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Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset review

Does a beautiful finish translate to outstanding performance?

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,350.00 RRP | USD $1,755.00 | EUR €1,620.00 | AUD $2,362.00
Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset

Our review

Campagnolo’s first gravel-specific wheel more than upholds its reputation for quality and performance
Pros: Smooth; swift; easy to live with; excellent rim; no tape required
Cons: Freehub quirk
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The Campagnolo Levante is the Italian brand’s first gravel-specific wheelset. It incorporates a series of top-spec design choices with some tried-and-tested Campagnolo technology in an attempt to produce a fast, light and reliable gravel wheelset.

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The Levante is named after an easterly Mediterranean wind, and testing reveals it has breezed into the upper echelons of the best gravel wheels around.

Both build and ride quality are excellent, although I experienced an issue with the freehub.

Campagnolo Levante details and specifications

Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset
The Levante rims have a ‘mini-hook’ designed to improve safety when using lower volume tyres at higher pressures.
Russell Burton / Our Media

The Campagnolo Levante has a 30mm-deep profile, designed to maximise stiffness on challenging climbs, with a 24.5mm internal width that offers plenty of volume for stable reassurance on loose descents.

The 1,513g weight is more than light enough for a gravel wheelset, and the 30mm rim depth and low spoke count should give a small aero boost over shallower rim designs.

The Italian brand incorporates its Handmade Ultra Light Carbon (HULC) rim technology, which is said to combine the carbon fibre and resin in a way that optimises balance, strength, stiffness and weight.

The upper bridge of the Levante rim uses Campagnolo’s patented MoMag technology, which sees spoke nipple ends enclosed on the rims, leaving the inner channel completely smooth.

Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset
The carbon rim finish is strikingly premium.
Russell Burton / Our Media

This means there’s no need for rim tape to be installed if you want to run tubeless tyres. This removes the potential for tyre installation hassle and makes for an appreciably high-quality, lightweight finish that’s easy to clean on tyre changes.

I found tyres were easy to fit and inflate by hand.

The downside to such an immaculate finish is if you break a spoke, it requires the removal of the valve and then carefully manipulating the nipple out of the valve hole with a magnet.

Further attention to rim detail is the flattened area where the valve goes in. It holds the valve solid against the rim, reducing the risk of leakage.

Campagnolo Levante ride impressions

Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset
The freehub picked up quickly in testing.
Russell Burton / Our Media

Campagnolo says the Levante was designed, developed and tested on the most challenging terrain around Cima Ekar to ensure it could cope with the speed and strength demands that are particular to gravel riding.

A few hundred kilometres on my local byways and trails in the county of Wiltshire, UK bears that out.

There were no ‘pinging’ or uneven spoke tension issues even from the first ride, and the pick up of speed after only a few pedal revolutions is immediately noticeable.

The hub feels solidly laced to the rim, but without any of the harshness that can be associated with a stiffer wheel.

Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset
There were a few pawl jams in testing.
Russell Burton / Our Media

Not only does the Levante have an appreciably smooth ride quality on road and tracks, once the trail gets rockier it develops a floaty quality that helped me maintain my chosen line with very little deflection.

The Levante wheelset has a quiet freehub – a detail I appreciate, especially when riding alone.

The cup-and-cone bearings also ran very smoothly.

Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset
Some hostile weather conditions meant the Levante wheelset got put through the wringer.
Russell Burton / Our Media

It picks up instantly when you start pedalling again, but I did experience a few pawl jams after some particularly rough sections of freewheeling.

These unstuck themselves after I stopped quickly and started pedalling again, but it’s worth noting the Levante was tested throughout one of the wettest spring months on record – conditions arguably any setup would be challenged by.

A simple clean and regrease solved the problem.

Campagnolo Levante bottom line

Campagnolo Levante Gravel Wheelset
The wheelset’s build quality is the star of the show here.
Russell Burton / Our Media

The Campagnolo Levante exhibits excellent build quality.

The ride is also well balanced between stiffness and comfort, which makes the Levante much more of a complete gravel all-rounder too.

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There was one freehub issue to contend with (which I suspect is mainly down to the abnormally tough conditions), but aside from that, the Levante is a great performance gravel wheelset.

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $2362.00EUR €1620.00GBP £1350.00USD $1755.00
Weight 1,513g (700c) – including valves and tapes
Brand Campagnolo

Features

Features Weight: 707g Front, 806g Rear
Engagement (deg): 10
External: 31mm
Brake type Disc
Rim depth 30mm
Rim internal width 24.5mm
Rim material Carbon
Spoke count 24 front, 24 rear
Wheel size 29in/700c