Splitting the difference in weight and travel between a rigid carbon fork and the lightweight “traditional” suspension forks like the Lefty or SID, the Lauf Trail Racer 29er fork brings 60mm of travel at just 980g!
The unique design uses four sets of three leaf springs to attach two axle/brake mounts to the fork to create frictionless travel. Called the Lauf Spring System, the leafs are made of “high performance composites” that are bonded into pockets on the legs and “springers”. They’ve tested to show no signs of wear even after 140,000 hits. They say that’s the equivalent of five years of regular riding.
All three structural parts are monocoque intermediate modulus carbon fiber with angled layups to create a stiff base structure. The springers (the pieces the axle and brake mount to) contribute an unsprung weight of just 255g. That low weight combined with the frictionless design supposedly provides extremely supple small bump performance that ramps progressively through the travel before stiffening up at the end to prevent things from going too far.
Hit the jump to, well, see this thing hit some jumps (and more pics and details)…
Lauf is based in Reykjavik, Iceland. The idea was born, as many good ones are, over post ride drinks in 2010. Two friends, Benedikt Skulason and Gudberg Bjornsson, used Skulason’s experience making high performance composite prosthetics and Bjornsson’s industrial design skills to design and develop the fork. The first prototype was tested in 2011, and in June 2013 it won the first race it entered.
The travel starts off moving slightly backward before the leafs begin to form an “S” shape and the travel becomes more vertically linear.
It’s available in six colors. Black, blue and red shown above; green, white and black/white are also available. We’ve reached out to learn more on pricing and availability, but their website says it’ll be shipping in 2014 and comes with a five year warranty for the original owner.
This first video shows a bit of playing around but catches the shape of the leaves as the fork compresses.
Above, some small bump testing from November of last year. Below, they drop off a 4ft wall. Note the minimal movement when he stands up to pedal. Since there’s no damping, it’s really just the limited travel that’s keeping it from bobbing excessively.
Helgi Berg, above, took 1st place on the Lauf Trail Racer on it’s first race test.