New Campagnolo Ekar Gravel Bike Specific Groupset

I think a lot would. An spd power meter would be the entry for most regular people to power meters.

There is one from SRM…for 1000 dollars. Lol.

Void warranty? Have you ever serviced a pedal?

Remove dust cap. Pull off pedal body (incl. bearings). Put on new body (incl. bearings). Screw in dust cap. Drink beer.

And the last I saw, SRM had pulled them off the market.

Yes. And void warranty.

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I still don’t understand Campy/SRAM running such tiny cassettes where there is identifiable drag/friction. SRAM pro teams are running 12 speed groupsets as 11 speeds. Especially when people are getting areo bars/bottles/speedplay/socks areo covers to save 0.5 watts.

If there is a tooth capacity limit I’d rather run 12-50 or something like that, I rarely end up in the 11t when on rolling gravel so I’d rather better climbing options and if I run out of top end get a larger chainring.

I hear the inefficiency argumeny brought out a lot re. small cogs. Has this been measured/modelled mathematically? What do you lose using a SRAM 10t, for example, as oppose to a Shimano 11? Is there a cutoff point (i.e., picking numbers out of thin air, 13t)? Genuinely curious.

Update: did some googling. See here: Friction Facts: free speed from proper shifting - BikeRadar

The numbers talked about seem very small, as in 1-3w.

Found it from the AXS mega thread:

According to testing done for Velonews by CeramicSpeed, a 48x10T combination generates a substantial six watts more drag than the equivalent 53x11T at a fairly moderate 250-watt input.

It just seems odd that teams are ignoring part of the supposed benefits so why have the cog anyway?
Obviosuly this is for the racers but also makes sense for mortals, I have less power to start with so lets lose as little as we can.

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That’s the first I hear of that. It seems unlikely to me that pro teams only use 11 cogs on 12-speed group sets. Even with the largest chain rings, you wouldn’t get the same gear ratios to keep up with e. g. 53:11.

I’m aware of this comparison of 1x vs. 2x, and this finds a difference of about 4-5 W in the top gears, and this difference shrinks to about 2-0-2 W in the smallest till the top 1/3rd of the cassette. However, this comparison is not quite what we are after here, since you are comparing 2x11 to 2x12. Since the chain angles are smaller on 2x, it seems reasonable to assume that even at the top end the difference is smaller. And 1 W of that difference seems to be due to Shimano chains being more efficient.

That compares 1x to 2x, it stands to reason that the difference between 2x11 and 2x12 is smaller than that.

They are also running custom chainrings…53’s and 54’s.

Personally the downsides I see with Ekar:

  • Proprietary parts (Shimano is just easier available in my neck of the woods / when bike packing)
  • Costs of wearable parts (the chain is actually OK, the cassette is SRAM XX1 crazy)
  • (Pure speculation from me at that point:) Faster wear and tear of the components. I just can’t image - especially in a dirty gravels setting - that a thinner chain and a 9t and 10t cog last as long as a 11speed chain with 11t cog.

But I welcome it anyways. More 1x competition is good. Keeps the other manufacturers on their toes to innovate and provide it at an attractive pricing.

Given I’m currently tearing my hair out trying to adjust a front mech, anything that lets me lose the infernal thing is music to my ears. I have always hated front mechs.

1x13 strikes me as a plausible solution for all round riding; 42 and 9-36 strikes me as a genuine possibility.


Things I know from running Campy / Campag 11

  1. Campy really doesn’t play well with non campy parts. If you go Campy, you’ve gotta go completely with them. On the one hand, this makes shopping for the groupset easy; you just get what they tell you and thats that. On the other, you pay a premium for that. People always try to hack this but it causes way more trouble than its worth.

  2. Campy parts are bomb proof. While it costs more, the finishing and the construction are top class. I’ve never had any single problem over thousands of ks on the Potenza range with any Campy specific part. Campy chains also last a long time (double so if you wax them)

What makes me really intrigued about Ekar is that they are clearly starting to show some movement towards allowing more compatibility / changing things to be more in line with what cyclists these days use. I know I joke about the quick link but they’ve refused to move to such a system for years. To change for this signals they are probably going to start making more adjustments for cyclists and how they actually use the groupset vs what Campy thinks you should do.

I think if they find a happy medium there and they start competing on price more directly to get a good basic groupset into people’s hands, I think Campy could finally begin to turn it around after years of being relegated to obsessives.


I thought that was Potenza, tbh. I’m always surprised that didn’t take off. I was always planning to put that on my build, but then it got made obsolete, and there were
bb90 issues :roll_eyes:

It was way back when they released it. But campy being campy, they argued it was the same as Ultegra and charged a markup on that. Affordable for campy but its not affordable like people wanted; 105 level and pricing.

They had an issue with the BB in that they decided to switch from Power Torque to Ultra Torque. I know other users got caught up in that as it was a silent switch and it caused a great deal of confusion. I got the original PT one and haven’t had any problems. But I did have to buy a medium length Derailleur when i went 11-32 which is now the standard derailleur length for campy I believe (don’t quote me on that).

The entry group set for Campy is now Centaur 11. I have that lying around but haven’t built up a bike with it yet. Finish and feel is Alu but it has the Campy touch and is solidly built from what I see with it. Rim brake versions now go for around 500-600 which is a bit of a premium but it is coming down in price from what I see.

As for my experience with Potenza? Its a work horse and I haven’t had any issues when I went with original parts and spec. However, I tried chain waxing with non-standard chains (wipperman) and connex links and destroyed a derailleur cage because the tolerances weren’t right. Campy has a nasty habit of making everything slightly off so you can’t go after market. It is infuriating since I love to tinker.

I ride 42 - 11-34 on the road and 42 - 11-42 on gravel (Shimano GRX). I even got a SRAM freehub for my wheelset to be able to run a 10-42. But after trying 11t out, as of now, I don’t see a reason why. I can easily pedal up to a speed of 50km/h (ca. 100rpm) and at that speed (which happens most of the time downhill for me ;)) I prefer to just aero tuck instead of pedaling.

So for me a 42t 9-36 Ekar would be a 11-speed - since I wouldn’t use the 9t and 10t. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Other people might have different needs. If you ride in a fast group ride and/or you want to do low cadence by all means it makes sense. I just wanted to give a n=1 real live experience.

I know Shimano makes 54/44 chainrings for some pro teams and I wouldn’t be surprised if SRAM makes custom 2x chainrings for the teams it supports. But 50:10 on 50/37 chainrings is already taller than 54:11. So even if you choose larger chainrings so that you can spend most of the time in a larger/larger cog combo, I think the marginal gains with a 50-tooth chainring seem very, very small. What is the efficiency advantage between 54:13 = 3.86 and 50:14 = 3.85?

And how do you weigh efficiency losses against having more closely spaced gears on a 12-speed groupset? Probably that efficiency is much harder to account for.

And to double-check here: I haven’t heard of pro teams running 12-speed group sets as 11-speed group sets. I think it is much more plausible that they run 12-speed group sets like 11-speed groupsets in that they use larger, perhaps custom chainrings for marginal gains.

For gravel, IMHO a 38- or a (fictional) 36-tooth chainring would probably be better. 38:9 = 4.22 gives you the same ratio as 46:11, 50:12 or 42:10 — which is still very tall IMHO. I think Campag quite clearly aimed their groupset at the traditional road bike without saying that part out loud.

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They are doing both…running them as 11 spd groups with custom chainrings to make up the difference of locking out the 10t.

As for everything else, I’m just reporting the news, not taking a side. :rofl::rofl:

I think it was the Cycling Tips Nerd Alert pod where they talked about teams running the stuff as 11 spd.

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I think you are taking this way too personally. Of course, pro teams will continue to pursue marginal gains with a 12-speed groupset. And they may run larger, custom chainrings as a result.

I’m just saying I haven’t heard of that and that I am not sure this is an apt description of what is happening. The reason pro teams run 11-speed drivetrains with a 54/44 chainsets at times are AFAIK marginal gains, and they spend very little time in, say, 54:11, because that gear is too tall even for pros in most situations. But you wouldn’t portray that as “pro teams run an 11-speed groupset as a 10- or 9-speed groupsets.”

??? Not certain where you are getting that. Just clarifying what I heard, that’s all.

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