Lauf Forks Trail Racer 27.5" in Review

  Hello everyone. For my first blog post I am going to do a review on Lauf Forks TR 27.5"  suspension fork. 

It was February 2015 when I first heard about a new fork design that had hit the mountain bike market. I was very interested with Lauf Forks new design of a suspension front fork. I was in contact with Benedikt Skulason the CEO and Founder of Lauf Forks and asked him how he thought the fork would perform on XCO and XCM races. Skulason then gave me the opportunity to test and review the Trail Racer 27.5" fork that they had in production. Once the fork arrived I installed it on my Norco Revolver HT and found that the brake cable clips that came with it did not hold the brake line well enough. I contacted  Skulason about the clips and he suggested I use tie wraps. Now I see they are sending tie wraps with their new 2016 boost forks, which is way better.
       For the first test ride I went to Joyride 150, which is a great indoor bike park down in Markham, Ontario. I was really looking forward to seeing how the fork would handle since I am used to the conventional air/spring forks. The first big thing I noticed was that the fork was lighter, the
       weight of the TR 27.5" is sub 990 grams which is 575 grams lighter then my old fork. The light weight helped on the more technical riding situations like pop up's and rock gardens. The fork has 60mm of travel so I had to ride light and absorb more on the drops and jumps, but
       I never compressed the full 60mm. I found that it traveled over the small bumps smoothly and did not transfer any chatter to the handle bars, which was really nice. The first ride on the fork was great and it performed well above my expectations.
       The next test was a 60km marathon, my first race of the year. I only got to ride on the fork a few times since my test ride at Joyride 150 as there was still a lot of snow on the ground. I talked to a lot of people about the fork and some thought that it would have a pogo affect. This would be a good race to test that out on. When I was out on the trail I didn't find that was the case at all. The race course had quite a few logs that I had to bunny hop so the lightness of the fork was a
       huge benefit. For the first race it performed perfect and I felt that it gave me an advantage over my previous fork.
       Through out the year I rode many miles of various terrain and tested the fork out on some very technical features. The fork took anything that I threw at it. One of the best things about the fork is that it gets progressively stiffer the more you compress it. I was able to go over small bumps
       with little impact while at the same time I was able to go over big drops and not compress the entire 60mm. Another thing that I noticed was that when you are on the bike the fork compresses slightly, so when you are riding the front wheel always has pressure to the ground. It allows
       the front wheel to be in contact with the ground more when going over bumps. This allows you to corner harder and not worry about slipping out. Near the end of my race season I found that the fork had softened up a bit due to wear, but it was not enough to affect the overall performance. For 2016 Lauf Forks have upgraded their S2 Glass fiber springs so they should not soften up. Overall I was very pleased with the performance of the TR 27.5" fork.
       I would definitely recommend this fork to cross country riders to try. The weight difference and handling would be beneficial to any rider.
       I just received Lauf Forks new TR Boost fork so we will have to see how it performs this 2016 race season.  


 

Posted By: Nick Emsley

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