onsdag den 27. januar 2016

First BikePacking trip on Lauf GT29



So, first of, this is my premier in making a comment here on the blog in english.

Please bear with me, I'm from Denmark and danish is my first language, but since there might be some foreigners going for some info here on the Lauf fork, I'll be doing this in english.


So. Went on my first bikepacking trip with the Lauf GT29, aka Gravel and travel version.
Let me start out by telling that atm I'm not using the fork as intended.
right now, and in this first test, it was installed on my beloved Surly Krampus, which is a 29+ bike. Meaning, big tires. in this case the Bomboloni 29" x 3.0 tire from Vittoria. (Side note: one of the best 29" + tires I have tried)

The fork is made for gravel and bikepacking and in that is meant for a gravel bike in some kind. From 700c x 32 cross tires, up to the bigger 29" x 2.0/2.2 tires.
                         


And the reason I begin the text with this is, that the first thing i noticed was the vertical flex, that made my tire, quite easily, hit the inside of the fork leg.
Since it's a design that allows bottom of the two fork legs to move independently it has the benefits and drawback from being able to twist a bit.




And a bit was all that was needed with the big 3.0 tire on it.
Again.. I am not using he fork as designed, so i have myself to blame on this problem, and not a flaw from the Lauf designers.

Now, I tried it with out the packs and gear on for a small ride on a local trail in the snow, and must say that it performed very nicely. I normaly run a ridged carbon fork, it didn't add more than 200g in weight, and for the main part the fork felt like my old ridged carbon fork plus i knew exacly where i had my wheel.
The feather suspension comes to life when you hit a bigger obstacle (of course), and the fork felt very smooth.


Putting on the gear, aerobar and what not, does add a lot of frontal weight, and my friends riding with me did notice how the springs where constantly making small ajustments, on the gravel roads.

                    

As a rider it just felt smooth like on my normal trail ride. I never got suprised by a rebound, and didnt feel any need for a damping function.
In fact i think the suspension part of this fork reminds me more in the way my fatbike (ICT with 26" x 4.8 tires) gives me a big cushion of smoothness from the tires, but in this case without the huge tires :)
Side note to this test, I was running a fairly high pressure in my tires, so i didnt have the soft tire to confuse me from the forks flex.

So, in all. Worked great, and did what i hoped it would do. Just take the stress of the bike and still keep the handling with a heavy load on the bike.

                        

But I will do the next test, and Italy Divide, with a 2.2 tire on my Niner SIR instead. It will also go on my Surly Straggler with a 2.0 tire in the future, but more on that later.


Here with the 3.0 tires, but that will be changed to a 2.2

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