When Look phoned and said I could have a 585 Optimum in any colour as long as it was black, I nearly bit the guy?s hand off.

I like the fact it only comes in black. It?s a statement of how confident Look is in its equipment. It?s like saying, ?We don?t care if you like red, this bike is so good you?ll ride a black one and still love it.?

I love it. The flowing lines of the precisely moulded carbon-fibre speak reassuringly about

the build quality and translate effortlessly into the most expressive ride, sharp handling and that fantastic ?kick? you get from instant response. It?s my sportive bike by inclination, but I told the folks at Look that I wanted to race a bit, and they said it?d do that too, no problem.

So, while it?s got the same high spec pedigree as the race-orientated Look Ultra in the same 585 range, there?s a slightly shorter top tube and longer head tube to sit you up a little higher in the saddle ? instantly noticeable on the road and useful extra comfort for when I head over the high Alps a couple of times this summer.

Changing gear

Speccing the equipment and geometry using the company?s extensive website offered about the most bespoke service you can get for an off-the-peg bike. It comes with an impressive array of equipment including Powerplay bars and stem married to a SRAM Force groupset which I?ve never used before.

This is good news as I?ve run out of things to say about Shimano and Campag over the past five years. Force offers genuinely different shifting, different ergonomics, and a different manufacturer, so at least I?ll have something new to write about. Watch this space.

LOOK 585 OPTIMUM

Distributor Fisher Outdoor Leisure www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Price £1,799.99 frame & fork

Frame Look 585 VHM full carbon Optimum geometry

Fork Look HSC 5SL full carbon

Size range XS-XXL

Weight 1,300g (frame & fork)

Groupset SRAM Force

Deviations none

Alterations Continental GP4000

Gear ratios 50/34 with 12/26

Wheels DT Swiss Mon Chasseral

Tyres Schwalbe Ultremo

Bars Powerplay Carbon Pro

Stem Powerplay Carbon Pro

Seatpost Powerplay Carbon Pro

Saddle Selle Italia Flite

Size tested L

Look 585 Optimum