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Lauf True Grit | Gravel Bike Review

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Lauf True Grit | Gravel Bike Overview

The takeaway: In case your gravel rides encompass chunky rocks or the occasional foray into singletrack, the Lauf True Grit is for you.

  • Frictionless leaf spring fork reduces vibration and improves management
  • Large tire clearance and endurance highway geometry assist you go lengthy
  • Light-weight body and springy fork make for an thrilling journey

    Value: $4,190 as examined
    Weight: 10.7 lb.
    Fork journey: 30mm
    Tire clearance: 45mm


    Lauf’s True Grit makes the drop-bar bike really feel a complete lot extra viable (and cozy) off-road. The carbon fiber Icelandic gravel bike employs the corporate’s signature Grit SL fork to present you 30mm of undamped, progressive journey. Whereas within the saddle, you’ll barely discover because it subtly irons out highway vibrations with glorious small-bump sensitivity. And it comes alive on rocky, unfastened descents, providing you with the arrogance to journey this gravel bike in methods you in all probability shouldn’t. You’ll recognize the True Grit’s vibration damping on easy, hard-packed gravel, however you’ll come to like the bike for shale, chunky forest roads, and light-weight path driving.

    lauf true grit

    The 30mm of entrance journey are undamped, however the progressive spring charge permits you glorious management.

    Trevor Raab

    The Grit SL Fork

    After driving the True Grit for just a few months, I can’t think about not wanting entrance suspension on my subsequent gravel bike. Its 30mm of journey isn’t a lot that you simply want damping, particularly with the fork’s progressive spring charge that allows you to use all the journey on extra-rough terrain with out feeling such as you’re driving a pogo stick. And in contrast to a telescoping fork with valves and chambers and seals, the Lauf’s 12 glass-fiber leaf springs flex beneath load and make for a frictionless system. Meaning unimaginable small-bump sensitivity, which supplies you the improved journey and management of a high-volume tire with out the added unsprung weight, rolling resistance, and squishy, imprecise steering. Gravel racers, take notice.

    “The concept is that the spring charge needs to be set to maximise consolation and traction, however cease earlier than it begins to mess up pedaling,” says Benedikt Skúlason, Lauf founder and CEO. “It ought to really feel like a inflexible fork on flat floor and never get uncontrolled whereas sprinting.”

    That’s about how the True Grit rides. Within the saddle, we actually didn’t really feel the fork bobbing except we had been actually rocking on the bike. Out of the saddle, it dips into its journey barely however not too far—it felt like standing on a kind of tightly sprung health trampolines, giving us loads of vitality again when it decompresses. The spring charges are tuned for every body measurement, so your bike’s fork ought to really feel prefer it was made for you.

    The opposite profit to the Grit SL is the upkeep—there may be none. “You simply preserve it clear…or don’t,” Skúlason says. The fork ought to outlast the bike’s different parts; if it doesn’t, it’s lined beneath a five-year guarantee.

    Body Like a Mountain Bike (and a Highway Bike)

    The True Grit’s carbon fiber body is formed to make the bike deal with like a mixture of a highway bike and a hardtail. There’s a protracted high tube and a brief headtube to get you right into a extra aggressive, aerodynamic driving place than you’ll discover on most gravel bikes, however a 70.5-degree head tube angle lends correct off-road stability. The body additionally meets ISO mountain bike requirements. I’m 6-foot-2 and located the match about good on a measurement massive; the bike matches just like my highway race bike with the handlebar barely greater up and nearer to me.

    lauf true grit

    The brief head tube permits you to get into a quick and aero place—or reap the benefits of the spacers and stay upright and cozy.

    Trevor Raab

    Lauf makes use of the identical standard-modulus carbon throughout the True Grit vary. The body feels good and stiff beneath laborious pedaling, and though there’s some vibration damping, the rear triangle doesn’t really feel significantly comfortable—no high-flexion stays right here. You get bolts for a entrance derailleur, or a bolt-on bottle opener should you keep the inventory setup. Tire clearance is formally 45mm. There are three bottle mounts, a threaded backside bracket, and totally guided cable routing—issues that make the bike simple to stay with.

    Elements and Construct Kits

    I examined the second-most-expensive True Grit, the $4,190 Race AXS. It comes with a SRAM Eagle Power AXS XX1 drivetrain and SRAM hydraulic disc brakes. The ten-50t cassette and 42t chainring gave me all the climbing torque and descending capacity that I may need. Lauf makes use of its personal Smoothie handlebar, and the stem, headset, and carbon seatpost are all FSA. The DT Swiss XRC 1501 wheelset is made for XC driving and is available in at 1,544g for the set.

    That’s a complete gram lower than the DT Swiss GRC 1400 wheelset on the top-range True Grit Final, which prices $6,590. It upgrades your drivetrain to SRAM Crimson AXS, and also you get an influence meter within the SRAM Crimson 1 AXS Dub crank. It’s in any other case the identical because the Race AXS mannequin and weighs half of a pound much less.

    lauf true grit

    The SRAM Eagle AXS drivetrain carried out flawlessly throughout testing.

    Trevor Raab

    Extra affordably, you possibly can have the Weekend Warrior and Weekend Warrior AXS builds. The bottom mannequin begins at $2,790, though you possibly can spend virtually $600 further to have shiny crimson, orange, or inexperienced paint, or the lava black colour of our check bike. That construct gives a SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain with an 11-42t cassette and DT Swiss X1900 wheels. The $3,690 AXS model upgrades you to SRAM Power 1 AXS digital shifting and a carbon fiber seatpost.

    Lauf True Grit Particulars

    Body: Lauf True Grit Carbon
    Fork: Lauf Grit SL Carbon, 30mm journey
    Wheels: DT Swiss GRC 1400, tubeless prepared
    Tires: Maxxis Rambler, 40c
    Drivetrain: SRAM Power 1 AXS
    Brakes: SRAM Power 1 flat-mount hydraulic, 160mm rotors
    Cassette: SRAM Eagle 1275 10-50t
    Crank: SRAM Power 1 DUB, 42t
    Seatpost: FSA SL-Okay Carbon
    Saddle: Ritchey Path WCS
    Handlebar: Lauf Smoothie, 420mm

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    Experience Impressions

    In three months of testing, I put a whole lot of miles on the True Grit, driving roads, gravel, and light-to-moderate singletrack. It’s essentially the most versatile drop-bar bike I’ve ridden, and the one I’d purchase if I had been available in the market for a gravel bike.

    Gravel velocity demons will love the True Grit. The suspension fork permits you to maintain the aggressive place that the bike places you in with out the terrain bouncing you off the handlebar. The bike feels steady at velocity and the steering isn’t too fast, however not so gradual that you could’t choose aside technical singletrack, both. It’s a superb mixture that allows you to hammer a gravel tow path KOM, journey the roots and rocks, and take the pavement again residence with out ever feeling misplaced.

    lauf true grit

    The Maxxis Rambler tires are an important all-purpose choose, though they’re not knobby sufficient for moist and unfastened terrain.

    Trevor Raab

    The Grit SL fork does such job of lowering vibration that you simply don’t discover it a lot whereas driving hard-pack gravel. Its impact is most evident off-road. Whereas driving a rigid-fork drop-bar bike, just like the Ibis Hakka MX I examined final 12 months, I needed to be very exact about my entrance wheel placement as a result of my higher physique turned the suspension after I hit stuff I didn’t count on. In a single case, a small tree minimize right down to a two-inch stump almost despatched me over the handlebar.

    After I rode the identical singletrack on the True Grit, the fork devoured up these small however tedious obstacles and allowed me to hold extra velocity quite than choose aside the path. There are clearly path programs I received’t journey as a result of the rocks are too large for the bike and my confidence in it, however I did make it by way of some rocky East Coast XC rapidly sufficient to really feel like I obtained away with one thing.

    Why Have the Lauf

    However after all Lauf isn’t the one firm doing gravel suspension, and different producers have discovered extra economical methods to eke journey out of their frames and forks. The Cannondale Topstone has 30mm of rear journey from a thru-axle pivot within the seat tube, and the Specialized Diverge makes use of the corporate’s Future Shock to pack 20mm of entrance journey within the head tube. Each programs ship actual compliance that you simply discover when it’s wanted and largely neglect about when it’s not. Or there’s the alternative strategy: the Niner MCR 9 RDO, a full-suspension gravel bike with 50mm of extremely adjustable journey.

    To my thoughts, I just like the Lauf’s springy, playful suspension from the Grit SL fork greater than the Diverge’s delicate, head tube-based suspension. It’s not in the best way whenever you don’t want it, however it’s there when a mischievous off-route journey beckons you away from the gravel.


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