Look's latest bike is a departure from its previously higher priced, race-orientated offerings. Starting at £1799, we tested the top spec £2199 Ultegra equipped model
Look is targeting the sportive market with its new 765, a bike with endurance geometry and comfort features built into the frame.
The brand has an illustrious history in cycle racing, with Greg LeMond winning the 1986 Tour de France on a Look. Since that time, it has continued to innovate and to be involved in cycle racing, but its bikes have been on the expensive side and something of a rarity in the UK.
With an entry price of £1,799, the Look 765 aims to increase the brand’s market presence and put a Look bike within reach of a wider range of potential purchasers.
There are three builds of the 765 sold in the UK and we have tested the top spec £2,199 Shimano Ultegra-equipped model, which is finished in Look’s iconic Mondrian colour scheme.
Look puts a lot of resource into research and development, and it has designed the 765’s frame with a typical sportive geometry: tall head tube, sloping top tube and longer wheelbase, for a more upright, comfortable and stable ride.
Less usually, it has incorporated layers of flax fibres into the chainstays and forks. Flax is also used to reduce vibration in some aerospace and motorsport composites.
Look has compared the vibration damping of the flax fibre to a pure carbon tube and said that it helped to reduce vibrations transmitted to the rider. The flax can be seen as a brown layer through the clear lacquer applied to the frame.
All cables are routed internally through the square- section tubes and there are full-carbon dropouts. There’s also a BB30 bottom bracket and asymmetric chainstays to balance forces from the drivetrain, along with a tapered headset and thin forks which are also designed to further increase rider comfort.
This top-spec model comes with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, including the brakes and chainset. The latter sits in FSA bottom bracket bearings to allow it to be used in the BB30 shell.
Finishing components are a mix of FSA’s alloy ranges. There’s a Selle Italia saddle with a central pressure relief channel and a small cut-out, which I found made for a comfortable perch on extended outings.
The 765 rolls on Mavic Aksium wheels: quite a heavy wheelset, but better quality than those specced on many other brands’ bikes at this price.
Tyres are Continental Ultrasport 25mm, which I found provided a sure grip and confident handling in wet and dry conditions, as well as a good degree of ride comfort.
Rather than a pure endurance bike, Look classifies the 765 as an endurance race bike: designed for long-distance comfort, but with a more performance edge than some other brands’ models according to Look.
I certainly felt this to be the case as I headed out into the increasingly dark winter mornings. There’s an eagerness to respond to rider effort about the 765 and the riding position is not quite as relaxed as the geometry might suggest, aided by the longish 120mm stem that Look specifies.
The frame feels comfortable for longer rides, possibly due to the flax layers’ vibration damping, and I was happy to complete a couple of 100 mile-plus rides without any significant fatigue.
Handling is responsive without being nervous and I tackled descents and cornering as well as rougher road surfaces with real confidence.
Look’s entry into the endurance bike category is a powerful salvo against the competition. The 765 has the higher riding position designed to make longer rides more comfortable, but without sacrificing the performance for which Look’s bikes are known. The frame feels well designed for its purpose and the flax layers do seem to add an extra level of vibration damping to the frame, although the 765 is not quite as compliant as some other brands’ endurance bikes. This also makes the handling more lively, so that it’s engaging to ride and confident on more challenging terrain. The 765 is well equipped too, with all its components being branded and the Aksium wheels being a notch above those often specified on bikes at this price. The 25mm Conti tyres too are a quality option providing grip as well as ride comfort. Overall, I enjoyed my experience of the Look 765. It’s a well-balanced sportive bike with a performance edge and its Mondrian colour scheme certainly stands out among the sportive bike competition