Sleek black carbon – the 595
Look are keen to promote their history in carbon fibre bikes and the 595 is the culmination of design and development over many, many frames and years of experience in manufacturing with the black stuff. We’ll save you the history lesson here, there’s a bit of background in the 565 test we ran a few weeks back.
So what’s new?
Well the obvious thing is the integral seatpost. Look are keen to state that this is not just an aesthetic response to competitor’s frames like Giant and Time, they have done the maths, the modelling and the testing and decided that this is the route to follow for the stiffest and lightest frame option.
or in White
The less obvious thing is that there is practically no other material in the frame other than carbon. The BB shell, dropouts and lugs are all carbon. Only the gear hanger, threads in the BB and the bottle bosses are alloy. Look can control the mix of fibre and wrap it very exactly and they are also keen to state that they have considered comfort too, making the 595 more comfy and compliant than previous bikes – a big claim when you consider the size of the tubes. The weight is only fractions less than the 585, but Look are keen to stress that they are happy the performance gain is considerable.
The forks have also bee worked on. Look’s HSC forks have always been very good, but now they have an oversized crown and wider fork blades too, all for extra stiffness – lighter weight is achieved from carbon drop outs and thinner wall thicknesses.
So it’s (a bit) lighter, stiffer and more compliant than before. I have to say that the seatpost cutting scenario isn’t exactly a job I’m really rushing forward with my hacksaw to do, but the seatpost and ‘bung’ system is very clever, especially as the clamping method is not as essential as it is in a Time or Giant frame, what I mean is the clamp is inside the tube and the seat clamp actually rests on the top of the seat tube, so you know that it’s impossible for the post to slip once you’ve got the right height.
Clean lines and very ‘bling’
So the seatpost is only adjustable by cutting the tube and inserting or removing shims to dial the right height. Then the wedge of the ‘expander’ is helped in place with an elastomer stack and the bolt doesn’t have to be very tight, so is less likely to fail or slip. Simple and clever.
Team riders are using it in anger and will be riding 595s at the Tour de France. Indeed Thor Hushovd has been on his for a while and is reportedly very impressed with the sprinting characteristics. As for production, well you’ll have to wait a while, but it will probably be in the shops by the autumn and will certainly be a talking point at the bike shows at the end of the season. On Sunday the 595 had its first win
with the help of Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), in the last stage of the
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré.
Look wanted to make the lightest, stiffest frame possible and they are very proud of the result, this is a race bike – make no mistake. We await a test bike…
More at www.look.com