Campagnolo to launch Ekar 13-speed gravel groupset


Über Member
East Kent coast
As a long time fan of Vicenza's products & heritage, and hoping they continue to thrive in the world of cycling, it was interesting to read this report from

A 13 speed cassette is not for me though, I stopped at 10 and seem to be heading backwards towards 5 speed freewheels:blush:

This shows that the gravel market is taken as a worthwhile and lucrative section of two wheels.

We'll see how it goes:smile:


Legendary Member
Accra, Ghana
Well I guess it had to happen.

There was an article floating around somewhere from a tyre maker saying that they were stopping making tubular tyres because the only people using them where those who got them for free.

I wonder if there is a point where so many gears will end up the same way?

Super Record/Dura Ace and Record/Ultegra will probably be whatever the manufacturer can make.

I mostly ride 8 speed and thought how nice it would be to have 10 to fill in the gaps so that 13,15,17 became 13,14,15,16,17. Once I got those extra sprockets I found that it made the riding less fun as I become more focused on the gear, 17 or 15 is obvious but 17/16 or 16/15 much less so.

But looking at Specialized, the basic Allez is still 8 speed, the sport at £950 is Sora and 9 speed and that is a lot of money for a bicycle for most people. So clearly the market doesn't feel that less that 10 is beneath contempt and not worth the effort.

I appreciate that this may in part be an age thing, I was really surprised to hear on a GCN video that the presenter started out with "only" 9 speed and genuinely thought that it was a great sacrifice.

Going backwards to 5 is too much for me :-) as 2x8 speed is the sweet spot, it covers all the terrain that I ride and with a medium range cassette (11,13,15,17,19,21,23,25) (52x42 chainset) filling in the gaps doesn't benefit me much and neither would increasing the range.

Seven speed and losing the 11 wouldn't be that much of a loss although I do use and like a 127" gear and I probably use it for about 1%-3% of a ride by distance.

Six speed would start to lose another useful gear, probably 21 going.

As I am not focused on speed I have a number of 25-35 miles that I start of in 52x19 and stay in it for the whole ride or only go up a gear or two for the down hill bits. Other days and harder routes ridden faster see most of the 8 speed cassette used but without a yearning for more gears.

Going back to the new Campag, I quite like the idea of 52x9, but at at 156" I imagine quite rarely used.
Not for me.

I've got getting on for 10 bikes and am not going beyond 9 speed.

Most are 9, one 8, plus a 5 speed brommie and a 7 speed speed pro (3x dualdrive with 7).

I have no need for more than 9 and by stopping there it vastly simplifies spares holding. Even if supplies dried up (they won't) I could cannibalise less favoured bikes to keep me cycling to the end.


Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
This looks to have a 9-42 cassette. Designed for a single front chainring this changes things for Shimano (11T min) and SRAM (10T min).

Last year at home we changed all the road/TT/cross bikes to 10 or 11 speed to help with swapping wheels and not holding lots of 8/9 speed spare parts. The only ones less are my wife's Dutch bike, our single speed track bikes and my 7 speed hybrid. Plus the Kingpin project which may be 10 speed anyway.


Über Member
East Kent coast
Going back to the new Campag, I quite like the idea of 52x9, but at at 156" I imagine quite rarely used.
+ 1
That's getting towards science fiction or land speed records.

The only time I've really appreciated the 10 speed 12-25 cassette is on the big climbs in the Alps - then, the ability to have smaller gear gaps helped maintain cadence & reduce fatigue when ascending.

8 speed is really fine for me, for any other cycling & going back to a 5 speed freewheel has been compromised but fun too.

I dread to guess the cost of this 13 speed cassette or the durability with the smaller sprockets and chain.

Having said that, the Record 10 cassette is fantastically tough -seemingly a challenge to try to wear it out - & I wish Campagnolo success:smile:
It'll be interesting to see how the press and gravel market take to the groupset.


The problem with these high sprocket counts is that they are developed to work well with advanced materials and manufacturing, then trickle down to simpler, cheaper groupsets. For a basic stamped steel cassette, 8 speed is the optimum count. More sprockets = thinner flexier metal.
I struggle with the 1 by in that I like the idea and could comfortably ride a 1x10 (44x10-28) but not a 1x8 yet I can't help but think that the only reason it exists on the road is for SRAM to be different from Campag/Shimano. If Specialized/Trek and a few others switched to SRAM only builds, I expect that 1 by for the road would disappear from view. :-)

I saw this recently a 2 speed hub gear with wireless shifting and 11 speed cassette which seems more like someone has thought about the future. Don't Brompton do something like this on much smaller scale?

The cassettes are their own design as the larger sprockets have a larger diameter hole than the smaller ones, it is claimed that this means that all the sprockets can be individual rather than joined in groups of 2,3 etc,. To allow this the freehub is stepped which may make some sprocket combinations not possible as they are made with only the "wrong" diameter hole.

I got a bit curious and wondered if the plan was for the company's version not to catch on, sell Shimano the patents for a large chunk of cash and we will all have single rings and 22 gears.

The reason for saying this is the two gears match a 50/34 compact chainset which would be very acceptable on so many bikes sold in the shops. Had the plan been to sell it to the pros I would have expected a closer ratio or two versions.
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