A lot has been said about the Lauf brand of leaf-sprung suspension forks. The Icelandic company originally targeted the cross-country market, and soon after, the growing fat bike sector. Now, Lauf has gravel riders in its sights with the Lauf Grit.
It’s fair to say that Lauf’s unique fork design has been met with a mixed reception – their sub-kilo weight was certainly a boon, as was the stiction-free performance of the 60mm travel the leaf springs provided. When we tested the original TR29 we found stiffness in more technical terrain is an issue and the looks, well, they divided opinion. Speaking to the Lauf engineers in Iceland last year, our thoughts that the incredibly supple suspension suited a rough-road situation perfectly was clearly echoed in their thoughts, with vague hints that something of that ilk was on the way.
Glass fiber leaf springs connect carbon upper and lower legs:
Glass fibre leaf springs connect carbon upper and lower legs
And here it is – the Lauf Grit. The same carbon front legs are linked to the axle-holding carbon lowers by glass-fibre leaf springs, providing 30mm of travel. The Grit is capable of holding up to 700cx42mm tyres, or 650bx2.1in, so it could be fitted to a wide range of bikes — from gravel, to CX and potentially commuters looking for extra comfort on rough roads. The fork comes with two axle compatibilities – 100x12mm and 100x15mm. It will accept 160mm disc rotors, using the flatmount standard.
Lauf’s grit fork provides 30mm of travel for gravel and all-road bikes:
Lauf’s Grit fork provides 30mm of travel for gravel and all-road bikes
Claimed weight is 900g, including the axle, and there’s a 110kg rider weight limit. If you take into account 6mm of sag (the compression of a suspension fork with rider on the bike) the axle to crown length is 409mm, with 47mm of rake. This should maintain the steering characteristics (there or thereabouts) of your bike, if you have a 45mm rake / 395 A2C rigid fork. The fork uses a 1 1/8 – 1 ¼ steerer tube and there are adapters for 1.5” and 1 3/8” tapered steerers.
To address the differing demands of mountain and gravel bikes, the Grit’s spring rate is double that of the Lauf TR fork – we suspect this will result in a fork that doesn’t bob too much when pedaling hard, or mashing our of the saddle, but should take the edge off rough roads.
We have a Grit fork coming for test soon and will be putting them through the ringer to see whether they’re suited to gravel roads and rougher surfaces.
Next week at the annual Sea Otter bike expo, we’re expecting to see the Grit attached to a number of gravel and all-road bikes.
Look out for more to come when we get our hands on the Grit. In the meantime, check out the pics, and let us know if this fork is something you would ride.