TONY'S SUSPENSION GRAVEL
Today we present you a very special Nua Sílice, the first one with suspension!
Does a gravel bike need suspension?
It depends. As we always say, there’s no good or bad solution in
absolute terms, and it all depends on choosing the right one for concrete needs.
Gravel bikes come from the road category. Some slightly wider tires and some minimal tweaks to the geometry were enough, at the beginning of this category, to get off the asphalt and explore the less traveled paths.
But human beings always want more, and nowadays it is not uncommon to see cyclists going down singletracks with their gravel bikes.
If you are one of those cyclists, you will be interested to see how this category is being inspired in the MTB world and is integrating progressive geometries with increasing reach and slack, going to wider tires, implementing suspensions, dropper posts, etc.
Our gravel bike, the Sílice, enjoys a very good tire clearance as standard, accepting up to 44mm tires on 700C wheels and up to 57mm on 650B. Wide tires provide control, traction and comfort. What would happen if we added a front suspension? Tony from the US wondered this, so he decided to order the first Sílice from us equipped with a Lauft Grit SL suspension fork.
The suspension fork
Lauf Grit SL is a very interesting fork. With 30mm of natural feel suspension action, a very active response and no stiction, it’s ideal both for gravel and mixed terrain.
Their unique leaf spring construction makes it very special (in addition to being super light, with only 850gr) since the spring rates are super progressive, besides it needs zero maintenance (which matches our philosophy), given that it has any oil compression circuit or air-spring. Brake dive is almost zero.
We made some tuning to the Sílice’s geometry to adapt it to its new fork, a bit longer than the gravel traditional fork, and we equipped it with a Rohloff IGH gearing, that with its 530% range and 14 speeds, is quite superior to the last 1X12 derailleur systems, offering short gears capable of climbing wherever it is needed.
The result was a delicious bike to ride quickly down dirt roads or descending through singletrack, with a front wheel tracking with grip and assurance. The Grit's ability to absorb small bumps and irregularities is impressive, keeping steering unaffected and adding some "superpowers" to our Sílice, which with its wide tires and titanium frame is already a good base. In short, the result of the experiment has been successful and the answer to the question we asked ourselves at the beginning of the post is: yes, you need suspension in your gravel, as long as you need it ;)
We hope you liked this Nua as much as we did building it. Until next time!
If you want to see more about our models and components, or just if you want to configure your own Nua, do not hesitate to enter our builders in the "Bikes" section of our website.