Lauf-Comparison

Lauf Forks from Iceland have been a controversial addition to bicycle suspension. Very unique looking, lightweight, and minimalist, they draw reactions of either “no way would I ride that” or “that is exactly what I have been looking for”.

Lauf has been showing off their next model after the original TR29, and then adding the 27.5 version. The new GT29 stands for “Gravel and Travel”, intended for bikes like the Salsa Fargo that use drop bars for off road touring. The GT29 mostly has a stiffer spring to battle the greater percentage of body weight that is over the front wheel on these types of bikes, as well as any additional possible loads (gear) they would be carrying.

Read a bit more, as well as a leak from Lauf about a possible fat bike fork after the break…

Lauf-new-fork

People can choose between two different levels of stiffness based on riders weight and/or preference. Most current Lauf customers choose the stiffer version. Most of the customers are into racing, which is why they have chosen a sub 1,000g short-travel fork.  A lot of people are still scared of the Lauf Fork because it looks different, but Lauf says the fact that it works so well in the terrain its designed to deal with it is picking up popularity fast.

We were recently able to talk to Lauf about the 3rd model coming from the Icelandic brand.

Runar from Lauf – What got us started in developing the Lauf GT29 was interest from Salsa and then gravel riders worldwide. We are almost done with development and going into production soon. The main difference from the Lauf TR29 (our XC/marathon fork) is that the Lauf GT is around 20% stiffer, based on the fact that one leans more forward on gravel bikes, the bikes weigh more, and the possible bag/load on the front might add a couple of pounds. We’ve been riding the Salsa Fargo a lot lately, and in fact all fell in love with it. Iceland has a lot of gravel roads and trails but we also just love to ride the Fargo …anywhere!

In that short conversation, he also let slip two small bits of info about their fourth product for the future – it is called the Carbonara, and it will be a fat bike fork. Being that fat bikes already have some movement in the tire, this may be a brilliant application of this unique design.

Lauf-Stair-Step

LaufForks.com

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19 Comments
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Roy
Roy
7 years ago

Love the looks or hate the looks, THIS is way outside the box thinking, and there really isnt much of that going on for bike stuff today. Way to go Lauf!

Brock H
Brock H
7 years ago

This is just like so-and-so product from [insert year]. Or, [insert product] does the same thing but better.

topmounter
topmounter
7 years ago

I’m definitely in the “that is exactly what I have been looking for” camp. I’m hoping to get a chance to try one of the TR29’s at some point.

Rich
Rich
7 years ago

Saw this at EB and had long talk with them. If you know composites this is brilliant engineering! I complimented them then and again now.

Duncan
Duncan
7 years ago

I love my Lauf TR29! It’s perfect for cross-country riding and racing, and it has excellent soft bump sensitivity. Offering a version for gravel grinder bikes and fatbikes would be awesome!

MaraudingWalrus
7 years ago

I’m building a drop bar mountain bike with some woodchipper bars on it this week to go out and ride gravel. This fork intrigues me.

anonymous
anonymous
7 years ago

As an amputee and owner of carbon foot running blades, I can say that if the longevity of these blades of the fork are equivalent as my foot…this fork has absolutely no maintenance. I’m running on the same blades for over 5 years and ticking…

Peter R
7 years ago

In this example, it takes away from one of the huge selling points of a Fargo fork, the ability to mount H2O cages or Salsa Anything cages to the legs. When I have done longer rides or camping trips with my Gen1 Fargo I can carry a crap load of water/gear with two main triangle bosses, one under the downtube and 2 more on the fork legs.

vectorbug
vectorbug
7 years ago

I hope they’re laufing all the way to the bank! I want one!

James
James
7 years ago

I’m glad I didn’t pull the trigger on the original model as I was going to put it on my Drop Bar Salsa El Mariachi. I WILL pull the trigger when this model comes out. Looks like I will be riding a new rig at the DK200 in Emporia, Kansas next year.

wall
wall
7 years ago

They need to figure out that brake routing though…come on that hose is really hanging out there.

Ben
Ben
7 years ago

Wouldn’t the wheel twist and rub the fork legs. I am guessing it doesn’t, but not sure how. Looks cool.

jeff
jeff
7 years ago

Intriguing fork, I been watching Lauf since I first saw them at EB. The fork probably isn’t for me, but in regards to the question about the brake line routing, I know it would be an easy solution to fix.

efrain
efrain
7 years ago

i have a second gen fargo with a 1.125″ steering tubing i hope they have one that isnt tapered otherwise im sol bc i would like to use it and i second the notion that they should have mounts on the side like the fargos fork.

Benedikt Skúlason
7 years ago

Hi Wall – Thanks for pointing out the brake hose issue on the picture. This is however just a prototype test ride and the production fork will have this solved.

DT
DT
7 years ago

@BrockH You sayin there was/is a similar one alrdy? Do indulge us pls…
Im guessing Lawwill Leader? Girvin Vector? IRD?
Lauf is still a supercool fork and slightly different than the aforementioned. Most awesomely, It meets a market need with distinct aplomb.

dontcoast
dontcoast
7 years ago

holy moly that bar angle! had to say it.

Bnystrom
Bnystrom
7 years ago

I’m not surprised to see that they’re building a fork for the Fargo (and similar bikes). We were in Iceland in June and Salsa bikes were by far the most common we saw on the roads. I thought is was rather funny/odd at the time, but now I understand why.

If Benedikt would address the question regarding lateral wheel flex, I would appreciate it. It appears that there is a certain degree of “boxed” design in the spring layout and the leaves themselves would not flex laterally, but it seems as if there is some potential for the wheel to twist due to lateral forces. Having the brake mounted on the same structure as the dropout eliminates issues with flex causing brake rubbing, but it could still affect the handling adversely.

Benedikt Skúlason
7 years ago

Hi Bnystrom, I just saw your question regarding lateral wheel flex. It’s true what you say that the brake won’t rub since it’s mounted to the dropout structure. It’s interesting that you brought up torsional stiffness in your comment. People often confuse lateral rigidity with torsional rigidity. There is an important difference.
Torsional rigidity along the axis of the steerer tube is what determines that you get the steering angle you input into the handlebar translated into the wheel, tire and onward into the ground surface. We’ve done thorough torsional measurements on our forks and forks from key competitors and found out that the Lauf TR29 is torsionally stiffer than all the forks we tested against (to be completely fair we haven’t tested the RS1 yet and I have every reason to believe that it will be rigid. However, the RS1 is a completely different animal, much heavier and aimed at much rougher riding. Hence, we don’t see it as a overlapping competitor). What makes the Lauf fork this torsionally stiff is the shape of the crown area, comparatively to a regular suspension fork crown.
Then we have the lateral rigidity. Even though our fork looks way different than anything else out there, it is essentially just an up-side-down fork (e.g. the RockShox RS-1, DVO Emerald, etc.) with its left/right sides moving independently. The only rigid connection between the sides of the fork is the axle and hub. This is a source of lateral flex with our fork, like on all up-side-down forks. This is one of the reasons why we don’t offer a QR version of our forks. After contemplating and trying various hub standards we decided that the connection rigidity of the 15mm through axle system gives the XC performance (a combination of light-weight and rigidity) we were after. Since RockShox is aiming at a rougher ride with the RS1, they came up with the PredictiveSteering hub standard for it.

I could talk/write all day about this… 🙂 If you have any further questions you can also drop me a line. My contact information is on our webpage. Have a great Holiday!