Italian component maestros Campagnolo has launched its first 'all-gravel' wheelset, the Levante. With a middle ground depth of 30mm, the carbon wheels are designed to cover off-road bikepacking adventures and racing alike - which is why Campagnolo call them 'all-gravel' wheels. The brand’s Mini-Hook system is included for increasing grip and improving comfort at lower pressures., and serviceability has also been considered, with a cup and cone hub system and external nipples chosen.
Where do the wheels fit in? Well, the Shamal Carbon is Campagnolo’s all-road wheelset that’s 35mm deep at the front and 40mm at the rear, while the new Levante is a shallower 30mm.
“Stiff for climbing, light for handling and compliant for descending”, that’s how Campagnolo sums up this new wheelset.
The Levante benefits from Campagnolo’s Hand Made Ultra-Light Carbon (H.U.L.C) which is used in the wheels’ rim construction and is said to enable Campagnolo’s engineers to optimise the usage of both fibre and bonding resin for the perfect blend of strength, stiffness and light weight.
“This translates into a confidence-inspiring ride feel without undue harshness and an overall wheelset weight of just 1485g with no compromise on strength,” claims Campagnolo.
The rim also features a stunning mirror-like Campagnolo Luxury (C-LUX) finish that the brand has already used on its Bora Ultra WTO wheelset.
“This C-LUX finish is so pristinely smooth that it doesn’t require lacquer, saving more valuable grams,” Campagnolo explains.
When applied to the rim bed, C-LUX is also said to help ensure the safest possible seating of tubeless tyres and is used to further reduce the risk of abrasions to the bead.
The laser-etched rim graphics are also claimed to be capable of withstanding the demands of gravel riding.
You’ll be pleased to hear that Campagnolo has also considered durability beyond the aesthetics though. At the rim, the H.U.L.C construction has been combined with an asymmetric offset to help deliver a strong and balanced wheel that’s designed to take on the rough as well as the smooth.
Campagnolo has opted for a simple and familiar cup and cone hub system to ensure ease of servicing and external nipples also allow for on-the-go spoke retensioning if needed, with no new tools required.
The decision to go for a regular spoke pattern, using straight-pull spokes, also means that replacements are easier to source.
Campagnolo’s two-way fit rim profile ensures tubeless and clincher compatibility while the 25mm internal rim width can accommodate a wide range of tyre widths from 38mm to 76mm.
Another interesting bit of technology the wheels use is Campagnolo’s Mini-Hook which has been designed specifically for the Levante rim and matches the ETRTO requirements while using the minimal dimension possible.
“The slight hook provides a perfect match between the tyre – no matter the brand – and the rim,” claims Campagnolo. “This means a large contact surface area with the terrain, increasing grip and improving comfort at lower pressures.”
Campagnolo reiterates that this Mini-Hook system is fully compliant with ETRTO clincher and tubeless safety standards.
The Levante also utilises Campagnolo’s Next 3 Ways (N3W) freehub body. N3W is a patented standard for a freewheel body that’s engineered to house Campagnolo 11, 12 and 13-speed cassettes.
The wheelset is also available to purchase with Shimano HG and SRAM XDR freehub bodies.
Campagnolo’s slightly deeper Shamal comes in at a claimed weight of 1,585g which is 100g heavier than the new 1485g Levante.
While the £1349.99 Levante (with the N3W hub) is fairly lightweight, you can go lighter, for cheaper too. The Scribe Carbon Wide++ 700 Disc wheels are a mere 1,360g and are incredible value too with a price tag of £870 - you can read the full review on these here.
We have a set of these in the office already, so expect to see a full review of the Levante wheels soon...
But for now, you can check out Liam's first ride review here