Campagnolo rolls out their first true gravel wheelset with the new lightweight carbon Levante gravel wheels. Expanding out to a 25mm internal width with a new mini-hooked tubeless design, plus the most durable & serviceable Campy wheel tech, the 30nm deep Levantes are a great mid-depth solution for riders looking to finish off their Ekar builds in full Campagnolo style…
Campagnolo Levante carbon gravel wheels
The new carbon Campagnolo Levante gravel wheels come about a year and a half later than I would have expected. When Campy debuted their all-new lightweight Ekar mechanical 1x, 13-speed gravel groupset late in 2020, there wasn’t really a Campagnolo wheelset to match it – which was a shame, because Campy simply makes great wheels.
Sure, you could use the 21mm internal all-road Shamal Carbon wheels that actually teased a gravel reveal just before Ekar launched (as I have in the time since). But those really seem best suited to 28-40mm tires.
Now, with a 25mm internal width and a max 30.6mm external width, Campagnolo’s new asymmetric Levante wheels are designed to fit gravel tires from 38mm all the way up to 76mm wide (3″!) Named after the dusty, desert wind that blows across the Mediterranean, the Levantes are the first Campy wheels truly meant to get dirty.
When I want to talk about ‘What’s new?’ with the new Levante gravel wheels, it’s thankfully not a lot. Campagnolo builds these carbon wheels entirely in-house in Europe with much of the same tech that has proven to make their Shamal and Bora family of wheels fast, tubeless-friendly, durable & good-looking… while also dropping some tech to make them more serviceable out on tour.
One semi-new bit is their “Mini-Hook” tubeless bead. Campy says they reduced the depth of the bead hook protrusion to the absolute minimum required for industry ETRTO standards to maintain full secure fit compatibility with both tube-type AND tubeless tires, i.e. 2-Way Fit. The result is a narrower 2.8mm wide bead at the hook (vs. ~3.5mm for the Shamal Carbon) that allows tires to form a smoother, less lightbulb-like profile for improved wide tire benefits.
Construction-wise, the gravel wheels feature premium lightweight Hand Made Ultra-Light Carbon (HULC) layup like the ultra-expensive Bora Ultra WTO road wheels to better optimize stiffness & compliance. And the straight-out-of-the-mold C-Lux finish means they are light, and continue to look great even with plenty of abuse. The subtle graphics that are added are actually all laser-etched into the outer layer of resin – like the GPS coordinates of Mt. Ekar just north of Campy’s Italian HQ.
The wheels feature Campagnolo’s continuous rim bed that makes for one of the easiest tubeless tire setups of any wheelset. Plus, it’s lighter, never gets damaged like tubeless tape, and makes for a laterally stiffer rim. And thus, Mo-Mag external spoke nipples are guided into place through the valve hole with a magnet during wheel building, and simply held in place when you need to replace a spoke.
Campagnolo opted for conventional balanced lacing with 24 double-butted straightpull spokes vs. their signature G3 paired lacing. So in case of a broken spoke far from home, the gravel wheels are more serviceable and easier to get a standard replacement spoke. The alloy centerlock (AFS) hubs also spin on simple cup & cone bearings for easy maintenance, and standard 12mm thru-axles.
All of that tech at a claimed 1485g, the Levante wheels are ASTM 2 tough to hand any gravel riding, singletrack, and bikepacking for rider+bike+gear setups up to 120kg.
Campagnolo Levante – Pricing, availability & options
The new Campy gravel wheels only come in 700c (no 650b option expected) and sell for $1900 / €1575 with the Ekar-ready N3W freehub body – putting them above Shamal Carbon but still below even the base WTO series.
The new Campagnolo Levante carbon gravel wheels are available now. You can even get a pair with a Shimano HG or SRAM XD-R freehub body if you want to irritate the groupset gods with a bit of mix & match.
First Rides Review
The new Campy gravel wheels ride exactly how we’d hope a new premium carbon gravel wheelset would. Swapping them onto a bike with 38c Vittoria tires made those narrow treads grow to ~42mm, and gave the bike more confidence. That meant lower tire pressures worked even better, offering a tangible boost in grip and at least a perception of lower rolling resistance.
Sure, the low 30mm asymmetric rim dept isn’t exactly aero. But comparing them to the slightly taller 35/40mm deep, 21mm internal Shamal Carbon all-road wheels at a real 1634g, these new 30mm deep, 25mm internal Levantes weigh a real 1478g. That 156g savings is again noticeable on the punchy climbs, aided by the fact that the tire grew about 3mm wider while shedding weight!
We’ve only had the new wheels for a few weeks so far, so I can’t speak more concretely about real-world durability. Expect to say that sharing much of the same tech, I’ve abused both the all-road Shamal Carbon wheels on gravel and the Bora Ultra WTO wheel on all-roads. And if Campy is satisfied that these new Levante carbon gravel wheels are much tougher than either of those road-oriented wheels, these should hold up well for many years of mixed-surface riding.
The new Campagnolo Levante gravel wheels are the first gravel-specific wheelset to truly match Ekar. Next up, I need to swap in something like a 45mm tire to max out the official tire clearance on this BMC URS test bike, and take the new gravel wheels bikepacking to see how they fare loaded down over more technical terrain…