It is the most unusual mountain bike fork that there is. No damping and with a Spartan 60mm’s of travel from six leaf springs and with very unique aesthetics like no other existing bike fork.

Developed by Benedict Skúlason, a designer who got his know-how on permanently elastic materials from his years in prosthetics, he himself is an enthusiastic biker. It is a real cross over into the bike business. Country of origin: Iceland.


But that does not mean that this product is just another entry in the category ‘awkward/curious designs’.

We had an early prototype in 2013 of the Lauf Trail Racer 29 in a short test run. At that time, the fork had really surprised us with its uniqueness. But what is it actually? Is it a minimalist suspension fork or rather a convenient rigid fork? Its characteristics place it exactly in the middle.

With its 60 mm travel, as well as the weight of 990g or the price of 990 euros, it placed exactly in between.


But first a few words about the construction of the highly complex looking works, which actually are super simple. First there were the strongly curved forward fork blades and the steerer of Trail Racer 29 which are built with a monocoque construction. The solid-looking carbon dropouts are designed with a 15mm through axle. The special feature is the total of 6 fiberglass leaf springs (three on each side) which are embedded in a special structure in the carbon components and allow for the actual suspension. So it’s a rigid fork with floating dropouts – to the Lauf Trail Racer, basically ‘less is more’. There are no gaskets, no wear bushings or guides as telescopic forks require, and no pressurized suspension medium (air) or lubrication oils or damping. It promises to run 100% maintenance-free .


The weapons technology fiberglass springs have a high fatigue limit – tested up to 400,000 cycles with 40mm of travel. Moreover. there is a guarantee to the original owner of at least 5 years.

Once installed, there is nothing to set at the fork – not even regarding the rider’s weight. Lauf offers the Trail Racer in two spring rates – for riders over 70 kg and for riders under 65 kg. The maximum user weight is 110 kg.

14-LAUF-Trailracer29The static postion is relaxed (straight) and the springs become S-shaped (deformed) under stress. Because there is no bias and no friction or damping for the fork to work through, it is incredibly sensitive and at the same time has the necessary progression to process larger strokes. Should it come to a particularly heavy blow, rubber bump stops protect the fork (see above) so that there are no consequences.

With the tapered steerer, an ordinary 15 mm thru-axle (using the supplied threaded axle or a normal RockShox Maxle axle) in 100 mm width, a height of 485 mm and an offset of 48 mm, these are the most important characteristics for compatibility and handling to be identical to other XC forks.  But you will not mistake this fork from any other, even from a distance.

7-LAUF-Trailracer29The brake assembly is a very ordinary PM7 standard, ie post-mount, for 180 mm rotors. 160mm discs are thus impossible to use on the Trail Racer.

With its Spartan 60 mm travel, the Lauf Trail Racer is obviously a niche product with a limited field of application – XC and Marathon riding. Let’s see how the high sensitivity and strong progression moves. We are installing this on the PIVOT Les where it can be compared to the ENVE MTN carbon rigid fork in a singlespeed environment.

We are also well aware that the very unfamiliar look may not be for everyone and possibly represents an barrier for the initial purchase. There is a total of 9 color variations so that everyone at least can choose a color appropriate to his bike.


The Lauf Trail Racer in all its colors.

In our case, for the PIVOT Les, we have the Carbon Color red variant. The slightly glossy surface of the fork compared to the matte finish of the frame is not 100% consistent, but very close. You also have to hand it to Lauf on how they have given the 2-color scheme on the fork a very pleasing appearance.


So much for the intro of the fork.  It is already on the PIVOT Les and is in use. We will see and report soon on the first practical impression on our Singlespeed Dreambike.


Note: The products shown here were sent for test/review at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches-DE. We are not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.