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LOOK 765

New, more affordable endurance bike set to put LOOK firmly in UK market

Though they’ve been making bikes for 30 years, you still don’t see too many LOOK bikes out and about in the UK. This is partly because they’re still a relatively small company in cycling terms, partly because their top bikes aren’t always the most everyday-riding friendly and also because they have, historically, not been that cheap. The new LOOK 765 should change all that. Well, the latter two points, at least.

LOOK, of course, have been making carbon bikes since before carbon bikes were cool. In fact, LOOK made the very first carbon frame in 1986 called the KG86 and it must have been pretty good because Greg Lemond rode it to Tour de France victory that year. While, to be fair, most of that was down to the fact Lemond himself was a fairly decent bike rider, seeing as the frame managed to cope with the demands of the Tour, LOOK had clearly figured out the demands of carbon early on.

The tubing on the bike was made by a French company called TVT, who combined layers of carbon fibre with Kevlar for strength, and those tubes were held together by aluminium lugs giving the bike a pretty classic overall look.

Fast forward to the present, though, and LOOK’s bikes are a million miles away from those early efforts. In fact, they make some of the most impressive – or outrageous, depending on your point of view – bikes in the peloton

Fast forward to the present, though, and LOOK’s bikes are a million miles away from those early efforts. In fact, they make some of the most impressive – or outrageous, depending on your point of view – bikes in the peloton.

You’re either going to love or hate a bike like the 795 Aerolight and whether or not you do probably depends on whether you think the advent of carbon bikes marked the death of real cycling. If your heart yearns for Reynolds steel tubing it’s fair to say the extreme frame shape and oversized tubes of the 795, which graced the cover of last year’s RCUK100, might bring tears to your eyes, and not the good kind.

On to the 765, though, and it’s far more of an everyman’s ride than the aero super bikes at the top of the range. In fact, it’s their latest and greatest endurance bike, a bike that not only aims to be more accessible for ‘normal’ riders, but also keeps the price down in a far more sensible range than the £7,999 Aerolight.

The practice of adding things into carbon layups to increase comfort is pretty common across a number of manufacturers, but LOOK’s use of natural linen fibres does represent a more unusual approach

The headline feature on the 765 is the carboflax technology. Carboflax tech is how LOOK have combined the carbon fibres in the frame with a layer of natural linen fibres in order to filter vibrations from the road and increase ride comfort.

The practice of adding things into carbon layups to increase comfort is pretty common across a number of manufacturers, but LOOK’s use of natural linen fibres does represent a more unusual approach.

The carboflax on the 765 is placed in strategic areas of the frame where LOOK think it’ll have the biggest effect when it comes to dissipating vibrations travelling up through the frame from the road surface.

And the two key areas of the frame that LOOK have used the carboflax in are the fork and chain stays. There’s a layer between the ‘carbon thicknesses’ of the fork and chainstays, and an additional layer of linen fibre around the inside of both. The point of this technology isn’t to make potholed roads feel like a race track (that’s what suspension is for) but to filter out what LOOK call ‘micro-vibrations’, the idea being that you’ll feel less fatigued from gripping the bars after long hours on poor surfaces.

The other comfort feature is, as you can imagine, geometry. While the 795 might have a more audaciously sloping top tube, don’t be fooled, it’s a back-breaking race machine. The 765, on the other hand, has a longer head tube, seating you more upright in combination with the shorter reach, longer chain stays and a generally more endurance-focused outlook.

One thing the 765 isn’t is light. Or, perhaps a better description is that it’s not a super light bike. Built around a 1,100g carbon frame you won’t be seeing Trek Emonda-like numbers if you sit it on the scales.

Of course, being super light isn’t the goal of this bike – which exceeds instead on the comfort and endurance levels. And anyway the full Ultegra-equipped bike we have here still only weighs 8.4kg so you won’t exactly feel like you’re dragging an anvil behind the bike either.

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