It’s not often that a first ride review covers such hallowed ground as the famous Alpe d’Huez. It’s even rarer that we should ride the mountain twice over in the space of 24 hours – first for a recce, and the second as part of the Prix de Rousses race. Cue a lot of suffering.
The bike in question is the LOOK 785 Huez, the French company’s new lightweight climbing machine. It’s a bike designed as a col-tamer and said to maximise stiffness in the frame through the use of five distinct carbon fibre materials. Take a look at our report from the launch for the full tech lowdown.
At the launch, the bikes cut a striking figure against the Alpine backdrop despite the relatively conservative tube profiles marking something of a departure from the space-age aero 795. With all the models set out against the mountain backdrop, journalists understandably flocked to the Fortuneo Vital Concept replica bike complete with top-level Corima carbon clincher hoops and SRAM Red eTap (which will be available to the public for £8,199, if you please), weighing in at a paltry 5.9kg in a small.
Of course, not everyone has a spare eight grand lying around, so although desirable it certainly is, there are other models to meet more realistic budgets. These range from the super-light ‘RS’ frame dressed in Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 for £5,699, to the standard version of the frame equipped with either Shimano Ultegra Di2 (£4,099) or Shimano Ultegra mechanical (£3,099).