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Look has become the latest brand to officially unveil its newest Olympic track weapon, with a new T20 model ready for the French team to attack the Tokyo 2020 games.
As the pre-Olympic arms race heats up around the globe, the brand claims that at "full speed", French athletes could be gaining as much as 30 watts - equating to full bike length over a 200 metre sprint.
The French manufacturer has worked closely with Corima to ensure that the wheelsets and axles complement the optimised frame profile.
The brands partnered to design front and rear thru-axle dropouts with the goal of adding torsional rigidity, increasing lateral stiffness by 12.5%, and cutting drag as well as weight.
The newest version was designed and prototyped in-house, following years of computational fluid dynamic modelling and wind tunnel testing as well as carbon material research. This version is reportedly 10% lighter than its predecessor, with an 11% reduction in drag and 27% increase in power transfer thanks to an improved stiffness to weight ratio.
The model is 800g lighter than its predecessor, yet 25% stiffer at the bottom bracket, 12.5% stiffer at the rear triangle and 12% stiffer through the head tube.
Much like the Hope HB.T to be raced by the Great British track team, Look's T20 was created in-house. Unlike the British track newcomer - with its rule book disregarding silhouette - Look has proven heritage on the track, having collected 14 Olympic titles and 43 medals in total.
The dropouts were an area of focus for Hope, too - though the British brand worked with Renishaw to incorporate 3D printing which allowed for a bespoke design that could be lighter and stiffer; the brand also build their own wheels in-house, with a new design slashing weight thanks to an all-in-one mould approach.
The Look bike will sport an improved version of the ZED track monobloc crankset first developed for the London 2012 Olympic games, these feature a patented Trilobe concept which allows for the crank arm length to be adjusted.
Sprinters, Madison and scratch riders will use Look's rigid track bar, whilst pursuit athletes will use the Aeroflat bar with Aergo extensions.
With a Corima rear disc and 5-spoke front, the build comes in at 6.8kg - bang on the UCI minimum weight.
The geometry of the frame has seen a refit, and there's four frame sizes, with six crank length variations and 18 stem lengths from 55mm to 140mm. An aero seatpost offers four mounting angles, and Look claims this is now the most adjustable track bike on the market.
Federico Musi, CEO of Look and Corima, said: “[We] have brought to bear 30 years of carbon know-how and manufacturing expertise, aerodynamics research and rigorous testing of frames and wheelsets to create the lightest, stiffest, most aerodynamically efficient and fastest bike [we] have ever built.”
“As French artisans of many Olympic medals, Look and Corima are proud to present the T20 to the French track team as we aim for gold together at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
The bike is available in two builds - T20 Speed and T20 TT - prices come to £6,999 and £7,499 respectively.
Whilst the price tag might mean it'll take a while before you'll see one of these at your local track league, the French team haven't gone wild with their shopping list - you could buy a few T20's for the price of the Tokyo ready Worx WX-R Vorteq track bike, coming in at a reported €28,000.
Hope's offering could be considered a middle-ground, at a reported €15,000 for the standard frame - however, an industry expert estimated that a build would come in at about £20,900 - without extensions or saddle.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
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