Pro bike: Rein Taaramäe's LOOK 695 Aerolight
Detailed inspection of French brand's flagship integrated road bike
by Timothy John
It came as little surprise to find thoroughbreds in the paddock at York Racecourse at the roll out for stage two of the 2014 Tour de France.
Almost by instinct, we found ourselves in front of the fleet of LOOK 695 Aerolights brought across the Channel by French outfit, Cofidis. We bow to no one in our admiration for LOOK. Inventors of the clipless pedal and the first manufacturer to place a carbon fibre chassis in the peloton, the French brand is responsible for two of the most significant cycling innovations of the last 30 years.
LOOK's latest machines take the integration of frameset and components to a level of sophistication that far exceeds most of its competitors. The ride quality of the bikes we've tested (most recently, the 675 Light) has been truly impressive, too. RCUK readers voted the 695 'Bike of the Year' in 2012.
We focused on the steed of Rein Taaramäe. Once a rider of seemingly limitless potential - king of the mountains at Pais Vasco aged 22; a Grand Tour stage winner two years later - Taaramäe has suffered two quiet seasons more recently, but showed signs of a return to his best form at this year's Tour of Turkey, where he won stage three and finished second overall. There, however, he fell victim to the sporting assault of cycling's latest enfant terrible, Britain's Adam Yates.
Let's take a closer look at Taaramäe's LOOK 695 Aerolight.