3T has announced that they will be offering a custom painted Lauf Grit fork as an option on their Exploro gravel frame. Available on the Team level only, the fork will be painted white with red accents to match the frame.
The Lauf Grit was designed by former prosthetics engineer Benedikt Skulason of Iceland. It uses a “floating” subframe suspended on progressive-rate suspension leaves. Because this is a mechanical leaf spring system, there is no maintenance required as on conventional telescopic suspension forks. With other forks hitting the market like the Cannondale Lefty Oliver and new Fox AX, the Grit offers a simple alternative.
The leaves are made from military grade S-2 Glass fiber, and provide a maximum weight limit of 242 lbs. The strength and durability means that that the Grit cannot fail catastrophically and is backed by a 5 year warranty.
Proven on the icy gravel roads of Iceland, the Grit fork fits 2.1″ knobby tires on 650b wheels or 42mm slicks on 700c wheels.
“We’ve ridden the Exploro/Lauf build ourselves in Iceland, and love it,” said 3T CEO René Wiertz. “When the going gets really tough, it gives you a bit more margin to keep you our of trouble. Even relative novices can sustain a high tempo on challenging surfaces – though expert racers on clean gravel and paved roads may still prefer the 3T Luteus for outright speed.”
By adding the Lauf Grit to the Exploro, the geometry changes only subtly. With 6mm of sag, the head angle is reduced by less than 1 degree and trail is increased by about 3mm. At 900g with a 210mm steerer tube, the Grit is 350g heavier than the Luteus II fork from 3T. While almost a full pound heavier, smoothing out the ride is worth it, especially during long gravel events like the Dirty Kanza.
The Grit uses the flat mount brake standard, though a postmount adapter is available. It uses a minimum of 160mm disc rotors to provide plenty of stopping power. The fork is available in 12mm or 15mm, and since the Exploro ships with a 15mm thru-axel with the Luteus fork, I’d believe 3T will use the 15mm version.
“We are very proud to be able to team the brilliantly innovative Lauf Grit fork with our wonderful Exploro multi-surface aero frame,” said Wiertz. “It extends Exploro’s capabilities still further and is sure to be on the radar of expedition and bike packing riders who cover big distances unsupported – starting with our own XPDTN3 Club members!”
The Lauf Grit painted in the Team white and red colors is available through 3T’s website as stand alone purchase from the Exploro. At $790 (same price as Lauf offers), it is pricy addition to the Exploro, but you are essentially getting a free paint job to match your frame.
We have a Lauf Grit in for review through Van Dessel, so keep an eye out for a full review later this Spring.