Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2014 Look 675 Road Bike Has A Completely Redesigned A-stem

Straight from Look's website: "The 675 is the latest born LOOK road frame. This technology permits a large gain in stiffness and a stronger frame.

 It benefits from a completely new manufacturing process: the 3 most highly loaded frame zones are first draped on mandrels before being placed inside the mould with the rest of the frame for moulding

The chainstay has been flattened, which along with the same treatment on the seatstays comprises what Look calls their "DCDC2" compliance design. The acronym stands for Dual Comfort/Dual Stiffness and Look says it provides a 25% increase in vertical compliance while simultaneously giving the rear end a bump in torsional stiffness. Look claims that the bike is about as stiff at the bottom bracket as the the 695, their top of the line race bike.

The CEO of LOOK, Dominique Bergin says "We wanted to make something special for this price point. We like to think of ourselves as "organized dreamers" and at times in the 675's development there was a real temptation to make changes, but in the end we stayed true to the original dream"

For the first time, LOOK Completely integrated the stem into the frame design. Apart from the aesthetic impact this integration allows for Look's Direct Drive concept. Using a short head tube tapering from 1" at the bottom to 1 1/8" at the top and removing the spacers gives the bike a shorter pivot, oversized bearings and a stiffer stem. The A-stem itself permits accurate height and length adjustments without spacers. The stem provides between -15 and +15 degrees of height adjustment. Reach can also be adjusted by rotating a half-moon spacer in the handlebar clamp. Different length stems from 80mm to 120mm are available.

Why is Look so interested in integration? Product Manager Fred Caron says it "allows increasing [of] the quality by freeing oneself of present standards: we develop our own products because we can make more performing products than those found up to now on the market." Between the taller head tube and reversible (and adjustable) stem, the 675 isn't relegated to anywhere near as radical of rider positioning as it appears. The frame/stem junction is just one are where the quality production values are easily visible.

Integration continues with the seat clamp, continuing the clean lines and aerodynamics of the frame. The 27.2mm seat post combines with the rear stays to deliver more comfort. 

David Arthur of was also able to test ride the bike, and gives his analysis: "It feels short and compact, I feel a tad cramped - some time properly adjusting the handlebar and stem wasn't permitted with this test. This doesn't prevent me from reveling in how communicative the bike is. There's a great connected-to-the-front-wheel feeling, the sense the handlebars are relaying accurate and detailed information from the front tyre comes through strongly. Look say a stiffer front-end is a key feature of the integrated design. It seems to work.

And it feels incredibly fast. Acceleration is good out of the saddle and when heaving on the drops, lunging for the top of the hill, the 675 feels very willing. It's certainly no slouch and it satisfies my inner racer.

It may have been a short ride but the 675 was really impressive. It manages to be fast and very lively, yet it's clearly got comfort in mind with the tall front-end and bump taming near rear stays. A longer test on UK roads of a longer duration than this brief ride will be needed to get a really thorough assessment of it's performance"

Actual weight for a size large bike with LOOK pedals and carbon water bottle cage is 17lb 50z. Frame weight for a medium size is said to be 1150 grams. 

The Look also comes in a black on black with yellow trim, besides the standard white, red and black.

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