Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Gravel Grinder News; Campagnolo's New Ekar GT Group

Image courtesy of Campagnolo
More Affordable Ekar GT Promises Lower Gearing:

Today Campagnolo introduced a new groupset for gravel riders called Ekar GT. It is another 13 speed groupset much like their popular Ekar group, but it is mechanically operated and has a few new features not found on the top of the range Ekar....yet anyway

Campagnolo reduced the expense in manufacturing the new Ekar GT by making the crankset in aluminum and having the cassette be made with some loose cogs and spacers instead of the Ekar's two-piece design. 

New to Ekar GT is a wider gearing range in the form of a 10T-48T range. Other cassettes have 9T-36T, 9T-42, and 10T-44T. Complimenting that are new chain rings, (not compatible with old Ekar due to a BCD range) in 44T.42T, 40T, 38T, and a new 36T option. Chainrings can be changed with the crankset in-situ, which makes for easier swaps in gearing. 

To accommodate the wider gearing range Campagnolo has made the Ekar GT with a longer derailleur cage than Ekar and they have revised the cage and pulley, making the pulley larger with more clearance. This allows for more mud clearing capabilities and easier cleaning.

Image courtesy of Campagnolo

  • Crankset: 170, 172.5, 175 Lengths, with 151mm Q-Factor
    ​- 104mm BCD, 44, 42, 40, 38, and 36 Chainring options
  • Cassette Options: 9-36*, 9-42, 10-44, 10-48
  • New Improved Hood Ergonomics
  • Groupset Weight: 2,700g
  • Groupset MSRP: $1,599
Image courtesy of Campagnolo

Comments: Apparently Ekar has been a hit for Campagnolo and with the continued popularity of the gravel segment it made sense for the Italian company to add to the range of its offerings for unpaved riding. While Campagnolo can never be said to be "budget friendly", at least this new group seems more attainable than the range-topping Ekar.

Curiously, Campagnolo have decided to introduce the lower gearing ranges and rear derailleur to handle this in the Ekar GT but with no upgrade path for Ekar. Perhaps an Ekar refresh is coming, but we will have to wait and see. 

Images and information used in this post were provided to Guitar Ted Productions by Campagnolo USA.


onoffrhodes.com said...

I've read elsewhere that the current Ekar rear derailleur will work with all the cassettes including the 10-48. I think it was cyclingnews.com that had that.

Guitar Ted said...

@oneoffrhodes.com - And I have read other's stories that say it is not compatible due to the 10 - 48 needing a longer cage.

I would tend to think that it would not be recommended since the new Ekar GT cage is longer. Original Ekar's is not. So, it makes sense to me that it would be said, "it does not work".

Ironically, Campy's own materials do not spell this out. (I checked their PDF's for Ekar GT cassette and derailleur)

Campy does recommend that you "do not use any components outside the Ekar GT group", so there is that, but this may mean nothing.

Will it "work" or is it just "not recommended"? I'd hold off saying "it does work" until I had a Ekar rear derailleur and the new 10 - 48T cassette in hand and on a bike. Sometimes "not recommended" will "work", but sometimes it is a compromise and you then can see why it was not recommended. The original Ekar rear derailleur has a shorter cage, so my guess is that - at best - it is a compromised experience. But that's just a guess without checking out things in hand.

Until that happens I'm sticking with "does not work".

onoffrhodes.com said...

First....it is onoffrhodes, not oneoffrhodes.
But anyways.....a much more trusted source, James Huang, at Escape Collective says that the 10-48 will not work because of the 21mm longer cage on the GT group. I trust him more than I do almost any other tech writer out there.