Occasionally we see someone try to reinvent the mountain bike, and the front suspension. This usually ends up being more complicated and less reliable then what is on the market. Of course, a few years back, the air suspension was a successful re-engineering of the standard coil suspension fork. Now, a company in Iceland may have done it again. The Lauf fork
is a leaf spring suspension not much unlike the leaf
suspension used since medieval times and is still used on heavy vehicles today. However, what is different is technological advancement in material used in the lauf forks.
This fork is made of carbon fiber. The leaf springs are made of an impact resistant composite with a progressive spring rate. There are three stiffness options to choose from. The first production of the lauf fork will be for 29 inch wheels and is strictly designed for cross country riding. It will weigh just 980 grams. That is essentially a full pound lighter than the lightest viable air/coil suspension forks on the market.
Since there are no moving parts to fail, there is virtually no maintenance required. And
as any XC rider will tell you, the less time you spend needing to
perform bike maintenance, the more time you can spend on the trail. It is important to note that this fork will have an equivalent travel of 60mm. This may not seem like much, but the vast number of XC 29er riders never bottom out their 80-120mm coil air forks. The MSRP in the US will be $990.
Several color combinations are available, and lauf is accepting pre-orders for second quarter delivery in 2014. Lauf CEO has already confirmed they are working on a 650b, so keep an eye out for that as well.