Up to 10mm of rear displacement of the saddle is paired with 30mm of travel from Lauf’s Grit SL fork, while tyres up to 29×2.25in can be fitted.
Lauf Seigla frame details
Much like the True Grit, the front two thirds of the frame are constructed as a single-piece carbon monocoque, with the one-piece front triangle extending a few inches into the chainstays. All frames, across the range of bikes, are the same, with no higher-grade carbon models.
The chainstays originate from a shallow, but broad carbon plate, aiding strength and stiffness in the bottom bracket area, while also shaving off a few millimetres of depth to help squeeze wider tyres into the short rear stays. From there, they narrow to svelte carbon tubes, with the driveside receiving rubberised chain slap protection.
Further aiding tyre clearance, Lauf has used a BSA73 bottom bracket, wider than the usual BSA68 BB standard commonly found on road bikes and gravel bikes, in order to gain an extra five millimetres of clearance. This requires the use of a specially built chainset.
The seatstays are dropped lower down the seat tube than on the True Grit. This, paired with a slacker seat tube that originates in front of the BB, helps give the bike its compliance, with the seat tube bowing inwards when a bump is transmitted through the seat stays into the seat tube.
The top tube thins as it approaches its junction with the seat tube, enabling more flex of this junction, furthering the frame’s ability to absorb bumps.
Lauf uses a standard carbon weave for the entire frame, having decided not to use a lighter high-modulus carbon, which it believes may not be as durable to rock strikes.
The frame features four sets of bosses, using a 4mm Allen bolt. Two live inside the main triangle, while there’s a further one on the underside of the down tube, and another sat on top of the top tube, towards the head tube, located to hold a top-tube feed bag or bento box.
The front end of the bike houses internal cable routing, with sleeved routing all the way to the chainstays. The rear brake hose pops out here, and if you want to run a mechanical or wired Di2 groupset, the chainstay protector doubles as outer routing.
The frame is 1x specific, with no option to fit a front derailleur. There’s no routing option for a cable-operated dropper post, though an XPLR AXS Reverb could be installed, if you’re running one of the stock SRAM XPLR groupsets on the bike.
Lauf can give mechanics details on how to modify a frame to take internal routing. Do check with Lauf before going ahead, though, because it may impact on your warranty.
The frame is built to take a 27.2mm seatpost.
Lauf Seigla specification
Four spec levels of the bike exist from stock, and I’ve tested the Weekend Warrior model, though with a carbon wheel upgrade from e*thirteen.
Lauf will offer the Seigla with a rigid fork option too, however my test bike came with its unique leaf-sprung 30mm-travel third-generation Grit fork.
A total of 12 glass-fibre springs join a pair of dog-leg links to the forks legs, giving 30mm of travel, limited by rubber bumpers on the legs to prevent damage when the full extent of the travel is reached.
The fork has been updated slightly for the Seigla. It now uses the more common 12x100mm axle (previous iterations use 15x100mm), and the shoulders are broader to accommodate the wider tyres.
The cockpit features a short 70mm stem from FSA, which holds Lauf’s Smoothie bar. This carbon drop bar has glass fibres running through the tops, which Lauf says provide vibration damping.
The top of the bar has 3 degrees of backsweep, and then a tight radius to the hood extensions. The drops are shallow at 125mm and there’s 16 degrees of flare.
SRAM’s Rival AXS drivetrain features a wireless connection from shifter to derailleur. It comes with a 10-44t cassette. The brand’s brakes feature, too, with the Rival calipers clamping onto 160mm rotors. The Rival cranks include a single-sided power meter – a further facet of this bike’s good value for money.
My only complaint with Rival (and other SRAM AXS groups) is that the shift paddle is fairly deep. I’ve found I need to re-bleed the brake to push out the bite point of the lever – there’s no bite-point adjustment on Rival levers.
Otherwise, when squeezing the brakes the paddle squashes my little and fourth fingers between paddle and bar, compromising braking performance. I’ve had to have all four fingers on the lever to prevent this at times, which on rough, technical descents I’m not particularly keen on.
By widening the BB shell to 73mm, Lauf has required wider-spaced cranks to be built. On stock bikes, SRAM has come up with the goods. If you’re looking beyond SRAM, you’d have to turn to brands such as Easton or Rotor (for example), who offer modular crank/spindle/spider options. Shimano cranks, for example, won’t fit.
The e*thirteen XCX Gravel wheels have an internal width of 24mm. At the time of going to press, 40c Maxxis Rambler tyres will be fitted, though I believe these will change to 45c rubber down the line.
I tested the bike with both Maxxis 700 x 50c Rambler and 29×2.2in Ikon 3C tyres.
Lauf Seigla geometry
The Seigla has, within a millimetre or two, the same geometry as the True Grit.
While tyre widths have increased, and the bike has a suspension fork, it’s still a race-orientated gravel bike.
Lauf has given the bike super-short 425mm chainstays at the back. This, it says, is to provide reactive, snappy handling.
It’s paired with a relatively long front end, which the brand believes gives the bike additional stability when going fast, and over rough or loose terrain. Stems are shorter than we often see on gravel bikes.
|Reach to handlebar (mm)||421||435||456||477||498|
|Stack to handlebar (mm)||562-604||579-623||608-654||639-688||671-722|
|BB to saddle top (mm)||541-679||580-758||608-806||628-846||655-873|
|Frame reach (mm)||378||383||394||405||416|
|Frame stack (mm)||523||537||564||593||623|
|Head angle (degrees)||70.5||70.5||70.5||70.5||70.5|
|Seat tube angle (degrees)||72.9||72.7||72.5||72.4||72.3|
|Seat tube length (mm)||461||500||528||548||575|
|Chainstay length (mm)||425||425||425||425||425|
|BB drop (mm)||65||65||65||65||65|
|Head tube length (mm)||84||99||129||159||191|
|Top tube length (mm)||532||544||563||584||607|
|Front Centre (mm)||589||600||620||641||664|
|Axle to crown (mm)||419||419||419||419||419|
|Standover height (mm, on 45mm tires)||731||763||789||811||840|
|Stem (degrees)||60, 7||70, 7||80, 7||90, 7||100, 7|
Lauf Seigla ride impressions
My first rides on the Seigla were on the bike’s launch in Iceland. I covered around 140km of gravel, though climbing and descending opportunities were limited due to weather conditions that closed mountain roads.
Setting up the bike was simple. The fork has no adjustment, the cockpit was largely to my liking and my saddle height fell within the bracket for the medium-sized bike I rode (I’m 182cm and chose the medium based on my experience of the True Grit, which shares the same geometry).
I ran the 50c Rambler tyres at around 35psi and the 29×2.20in Ikons at 30psi.
Lauf Seigla climbing performance
The Seigla is a comfortable place to sit and spin. Assuming you’ve picked an appropriately sized frame, the 72.5-degree effective seat angle leaves your hips in a nice place over the pedals, while the long-ish reach doesn’t feel stretched, thanks to the shorter 70mm stem.
I mention picking the right size frame, because if you were to go too small, you’d need to extend the seatpost further out of the frame.
Because the ‘real’ seat tube angle is slacker than the ‘effective’ seat tube angle, running the seatpost with more extension would slacken the effective seat tube angle, moving your hips more rearward. As such, I would suggest looking carefully at the geometry charts, and your own current bikes, to avoid this potential problem.
Moving to a frame that’s too large would reduce the amount of seatpost insertion, steepening the effective seat angle, and reducing the overall rear compliance, because a lot of the ‘give’ of the bike comes from the seatpost flexing.
Lauf’s Smoothie bar has a comfortable backsweep on the tops, so my wrists never felt awkward while cruising on the tops. The hoods feel a little further forward than they might be on a less swept-back bar, but they don’t sit too far forward from the stem’s face plate. Lauf’s own Lush bar tape is just that.
The frame’s compliance doesn’t seem to give anything away in terms of stiffness. In fact, the bottom-bracket area, with its deep early chainstays, feels stiff under power.
Standing up and hauling through the bars reveals little in the way of torsional frame flex. Any feeling of lateral disconnect between the tyre’s contact patch and the BB is likely to come from larger-volume tyre casings flexing.
With broad tyres run at lower pressure, grip never posed a problem on my test loop climbs. On tarmac, I was surprised by how easily the tyres rolled, especially the Rekon Races. There’s some buzz, and reactions to accelerations are a little more muted when compared to a skinnier 35 to 40c tyre, thanks to the additional weight.
Giving the Seigla the option to run such wide tyres doesn’t mean you have to, though. If I spent more time on groomed dirt roads, I’d choose to sling on some skinnier, faster-rolling rubber. However, my UK-based loops tend to benefit from a bit more volume.
In my experience, the Grit SL fork has little impact on climbing performance. With my weight a little further back on a climb, the front end rolls normally up and over bumps in the road.
When you get out of the saddle and sprint, there’s a little ‘bob’, where the suspension compresses under shifting body weight. However, it’s relatively benign and I’ve rarely felt this bob is robbing me of speed.
If you really put the power down, pushing and pulling through the bars, there’s a hint of disconnect between bar and tyre contact patch. If you’re used to the pin-sharp feel of a stiff road fork and skinny high-pressure rubber, you may notice it. But otherwise, it’s nothing to write home about in my experience.
The SRAM Rival XPLR groupset is excellent. Shifting under power is very good, with the chain moving between sprockets with minimal fuss. The jumps between sprockets feel natural, and the shifter’s consistent performance, thanks to the use of buttons rather than pulling a cable through an outer, is exemplary.
Coming from a mountain bike background, I feel the 10-44 range of the cassette is good. However, having run a ‘mullet’ setup on other gravel bikes, where a mountain bike cassette and derailleur are mated to the road shifters, giving a 10-50 or 10-52t cassette range, suits me a touch better. Sadly, the XPLR derailleur cannot stretch to this size cassette.
Lauf Seigla on the flat
The e*thirteen rims are 24mm wide internally. This is a fair width to balance the needs of 40 to 50c or 2.25in tyres. The Ikon’s low-height, closely spaced central treads roll fast on tarmac drags, without too much tyre buzz.
Understandably, compared to the lighter, less-treaded Rambler, the Ikon introduced a little more lag into the bike’s reactivity to snappy pedal inputs, but it didn’t feel sluggish.
On the softer terrain I encountered, thanks to a gravel surface that was thawing after the winter freeze, the wider tyres offered a touch more float than the Ramblers, digging in a little less to the soft road. Since I’ve been back in the UK, I’ve been riding with the faster-rolling Ramblers in a 50c width.
I’m a big fan of the Rambler. Like the best gravel bike tyres, it rolls well on a wide range of surfaces and, while the tread isn’t the most aggressive, it provides decent grip in sloppier conditions.
On narrower versions (40c), I’ve had occasional issues with them remaining inflated when freshly fitted – however, so far the 50c tyres on my test bike have been fine.
Over rougher gravel sections or washboard road surfaces, the Grit SL fork comes into its own.
With no friction at all, it tunes out high-frequency chatter, boosting comfort levels beyond those often found on a gravel bike. It combines well with the larger tyres and Smoothie bar to create a very comfortable front end.
This reduces fatigue on longer rides and, as noted in the descending performance, helps maintain grip, boosting cornering and braking performance.
I’m a big believer in suspension on gravel bikes – simply put, it helps you go faster. The Grit fork is a lightweight and effective way of providing this.
One of my criticisms of the True Grit was the compliant front end made the rear end feel harsher.
Lauf’s claims that rear-end compliance has been improved, along with the high-volume rubber (the True Grit is limited to 45c rubber at the back, but is commonly run with 40c tyres to improve mud clearance), seems to run true.
The rear end, though not as smooth as the front, feels more comfortable than the True Grit, meaning longer, more efficient efforts over rougher ground are possible. It’s not quite as smooth, but combines well with broad tyres.
Back to back with 40c tyres, there’s a small, but noticeable improvement in compliance when compared to the True Grit.
Lauf Seigla descending performance
The Seigla is an excellent descender. The long geometry provides a very stable base with which to let off the brakes, while the fork’s suspension helps keep the front wheel in control and pointing where you need it to go.
Rattle it over rough roads and the bike feels fairly unshakeable. The Grit fork takes the sting out of the worst of the bumps and smooths road and gravel buzz effectively.
The fork can’t be compared to a traditional mountain bike telescopic suspension fork on bigger hits. It doesn’t feature hydraulic damping, and only has limited travel. However, it’s also friction free, and offers some element of progression through its stroke. When you reach the travel limits, the dog-link hits a rubber bumper on the fork legs.
In normal riding, it’s rare that you reach the full extent of the travel, however it does happen on bigger, faster hits. Understandably, there’s a considerable ‘klunk’ when you hit the bump stops.
The friction-free nature of the fork really helps it tune out low-amplitude and high-frequency stutter, better than a telescopic fork with friction-inducing seals could, especially when a service is due.
However, with no adjustability, forks such as the RockShox Rudy are easier to tune to individual tastes and conditions.
I’d like to spend some time on the RockShox Rudy, though, to see how the two forks compare.
I have found it possible to get the fork a little confused on more ‘mountain bike’ descents. Steep and rough sections, where heavy braking is required, can induce some twist and twang to the fork. Under more typical gravel-riding conditions, though, it’s unlikely this would be noticeable often, nor cause much of an issue.
The compliance that helps on washboard surfaces no doubt contributes to excellent descending capabilities too.
With a long front end aiding that higher-speed stability, the additional give at the back, combined with the tyre volume, helps calm the ride. Hit an embedded rock or fail to dodge a pothole, and the bike is less likely to bump you offline. It gives the Seigla an air of calmness when skimming over rougher sections of road.
The bike mutes harsh pothole edges – more so than the True Grit.If anything, the bike gets smoother and easier to ride the faster you go.
At the back, the short chainstays help keep the bike from feeling like a barge, even if that longer front end does add considerable high-speed stability.
On tight and twisty singletrack, it’s an easy bike to flick round corners or pull up and hop over roots and errant branches. Want to get rowdy? A heavy squeeze of the rear brake lever mid-corner will get you nicely sideways, with the front end happily glued to the floor. Not that I’d encourage that sort of behaviour of course…
Ultimately, if descending speed comes from a combination of grip, handling, braking and comfort, the Seigla offers it in spades.
Lauf Seigla bottom line
The True Grit garnered many fans, thanks to its stable handling and smooth front end. The criticisms it faced as gravel evolved, such as the limited tyre clearance and highlighting of the rigid rear end, thanks to the smooth front, have been addressed with the Seigla.
The Grit fork splits opinions – largely due to its aesthetics. However, I believe that within certain (fairly broad) parameters it’s an excellent performer. It’s almost a halfway house between a rigid fork and a hydraulically damped, air-sprung ‘traditional’ suspension fork. It’s not infallable, but it is very good.
Looking beyond the front end, you have a bike that’s aggressive and focused. It’s built for riders looking to go fast, rather than those who want to sit up and enjoy the view.
The rear end is improved over that of the True Grit, though if you’re expecting an identical-feeling front and rear, you’ll not find that here – it’s still a rigid rear triangle, highlighted in that rigidness by the more comfortable front end.
Lauf has been brave with the Seigla; no front derailleurs, wide-spaced cranks, generous tyre clearances and the combination of its own fork and bar. Much like Cannondale with its integrated system concepts, it’s all built to work together.
Lauf has managed to do all this at a very competitive price, too.
In approaching the bike like this, so long as you’re looking for a race-focused gravel bike, Lauf has built a stellar performer.
|Price||EUR €3790.00GBP £3890.00USD $3990.00|
|Bottom bracket||SRAM DUB|
|Cassette||SRAM Rival 10-44|
|Fork||Lauf Grit Gen3|
|Rear derailleur||SRAM Rival eTap AXS|
|Saddle||Fizik Aliante R5|
|Shifter||SRAM Rival eTap AXS|