A couple of years ago, Icelandic startup Lauf unveiled its Trail Racer leaf-style mountain bike suspension fork. It has no moving parts, requires no maintenance, and weighs just 980 grams. Now, the company is introducing a version of the fork designed for bikes that definitely don’t need any extra weight – fat bikes.
Known as the Carbonara, the new carbon fiber-bodied fork works just like its predecessor. Instead of a coiled spring or air cushion, it absorbs bumps using four sets of three ribbon-like leafs (two sets on each side). These leafs are made from flexible-yet-tough glass fiber, and connect the fork’s two main legs to the “springstacks,” which are the bits that are actually connected to the wheel.
The Carbonara provides just 60 mm of travel, although it should be kept in mind that fatbikes’ big soft tires do provide some suspension of their own. It weighs under 1,050 g (2.3 lb), and can accommodate 26-inch tires up to 4.8 inches in width. Because its spring rate can’t be adjusted, buyers instead choose between two models of differing stiffness, based on their body weight.
It isn’t cheap, though. It can be preordered now for US$909, with delivery scheduled for June. The retail price will be $990 plus $20 worldwide shipping.
By way of comparison, prices for the current reigning fatbike suspension fork, the Rockshox Bluto, start at $643. It offers 80 to 120 mm of travel, but weighs 1,796 g (3.96 lb) and requires the installation of a third-party retrofit kit for use at temperatures below -12º C (10º F).