Lauf Seigla Race Wireless: Getting Rolling – by MG
The evolution of the ‘gravel bike’ has been impressive of late, and one of the companies pushing the envelope is Lauf Cycling. First known for their distinctive leaf-spring short travel suspension forks and Icelandic origin, today Lauf is based in the U.S., and their new Seigla is redefining the capabilities of the gravel race bike. I recently received a beautiful ‘glacial white’ Seigla Race Wireless from Lauf for review, and today I’ll give you a first look at this impressive new gravel bike.
A new twist to a familiar favorite
As loyal readers may recall, I reviewed the Seigla’s predecessor, the True Grit, in 2018. Click here to see the full review, but in short, I was very impressed with the bike, particularly relative to the options available at the time. The True Grit had clearance for true 45c tires front and rear in a time when 40c clearance was par for the course, and its 2nd generation Grit SL fork effectively muted bumps at the front of the bike. The handling was top notch too, with a slightly more slack head tube angle and longer front-center, which enabled the use of a shorter stem.
Unfortunately, the sublime comfort the fork provided was always at odds with the firm, efficient rear end of the bike. I eventually found a good balance running a Kinekt suspension seatpost, but ultimately, I always wished for a bit smoother ride from the rear end of the True Grit.
Apparently I wasn’t the only person who felt this way, as Lauf went out of its way to increase rear-end compliance with the Seigla. First, the frame and fork easily fit up to 57c(!) tires (or29x2.25″). Plus, it has dropped seatstays and an offset seat tube designed to more effectively absorbs bumps passed up through the seatstays. The result is a noticeably smoother ride at the rear of the bike.
The offset seat tube design also makes the effective seat tube angle change more dramatically as the saddle is raised. As a result, riders on a larger frame, with less seatpost exposed, will get a steeper effective seat tube angle, while riders on a smaller frame, with more exposed seatpost, will have a more slack effective seat tube angle.
After testing the Large size True Grit, I was keen to try the XL Seigla. Since the frame geometry of the two bikes is very similar, I knew the steeper effective seat tube angle would work well for me, despite Lauf’s recommendation of the XL size for riders over 6’3″ tall (I’m 6’1″).
Seigla specs, options and available models
Each Seigla, regardless of spec, is equipped with the same carbon fiber frame, with a choice of rigid or suspension forks (more on that in a bit). Every Seigla also features Lauf’s Smoothie carbon handlebar, which is designed to reduce vibrations that reach your hands, with a shape that’s ideal for gravel.
The Seigla Race Wireless we have in for review is second-tier spec in Lauf’s four model Seigla line. As such, it’s very nicely equipped, with SRAM’s excellent Force XPLR eTap AXS 1×12-speed group and dual-sided power meter crank, and carbon e*Thirteen XCX Race Gravel wheels wrapped with 45c Maxxis Rambler tires. An FSA SL carbon seatpost and Fizik Arione R5 saddle round out the spec.
For me, the spec leaves little to want for, and the MSRP of $5,390 seems like a bargain for what you’re getting. Lauf is able to offer such aggressive pricing thanks to its direct-to-consumer business model. That means you’ll need to do some basic assembly when you receive the bike. All tools required to build the bike, including a basic torque wrench, are included in the box.
In addition to four spec levels, Lauf offers the Seigla with two fork options – the signature Grit suspension fork (now in its third generation), or the second-generation JAF (Just a Fork) rigid fork. After my great experience with the Grit fork during my earlier True Grit review, I requested the G3 Grit fork for our test bike. The benefits of 30mm of stiction-free travel combined with zero maintenance were just too good to pass up.
At the entry level of the line, Lauf’s Seigla Weekend Warrior starts at just $2,640 with the JAF rigid fork, or $2,990 with the G3 Grit suspension fork. Equipped with the SRAM Rival 1×11-speed mechanical drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes and alloy e*Thirteen XCX wheels, it’s an amazing deal for the money.
For $1,000 more, you can upgrade to the Weekend Warrior Wireless build, which uses SRAM’s Rival XPLR eTap AXS 1×12-speed electronic drivetrain, complete with a single-sided power meter on the Rival crankset. Or, riders insisting on the best of the best can opt for the SRAM Red XPLR eTap AXS-equipped Seigla Ultimate, which bumps the price up to $6,990 with the Grit fork.
Initial ride impressions
As mentioned earlier, the XL size Seigla is on the large end of the spectrum for my 6’1″ body. However, with a simple swap to a shorter 70mm stem, I was able to find a comfortable position that’s proportionally consistent with my other gravel bikes. The combination of a long top tube and short stem provides a feel that’s very centered, with handling that’s balanced and easy to manage. My first ride on the Seigla included several miles of fast, serpentine singletrack. There, I was almost immediately at one with the handling of the bike, flowing effortlessly from corner to corner. My friend JP, a frequent riding companion, commented at how smooth and comfortable I looked as we ripped through the corners.
The Seigla is a bike that inspires me to want to ride more. From the first pedal stroke, I was blown away by how smooth, efficient and fast the Seigla feels in a wide range of conditions, from pavement to flowing singletrack. The relatively slack headtube and forgiving Grit fork provide great stability, both in a straight line and while cornering.
After two rides on the Seigla, I swapped out the stock 45c tires for a set of 700x55c Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge tires to test out Lauf’s tire clearance claims. Amazingly, there was plenty of room for the big tires both front and rear, and the design of both the fork and chainstays ensures there’s nothing for mud or dirt to collect on. And while the larger tires muted the Seigla’s outright perception of speed somewhat on paved surfaces, the increase in comfort on gravel roads was a very fair trade. I plan to do more testing with different tire sizes to see if I can find the ideal balance of size, speed and ride quality for the riding I do. I’ll report back in future updates with the results of my testing.
If first impressions are any indicator, the Lauf Seigla is an amazing bike. I’ll be reviewing the bike over the course of the 2023 season, so check back often for the latest updates.
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!