Introducing Lauf Cycling
The gravel bike was once seen as the answer to a question nobody asked. The gravel bike uses tires that are wider, heavier, and knobbier than a fast road bike tire. These tires, while wider, don't offer the grip and rough riding capabilities of a good mountain bike tire, nor does the gravel bike offer the kind of suspension that a mountain bike uses. If there is anything that the gravel bike has taught us (or rather, reminded us), is that this type of bike isn't simply another niche; it is a distillation of the freedom that the bicycle offers in one package. The gravel bike defies genre, and more than anything allows riders to simply go out a ride, without consideration for terrain or distance. Today we want to announce the addition of one of the foremost purveyors of genre-defiance in the gravel bike world (and XC mountain bike world, too) to our list of brands: Lauf Cycling. Over the past few years, we have installed many Lauf leaf spring suspension forks on a variety of bikes. Many of them were gravel bikes, equipped to take the sting off of washboard trails and improve cornering confidence. All of those bikes, whether gravel bikes, mountain bikes, or fat bikes, were built to be ridden, ridden a lot and ridden hard. We have been impressed with the performance and longevity of Lauf Cycling forks. When we heard about their first ground-up bicycle, the Lauf True Grit, we jumped at the opportunity to offer up this high-performance gravel road bike. For the uninitiated, Lauf Cycling (pronounced "LAA-ooof") started life as a brand called Lauf Forks. Their idea was build an ultra lightweight suspension fork using the highest performance composite material, that was more simple than standard suspension, provided lower weight, yet offered performance that didn’t compromise on weight. The idea is simple in concept: the Lauf Spring System (LSS) suspends the wheel independent of the rigid fork it comes with to provide suspension travel for greater control over rough terrain. In essence, LSS is a series of composite leaf springs bonded between a carbon fiber fork and 15mm thru-axle dropout they call the Springer. Each stack of leaf springs - called a Springstack - is bonded to the fork and Springer through an Integrated Spring Pocket. All in, this technology-packed fork comes in at a lithe 900-1100g, depending on fork model. While heavier than a good carbon fiber fork (usually by about 1 lb), this is still lighter than a typical suspension fork. The end result is a unique proposition to a marketplace filled with monotony: an ingenious answer to a difficult question of adding comfort and control to bikes without compromising on weight or overall performance. The most distinguishing part? the Lauf fork makes any bike more capable and fun. Want to jet off onto dirt roads worry-free in the middle of a road ride? All Lauf products do it with aplomb. Want to cut serious weight on an already-capable cross country mountain bike or fat bike? Thanks to Lauf, liberation doesn’t come with a weight penalty. With years of development and testing, they refined their formula for success through lower weight and increased durability while still offering surprising performance. While still a small company, Lauf Cycling have expanded their product line past a range of leaf spring forks for gravel bikes, cross country mountain bikes, and fat bikes. They now offer the True Grit gravel bike, a no-compromise long-distance race-oriented gravel bike. Lauf Forks Lauf Cycling showed their true mettle thanks to their unique fork design. They offer three fork models: the Lauf Carbonara, a 60mm travel fork designed for fat bikes, the Lauf Trail Racer, a 60mm cross country-specific fork designed for 29 inch or 27.5 plus wheels, and the Lauf Grit SL, a 30mm fork designed to supplement any cyclocross or gravel bike. To be clear, these forks are not intended to 100 percent replace a standard suspension fork. In the drops and particularly rocky terrain that Southern Utah has in droves, their undamped leaf spring design leaves much to be desired. However, as a bridge between a lightweight carbon fiber fork and a traditional suspension fork? It works wonders. The bikes accelerate like it would with a carbon fork, but it manages to be all the more comfortable. Lauf True Grit We are going to do a more in-depth review of Lauf’s first bicycle, but here are the juicy details. The Lauf True Grit gravel bike was designed with a suspension fork in mind, one of the few bikes on the market designed as such. The 30mm suspension fork takes the edge off of bumps and does wonders to make the bike feel much more controllable and confidence-inspiring over loose surfaces. It swallows 700 x 45c tires with ease front and rear, and gobbles up all kinds of terrain. While the leaf spring fork definitely catches an eye, do not over look this frame. The carbon framed True Grit is a high quality frame that is well thought out. Coming in at 1080g for a medium sized frame, this frame is built to ride the line between being light and durable. The frame was also designed to have a ride-all-day ride quality and not to reply solely on bigger tires and the unique fork for comfort and damping. Combine that with practical touches like three bottle cage mounts, a set of bosses for a top tube bag, a threaded bottom bracket, and a bottle opener where a front derailleur would otherwise be are more arguments to show how well thought out the True Grit frame is. Add a total of six color choices and some incredible build options and it is pretty easy to see why this bike has quickly become a shop favorite. Lauf Cycling is the newest addition to our wealth of choices, and we are absolutely elated. When taken in holistically, Lauf offers up one of the most well-rounded of the genre-defying gravel bike that we’ve seen yet. They offer a product that is unlike anything else on the market, opening up all kinds of possibilities to the kinds of rides that we want to do.