speed rear cassette. Campagnolo’s 1×13 groupset requires a special hub body, but it is compatible with other Campy groups. It is currently available on five major wheel manufacturers, in addition to the compatibility with many Campagnolo and Fulcrum wheel offerings.
With three gear combinations available, the Ekar offers a wide range of options for gravel riding. The Endurance cassette has a 9-36T range, the Gravel Race cassette has a 9-42T range, and the Gravel Adventure cassette has a 10-44T range. The gear ratios are designed to provide smooth cadence steps in the intermediate gears, with larger jumps for climbing steep hills.
Each cassette is machined from two blocks of steel for lightweight and durability, with the upper 9 cogs seated on an aluminum carrier. They require the new N3W Campagnolo freehub body to accommodate the smaller teeth behind a safety ring. However, the 13-speed cassette fits within the same width as Campy’s 12-speed cassettes, so there are no changes to hub spacing or wheel compatibility.
As for the rear derailleur, the Ekar features Campagnolo’s first-ever clutch mechanism. While Campy doesn’t reveal much about the technology, it does a solid job of maintaining chain tension.