As the gravel grinder segment continues to grow in popularity, so has a plethora of new and exciting bikes and products arrived on scene.
The latest, comes from the Iceland-based Lauf, which recently introduced a new suspension fork, specifically designed to accommodate disc brake equipped gravel and cyclocross bikes.
But, rather than us try and explain the nut and bolts behind the design of the LaufGrit fork, we’ve decided to leave it up to them. 😀
Lauf Grit – Gravel Biking Like it Was Meant to Be
By offering 30mm of maintenance-free and ultra-light front suspension, the new Lauf Grit suspension fork is the perfect complement to any gravel bike – or the key component to “gravel-up” any cyclocross bike. It makes the bike more capable and more comfortable while remaining light and lightning fast. Make your next gravel adventure the most fun one yet.
A good gravel bike is a bike that rides and feels much like a road bike on smooth surfaces, while still confidently tackling coarser gravel roads and light singletracks. You should be able to do a group ride with your pals and then throw some singletracks into the mix on your way back home. Take the bike with you on a long holiday to cover all the riding that might come up; road, gravel-grinding and the occasional singletrack.
It should feel at home on everything between silk-smooth asphalt and pothole-laden gravel roads. A good gravel bike should also be capable of doing long unsupported journeys without requiring complicated maintenance. We at Lauf think it’s not reasonable for a short travel (~30mm) gravel suspension fork to ask for the tight maintenance schedule of a long stroke fork.
With shorter travel than Lauf’s previous models the Grit is a perfect addition.
In order to build as versatile gravel bikes as possible, many of today’s gravel bike frames have been designed to offer some rear-wheel compliance to deal with gravel buzz and potholes. While front-end compliance is certainly more important, for better grip through turns and increased comfort, there haven’t been any effective yet simple front-end solutions available.
Bike designers have been forced to choose either rigid forks or conventional suspension forks; that are by nature best suited for longer stroke suspension. This has left many riders wanting. All the riders that want to be able to push their gravel riding further, without resorting to a (slower) hardtail. The Lauf Grit offers an unparalleled mix of light-weight, responsiveness, zero-maintenance, grip and comfort.
Deliveries start in August. Through Lauf distributors and online at laufforks.com (for those who have trouble finding a Lauf dealer).
The Lauf Grit is an upgrade intended for all the gravel riders out there. Since we believe no gravel bike is complete without a Lauf Grit, its production process and supply chain have been carefully tweaked and tuned to enable as many as possible to push their gravel riding to the next level. The Lauf Grit will retail at $790 +VAT and will be launched at the Sea Otter Classic on 14th to 17th of April.
In collaboration with several bicycle brands the Lauf booth will be packed with Grit specced gravel bikes. After conducting independent in-house testing, here is some feedback from leading bicycle brands:
Niner Bikes – Barrett James, Product Manager: “The Grit is a super-nice addition to any gravel bike.”
Salsa Cycles – Joe Meiser, Senior Product Manager: “The fork absolutely excels at damping vibration on gravel. The 30mm of travel is more than adequate.”
Ridley – Dirk Van den Berk, Brand Manager: “We tested the Lauf Grit on our X-Trail allroad bike. It really takes of the edge and certainly adds comfort, traction and control. It’s great for long distance gravel riding, especially when things get rough. It is plenty stiff so the tracking and cornering is great.”
Open Cycle – Andy Kessler, Co-Founder: “Our OPEN U.P. can take you almost anywhere, with its ability to use either 700C cross wheels or 27.5” mountain bike tires up to 2.1” wide. However, for those wanting to ride terrain normally not accessible to gravel bikes, or those looking for a plusher ride, then the Lauf Grit has the extra capability and comfort needed.”
Haro – James Winchester, Product Manager: “I was excited to see the Lauf gravel fork, as it seems to meet the needs of gravel cyclists. Extremely light, maintenance-free, and just enough to take the edge.”
Framed Bikes – Erik Jordahl, Brand Manager: “After several hours of what should have been bone rattling riding, I was mud soaked, but still smiling. Despite the constant washboard of winter beaten, and frost heaved roads, the Grit kept the front wheel in contact and tracking beautifully. When we finally made the turn onto pavement for the last two miles, the fork responded perfectly. Smooth, and stiff just the way you expect a road fork to ride.”
Marin Bikes – Chris Holmes, Brand Director: “I was more than skeptical of the Grit at first – an undamped leaf spring suspension system on the front of my CX turned “adventure bike?” But after clocking nearly 1000 miles on the fork riding the rough and rugged roads of rural Sonoma County with the fork, I am a convert. The enhanced comfort and control means that I can bomb some of my local mountain roads with a lot more confidence. It feels as if one is riding with a slightly under-inflated 29” MTB wheel up front, but without the additional weight or rolling resistance.”
LaMere Cycles – JP LaMere, Founder: “I ride my CX disc bike with the Grit as my full-time road bike. Now I don’t mind the rough Minnesota roads and paths, the Grit soaks up the cracks and potholes, making everything feel like fresh pavement.”
Engineered Bicycles – David Fong, Founder: “We’re really excited to be offering the Grit fork as an option on our Gezel all-road bike and bespoke builds. The free-thinking, innovative design compliments our own approach and I can’t wait to ride more kilometers on them through the summer.”
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