Gravel Bike Group Sets from Major Manufacturers

Posted at: Jun 24, 2021

Gravel bikes have been rapidly gaining in popularity over the past few years. While the number of complete bikes has been increasing, component makers have also started to offer specialized components for gravel bikes.

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Shimano “GRX”

Shimano, the top manufacturer of road bike components, offers the GRX component for gravel bikes. In terms of grade, it seems to be a grade between ULTEGRA and 105.

There are three lineups as follows. 1.

  1. GRX Di2 (electric component)
  2. GRX 11 speed
  3. GRX 10 speed

In terms of model number, “RX” is the model number of GRX.

Since the components are compatible with Shimano components for road bikes, another major advantage is that you can upgrade to gravel components by simply rearranging some parts from your current Shimano components.

Campagnolo “EKAR”

Campagnolo, the second most popular road bicycle component manufacturer after Shimano, has released a gravel-specific component called EKAR.

The EKAR has a whopping,

  1. 13-speed rear shifter
  2. rear top 9T
  3. World’s lightest weight 2,385g

EKAR is the world’s lightest gravel component at 2,385g, which is a head or two above other manufacturers’ gravel components.

The entire EKAR component set costs over $2,000, but the light weight of 1x13 is still very attractive.


Until now, most SRAM components used on complete gravel bikes have been Apex or Force components, but in August 2021, SRAM announced the XPLR, a new component specifically designed for gravel bikes.

Gravel bikes are often equipped with a single-front “1x (one-by-one)” design for simplicity and ease of use, and the XPLR is a true 1x-specific component.

What makes XPLR different from other companies is that it is not a component set, but rather a parts grade.

While other manufacturers, such as Shimano’s GRX and Campagnolo’s EKAR, have their component sets as independent gravel brands, XPLR parts are added to SRAM’s Red, Force, and Rival grades.

Therefore, the only parts bearing XPLR are the rear derailleur (Red/Force/Rival) and sprockets (common to all grades), which are used in combination with Red, Force, and Rival parts. The rear derailleur is exclusively for SRAM’s eTap electric shifting.

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SENSAH, a Chinese company that has recently been gaining attention as a potential fourth component manufacturer, offers not only road and MTB components, but also the SRX PRO, a gravel component. The lineup is only available in 1x11.

SENSAH components are SRAM compatible and can be mixed and matched with Shimano components up to the number of gears that SRAM is compatible with Shimano, but the SRX PRO is not compatible with Shimano components because SRAM and Shimano 11-speed are not compatible.

Therefore, the bike must be built with SENSAH components.

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