Campagnolo Ekar: The Next-Generation 1×13 Gravel Drivetrain – And The Lightest Gravel Groupset

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

The world’s lightest gravel groupset (2,385 gm): reliable, durable & fast.

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Born hard so you can ride easy”

“Born on Mt Ekar: Just as Campagnolo’s ground-breaking first quick-release lever can trace its origins to the Passo Croce D’Aune climb, the innovative new gravel-focused Ekar groupset was born on another cima local to today’s Campagnolo headquarters: Ekar.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“With its asphalt giving way to tracks and trails, climbs and descents present surfaces and characters that evolve season-by-season and change, ride-by-ride, Ekar™ epitomises the special challenges of Italian gravel. But Mt Ekar’s influence goes beyond physicality; it represents the spirit of riding gravel, of adventure, and of freedom.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Ekar™ delivers a 1×13 transmission the way it should be: wide range, close-ratio, and no compromise.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Thanks to a 9 tooth sprocket, Ekar’s unique and innovative gravel-specific 1×13 drivetrain delivers a full range of gear ratios with a smooth, natural gear progression for the perfect cadence, whatever your speed, and whatever your style of gravel riding.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“With four chainring options – 38, 40, 42 and 44T – and a choice of three cassettes – 9-36T, 9-42T and 10-44T – Ekar is ready for however you ride and wherever your adventures take you!”

Gravel Cyclist should be taking delivery of a review bike with Campagnolo Ekar™ in the near future, watch this space…

Campagnolo Ekar™ Promotional Video

Campagnolo Ekar™ Rear Derailleur

“The Ekar™ rear derailleur’s all-new design has been specifically created for gravel.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“The highly effective 1×13-speed drivetrain has a full gearing range with short, evenly spaced shifts for well-maintained cadence levels, with the strong and durable yet lightweight and efficient derailleur at its heart.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“The combination of more than 70 moving parts lovingly crafted in carbon fiber, carbon-reinforced polyamide and anodised 7075 and 6082 alloys – with stainless steel bolts – exceed the demands of all-road riding to combine quick, precise, reliable shifting with high chain security, and the toughness that only comes by being born on Mt Ekar.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

  • New design for 1x 13-speed system – gravel-orientated performance and build – specific clutch
  • 2D parallelogram trajectory – precise mechanical movement for 13 sprockets
  • High-grade polymer pulley wheels (12T upper, 14T lower) – smooth chain running and secure retention
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide and anodised 7075 and 6082 alloys, for light weight, strength and durability
  • Stainless steel bolts – for strength and long-term resilience on gravel
  • Clutch lock – for easy wheel removal
  • One derailleur compatible with all three cassette options, easy to switch for gearing changes
  • Weight: 275 g
  • SRP: US $256 / €247 / £210

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ Cassettes

“Campagnolo’s considerations behind the gearing ratios and cadence-managing shifts is fundamental to the design of Ekar’s gravel-specific cassettes. And their tough, durable yet efficient build matches the clever maths perfectly to life on the gravel trails of Italy’s Mt Ekar, and wherever in the world, your adventures will take you!”

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campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“13 sprockets make the logic of the 1x system possible. And what makes it work so perfectly for all-road riding, is our introduction of the 9-tooth cog. It means the wide range of gear ratios is not just possible, but that all the natural, progressive cadence-matching shifts create a uniquely satisfying ride.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“With the new, lightweight and versatile N3W (Next 3 Ways) freehub and a 2-block design to combine steel strength and alloy weight-saving, the Ekar™ cassettes three gearing options of 9-36, 9-42 and 10-44 should suit the gravel cycling needs of every rider.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review
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  • 13-speed – full range to match or exceed any 2x systems, with no wastage
  • 9-tooth sprocket – allows full range with zero drop in efficiency
  • Compact – narrow design with quick changes, lightweight, improved chain security
  • Durable – tough materials and design, with no weight penalty
  • Three range options available – for every gravel possibility
  • Closer low gear spacing – creating natural cadence progression
  • Wider higher gear spacing – creating top-end speed options
  • 2-piece block – blends strength of steel with light weight of alloy
  • Works with the new N3W driver body – for great versatility and full compatibility
  • SRP: US $274 / €265 / £226
campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review
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Weight:

  • Weight: 340 gr (Endurance 9-36T : 9-10-11-12-13-14-16-18-20-23-27-31-36)
  • 390 gr (Gravel Race 9-42T : 9-10-11-12-13-14-16-18-21-25-30-36-42)
  • 410 gr (Gravel Adventure 10-44T : 10-11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-26-32-39-44)

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Next 3 Ways (N3W) Cassette Body

“N3W is our future: A single standard to manage all the Campagnolo Cassettes – Present, Past, and Future” – “One Ring to Rule Them All”

N3W has the same groove profile as the classic Campagnolo body but it is 4.4 mm shorter, making it lighter.

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

To make it compatible with ALL of today’s cassettes with 11-tooth starting sprockets, simply use the N3W ring (kit ring + ring code AC21-N3W) which makes them the same length as the classic body.

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review
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  • N3W™ enables the use of Ekar’s 13-speed cassette and provides compatibility with the current 12-speed and 11-speed cassettes using a spacer lockring
  • It’s an open and a trademark-free license for companies complying with the technical specification and the terms of Campagnolo’s mandatory signed agreement
  • The official technical specification was released alongside this July’s launch of the first Campagnolo wheelset equipped with N3W™, the new Shamal

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ Cranksets

“The 1x crankset is a crucial element in Campagnolo’s gravel-specific Ekar drivetrain design.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Lightweight, secure and simple upfront, with no wasted overlapping gears or unnecessary moving parts to collect trail dirt – one chainring and no front derailleur is the way to go, whatever your off-road ambitions!”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“But behind that apparent simplicity is a design to die for. Like the whole Ekar™ system, the cranks combine strength and lightweight materials. The 2-piece crankset features a strong, durable 630-grade steel alloy axle mated to a polyamide-carbon spider and beautiful UD
Carbon arms. New ProTech™ technology joins the two semi-axles inside the BB while oversized stainless steel bearings sit outside the shell, for smoothness, strength and easy access.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Four chainring options of 38, 40, 42, and 44-teeth – combine with cassette options to ensure there’s a gear range for every rider and every ride.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review
Ekar Crankset with 44T Chainring
campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review
Ekar Crankset with 38T Chainring
  • Lightweight, efficient, secure 1x Ekar™ system – perfect for gravel riding and racing
  • 2-piece cranks: ultra-torque 630 steel axle & UD carbon arms – strong and lightweight
  • 4 ring options – Adventure (38T), Pure Gravel (40T), Fast Gravel (42T), eGravel (44T)
  • Narrow-wide tooth design – efficient drive & maximum chain security
  • ProTech™ – strong, efficient, self-aligning Hirth joint semi-axles
  • Easy access to external crank bearings
  • Easily interchangeable alloy rings – no need to disassemble the crankset
  • 4 crank arm lengths – 165, 170, 172.5 and 175mm
  • Narrow Q-factor – 145.5mm
  • Weight: 615 gr (172.5mm, 38T)
  • SRP: US $360 / €347 / £297

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ Ergopower Controls

“For the new gravel-focused Ekar™ drivetrain design, we’ve taken the best of classic Campagnolo controls technology and adapted it for the most pragmatic, natural gravel-riding experience.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“They’re the most comfortable shaped lever and hoods, with easily-adjusted reach size giving you precise, quick shifting and positive engagement – every time, at every speed, on every surface.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“A new Lever 3 design means it’s easy and reliable to activate from the drops. Ekar™ Ergopower’s all-new surface is easy to grip and easy to clean, and there’s Campagnolo’s signature quick 3-gear up-shift with Ultra-Shift™ – features that all gravel riders will appreciate. Insight and passion from its birth at Mt Ekar to wherever you choose to ride!”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

  • Comfortable support – Vari-Cushion™ hood provides a comfortable, safe grip in any riding position and any off-road conditions
  • Precise, quick-shifting – One-Lever-One-Action and positive engagement with the efficient 1×13-speed Ekar drivetrain means a perfect change every time
  • New ‘Lever 3’ design – easy to activate from the drops
  • Enhanced grip – additional laser-cut texture on lever blades and controls is sweat- and wear-resistant
  • Multiple action – up-shift 3 gears with Ultra-Shift™
  • Ergonomic adjustable-reach – to suit any hand or finger size
  • Weight: 420 gr per pair
  • SRP: US $395 / €382 / £326 (RH with hose, caliper and oil) – US $316 / €304 / £260 (LH with hose, caliper and oil)

Campagnolo Ekar™ Chain

“A drivetrain – in fact a bike – is nothing without a chain to make it all work! And in our ground-up design of the gravel-specific 1×13 Ekar drivetrain, we kept that fundamental component front and center of our focus. But we didn’t just want to chain to work – we knew it had to be a vital element in operating effectively and reliably in the toughest environments gravel riding can throw at you!”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“The new Nickel-Teflon treated C13 chain is designed specifically to work efficiently and securely with the narrow-wide 13-sprocket system.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Despite being our narrowest ever chain, it’s also strong, light, durable, and amazingly efficient.”

“The Ekar C13 chain comes in two options: Classic Pin and C-Link to suit every kind of gravel rider the world over.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review
Classic Link @ middle, C-Link at bottom
  • New C13 chain – developed specifically for Ekar 1×13-speed gravel system
  • Wide-narrow teeth design – for efficient drive, smooth shifts & high security
  • Narrow profile – light weight, strong & efficient
  • Strong, durable, links – with different grades of steel & coatings for strength and to withstand wear
  • Unique ultrasound bath lubrication impregnation system – for long-life efficiency
  • Classic Pin and C-Link™ options – options for every kind of gravel rider
  • Weight: 242 gr (117 links / C-Link)242 gr (118 links / Pin)
  • SRP: US $48 / €46 / £40 (117 links / C-Link)US $46 / €44 / £38 (118 links / Pin)

Campagnolo Ekar™ Bottom Bracket

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

  • Designed specifically for gravel riding and racing – protected from harmful ingress of water, mud and grit
  • ProTech™ – a patented external sealing ring & strong fiberglass-polyamide tube
  • Large, protected external stainless steel bearings attach directly to crank arms for smooth, fluid performance
  • Full compatibility – all threaded and PressFit standards – BSA, ITA, BB86, BB30, BB30A, BB386, PF30, BB RIGHT, T47
  • Weight: 50 gr
  • SRP: US $33 / €33 / £28

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

ProTech™

  • ProTech™ – a patented external sealing ring & strong fiberglass-polyamide tube
  • Setting a new standard for Campagnolo to follow within the rest of our range
  • Designed specifically for gravel riding and racing – protected from harmful ingress of water, mud, and grit

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ Brake System

“Stopping fast helps you ride fast, and knowing that your brakes are powerful yet sensitive, with a uniquely ‘real’ feel is a priceless riding confidence boost. Ekar brake’s trusted modulation and progressive feel are perfect for all-road control, whatever your style and whatever the conditions.”

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

“Paired with Ekar’s Ergopower controls, we shared the best technology of Campagnolo’s high-performance hydraulic system’s internals for the Ekar™ brakes – and fine-tuned them for gravel riding.”

  • Ekar’s hydraulic system internals are shared with Campagnolo’s high-performance ranges – for proven performance
  • Trusted modulation and progressive feel – perfect for all-road control
  • DB310 pads unique organic compound – high braking performance & improved wear resistance in wet or dry conditions
  • Weight: 110 gr (Front caliper including adapter kit)95 gr (Rear caliper including adapter kit)
  • SRP: US $395 / €382 / £326 (With RH Ergopower, hose and oil) – US $316 / €304 / £260 (With LH Ergopower, hose and oil)

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ Brake Rotors

  • Ekar’s rotors are strong 1.85mm thick stainless tempered steel – staying straight and true long-term even under heavy and sustained braking
  • Strong, durable, light & resistant to corrosion
  • 140 and 160mm rotors – to suit your riding style and bike design
  • Road alloy carrier versions also available for additional weight reduction
  • Weight: 157 gr (160mm Stainless Steel Spider) – 123 gr (140mm Stainless Steel Spider)
  • SRP: US $41 / €36 / £31

Weight Comparison against Competitors

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Assembly and Maintenance Tools

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ Accessories

campagnolo ekar 13 speed groupset review

Campagnolo Ekar™ on Bikes / In Action

Campagnolo Ekar

15 comments on “Campagnolo Ekar: The Next-Generation 1×13 Gravel Drivetrain – And The Lightest Gravel Groupset

      1. Hey JOM, I;m confused by Campy’s marketing blitz. I have a bunch of Shimano/ SRAM 11 speed wheels and hubs. Is there any way to easily, and inexpensively to convert these to Campy 13 speed? If not, I’ll wait to see.

        1. If the wheels have Shimano (brand) hubs, no, it won’t be possible. If they have Shimano-compatible hubs made by someone who has licensed the N3W driver (DT Swiss, others) it’s likely to be possible eventually – but don’t hold your breath.

  1. Sigh. Apparently Ekar already exists as I was just reading some propaganda from 3T saying they had a few Stradas with it for sale now. There will be more parts later in the year.

    As for “One Ring to Rule Them All,” I hope JRR Tolkien’s estate attorneys are talking to Campag about copyright infringement. 🙁

    There are a few things I’m less keen on though. The first is 1x(!), as it does not give as wide a range of gears or as close ratios as are possible with 2x. Campag’s assertion that a 38T chainring is small enough is IMHO extremely dubious for non-racing uses. I’d personally be happy with a top gear of ~90-95″ for bikepacking which translates to around a 32-34T chainring with a 10T cog. 38×9 is overkill, and will be a waste of a gear or two for many. Unfortunately, it appears from pix on 3T’s site that 38T is the smallest ring possible; anything smaller would not allow the chain to clear the spider arms. 🙁

    38×44 is about the same as 32×37, and that’s the lowest option. As usual, Campagnolo seem to think everything needs to have a gear high enough for pedaling down Alpine passes in the TDF, and that low gears are unnecessary; I suppose bikepacking must be ideologically unacceptable in Italy. The gaps between the lower gears on the larger cassettes are quite ugly too, though the 9-36 is okay if the range suits you. I imagine Ekar might be quite useful on small-wheeled bikes like Moultons when or if suitable hubs become available – assuming the chain isn’t incompatible with everything else, as with AXS.

    Ekar is IMHO a bit like the curate’s egg – “good in parts.”

  2. What a shame Campagnolo chose not to match the 520% range of mountain bike cassettes if they really wanted a “full range to match or exceed any 2x systems, with no wastage”…….

    1. I, for one, am glad the range(s) are narrower, with smaller steps. Personally, I’m not a fan of 10-5X cause the jumps annoy me.

        1. Remember that the Rotor 13 speed cassette spacing is basically 12-speed spacing, but with 13 gears and, therefore, a wider freehub than this. I doubt they are compatible.

      1. Campy 13 chain is narrower than the 12 speed chain Rotor 13 uses. So I am pretty sure the gaps between the cogs are too big on the rotor 13 cassette to be used with Campy Ekar

  3. I have a gravel bike setup with Campy Record 11sp, medium cage rear derailleur. The only downside is the crankset at a 50/34 which is a bit undesirable with a 12/32 cassette. I really wished campy just made an 11spd 48/32 crankset Other than that campy parts do quite well on a gravel bike and the brake hood ergonomics can’t be beat. My other gravel bike is Ultegra di2 with Rx clutch rear derailleur. I absolutely love the di2 and accurate shifting with the push of a fingertip on long gravel rides. Never thought how much of an impact fatigue due to shifting can be… but the brake hood ergonomics are poor for bigger hands.
    The only way I’d purchase a campy specific gravel component group is if it is 2x and electronic, but good on campy to innovate and hopefully they’ll stick around in the gravel scene.

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