The Campagnolo Levante wheel is the Italian brand’s debut gravel wheelset, which given the company’s long and rather lovely association with road cycling, is pretty big news. However, this isn't Campagnolo's first time on the dirt. The Italian brand has been making some well-received trips off the tarmac in recent years, most notably with their excellent Ekar groupset, so a Campagnolo gravel wheel certainly makes a lot of sense. And if anyone can introduce a fresh take on what is becoming quite a busy category, Campagnolo is undoubtedly the brand to do it.
For those who aren’t familiar with European wind patterns, the Levant (Levante in Italian) is an easterly wind that blows in the western Mediterranean Sea and southern France. That this sea-swelling, unusually focused wind tends to accelerate to gale force speeds is probably where the inspiration for the name came from: the Campagnolo Levante wheels are touted as being very fast and very precise.
Getting into the details, the Levante is a premium carbon-fibre wheelset that takes subtle styling cues from its trail mate, Ekar. But underneath lay a series of Campagnolo innovations designed for superior handling, control and feel, such as the brand's Hand Made Ultra-Light Carbon (H.U.L.C), an in-house engineered composition that helps the Levante remain stiff and light on the climbs and comfortably compliant on descents. In essence, H.U.L.C optimises the usage of both fiber and bonding resin in the rim, which translates into confidence-inspiring handling without undue harshness and an impressive overall weight of 1485g.
At Above Category, we’ve had a pair of Campagnolo Levante wheels on test for a few pre-launch rides into the hills, and to say we enjoyed the experience is an understatement. The Levantes are stiff when they need to be, compliant when it matters, and seemingly, exceptionally strong. All of which shouldn’t come as a surprise; every wheel that Campagnolo has ever made has been amazing. And stiff - that’s the first thing everyone immediately notices from the get-go. Campagnolo wheels accelerate like arrows, whatever the model. Their bearings are always beautifully smooth, the hubs don’t creak, and they last for the long haul. And the way they engineer their rims means there are no visible holes on the inside, so you don’t need base tape, which makes for simpler tube changes or tubeless sealant refills - an especially welcome innovation on gravel wheels.
We've got a handful of pairs of Campagnolo Levante wheels on their way to us, and the pre-order window to secure your pair is open now. Visit the link below to reserve your set today, and make sure to drop us a line if you have any questions.