First Ride: Lauf Anywhere

A new category for the Icelandic company.

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Back in 2017 we were luck enough to make the trip to Iceland to experience the first complete bike that Lauf produced. They were known for their innovative suspension fork that has no moving parts and instead relies on glass fiber springs that flex. The move into frames was a natural evolution, allowing them to perfectly spec the geometry to highlight their forks characteristics.  At this same launch, some of the bikes we rode had a Lauf full carbon bar that they later decided to hold off on releasing.

Now after two years of True Grit sales they are launching their second bike the Anywhere. One of the most frequent questions they got from dealers and customers has been, which ridged fork would best match the True Grit? The True Grit has been popular all over the world and many of their customers have realized just how capable the bike is on or off the pavement. With this has come the hunt for a fork that might be better suited for those rides on the smooth roads. The answer from Lauf is the Anywhere but it’s more than just a rigid fork swap out.

THE BARS

Lauf knows and understands the importance of being comfortable on a bike means higher performance for a longer time. So they made the rigid fork that customers were looking for but the real innovation is in the new bars. They call the new bars, Smoothie and for good reason. Lauf has taken their extensive experience with high-performance S2 glass fibers and implemented it into their bar design.

The bars are a combination of S2 glass fibers and carbon but like their suspension fork (Grit) they do not mix them but instead isolate them. This offers more compliance while eliminating fatigue failure. The top of the bars from hood to hood is all glass fiber then the drops are carbon. This design plus the shaping of the entire bar allows for isolated flex and a perfect mate for the new rigid fork.

Back in 2017 one of the things we liked was the way they had shaped the corner that leads to the hood, it is tight and allows for an added holding point behind the shifter hoods. This was carried forward into the Smoothie and so was the 3° back sweep that offers a natural angle to hold the cross section. What has changed from the original shape is instead of the 4° of flare from 2017, there is now 16° of flare.

Images from the bars we rode in 2017

There will be three sizes 40cm (47cm at the drops), 42cm (49cm at the drops) and 44cm (51cm at the drops). The reach is 80mm with a 125mm drop and the bars have a claimed weight of 240 grams. The bars will be available for aftermarket purchase for $220 and all Anywhere models will be sold with the Smoothie.

THE BIKE

For the frame itself, there is no change from their True Grit. The frame is long and stable with a 103.4cm wheelbase and a 71° head angle. The threaded bottom bracket is low with a 68mm drop keeping the center of gravity low. There is clearance for 45mm tires and honestly that is with lots of clearance for mud or even room for big knobs. Our test bike came with a set of 40mm Maxxis Velocita slicks and they look tiny compared to the amount of room that is available.

There will be four build options as well as a frameset available. We got the Weekend Warrior build with Sram Rival 1X 11-speed group. It rolls on a DT Swiss X 1900 wheels that are tubeless ready. As Lauf has done in the past their complete builds have their 100x15mm thru axle up front and a 142x12mm in the rear. The 15mm in the front is out of line with the rest of the industry that has decided on 100x12mm. Lauf does make their forks in both standards but the 12mm is only available for aftermarket sales.

THE RIDE

We are all huge fans of the True Grit and Zap even chose it as his favorite dual purpose bike of 2018. The Anywhere is nearly identical in feel and handling when on the pavement. The new Smoothie bar and 40mm tires isolate the rider from the imperfections of the road perfectly. When you take it on the less traveled roads you can definitely feel the bars flexing while on the hoods. When in the Drops you still feel the flex up and down across the bar but there is almost no twisting flex.

The bars help to elevate confidence and maintain traction but on some of our favorite routes, we were still left wishing we had the suspension fork. A few sections on these routes are steep, narrow and the rain takes its toll, so they can be rough. These roads have not had vehicle traffic or maintenance for over 15 years and for many sections would not be passable by vehicles, a perfect place to escape the traffic. Why do I describe this, because for many of you it doesn’t apply and if you are riding maintained access roads or just the normal dirt or gravel road the rigid fork with new Smoothie bars and large volume tires will be more than sufficient.

Since the Anywhere is so long it is incredibly confident when speeding down any descent. The bike is super stable and doesn’t get pushed around due to cross-winds or the front tire deflecting off of rocks. This also means that when you are taking tight turns you have t lean into them with confidence. Coming from a road bike the steering will feel unresponsive and hard to turn. This also means that on long rides when you become fatigued the bike isn’t hyper-responsive to bar input that could lead to a mistake (the last 106 miles of Dirty Kanza).

THE VERDICT

We have about 200 miles on the Anywhere and it has been lots of fun. We have also had an abnormal amount of rain here in SoCal with wet roads almost every day for the last two months. The large but smooth 40mm tires allow us to run low tire pressures (35 PSI) on the wet roads offering great traction with speed. On our normal road group rides the bike doesn’t hold us back and in the current conditions has been giving us an advantage on the wet roads that are littered with fallen rocks and debris.

The Anywhere is the roadie version of the True Grit. With a quick fork swap you could have either bike. For a race like Almanzo we would probably choose the Anywhere with the rigid fork but for Kanza, as we have in the past we would opt for the suspension version. Even better we would put a pair of Smoothie bars on the True Grit.

THE OPTIONS

Anywhere Core Build $2690

Frame: Lauf Anywhere (12x142mm TA)
Fork: Lauf JAF (15x100mm TA)
Handlebar: Lauf Smoothie
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Apex 1 Long Cage
Front Derailleur: Lauf Bottle Opener
Shifters: SRAM Apex 1
Brakes: SRAM Apex 1 Flat mount Hydraulic
Crank: Apex1 42t
Saddle: Ritchey Comp Streem
Seatpost: FSA V-Drive SB0
Wheels: DT Swiss X1900
Tires: Maxxis Re-Fuse 40c (60tpi)
Stem: Easton EA50
Headset: FSA Orbit, IS 42/52 (45° lower)
Bartape: Lauf Lush
Cassette: SRAM 1130, 11-42t
Chain: SRAM 1110
Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP XR 68mm
Weight: 20.7 lbs (claimed)

Anywhere Weekend Warrior Build $3340

Frame: Lauf Anywhere (12x142mm TA)
Fork: Lauf JAF (15x100mm TA)
Handlebar: Lauf Smoothie
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Rival 1
Front Derailleur: Lauf Bottle Opener
Shifters: SRAM Rival 1
Brakes: SRAM Rival 1 Flat mount Hydraulic
Crank: SRAM S350 42t
Saddle: Ritchey Comp Streem
Seatpost: FSA SL-K 27.2mm, Carbon
Wheels: DT Swiss X1900
Tires: Maxxis Velocita AR 40c (120tpi)
Stem: Easton EA70
Headset: FSA Orbit, IS 42/52 (45° lower)
Bartape: Lauf Lush
Cassette: SRAM 1130, 11-42t
Chain: SRAM 1130
Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP XR 68mm
Weight: 18.7 lbs (claimed)

Anywhere Race Build $4640

Frame: Lauf Anywhere (12x142mm TA)
Fork: Lauf JAF (15x100mm TA)
Handlebar: Lauf Smoothie
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force 1
Front Derailleur: Lauf Bottle Opener
Shifters: SRAM Force 1
Brakes: SRAM Force 1 Flat mount Hydraulic
Crank: Easton EC90 SL 42t
Saddle: Ritchey WCS Streem
Seatpost: FSA SL-K 27.2mm, Carbon
Wheels: DT Swiss XR1501
Tires: Maxxis Velocita AR 40c (120tpi)
Stem: Easton EA70
Headset: FSA Orbit, IS 42/52 (45° lower)
Bartape: Lauf Lush
Cassette: SRAM 1195, 10-42t
Chain: SRAM 1130
Bottom bracket: Easton BSA 68mm
Weight: 16.3 lbs (claimed)

Anywhere Race Di2 Build $5340

Frame: Lauf Anywhere (12x142mm TA)
Fork: Lauf JAF (15x100mm TA)
Handlebar: Lauf Smoothie
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Di2
Front Derailleur: Lauf Bottle Opener
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra Di2
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra Hydraulic
Crank: Easton EC90 SL 42t
Saddle: Ritchey WCS Streem
Seatpost: FSA SL-K 27.2mm, Carbon
Wheels: DT Swiss XR1501
Tires: Maxxis Velocita AR 40c (120tpi)
Stem: Easton EA70
Headset: FSA Orbit, IS 42/52 (45° lower)
Bartape: Lauf Lush
Cassette: Shimano XT, 11-42t
Chain: SRAM 1130
Bottom bracket: Easton BSA 68mm
Weight: 16.3 lbs (claimed)

Anywhere Frameset $2340

Frame: Lauf Anywhere (12x142mm TA)
Fork: Lauf JAF (15x100mm TA)
Handlebar: Lauf Smoothie

Accessories: Lauf Bottle Opener
FSA Orbit, IS 42/52 (45° lower)
Rear derailleur hanger
Front derailleur hanger
Seat collar
Rear / Front Axles
Lauf Lush bartape
Weight: 1620 grams (claimed)

Premium Colors:
You can swap out colors on all bike models above Core level – 20 colorways to choose from. Premium colored bikes are produced after they’re ordered so delivery times may vary but 6 weeks is the estimated time.
Price: $600-$1500 (additional shipping charges may apply)

Custom Colors:
Lauf also offers custom colors on all bikes above Core level. Custom bikes are designed and produced for each and
every customer. Therefore delivery times may vary. Contact Lauf for custom options.
Price: $2000 (additional shipping charges may apply)

For more info head to www.laufcycling.com

 

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