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TECH NEWS

First Ride: Look 795 Light

We have a close look at Look's new aero road bike and take it for a quick spin

We first told you about the Look 795 aero road bike when we attended the launch back in July. It comes in two flavours: the 795 Aerolight and the 795 Light – and that’s the one that we slung a leg over at Eurobike a few weeks ago.

The difference between the two models is in the brakes. The 795 Aerolight gets a front brake integrated into the fork and a rear brake that’s mounted to the chainstays just behind the bottom bracket.

The 795 Light has conventional brake placement but all the other aero features of the 795 Aerolight. So the 795 Light is an aero road bike, but it's not as aero as the 795 Aerolight. Clear? Good

“What are these aero features of which you speak?” we hear you ask.

Well, Look say that the frame has been designed with NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) airfoil profiles to keep drag to a minimum. You can see that the head tube, for example, is slim – it’s hourglass shaped with a 1 1/8in bearing at the top and a 1 1/2in bearing at the bottom – but deep from front to back. The fork legs and down tube are built to a similar teardrop profile, as is the extended seat tube that is cutaway around the leading edge of the rear wheel, and the seatstays.

The most eye-catching element of the design has to be the front end. Rather than using a standard stem clamped to the steerer tube somewhere above the top of the head tube, Look take a chunk out of the top of the head tube and sink their carbon Aerostem into the step that this creates. The stem sits flush with the sloping top tube, a rubber cover making the transition between the two even smoother. The idea, of course, is to improve airflow in this area.

Look have hidden the bolts that clamp the handlebar in place beneath a magnetic cover. They also take the cables/wires inside the frame right at the top of the head tube and hide the Di2 A-junction inside the frame too; it slots into a recess just behind the stem so it can’t disturb the airflow. We’re surprised that more manufacturers haven’t come up with similar solutions. Putting aero issues to one side, doing this makes the bike look a whole lot neater.

Rather than preloading the headset bearings by tightening a bolt in the headset cap, you adjust Look’s Head Fit 3 system by tightening a carbon ring on an offset thread locked onto the steering tube. That means there’s no need for a headset cap and you can change the stem height without affecting the headset’s adjustment.

The 795 comes equipped with Look’s own Zed 2 carbon chainset (who didn't put the chain on properly in that pic?). The two cranks, the axle and the spider are a single carbon component, Look claiming a weight of just 320g. It’s doubtful that you’ll want to change your crank length once set, but the three-lobe insert at the end of the cranks allows you to choose between the most common options: 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm.

The extended seatpost is topped by Look’s new E-Post 2. The E stands for elastomer, which is the material Look use here to dampen road vibration. The reckon the E-Post2 weighs in at just 139g.

Most people seem to either love the Look 795’s looks, or hate ’em. Let’s be honest, we’ve heard a few people say they think it’s pig ugly. On the other hand, there’s the ‘function is beauty’ school of thought that says this is an aero road bike that’s designed for performance rather than looks; if you want prettiness you should get yourself a My Little Pony. Make your own mind up on that score.

To be perfectly honest, our first ride at Eurobike was too short to form many concrete views on the Look 795 – sometimes we get plenty of ride time, sometimes we don’t – and we’re not into doing things by half here at road.cc. So although we've called this a 'First Ride', it's actually more of a First Look with a bit of riding involved. I can safely tell you, though, that this is a bike that’s quick off the mark and nimble. It feels particularly stiff through the bottom bracket when you get out of the saddle and crank up the power... but that's about all I can tell you as far as the ride goes. We'll ask Look if we can have a proper lend, then we'll be able to give you a full rundown of all the bike's qualities.

The 795 Light in a Dura-Ace build is £5,999.99. Six grand, then. The Look 795 Aerolight – the version with  integrated brakes – in a Dura-Ace build is £1,000 more.

Look's pro riders will actually race on the 795 Light – the cheaper model (it’s all relative!) – because it’s easier to fit wheels coming from neutral service during an event.

For more info go to www.lookcycle.com or www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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