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LOOK unveil 785 Huez – their lightest frameset to date

New flagship climber's bike to be used at Tour de France; Keo 2 Max pedal also refreshed for 2018

LOOK have pulled back the covers on their new flagship climbers bike – the 785 Huez, which thanks to an innovative carbon lay-up represents their lightest ever frameset.

The bike will be used at the 2017 Tour de France by Fortuneo-Vital Concept, and joins the French marque’s line-up alongside the 795 range, built for aerodynamics, and the endurance-focused 765 range.

Keen to show off its carbon manufacturing pedigree – LOOK were, after all, the first brand to build a Tour de France-winning carbon frame when Greg LeMond won his 1986 title on the KG 86 – the 785 Huez boasts new tube profiles and lay-ups to maximise performance.

LOOK’s new lightweight climber’s bike, the 785 Huez, is their lightest ever

Carbon innovation

Let’s dive straight into the tech; LOOK product manager Frederic Carron has highlighted the introduction of ‘Optimised Inertia Section’ design, which optimises tube shape to produce the best stiffness-to-weight ratio.

This has led to the employment of squared tubing that measures 0.6mm in width, while the layups have also seen careful attention.

LOOK have adopted ‘Nano Layer Construction’ design tech to build the bike, with the flagship RS model boasting 260 pieces of carbon fibre in all

This attention resulted in the development of what LOOK calls ‘Nano Layer Construction’, with Carron drawing the metaphor that, while you can have the best ingredients (tube profiling and available carbon fibres), it is how and when you use them that brings the ride together.

As a result, the top-level LOOK 785 Huez RS model – the bike Fortuneo-Vital Concept will ride at the Tour – features five different carbon fibre types (including ten per cent content of 90-ton ultra-high modulus fibres), while the standard frame has four.

The result is a frame that is made up of multiple 0.01mm-thick layers of carbon fibre, which shows into the following remarkable statistical breakdown of the top-level ‘RS’ frameset:

  • 5 different carbons
  • 7 specific carbon types
  • 10 layers of carbon per tube
  • 20 layers of carbon in the bottom bracket
  • 90 pieces of carbon in the fork
  • 260 total pieces making up the frame

Each layer and fibre type is strategically placed to give maximum benefit, of course, and while the standard 785 Huez frame can’t quite match those figures, LOOK say the ride quality remains the same while coming in a little heavier at 990g for the frame and 250g for the fork (the ‘RS’ manages 730g and 280g respectively for a 1,010g total).

The 785 Huez RS will be used by Fortuneo-Vital Concept at the Tour de France, and weighs 1,010g for the frame and fork

Carron says: “While these aren’t the lightest numbers seen in any road bike, we believe the construction of the frame means you get the best combination of power-to-weight.

“At the same time, we see the best responsiveness from this frame, which means it will be an effective weapon for Gran Fondo riders and professionals alike.”

Stay tuned for our first verdict on the new LOOK 785 Huez, which we will be putting to the test on Alpe d’Huez itself.

Squarer tube profiles have also been adopted, in a bid to keep stiffness-to-weight high

The 785 will be available in the following guises, from the ultra-high spec Team Fortuneo-Vital Concept replica down to a 105-equipped standard frame, which incidentally heralds a new low-water price mark for a complete LOOK bike.

RS’ Frameset

Fortuneo Replica €9,999

Pro Team Dura Ace – €6,999

Ultegra Di2 – €4,999

Ultegra €3,999

Standard frameset

Ultegra Di2 €3,999

Ultegra €2,999

105 €2,299

Redesigned Keo 2 Max pedals

The 785 Huez is not all that’s new from LOOK either, with the brand announcing a redesign of its popular mid-range pedal system, the Keo 2 Max.

Visually, there’s not much to tell the old and new versions apart, but the new iteration now sees a reprofiled steel plate that increases the contact patch between Keo cleats and pedal by 25 per cent.

This, says LOOK, improves the power-to-weight ratio of the pedals by the same amount, while also increasing comfort over long rides with the increase in platform width, up to 60mm from 57mm.

The additional benefit of the added width is that, no matter where your foot naturally lies given the float of your cleats, you’ll always be 100% connected to the plate.

Again, the Keo 2 Max pedals are positioned towards amateurs from sportive riders to Gran Fondo specialists and even racers, so this news will be welcomed. Alongside this, the other major change to occur is in the spindle, which has been optimised for greater efficiency.

LOOK have also redesigned their Keo 2 Max pedals, which now feature a reprofiled steel plate for a wider contact patch

To achieve this, LOOK’s engineers have replaced the old Chromoly Plus spindle layout with a new one that incorporates a new conical spacer (in place of the old washer system) with a centrally positioned needle roller bearing.

The oversized axle remains, but this is backed by an inner ball bearing system that is now protected by a ‘dual lip’ seal – which should take care of any lingering concerns about LOOK Keo pedal reliability in poor weather conditions.

The spindle has also been redesigned, though the oversized axle remains – this carbon-injected model weighs a claimed 125g, whereas the ‘standard’ version is 5g heavier

LOOK claim this solution both improves pedal reliability, while also allowing it to spin more freely and fluidly around the axle, generating less resistance and more speed.

The pedals will be available with a composite body, in black and white versions like its predecessor, weighing in at 130g each, while the carbon-injected model weighs a reported 125g, with additional benefits in added stiffness too.

LOOK says the new iterations will cost €79 and €99 respectively, while both will be available in 8nm or 12nm tensions. Look out for our first opinion on those along with our first impressions of the 785 ‘Huez’ bike.

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