TESTED: Look 565 - Road Cycling UK

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TESTED: Look 565

565

In 1985 Look invented and developed the first useful step-in-step-out pedal system. Clipless pedals (because they were without toe clips) were a massive leap forward and Look’s ingenuity really put them on the map as a cycling manufacturer. Look’s foray into the frame world started about 5 years after that and in time they developed a variety of carbon tubed and glued frames some good, some not so.

In France (and specifically the hometown of Nevers) they have been a massive success and along with compatriot frame company, Time, they have both established themselves in the high echelons of the professional peloton.

Look are pretty unique in the mass production of carbon frames, in that they own and control their factory and development processes. Yes there are many high end manufacturers that do this but very few mainstream brands can make carbon and develop themselves. This gives them a clear advantage, they can adapt to changes in material specification and also push production for quick response.

This brand new 2006 frame features lots of the benefits of Thor Hushovd’s Tour de France green jersey winning 585. It features the same geometry and design but has an aluminium bottom bracket shell.

So Look have taken the basic chassis from the previous range topping 585 and cut a few corners to take the price down a bit. Using heavier raw material and an aluminium bottom bracket shell they have built a frame that for them is technically lower than their capabilities, but for most other manufacturers a frame that is pretty advanced. The added weight over the 585 is only 250g, so not exactly loads heavier.

565

Progressive Sloping Geometry Evolusize Geometry: A bit of a gob full but basically a steeper slope is used for smaller frame sizes and is decreased proportionally with the frame size, so as you go up the sizes the bike gets proportionally more sensible looking, I like this approach as you don’t end up with acres of seat post showing and a saddle to bar drop that would make a pro rider’s back ache. Up front there’s a Look Patented Integral Headset, which includes two interchangeable bearing surfaces inside the head tube, no trouble here and they seem to have managed to build a mighty solid steering ensemble, unlike many integrated efforts we’ve seen.

Double Curve: The wishbone is curved twice giving great lateral strength whilst maintaining some vertical flexibility for comfort. And this isn’t new either but it’s a tried and tested design and actually works – Look have also made it look good too.

565

Components

Look started producing aftermarket forks early on in the carbon game. Carbon forks can be a minefield and care with maintenance and installation of lightweight carbon parts is paramount. What I like about Look’s HSC series forks is that they are over-built yet still lightweight and feature a failsafe insert in the fork crown, a design that would (in the very unlikely event of a crack) prevent total failure and a nasty face plant. Look forks also ride well and the front end of this bike is solid, make no mistake.

A full Dura Ace 10 speed group is nothing short of faultless. Instant response shifts and although the front shift is indexed (I really have never understood why…) the chain pick up and response is excellent. It’s the best looking and functioning Dura Ace gruppo to date. I like it very much indeed.

Braking has much improved for Shimano too and there’s an obvious step up in control.

Deda 215 style ITM bars with a shallow drop, at last a test bike with a decent set of handlebars… I couldn’t believe my luck.

Mavic Kysium SL’s are a great wheelset and these SSC versions were shod with Conti’s GP4000 – an excellent wheel package.

 565

The Ride

With the set up already ‘in house style’ we were straight at home on the 565. It’s rare that a test bike feels this way immediately and although we had fettled a little with the saddle and bar angle it was all pretty good for me. It looked right and often that is a good sign. Geometry is compact and the 53cm we tested comes with a 54.5mm top tube, normally I’d have to compromise to get the bar set up right but the 565 was perfect in this regard. It was like it was made for me.

Out on the road the predictable damping qualities of carbon are immediately apparent. It’s soft and soaks up rough roads with ease. The geometry is tight yet but not too ‘skippy’ and it’s the kind of bike that feels immediately familiar. It’s a hackneyed saying but it’s stiff and responsive and jumps up the road when you stamp on the pedals – completely reliable and predictable. Ride and race all day on this fella, no problems.

RCUK Verdict

To match or better the ride qualities of the 565 elsewhere in the market you’ll have to spend a lot more money, twice as much perhaps. So it scores high on value for this reason alone. The geometry is perfect (for me) and the riding position comfortable and sorted. This frame is a well kept secret, it’s way better than any previous Look frames I’ve ridden. However the 565 just lacks a little sparkle, something that Look say you get with the big brother of this bike – the lighter and more flighty 585. If they’re right, then I can’t wait to have a go on one, should be good.

It’s purely emotional, but graphically and style-wise the 565 falls a bit short for me. I didn’t like this colour scheme much, but some will. The ‘fat wrap’ carbon weave is essentially aesthetic but is a nice departure from old-skool carbon frames. The raw carbon finish or the white one will certainly look more like it. So perhaps there’s something in the name that makes it a bit soul-less perhaps? However although Look bikes may struggle sometimes with character and identity they certainly do not with quality and function. The 565 is a good buy.


good Predictable ride, stable and yet still quite racey good fit

bad Predictable ride, can be a bit ‘flat’ and it’s a bit dull to look at

performance 8
value 9
overall 9


Frame: LOOK High Modulus Carbon throughout
Fork: LOOK HSC5 SL Forks: 100% single piece monobloc carbon with directly moulded carbon dropouts. Fork weight: 295g

Headset: Look FSA integrated
Stem: ITM
Bars: ITM
Tape: Look Cork
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace
Levers: Shimano Dura Ace STI 10 Speed
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace 10 Speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace 10 Speed
Cassette sprockets: Shimano Dura Ace 10 Speed 12-25t
Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 10 Speed
Cranks: Shimano Dura Ace Hollowtech II
BB: Shimano Dura Ace
Pedals: None
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium SL SSCs, welded aluminium double wall rim, machined sidewalls
Tyres: Continental GP4000 700x23C
Saddle: Tester’s own
Seat post: Look Ergo Post

• Sizes: 49, 51, 53, 55, 57 and 59
• Colours: Carbon or White
• Price: £1399.99 (frame and fork)
• From: Fisher Outdoor Leisure

Photo Gallery



565 – subtle and tidy looking

Full Dura-Ace 10 speed

And a stylish finishing kit

Mavic SSC Ksyriums

Compact and comfy geometry

And stylish Look carbon cages

Lovely Dura-Ace

Ergo post works well

GP4000 always a good choice

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