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Lauf True Grit Race Edition adventure bike review

5 Dec 2018
Verdict:

For pure off-road performance, the Lauf is unbeatable, and it's pretty handy on the road too

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
US$5,988 (approx £4,500)
For 
Smooth ride • Slim, sleek frame design with plenty of nice touches • Generous tyre clearance
Against 
Lateral flex takes some time to get used to • Divisive looks • Satin finish can be hard to keep clean

This review was first published in issue 50 of BikesEtc magazine 

We challenge anyone to look at the Lauf and not be instantly drawn to the fork. Essentially, it’s a suspension fork, offering 30mm travel through the use of carbon fibre leaf springs.

The looks divide opinions, but does it work? In a word, yes.

Off-road, the True Grit feels incredible and smooths out gravel tracks, rough roads and even bridleways and rocky tracks really well, and it does so without you really noticing it.

Very occasionally you will notice the fork rebounding over a larger bump but it never detracts from the performance.

The only slight downside is that on the road when pushing hard on a climb or sprint you can feel a little squish and there is more lateral flex than a standard fork but it is amazing how quickly you forget about it.

Fork aside, the True Grit is exquisitely designed with brilliant attention to detail and lots of options covered.

Three bottle cage mounts as well as the top tube mount for a ‘bento box’, which could be ideal for those who love longer rides, and while the bottle opener might be a bit of a gimmick in place of a front derailleur, it’s a nice touch.

It is possible in theory to run as a 2x drivetrain, but only using a wireless eTap system as although the front mech mount is there, there’s no cable routing.

You’d expect front end comfort to be good with that fork, but we were surprised at how smooth the back end felt too, giving a very well balanced feel overall.

The Force 1x groupset on our Race Edition is superb, especially the impressive brakes.

The DT Swiss wheels are designed primarily for MTB but they are light, stiff, tubeless ready and the 22mm wide internal rim gives a broad, rounded tyre profile.

The brilliant Maxxis Rambler tyres add incredible control off-road and are surprisingly quick on-road.

The Easton EC90 chainset is a rare sight, but performed impeccably and helps drop the weight to a very impressive 8kg.

The finishing kit is equally good with a slight sweep in the EC70 AX bars.

If there is a downside, it’s that this level of performance does not come cheap.

Ratings

Frame: 10/10
Wheels & components: 9/10
Versatility: 7/10
The ride: 9/10 

Verdict: For pure off-road performance, the Lauf is unbeatable, but it holds its performance on the road too. Fully equipped with lots of mounts it could make for an enviable bike for multi-day trips. Incredible frame design and neat touches make it easier to justify the higher price. Expensive but brilliant.

Spec

Frame Lauf True Grit carbon, Lauf Grit SL fork
Groupset Sram Force 1
Brakes Sram Force 1
Chainset Easton EC90SL, 42t
Cassette Sram 1195, 10-42
Bars Easton EC70 AX carbon
Stem Easton EA70
Seatpost FSA SL-K  
Saddle WTB Volt Pro
Wheels DT Swiss XR1501, Maxxis Rambler 40mm (measured 43mm)
Weight 8.03kg (size Small Long)
Contact laufforks.com