New 13-speed Campagnolo Ekar gravel groupset - full review and specs

Campagnolo claims the mechanical 13-speed Ekar groupset is the world's lightest and most reliable gravel groupset available, we have been riding it to see how it performs on the trail

Campagnolo Ekar gravel groupset
(Image: © Graham Cottingham)

Cyclingnews Verdict

The Ekar 13-speed groupset’s dependable shifting and excellent braking performance brings Campagnolo into the age of gravel

Pros

  • +

    13-speed cassette gives an excellent spread of gear ratios

  • +

    Secure and controlled chain over rough terrain

  • +

    Powerful yet controllable brakes

  • +

    Dependable shifting even in rotten conditions

  • +

    Hoods shape aids control

Cons

  • -

    Can't downshift while braking

  • -

    Rubber hood material while grippy is rough on hands

  • -

    No integrated left-hand gear shifter dropper post actuation

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Campagnolo has joined the gravel drivetrain arms race with its new 13-speed Ekar groupset. Inspired by the gravel roads of Mt Ekar near the Campagnolo headquarters, it claims the Ekar groupset is the lightest and most reliable gravel groupset available. 

As the popularity of gravel has blossomed so has the demand for innovation and subsequently the investment by brands to fill the market with gravel-specific components. Drivetrains have been an interesting area of development, as riders started exploring, gravel riding drivetrains were a sticking point. Existing road groupsets lacked the gear range, durability and security on rough surfaces and incompatibilities between mountain bike drivetrains and road bike levers caused headaches. Cherry-picked setups and mechanical workarounds from Problem Solvers and JTek lead to Frankenstein 1x setups that worked adequately but they were far from perfect. 

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