Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lauf Debuts New All Road Bike

Lauf "Anywhere" bike in Green/black.
Wait! What About The Fork?

Lauf has made a name for itself in the gravel cycling circles by flooding events with that Grit fork as prizing and being sponsors of many of these same events and others as well. How they manage to sling so much product out there with (apparently) so few natural sales of the Grit fork is beyond me. But whatever.... I'm not a marketing genius. I just make observations.

My brother MG loves the True Grit complete bike offering from Lauf.. He reviewed one for RidingGravel.com here. He liked the fork and pretty much everything about the bike. It does have a high, (cyclo cross high), bottom bracket at 68mm drop, but MG said it didn't seem to affect the bike's stability. I was intrigued, but I have to admit, that Grit fork is damn ugly. Really ugly. It has no redeeming aesthetic value at all, in my opinion. This coming from a guy who gets weak in the knees when he sees a bi-plane crown fork, so take that for what it is worth.

I may not be alone though, as Lauf has introduced a new bike with a rigid fork. It's called the "Anywhere". Lauf's marketing points to a road rider as the target audience, but a road rider looking to get off the pavement. Smart decision to drop the Grit fork and focus on vibration damping from the handle bar and the insanely light carbon fork. Road traditionalists are, generally, pretty conservative with regard to aesthetics and that fork is.......ghastly. Sorry, it just is. Okay..... nuff's enuff. 

The handle bar is said to have a carbon layup that is very forgiving.
 Anyway, the Anywhere's fork has the bottle bosses that many who ran the Grit fork complained about not having. So, it may end up being a better rig for endurance and bike packers who need as much water carrying capacity as possible.

The frame is said to be the same as the True Grit's in another report I read, but that has not been confirmed. Lauf does say it takes a 45mm tire, so that is a hopeful sign. It very well may be the same frame as the True Grit since the bottom bracket drop seems similar as do the other geometry bits.

Speaking of which, let's delve into that. The geometry on this bike is odd. Lauf says riders should be on a longer front center and riders should use shorter stems, ala the current geometry du jour in the mountain biking world. Whether that plays well in the real world with folks from a road cycling background, riders which this seems to be aimed at, is unclear. I'm guessing it will be found to be kind of odd.

From my perspective, not being a road oriented rider, I like the 71° head angle and using a shorter stem doesn't bother me much. It is that high bottom bracket that raises my eyebrow. However; MG says it is no big deal. I would listen to him, so this may be something to check out. I do like the green and black one, so that would be the one I'd choose but for one glaring misstep.

They added a couple of sizes to the range and that was definitely needed. However, Lauf still refuses to support a cable driven front derailleur, and that unnecessarily limits this bike's appeal, in my opinion. I would go so far as to say that this decision was rather daft. Why cut off a significant portion of your possible sales to make a stand on 1X drive trains? Weird.

Well, if I were to get one of these, I would have to rig a front derailleur onto it or I wouldn't be interested, and it would be a cable operated one. I have a pretty good idea how I would go about it too. Anyway, I don't think I'll be having to worry about that anytime soon. There are too many other choices that do support a front derailleur without resorting to electronic, and therefore more expensive, shifting.

4 comments:

Daniel Lemke said...

I was reading about this bike on another website and I stopped after I read they made no effort to accommodate a front derailleur. I don't understand what they were thinking.

Ari said...

How about making a simple gravel bike again? Now they are starting to lose focus again and making goofy mistakes.

Guitar Ted said...

@Ari- A "simple" gravel bike isn't marketable. How would you make yourself look appealing to techy driven folks, weight weenies, and folks that think that if it isn't carbon fiber it is not "good".

You really would have a hard time making a case for your bike when there are literally 50 other choices which are only marginally different. I mean, when you are hanging your hat on a bottle opener as a "feature" of your new bike, you know you are reaching for reasons to get folks interested in your bike. That isn't really a feature and it doesn't make your bike all that different. But.....if you can sell a philosophy,if you can sell someone on the idea that this "no derailleur" thing and your "new fork" are going to set you apart, well then......

If "simple" is what you want, you may as well get a bike from that "you aren't a bike shop" brand in NorCal. ;>) Oh! Wait......you already did. Smart man.

BluesDawg said...

Ha! I, too, bought my "simple bike" from that "you aren't a bike shop" brand in NorCal. :-)

Seems silly for them not to accommodate cabling for a front derailleur since they have the bolt holes there for mounting one.