Tell us a little about Lauf forks background.
Lauf Founder Benedikt Skulason has been riding bikes all his life. In the last years, mountain biking has been his main hobby, but he would also use a road bike to get to his old workplace, a high-end composite prosthetic feet company. At work, he was surrounded by all the latest in composite materials and technology, witnessing how these materials can be used to make ultra-light yet incredibly strong high performance equipment. It must have been on his way from work one day that the idea of mixing up his hobby and work into something good, but the idea was first mentioned over a beer after a bike ride with friend and Product designer Gudberg Bjornsson. The two of them joined forces to develop and design different proto-types of what would later be called "The Lauf Fork".
How did you come up with the design?
The Lauf fork combines two things: The tried and tested concept of leaf springs with the latest material and technology in composites. The rest is mathematics and bike interest!
What are the benefits?
First, you loose one pound off your bike. In most cases, a lighter bike is a faster bike. Secondly, you have have suspension that is extremely capable of absorbing chatter and small hits, but feels more like rigid fork when going uphill/climbing. Thirdly, there is no maintenance needed on the Lauf fork since there are no moving parts. This might not sound like an important issue, but if you know the hassle of conventional bike suspension maintenance, this is a huge benefit.
Your forks have been seen at Eurobike on Open bike, how did you come in contact with Gerard Vroomen and Open?
They contacted us when they wanted to put together the lightest mountain bike that still had suspension. With our fork, they were able to create the Open Lola, a 6.74kg mountain bike. It generated huge interest at the 2013 Eurobike show. Since then, both the Open frame and the Lauf Fork have become lighter and stronger. A lot of the customers who buy an Open frame buy the forks through our website www.laufforks.com
|Photo from MTBR.COM|
So what costumers are you aiming for?
We are currently focusing on all the people who have a high end 29er hard tail mountain bike and are interested in making their bike lighter, faster and more fun.
The travel of the fork is 60 mm, is that the max travel you will get out of the design or will we se more in the future?
This is the maximum travel for the time being. We are not necessarily looking to increase the travel, there are other features that we are working on, but the suspension on the Lauf fork is enough for XC racing as it is.
Are you going to sponsor anybody this year?
So what are your goals, worldwidefork domination, World Champions?
Yes basically. Our goal is to proof that the Lauf fork is a race winning suspension fork. We are starting with 29er mountain bikes, next are the 27.5 inch mountain bikes, and then we plan to develop a lower priced fork for commuter bikes in the near future. That's a bigger market, but another place were maintenance and performance matter for millions of people.
Thank you for your time and good luck!