Press Release: NEW Lauf True Grit Gravel Bike and Lauf Grit SL Fork

Lauf True Grit

Having spent the last few years studying gravel bikes and gravel riding, in a way, the Lauf True Grit is something that “just happened”. In the beginning, it was a question of “How our Lauf forks could best complement gravel bikes?”. That question soon developed into “What are the optimal parameters for our forks and gravel bikes to work together?”. Which then eventually became “What would be the ultimate gravel bike?”. In the end, we simply couldn´t resist making the gravel bike of our dreams.

 

We wanted our dream bike to be fast, but at the same time, stable and confidence inspiring (because you’ll dare to ride faster on a bike that you are confident on). We wanted it to be light, but without compromising durability and ease of maintenance. We wanted it to go cleanly about things. Be confidently designed towards clear goals. Of course, it should have a bottle opener!

We wanted it to be a no-compromise long-distance race-oriented gravel bike. A bike that would also become a rider’s first pick for all his “usual” everyday riding; paved roads, gravel, singletracks and everything life throws at us as cyclists (unexpected potholes, snow, ice, etc.).

As we were no longer designing just a fork, but a bike and a fork together, we made a True Grit specific redesign of our beloved Grit fork. We also used the opportunity to take advantage of our latest break-through developments in spring design, which allowed us to use 7mm shorter springs with no impact on (the endless) durability or performance. The result is the new Grit SL. It has an integrated 1.5” crown race and has gained further lateral- and fore/aft stiffness, while also losing around 50g. The new Grit SL will accompany the existing Grit fork in the Lauf product family.

Lauf Grit Carbon Frame

By using advanced molding and layup technologies, bonded junctions were avoided and internal surfaces kept smooth. Resulting in longer continuous carbon fibers and less unwanted material overlap. Creating a light, yet strong frame. The bottom bracket is a threaded BSA. Yes, it’s more expensive to make than press-fit bottom brackets and it may add a few grams. However, its durability and ease of maintenance make it worth it. At the rear, the True Grit boasts a 142x12mm through axle and a flat-mount for disc brakes. The headtube is tapered (1 1/8” to 1.5”). There are 3x bottle cage mounts and a mount on the top tube for a bento box. What does the frame weigh? 1070g for a size M frame in Midnight Blue, including front and rear derailleur hangers.

Long 4 Speed – Geometry

The long top-tube paired with a short-ish stem, low head tube, and a slack head angle gives you a low and aerodynamic position with great stability at high speeds and in rough terrain. Making you Long 4 Speed.

In-N-Out Cabling

With In-N-Out Cabling, the rear derailleur cable and rear disc brake hose have entry points at the headtube, then they miraculously pop out at the optimal locations. No hassle and no annoying rattling inside the frame. Some might call it voodoo but we call it Lauf’ing Out Loud engineering.

Beer or Gear

The Beer Or Gear front derailleur design opens up endless possibilities. Most True Grit riders are going to want the mechanical robustness and simplicity of 1×11 drivetrains. These riders will get a bottle opener where a front derailleur would otherwise be. However, there will be some road-biased True Grit riders that want to get the classically tight gear spacing of a road bike (while the gear range of a 1×11 and 2×11 is actually almost the same). These riders have the option of using SRAM eTap 2×11 drivetrains.*

Above, an integrated bottle opener for 1X mode.

*Our cyclist behavioral studies show that riders longing for tight gear spacing are least likely to have an après beer, so they’ll probably not even notice that they are missing a bottle opener. They are also not likely to ride unsupported across Siberia, so we don’t worry about dead shifter batteries. Hence, the True Grit has no cable routing for a front derailleur.

JOM of Gravel Cyclist says: Guys at Lauf, the bottle opener is a fun idea, but not drilling a hole for a front derailleur cable, mechanical or electronic is a major faux pas. This forces buyers to use only one 2X drivetrain on this bike, SRAM Etap. Riders like choices. How long before someone drills their own hole for Di2? 🙂

Right Amount of Clearance

The True Grit can take up to 45mm 700c tires* – with ample room for the elements. That’s a whole lot of rubber when things get dirty. We call it the right amount of clearance, and we managed to achieve it with our preferred 425mm chainstay length, without intruding on the space for the crankset.

*Bikes with eTap front derailleurs are limited to 40mm tires at the rear, due to battery/tire clearance.

Lauf Grit SL Fork

At the core of True Grit is the Lauf Grit SL, with its 30mm of front suspension – the thing that changed how gravel riding is perceived, now taken to the next level. It’s more compact, lighter and stiffer (laterally and fore/aft) than the standard version. Grit SL has superb small bump performance and maintains traction and control like no other. Making the ride more comfortable, with zero maintenance.

Below – Grit SL Fork Tech Update from our friends at BikeRumor.com

“Updated construction of the individual leafs themselves, which Lauf was able to shorten by 7mm while maintaining their almost infinite durability, actually drove the ability to straighten out the legs. Shortening the leafs meant they also ever-so-slightly changed their angle of attack to be a bit steeper as well to maintain the same 30mm of travel. The result on the suspension action is a fork that somehow both resists moving in the early travel & still eats up the little bumps. And at the same time it keeps the progressive spring rate of the original for a bottomless feel (as much as 30mm can feel bottomless).”

“Together with a move to 1.5″-1.125″ tapered carbon steerer tube, the shorter leafs helped the new fork to be stiffer both laterally and fore/aft. The bigger steerer taper also allowed for a lower profile crown that bumps tire clearance up to 45mm.”

“A side benefit to all those little updates is that the new Grit SL lives up to its super light moniker by dropping 50g to a claimed 850g.”

“The Grit SL retains the same 30mm travel and 47mm rake. It grows 3mm taller with a sag corrected axle-to-crown measurement of 412mm. The 1.5″ tapered steerer with an integrated crown race can still be adapted to fit 1 1/4″ (or 1 3/8″) frames thanks to a spacer/reducer that adds ~6mm more stack.”

“In the forks on the True Grit framesets, Lauf has changed their paint scheme to match the fork legs to the frame, while leaving the leafs & unsprung element of the fork black to disappear from the eye. We expect similar color options as shown here for aftermarket, plus an all-black color.”

“In the end the new Grit SL fork might be bigger news than the True Grit frame itself, as it has broader applications. Sure, a bunch of people are going to buy the new True Grit complete with the fork, but once it is available to OEMs & aftermarket, I’d guess that the Grit SL will end up on a lot of other bikes too.”

“That said, Lauf were a bit hesitant to talk concretely about OEM or aftermarket availability of the new fork right away or even pricing on its own. For now their focus is on the new True Grit frameset including the new fork. And for sure they want to prioritize consumers who want to buy the frame & fork combo direct from them.”

“But the separate Grit SL suspension gravel fork is coming, most likely with individual fork availability at the end of 2017. It will cost a bit more than the $790 Grit, but isn’t likely to run much more than their mountain bike forks.”

Bikes:

The Lauf True Grit is available in three build kits:

  • Weekend Warrior 1 x 11
  • Race Edition 1 x 11
  • Race Edition Wireless – 2 x 11

Five colors to choose from, so there should be a bike just for you!

Pricing and further details can be seen on Lauf’s website.

Lauf Forks / Bikes

25 comments on “Press Release: NEW Lauf True Grit Gravel Bike and Lauf Grit SL Fork

  1. It’s cool that they offer a complete build and it’s a nice price for the builds.
    But i agree, no pre-drilled (or rather direct in mold) hole for Di2 or EPS is crazy, to express myself mildly!
    I’d never pick Etap over Di2 due to the limited tire clearance of Etap.
    Also, been riding Di2 6870 in all kinds of crap and it works completely flawless.

    I think i’ll gladly keep my UP and wait a few years for a lighter Grit fork.
    50g in dropped weight for Grit SL is not much, i’d expect 650-700g without the TA.

    1. One of these days I need to film the second part of my Etap review… the battery clearance issue I mentioned in my part one review was also disclosed to SRAM. Their answer was extremely disappointing… the engineer at last year’s Interbike said, “gravel is for 1X”. Seriously?

      LOVE Di2, simply amazing.

      1. JOM- I’ve been running eTap Wifli since Dec. I agree with your opinion about the front der. SRAM makes really good stuff- my 2×11 Wifli works flawlessly with 46/36 chainrings and 11-36 cassette (Roadlink enhanced). It’s frustrating however, that such an otherwise well designed product should be flawed. I agree that 1x answer from SRAM stupid and condescending. Of course, SRAM is pushing 1x on the world. Another bad idea.

        1. Yes Bob, Road 1X is a horrendous idea. I have no idea exactly what problem it is supposed to solve, other than produce ridiculous gaps in the cassette. You may have noted 3T have taken the bait, and are releasing a 1X12 road bike.

          Moving on, you’re fortunate the Roadlink works with the ETap. It is not optimized at all for SRAM – Marc Lindarets confirmed this with me over email – I need to post my failed tinkering video where I used the short cage ETap derailleur with an 11-36 cassette and the Roadlink… it shifted to the 36 about 1/4 of the time. I’m been thinking about procuring a WiFli ETap derailleur in the future… and I really need to produce my Etap Part II on Gravel review.

          1. My eTap Wifli rear der. is fine with an 11-36 and Roadlink, and my 46/36 chainrings. Have some minor issues with slack chain with the 36 in higher gears though. I suspect with some clever tuning with the b-screw, you could get the Wifli to work with the 11-36 cassette, without the Roadlink. I’m running an Ultegra 6800 with a 46/36 CX setup in the front. I like a lot of overlap in the gear range between the large and small chaining. As a practical matter, it leads to fewer front der. shifts on rolling terrain; and less chance of chain drops or chain suck. The 10 tooth chainring difference also makes setting up the drive train easier as well. It’s sort of like having 2 1x systems, instead of just one.

          2. Hi JOM- based on your comments and tech. spec’s. on the Wolftooth site, I decided that perhaps the Roadlink eTap wifli wasn’t a good idea. Today I removed the Roadlink. With some minor adjustment to the b-screw, my wifli setup- 11-36 cassette with 46/36 chainrings- works very well. I’m anxious to hear about your experience with the wifli. I’m probably pushing the max. capacity of the wifli with my setup. A larger difference in chainring teeth teeth might push you over the limit though.

          3. I’m expecting SRAM is working on something… BTW, Tiso had a 12-speed electronic drivetrain a couple of years ago, which I believe morphed into the FSA WE electronic drivetrain, but 11-speed.

  2. I already have a perfectly good Force 1x 40×11-36 groupset and Stans Grail Team wheelset ready to build onto a dedicated gravel frame (using a CX frame now). I’d like to see Lauf offer this as a frameset only option.

    1. Agreed, they need to offer frame / fork separately. Maybe after initial demand dies down? This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a manufacturer pull this trick…

  3. I was interested until I got to the details. No FD option except eTap = fail. 5mm wider Q with eTap = fail. IMHO 65mm BB drop is not enough, especially for 700c. They also fail to mention what size 650b tyre will fit, maybe not an issue (for them) as there’s no frameset option.

    1. Yep, mentioned it in another comment and of course, the article. Definitely killing themselves with Etap only for the 2X. Frameset option would be nice, not everyone wants to buy a pre-built bike. Thanks for writing in Stephen.

  4. A question for JOM, is it also possible that the tire/ wheel can deflect laterally to a point that the clearance between tire and FD decrease?

    Question 2, if you made an adapter plate of 5mm and two longer bolts, could you move the Etap FD outboards and still tune the FD to handle correct movement from big to small and vice versa?

    1. Question 1 – Definitely. Even a slight variance in the tyre casing could decrease the gap. Not every tyre runs true and straight.

      Question 2 – You could, but I think you may run into the problem of the inner cage not being able to move far enough to the left in the small ring position, to avoid chain rub on the biggest cog on the cassette.

      I’m about to tinker with the XTR Di2 front derailleur on a new project bike – we ran into the issue I just described when we attempted to mount that derailleur on a bike meant for a 68mm BB… whereas the XTR derailleur is meant for a 73mm BB.

  5. I was camped out on their couch in Reykjavik staring at this beauty before they released it! I cannot wait to try this out. It looked unreal and these guys truly dig gravel riding and put their heart and soul into their product.
    Congrats LAUF !

    1. The Lauf design isn’t for everyone, but you are spot on Cameron. The guys are passionate about this genre, and that is a good thing.

  6. Is it some what true to say that either Sram or Shimano have really cared all in to make something that fit gravel and perhaps CX, talking 2*11?

    Next issue is when you jump micro compact chainrings.
    You’ll probably notice that most FD hangers will not allow sufficent possibility to move the FD as low as needed.

    I also read that inspite of what is told of cassette spacing, we would be better of with a chainline at 45mm over 43.5mm. Campagolo have release specific crankset for this reason. A pity Easton is to slow with EC90 SL chainrings.
    They simply made the standard road combos and 1*11. But not 46-44 / 33-32 for gravel. I hope Easton will release micro compact.
    I have asked and i hope more potential users reach out to manufacturers
    I kind of feel JOM are experimenting with this since trying XT or XTR RD’s.
    I hoped Shimano had in mind to release some versions of Ultegra 8000 series to better suit CX/ gravel 2*11,… but not!
    As JOM stated, Sram obviously deemed all gravel as 1*11.
    So stupid i hardly can’t believe it.
    I hope Rotor release a new crank after Eurobike 2018 addressing 2*11 gravel/cx in micro compact. I have been asking them a few times.

    Enough ranting from me 😉

    1. Wheels… good news already from Rotor. I have a sample of their 3D+ crankset – they just shipped to me their one piece “Spiderring” setup which consists of 46 / 30. I may post a preview article about the crankset soon…

  7. Hey guys, and Jayson

    Thank you for diving into the details of our True Grit. We really appreciate it! We hope many of you will find a way to try our bike and see how you like it in person.

    Let me try to answer some of your concerns/questions:
    1. Our press-release included pricing on the frameset. It will also be up on our website very soon.
    2. We hear your opinions on 2x vs 1x drivetrains. This is a bit touchy subject it seems 🙂 We believe that the best way to design a great bike is to be true to our own engineering and testing. We only offer what we can passionately recommend to others. There are no discounts on this criteria. Our results are reflected in our offered specs. Stay tuned for videos from us at Lauf explaining the reasoning behind details in our specs.
    3. BB drop: Our BB drop is not selected as a single number. It’s a variable in a bigger formula. BB drop design largely evolves around 2 things: Firstly, Stability/Agility, where other key contributors include head-angle, front-center distance and chainstay length. Secondly, crank-arm-clearance to the ground. Here one has to keep in mind that we have a 30mm suspension fork up front. Therefore, a few extra mm (approx. 5mm compared to the majority of current rigid-fork gravel bikes) are welcome in clearance from the ground.

    Please keep in mind that we are not limiting choices for anyone. On the contrary. We’re adding to it. We’re launching a new bike to the world. A bike that offers things that others don’t. A bike that is, according to our RD and testing, the ultimate gravel bike. Others may prefer other flavors, but this is the Lauf way to make what we feel is the perfect gravel bike.

    1. Benedikt, thanks so much for taking the time to write in. Not a lot of manufacturers take note of what we – or our site visitors – have to say. As an FYI folks, I wrote directly to Benedikt with my personal feedback after the press release, so I am pleased he replied in great detail.

      The Lauf press release included a huge amount of information (thank you), but I chose to leave the pricing out – best for site visitors to check that on the Lauf website is what I figured.

  8. You should ride the True Grit bike before making assumptions about the geometry, BB, etc. I’ve had a chance to ride this bike several miles on gravel, pavement, and even singletrack. IMHO, it’s the best combination of what I want in a gravel bike. Handling at speed is the best I’ve experienced. It’s not particularly one thing but the sum of all things that make this bike a winner. I prefer 1X so the the FD issue is not an issue for me. I certainly understand those who prefer a 2X set up. The team at Lauf are very passionate about gravel and their products. As more local bike shops become dealers you will have a chance to ride one.

    1. Joey, thanks for writing in. I encourage people to share their opinions on this website, sans personal attacks of course. Lauf has certainly attracted a good following with their fork(s), and I expect the same to happen with their new bike.

      Would I review one, yes? Do I think Lauf missed the boat on 2x on this bike, yes, my opinion is unchanged there. I’m still a little dumbfounded how you can provide a front derailleur mount, but no hole is drilled to route a derailleur cable, electronic or mechanical, forcing only the SRAM eTap 2x option. But considering SRAM is the only drivetrain spec’d on complete builds of this bike, I see what is happening here.

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