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Iceland's Lauf goes dealer direct with leaf-spring fork

Published September 11, 2014

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Lauf's carbon leaf spring forks get a lot of European coverage, but the company is at Interbike (Booth 30178) telling dealers they have been shipping forks to American bike shops since May.

"We are looking for a distributor but we are also mailing our forks straight to dealers," said Oskar Omarsson, Lauf's sales and marketing manager.

"Because we express-mail out of Iceland, dealers are getting the forks in two to three days," he added.

Lauf is showing forks for two wheel sizes, 27.5 and 29er, as well as in two spring rates—for riders 143 to 230 pounds and a light fork for riders less than 154 pounds. Selling for $990, the forks have 60 millimeters of travel and weigh 2.2 pounds (980 grams).

Because each side's leaf spring moves independently, Lauf's fork only works with through-axles. They use a simple screw-in design for a tight, rigid fit.

"Our target rider is a long-distance rider concerned with weight and reliability," Omarsson said. "The carbon leaf springs are very progressive. They have great small-bump compliance because our design has no stiction—important to long-distance riders on gravel road segments."

But the springs ramp up quite bit close to the end of their travel, so Omarsson said they rarely bottom out.

"It's not like an air fork that when you adjust the pressure for small-bump compliance you can bottom out the fork on big hits," he said.

In addition, Omarsson said Lauf's forks need no maintenance and do not wear out. They are unaffected by salt and grit. The only time the fork needs to be touched is to replace the headset.

"Because the fork is unaffected by cold and salt we are getting requests for a fat bike fork. And a lot of dealers are asking if the fork works on 'cross and gravel bikes," he said.

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