When Lauf launched the True Grit it somewhat defined what a gravel race bike was, fast forward to 2022 and a lot has changed. To meet the new demands, Lauf has launched the Steigla, the modern take of its best gravel bike for racing.
Beyond the striking aesthetic of the frame and fork, Lauf's new bike is packed with features that should considerably boost the off-road capability of its gravel race bike.
Lauf is probably best known for its leaf-sprung Grit fork. The outlandish looks still draw eyes and the 30mm of compliance, rather than traditional telescopic fork compression, means the system claims to not only be more adapt at absorbing high-frequency vibrations but is considerably lighter and easier to maintain. The new bike not only gets the third generation of the Grit fork with increased tire clearance and lower weight, but the Steigla also offers three times the saddle-to-axle compliance when compared to the previous True Grit frameset.
This has been achieved by exposing more seatpost, dropping the seat stays, and specifically shaping the seat stays to promote vertical flex. The seat tube is also noticeable slacker than the trend, which was chosen to add further vertical compliance.
The smooth talk doesn't stop there, Lauf specs all the available builds with its Smoothie handlebar. Lauf claims that it has been able to add twice as much flex compare to other carbon handlebars by the way it uses impact-resistant high-end glass fibers.
It's not just the compliance levels that have been increased, but tire clearance as well. The True Grit could clear a 45mm tire which when it was released was huge. The Steigla trumps that, stretching clearances to a class-leading 700x57mm, or 2.25 inches in old money.
The Steigla is 700c specific too and achieves its huge tire clearance without dropped seat stays. Lauf has managed such a feat by making the Steigla 1X specific and speccing a 73mm BSA bottom bracket shell. The drive side chainstay is also solid carbon at its narrowest point in order to make it as slim as possible.
While there are mounts for three bottles and a top tube bag, this is at heart a race bike so it does without any rack or fender mounts, nor fork luggage mounts. There is also no specific dropper post routing either, Lauf felt the routing affected the rear end compliance too much and therefore blurring the Steigla's focus as an all-out race bike. There are workarounds though, riders could either fit a wireless dropper post or re-purpose the rear derailleur routing if they are using wireless gearing and all Laufs full builds come with SRAM XPLR AXS wireless drivetrains.
Lauf Steigla builds and pricing
Lauf will offer its Steigla with either the Grit fork or with a rigid fork. Builds all feature SRAM Rival, Force or Red XPLR groupsets, e*thirteen wheels with 40mm Maxxis Rambler tires, and FSA and Fizik finishing kit. Opting for a rigid fork will save customers $350/£260/€300 from the version with a Grit fork.
The Ultimate and Race version is available now, with the Weekend Warrior and Weekend Warrior Rigid available at the start of May. The Ultimate Rigid and Race Rigid require a little more patience with expected availability on the 16th of July.
Pricing starts at US$3,740, or US$4,090 for the Grit fork version. More information is available on Laufcycling.com.