Earlier this year, I introduced our Lauf Seigla Race Wireless long-term test bike (check it out). As the successor to Lauf’s popular True Grit, the Seigla is designed to be smoother, more capable, and more versatile gravel bike. Did Lauf accomplish its goals? Today we’ll take a look at my experience with the Seigla so far, but first, and update from Lauf regarding the pricing of its bikes.
New Lower Prices
In a time when it seems like everything bike-related is getting more expensive, Lauf recently announced that it’s actually lowering prices on all Seigla models. The company recently opened a US headquarters in Harrisonburg, VA, which has streamlined their business enough that they’ve been able to lower prices by $400 to $1,000, depending on build.
For the Seigla Race Wireless model we’re testing, the price has dropped from $5,390 to $4,490. That’s $900 off of a price that I already thought was a good deal relative to other bikes on the market. Lauf also added a new ‘Core’ model level to the line, which features the new SRAM Apex AXS group. Priced at $2,990 with the Grit fork and $2,640 with the rigid fork, it’s priced super competitively for a carbon gravel bike with electronic shifting. Check out the new prices.
My advice is to get while the getting’s good… Buy now before they realize how underpriced their awesome bikes are!
So, with that said, onto the update on my review…
As mentioned in our Getting Rolling piece, Lauf offers the Seigla with the choice of a rigid carbon fork or their third-generation Grit suspension fork. While our test bike is equipped with the Grit fork, I’ve also ridden a rigid fork equipped Seigla.
As you might expect, there are benefits and drawbacks of both options, but the Grit is the fork I’d choose every time for the riding I do. While heavier than the rigid fork, from a ride quality standpoint, there’s simply no comparison. And when compared to a telescopic suspension fork like the Rock Shox Rudy, it’s more than a pound lighter for a fork with similar travel.
The leaf spring design of the Grit fork has no breakaway stiction, so it’s free to move over small bumps and washboards. As delivered, 30mm of travel feels like plenty, especially since very little travel is lost in sag.
The spring rate stiffens quickly as the fork moves into the second half of its travel to avoid harsh bottoming. I’ve been surprised by how challenging the Grit fork is to bottom out considering how active it is off the top. And though there is no hydraulic damping, the Grit fork has never felt bouncy in a negative way.
The Grit is clearly not a mountain bike fork however, and it can get overwhelmed on steeper terrain with heavy off camber braking. That said, the Grit-equipped Seigla is super fun to ride fast through flowing singletrack. On the Seigla, I clocked some of my fastest times on sections of singletrack that I’ve ridden hundreds of times on dozens of bikes.
For the type of riding the Seigla is designed to do, the Grit fork is an awesome option, and relative to other gravel suspension forks, it adds relatively little weight to the bike. It is also a zero-maintenance design, so unlike other suspension options, it doesn’t make the Seigla more difficult to maintain and live with.
Smooth is Confident. Confidence is speed.
On the road, the defining qualities of the Seigla’s carbon fiber frame and Grit fork are speed, smoothness, and stability. This translates into a supreme sense of confidence, even in sketchy, loose gravel. Even with a relatively moderate bottom bracket drop of 65mm (I’d prefer 5-10mm more), the Seigla tracks straight and maintains its poise on rough roads.
Compared to its predecessor –– the Lauf True Grit –– the Seigla’s ride quality is much more balanced front-to-rear. Lauf worked hard to make the Seigla ride smoother in the rear, and their efforts have paid off handsomely.
This sense of confident stability makes it easy to give a little extra on climbs and carry a bit more speed through corners. I’ve found that I’m often faster than average on my usual gravel routes when riding the Seigla than with any other bike in my current stable. I also enjoy riding the Seigla considerably more than any of my other gravel bikes.
Equipped with a shorter 60mm stem (100mm is stock), the XL Seigla frame fits my 6’1” tall body exactly the way I want a bike to fit. The combination of a long top tube, short stem, and compliant Lauf Smoothie handlebar contribute to a smooth, direct feel at the controls.
Even with larger Rene Herse tires fitted, I have no trouble keeping up with group rides with riders on skinnier rubber. And the ride experience with the larger tires makes it hard for me to want to go back to my other bikes with 40-42c tires. I understand there’s a weight disadvantage to consider, but there’s simply no comparison from a comfort or traction perspective. Big tires for the win!
The generous tire clearance is a unique benefit the Seigla brings to the table. In a time when most companies are shooting to squeeze 47-50c tires into their gravel bikes, Lauf has managed to find space for up to 57c tires front and rear. That’s seriously impressive.
About the only challenge with the Seigla frame itself is the location of the top tube (bento box) mounts on our X-Large size frame. They’re located too far behind the head tube for most direct-mount bags I have. That said, I was able to modify a PRO Bike Gear top tube bag to work using the original rear mounting hole at the front frame boss, with a new rear hole for the rear boss.
The Build Kit
For the most part, I’ve had no issues with the parts Lauf specced on this mid-level Seigla Race Wireless build. The SRAM Force XPLR AXS components offer reliable, low effort shifting and braking. The Force levers are perhaps a step behind Shimano GRX Di2 in terms of ergonomics, but they’re comfortable over the long haul, nonetheless. And the brakes have plenty of power, with good modulation. Again, performance is perhaps a step behind GRX, however it’s more than acceptable.
Equipped with a 40t chainring and a 10-44t cassette, I’ve never found myself out of my comfort range due to the gearing. While it’s true I often use both the largest and smallest cogs on the cassette, I’ve never found that I need more than what the 440% gearing range gives me.
As mentioned earlier, I replaced the stock FSA stem with a shorter 60mm model to dial in the fit. I’ve also replaced the stock Fizik saddle with the new WTB Gravelier that Guitar Ted and I recently reviewed. The Gravelier is a fantastic perch for my posterior and swapping it out saved more than 100g. Very nice.
This has been my first experience with e*thirteen’s XCX Race carbon wheels, and I have to say I’m impressed. They’re rolling smooth and true after more than 750 miles and haven’t required any type of maintenance to date. They’re also very easy to set up tubeless with every tire I’ve tried, and their tubeless performance has been totally reliable on the road.
While the stock 45c Maxxis Rambler tires are overall excellent tires, I couldn’t help but swap them out for larger, smoother riding Rene Herse models (purchased with my own money at full retail price) – the 55c Fleecer Ridge on the front, and the 48c Oracle Ridge on the rear, both with the dark tan Endurance casing. Rene Herse tires aren’t the least expensive options, but they’re some of my absolute favorite tires to ride. They’re fast, grippy and durable. Exactly what you should expect for around $90.00/tire.
Unfortunately, I had a seathead failure with the stock FSA seatpost as I rolled out of my driveway for a ride a while back. Fortunately, I had both hands on the bars, so I didn’t crash, but had I been riding one (or no) handed, it might not have been so pretty. One of the bolts securing the saddle rails to the seatpost head failed right where the threads end, despite being torqued to spec.
Speaking to other Seigla owners, it seems I’m not the only one who has experienced this type of failure with the stock FSA post, so in terms of things I’d swap out immediately, the seatpost is the first change I’d recommend for a new Seigla owner.
I replaced the broken post with an alloy PRO Vibe post I had in the parts bin and didn’t notice any change in ride quality due to the swap. Clearly the seatpost isn’t the source of the Seigla’s smooth ride.
The Bottom Line… for Now.
The Lauf Seigla is one of those bikes that’s tough not to love. First, it’s an awesome value for a bike that looks as great as it rides. The handling is super easy to get along with and the massive tire clearance makes it incredibly versatile. It can handle 700x35c road tires just as easily as it devours 29×2.25” mountain bike tires. If you’re the type of rider that’s looking for one bike that can do it all, the Seigla is a compelling option.
For the type of gravel riding I do, the Seigla checks all the boxes. I have a lot of bikes, yet the Seigla is the one I reach for most often for gravel and mixed gravel/singletrack rides. It’s just that good.
Lauf sent the Seigla Race Wireless to Riding Gravel for review at no charge. That said, we are not being paid nor bribed for this review, and we will always give you a truthful accounting of our experiences during the review period. Thanks for reading!