Groad groupset, 1x, Campag itch

Hey all -

Help me decide if this is a silly idea…

So my main bike will, from May, be a ‘groadie’. The frame will be ti, and it will have 2 wheelsets; the road ones will be my current road one (Aeolus pro) and the gravel ones have just been built by Malcom Borg in Sussex (fairly indestructible alloy, 25mm internal width).

The drivetrain plan was always to move over my existing Ultegra Di2 with a few mods, specifically a GRX Di2 rear derailleur, and a SRAM 11-36 cassette. I’m running a 50/34 crankset anyway.

In due course, I was going to decide about either a. selling the donor road frame and keeping the groad as it is (n=1 solution), or b. when availability improves (and finances allow) to give the groad full GRX Di2 or maybe AXS wide, and return the original Di2 to the donor frame. In other words, have 2 dedicated bikes.

I’m now contemplating instead an impulse Ekar purchase for the groad: 40T, 9-42. I haven’t decided if I’d keep the existing Di2 or sell it, which would largely fund the purchase, I suspect. If I kept it, there would/could be no more bike purchases before late this year. If I sold it, I’d cross the bridge about rebuilding the donor road frame if/when I had to.

To be totally honest, this would be in part to scratch a Campag itch I’ve had for a little while!

Is this a silly idea, or a good plan? :rofl:

I’m going for Ekar on my next bike so hopefully not a silly idea!

I am slightly concerned about the cost of replacement cassettes - especially as like you I want to have two wheelsets.

The gear range is good but obviously the jumps between gears are bigger.

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That sounds like a pretty good idea, actually. If I did like Campag’s shifters, I would have gone with Ekar for my new bike. But sadly, I don’t. But everything else makes a ton of sense. To be honest, the only disagreement I have is the head fake that this is a gravel groupset. You can ride this on the road just fine.

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Don’t do it half way.

Well, that’s a new one to me…

Their suggestion of combining a 12sp mech and cassette with an Ekar 13sp shifter is odd.

Looks cool, I have to say.

I would just like to thank everyone for the proper spelling of “Campag”. Your attention to detail is duly noted.


But yeah, do it.

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I have an Ekar Groupset sitting in a box waiting to be installed on my 3T… I have Industry 9 hubs and waiting for them to release the N3W freehub body! I am a huge 1x fan and feel like this might be the “1x” to rule them all. You could even have the 9-36 on your roadie wheels and 9-42 on the gravel!!

I have SRAM Force Group altered to 12spd, with a 42CR and 9-50 e*Thirteen cassette. Having a 13 speed would be nice but I manage pretty well.

Well I was just about to pull the trigger and… the n3w adapter for DT Swiss hubs is sold out absolutely everywhere. Anyone got any ideas?

I’m going n=1 bike with Ekar and two sets of wheels. One set up for gravel and the other road. Hoping to get the bike in a few weeks. The only thing I messed up/realized is that if you have more than 4 teeth different from largest cogs you Jen to change chains. I was planning on the 10-44 cassette for gravel and the 9-36 for road. Well that means I have to change chains each time I change wheels. That’s a pain. So now I’m thinking 9-42 for road.

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If you are going to do a lot of road, I’d want 2X. Maybe 1X will be tolerable with the 13 speed cassette but every time I ride my Crux (1X) on the road I wish it had 2X gearing. When I ride it on gravel I don’t think twice about gearing.

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Well it seems I have tracked down the right adapter, and have found a bike shop who have a test bike with Ekar, so I’m heading over there tomorrow. Ok, it’s not the configuration I’d like - and is a 90 minute drive - but it will let me get a feel for the ergonomics and shift feedback.

Current mood is a 50/50 split between ‘this would be epically cool’ and ‘you’d be mad to go away from Di2’. Let’s hope tomorrow resolves that.
Will report back.

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Hi, just about to do the exact same thing as this thread on a Litespeed Ti Ultimate Gravel frame. What did you end up with?

Not a campy user, but a chain sized for 10-44 should be able to handle a 36 cassette. The only thing is if the derailleur can wrap the extra chain in going from 10 to 9 on the high end - it’s only 1 extra tooth, so probably yes.

You are correct! Going smaller on the biggest cog is a non issue. And just dropping to 9 from 10 smallest is also a non issue. Loving it so far!

Well the bike arrived yesterday! Long delay with the frame.

I was advised by an official Campag dealer that 9-36 on the road setup and 10-44 on the gravel wouldn’t work without changing chain length.

I was told that if I wanted to run a 40t and a 10-44 for gravel and a 42t and a 9-36 for road that would work, but I decided I couldn’t be bothered with changing the chainring as well, so went with a 42t and a 9-42 road, 10-44 gravel.

It’s done 2k bedding the brakes in so far: maiden voyage tomorrow

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The inability to switch between the 9-36 and 10-44 (without a chain change) is really unfortunate. Kinda prevents this from being the ultimate quiver killer.

So, 65k on the road this morning.

The good:

  1. Downshifts on a par with electronic shifting
  2. Brakes are superb, even when not fully bedded in
  3. Thumbshifter is superb ergonomically

The less good:

  1. There is a ridge on the hoods right where my palm sits that is a bit uncomfortable.
  2. 9-42 is just a touch gappy (and the 42 cog is pretty redundant on the road).
  3. Upshifts can lack just a little precision.

So it works very well, but I really do wish you could switch between a 9-36 and a 10-44 without adjusting the chain. I am quite tempted to run the 40/9-42 off road and the 42/9-36 on, but that will be a 15 minute job, possibly plus a tweak of the barrel adjuster, whenever I switch over from road to gravel, which will be a bit annoying.

On balance I think an AXS 46/33 + 10-36 setup might edge it for a quiver killer setup, but that is 50% more expensive and a bit heavier (not to mention currently impossible to get in the UK).

First gravel outing likely Tuesday, so will update further then.


After cycling (pun intended) through a few bikes over the last year, this is essentially what I’ve landed on. About to sell a Cervelo R5 frameset and a built-up Niner RLT Alloy and keep the Cervelo Aspero I just built up with AXS parts from the R5 and two wheel sets. I’ve got three cassettes, 10-28, 10-33, and 10-36 (one can live on the trainer), three chains, and a set of 28mm road tires on one wheel set, and one set of 38mm Gravel Kings on the other.

Did an 88-mile shakedown ride of the built up Aspero in road mode yesterday, and I honestly can’t tell much difference between it and the R5 in terms of stiffness, ride feel, etc. Gonna take it out in gravel guise today just to check everything, and get a feel for the 10-36 cassette. Bikes are fun.

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I am successfully using a 9-42 road and 10-44 gravel with a 40T chainring. I can’t think of any reason why I couldn’t also run a 9-36. The issue with chain length is for the two extremes–the smallest cog and largest cog and/or swapping the chainring. My 9-42 has a 36 as the second largest cassette. If you size the chain for the 10-44, you will be fine. If you size the chain for the 9-36 and then try to use that with the 10-44, it will be too short. I hope that makes sense, as it works perfectly in my situation.