This month, we will focus on the French brand Look Cycles. Discover the new 795, equipped with Keo Power pedals in order to take advantage of this machine
Test realized by Sébastien RODRIGUEZ, photos SR@copyrights / test published in TrimaX-hebdo Magazine#140 _ may 2015
It’s useless to present you Look, which cyclist/ triathlete doesn’t know the brand? Look is highlighted on the majority of our bikes with automatic pedals, but also with bikes which are always ahead of their time.
This 795 Light is not an exception, you will see through this testing that it proposes a multitude of innovations, in order to create a state-of-the-art bike.
For this testing, we were expecting to receive the 795 version «Mondrian», the trade name of Look, we were surprised to receive the bike in a very nice color matt black/neon yellow. To tell the truth, it was a good surprise because it’s the design that we would have chosen on the catalogue, but the final real renderer is even more esthetic than in picture. And what can we say about the general line of this bike? Impossible to confound this bike with another, that’s for sure! We think that there won’t be a golden mean with this 795, it is really different from the visual standards, either you love this look, or you hate it. But this is very subjective, design, colors, everybody has his own opinion. You have understood that we’ve loved the style of this bike! But the technical characteristics of the bike are more objective, and this Look has many ones, some of them are very ingenious. Let’s have a look.
LOOK 795 Light
30 years of expertise in carbon, and 10 years of specific researches directed by Look have allowed them to offer you this new bike.
With its 11 patents, it is probably the bike which has the highest number of technologies.
– New carbon frame 1,5k with tube sections of NACA* profile.
– Aerostem carbon stem. – ZED2 mono-block carbon crankset.
– New seat-post E-Post2 with Di2 battery support. – 100% integrated routing.
All these innovations of the 795 Light has been carefully studied to offer an extraordinary machine.
Be careful, the testing is long and technical, but how can we be any different : there are so many things to say
Light and Aerodynamic
The 795 belongs to this new generation of bikes which goes beyond the limits of performance. In addition to the qualities that we find on premium bikes such as yield, lightness or comfort, the 795 has an additional advantage: aerodynamics. Thanks to many integrations and to carbon components more and more precise, it has been possible to realize an aerodynamic road bike without increasing the weight.
The 795 weighs the same than the very efficient and famous 695, while being much more aero.
In order to take advantage of a real aerodynamic gain, all the tube sections have this shape of water drop which limits the perturbations behind the tubes and allows to keep a high speed.
Seat post, diagonal tube but also head-tube, fork and stays have been designed with this profile called NACA, validated by aerodynamical engineers and tested in wind tunnels.
AEROSTEM INTEGRATED STEM
The 795 totally integrates the AEROSTEM carbon stem. This stem is in carbon, it’s very light and above all it has aerodynamic properties because a clamp replaces the traditional hood.
Advantages: the tightening screws are «hidden» behind the handlebar and the clamp is very thin. This characteristics associated with a more fluid design gives this stem a better coefficient of air penetration, which explains its name: AEROSTEM. Associated with the 795, it represents the best integration possible. But above all, Look has succeeded the bet to have the integration of this component compatible, while allowing the cyclist to have the position he wants on his 795. Indeed, the adjustment range is very wide: from +17 degrees to – 13 degrees, which represents 57 mm of adjustment for a 110mm length without degrading the integration.
The only defect that we find to this stem is this small magnetized piece delivered to hide the screws. It’s very beautiful but at every vibration, this piece goes out of its tenement.
NEW NOVEL ROUTING 100% INTEGRATED
Always regarding the search for aerodynamics, mechanical or electrical routings work in a very new way.
Cables are gathered at a front of the head-tube to get around the rollings and are distributed in the frame. The back derailleur cable goes out of the dropout, and in electric mounting even the A junction, which is usually located under the stem, is integrated to the frame in a space especially designed behind the stem. Esthetically, it’s wonderful, nothing exceeds!
NEW E-POST 2 SEAT-POST
This new seat-post has been developed while keeping all the advantages of the first version: absorption of the vibrations thanks to adjustable antirotation elastomers. It is however more aerodynamic, 29% lighter (139grams only!) and more convenient to manipulate thanks to a brand new fixing system: an only U-turn is enough to tighten or loosen it. Moreover, it is compatible with saddles such as Monolink and with standard saddles. This seat-post, such as the previous ones, is one of the success of Look.
We particularly appreciate the elastomer system which brings a real comfort on the road!
HSC 8 AERO AND JDD HEAD FIT 3 FORK
100% monoblock carbon, only weighs 320 grams, it is in conformity with the EN 14781 standard (144 joules frontal shock).
The conic pivot uses the CFD concept (Continuous Fiber Design) and allows to position the rolling directly on the fork head (oversized for a 1/2 inch rolling). The fork pivot has 2 flats and is reinforced in order to accept the Head fit 3 headset which dissociates the setting of the headset, the tightening and the stem.
The setting of the headset is made thanks to a carbon ring on an added filet positioned on the fork pivot. It is now possible to change its stem height without disturbing the headset.
This solution removes the compression kit, replaced by a simple cork. Gain of weight: 40 grams. The 3rd generation of Headfit is completely integrated in the head-tube, which optimizes even more the precision of direction.
It is important to note a detail on this fork, so «logical», so obvious, that we wonder why it hasn’t always been this way. The pivot isn’t perfectly round as in some competitors, but it has two flats. Associated with the Look stem, you are sure that the latter will be straight once mounted… It’s so simple! You should know that it doesn’t prevent a traditional stem, even if it would be a pity not to take the Look one…
MONO-BLOCK CARBON CRANK SET ZED 2
Here we are, for us it is one of the major piece of this 795, which has already done the success of the 695. The carbon crank set ZED is an ultra innovating model : it is moulded in an only piece of carbon (2 cranks + axis + star = FULL MONOBLOCK).
It has reached a ratio rigidity/weight which was impossible before. The crank set itself (with no rolling and no chain-wheel but including the two cranks and the axis) only weighs 320 grams!
Its special shape forming a Z allows it to be mounted in the frame which has a specific and oversized bottom bracket (diameter of the rollings: 65 mm). The technology of the lobed insert at the crank end allows to vary the length of the cranks of 170, 172,5 to 175mm without changing the crank set while being compatible with all the pedals of the market. Here again, it’s so obvious, why didn’t the major manufacturers of cyclist transmission think about that before??? You don’t only buy one crank set, but almost three ones! This ZED opens possibilities hardly possible till then. You will be able to try very easily different lengths of cranks, without risking to buy one vainly. If a length doesn’t suit you, you just have to go back to the former length with a simple key!
And if only that was it… Look has also made its crank set compatible with the two distances available on the market, the classical 130 and the compact 110. It’s brilliant! There are many possibilities and once again you can try, adapt your material with no additional cost. We had a 695 equipped with this crank set. We were very happy to be able to ride in 130 all year long and to change in compact for the rare uses in high mountain.
This crank is a real favorite, and if we had a dream, it would be to see it declined in a standard BB30 in order to take advantage of it on the other bikes. Its only «restraint» is for those who use a power sensor. For us, it’s an essential tool for a competitor, but it would be such a pity not to use this crank set! Look offers a solution, the Keo Power pedals, we will speak about it more in details in the following testing.
COMPRESSED FRAME DROPOUTS
The dropouts are directly compressed during the moulding of the basis and stays. Thus we obtain a back mono-block whole «basis-wishbonedropouts»: better ratio weight/reliability. No worries, the derailleur can be removable and replaceable and it can be useful in case of fall.
1,5 K NEW ULTRA LIGHT FABRIC
The innovation and the constant improvement of the products are part of the Look DNA. The 795 is then naturally realized in the most elaborated carbon composition, on the basis of very high module and ultra light carbon sheets in 1,5K.
ON THE ROAD
First of all, you have to get positioned on your bike, the extreme integration of the components, stem, seat post, crank set… can frighten you regarding the possibilities of setting. But it’s not the case !
The most constraining thing will certainly be the setting of the saddle height, because of the integrated seat post. You’ll just have to cut the saddle tube at the right height, the rest is very easy to do. No worries, even once it’s cut, you will always be able to rise your saddle of a few centimeters if needed by moving the toeclip. The operation is simple thanks to a new system of the seat-post blocking with only a quarter turn on the nut. To end up with this seat post, the setting of the kick and the angle of your saddle is also very simple, but also very precise.
The second «critical» point for your position on the bike is the height of the handlebar, and on this point, integration and settings aren’t often very good friends. If Look has succeeded a perfect and very nice integration, they haven’t forgotten this positioning aspect, which should always be a priority for manufacturers, because it is very important to be able to find the right position on your bike. What’s the point in having the best bike of the world, the most performing, if you don’t feel good on it and if you are not able to give the most of yourself? With its wide inclination setting range, from +17 to -13 degrees, the stem of this bike will certainly help you finding the best positioning on your bike, and here again, with a disconcerting simplicity, only by playing on the inclination, without touching the setting of the headset. The most perfectionists will also have the possibility to adapt, rapidly and without any other material, their position according to a goal, a route…
To end up with the settings of this bike, how not to speak about this ZED2 crank set? It is simply incredible, with the possibility of setting 3 sizes of different cranks and its compatibility with the two distances, standard and compact. It may be a centerpiece of this bike. When the 695 was launched, Look didn’t hesitate to say that the 695 was built around this crank set.
Riding this 795 seems to confirm this aspect, everything seems to start from this crank set and to be in its extension. Because it’s the element which gives our power to the whole bike, it is logical that this component is the one which gives the most direct feelings with the bike. Everything is perfectly fluid, and above all incomparably rigid. The 65mm axis and the mono-block construction (single-piece crank set, cranks and axis) seem really efficient and to link our two legs in the effort like never before.
This high rigidity gives the bike a real dynamics, it’s very nervous, there are no watts absorbed, it’s really agreeable on every restart or acceleration.
Certainly this crank set is a real jewel, but it would be nothing without the rest of the bike. And when we have such a successful major piece, the rest has to be as good because every single defect could be amplified then. Hopefully, the frame itself is a perfect extension of this transmission. Everything is absolutely rigid, we never feel any weakness or floating, whatever the powers or paces. This bike is mounted on rails! Coupled with this integrated headset and this oversized fork, this 795 and you are only one with the road. The precision is dreadful in downhills, you place your wheels exactly where you’ve decided. It’s heady, be careful though to keep some energy, because this machine really makes you want to put off your limits at every turn.
Last point: comfort. All this rigidity, this performance, can frighten regarding comfort, especially on long distances. But you have the E post 2 seat post with its elastomer system. When you sit down on it, you feel a kind of sweetness, a slight cushioning. Enough to absorb the small imperfections of the road and thus to save your back hours after hours!
As you have understood, for us, this new 795 is a real success. It seems so technologically successful, so well-thought, that it will suit for any kind of practice, any type of cyclists and triathletes, from the pure competitor to the cycle-tourist.
Four available colors: Fluo Reflect, White, Carbon red, PROTEAM which is the famous emblematic design of the brand Mondrian.
For this testing, we have received a premium mounting, equipped with Dura ace Di2 11 gears and with wonderful Mavic CCU wheels. So it’s a real jewel, we thank Look for lending us such a machine, it was great to be able to ride such a prestigious bike.
Obviously, not everyone will be able to afford an expensive bike like this one, be reassured, more «affordable» other mountings are available:
More information :
Look Keo Power pedals
On the testing of the bike Look 795 Light (see previous article), we have really vamped the ZED2 crank set offered on this bike. If the material is important, the training is obviously even more, and one of the best ways to train well today on the bike is to use a power sensor (see our file of the month). Those one are often incorporated in the crank set, so we are here in a real dilemma ! Choosing between one of the best crank sets of the market or a precious tool for our training.
Look offers a solution so that we don’t have to choose, thanks to its system of power sensor integrated in the pedals, the Keo Power.
Look, in collaboration with Polar, has been the first brand to launch a power sensor integrated in the pedals. At first, the system has been quite criticized, not as regards reliability of the system, but rather because of its very closed communication protocol (WIND), which narrows the number of compatible timers. This has widely hidden the reliability and the innovation of the Keo Power.
With this new version, and with the release amongst Polar of the new V800 watch, the WIND protocol has been replaced by the Bluetooth Smart, more widespread. Despite this effort, we can however regret that Polar (and so Look) keeps refusing to use the ANT+ protocol, the most used today. To sum up rapidly, you almost have to buy a Polar timer or watch to use these pedals, the absence of ANT+ liaison will certainly keep being a restraint to buy these Keo Power pedals.
As regards the pedals, they are quite easy to use, it’s an excellent point for those who want to invert their sensor on several bikes. Once set up on the bikes, you just have to calibrate them at the beginning of your ride, and you forget them. It is important to note that with these Keo Power pedals, you don’t buy a power sensor, but really two distinct sensors. This opens the doors towards a greater precision, and also towards a multitude of datas to improve your technic, such as the repartition of power between your two legs.
As regards precision, relevance of the information, we are not experts enough to reach a conclusion. However when we use it, we have never noticed weird and strange datas compared to everything we have been used to seeing on our personal sensor. If you know how to use well a power sensor, it is sure that these pedals will be a real advantage in your training!
The current price remains high compared to a new competition who lower the prices, above all when the lack of compatible devices could force you to also invest in a new timer. Look also offers its «low cost» version, the Keo Power Essential, where the sensor is only in a single pedal. Then you loose all the datas related to the repartition of power, but everything else is the same.
To sum up, these pedals are technically very interesting, the sensor in the pedal is quite seducing. It removes the problems of compatibility with the current multiple standard crank sets and facilitates the permutation between several bikes. The only real reproach that we could do would be the choice of following the ANT+ liaison. It’s not that the choice of the Bluetooth Smart is bad, it’s simply not widespread enough now and so it’s quite limiting.
Public Price TTC : 1690,90€