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Verdict: 
An innovative aero road bike that delivers plenty of speed, but only for those with a large budget
Weight: 
7,700g

The Look 795 Aerolight is an innovative, swift and fast reacting aero road bike although the steep price could dissuade many potential buyers.

How does it ride?

Look described the 795 Aerolight as 'the best aero road bike ever made' when we went to the launch a couple of years ago – although you'd expect it to say that, wouldn't you? 

This is certainly a very accomplished bike that feels most alive when you're soloing off the front of the group or riding fast over flat or rolling terrain. It offers a whole lot of speed for your efforts and maintains that pace well.

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Although the 795 Aerolight isn't quite up there with the absolute best when it comes to accelerating out of a tight corner or getting on the wheel of an attacker, it still sweeps up to speed quickly enough to leave most others working hard to keep up.

It dispatches hills with the minimum of fuss. There are plenty of lighter bikes out there for this kind of money but the 7.7kg (17lb) of our review bike does include Look's own pedals. Take that into account and it's pretty light, especially for an aero bike fitted with 52mm rims. The 795 Aerolight doesn't quite spring up the slopes but it's certainly up for the fight, impatient to get back to the higher speeds where it can really impress.

Look 795 Aerolight - riding 6.jpg

The mid-section of the bike feels notably strong when you turn up the power thanks to a huge bottom bracket shell and Look's Zed 3 chainset that's a '100% carbon monobloc construction'. In other words, the two crank arms and the axle are made as one piece, and they feel like it, providing a concrete-hard platform when you hit the pedals with everything you can muster.

Look 795 - crank detail.jpg

The 795 Aerolight feels a lot like many other race bikes in that the ride is on the firm side, but elastomers on Look's own E-Post 2 – the topper on the integrated seatpost – absorb a lot of vibration from the road. You don't climb off this bike at the end of a long ride feeling like you've taken a kicking.

Tell us about the frameset aerodynamics

The frame tubes are made to NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) aerofoil profiles. This applies to the seat tube, the down tube, the head tube, the seatstays and the fork – so pretty much everything, then.

Look Cycles 795.jpg

All of the tubes are teardrop shaped in cross section, rounded at the leading edge before tapering away towards the rear. The idea, of course, is to manage airflow, reducing turbulence behind the tubes to minimise drag.

The deep seat tube is cut away around the rear wheel in tried and tested time trial manner, and you get an integrated seatpost here so the aero shaping extends uninterrupted almost up to the saddle.

Look Cycles 795 - integrated post.jpg

In case you hadn't noticed, the Look 795 Aerolight is all about integration. Aside from that integrated seatpost, this is most evident at the front end.

Rather than using a standard stem clamped to the steerer tube somewhere above the top of the head tube, Look has taken a chunk out of the top of the head tube and sunk its hollow, high modulus carbon fibre Aerostem into the step this creates. The stem sits flush with the sloping top tube, a rubber cover making the transition between the two even smoother.

Look Cycles 795 - bars 2.jpg

You see stems flowing into the top tube on some time trial bikes, but there the top tube runs parallel to the ground. An aero road bike is always going to have a longer head tube than a TT bike and so Look has to give the 795 Aerolight a steeply sloping top tube to keep the standover height down to a reasonable level. Without some wind tunnel data, we can't say what effect this has on the aerodynamics.

Look Cycles 795 - top tube decal.jpg

How do you alter the height of the handlebar, then? Look has thought of that. Adding normal headset spacers underneath the stem would clearly mess up the integration but you can set the angle of the Aerostem from -13° right up to +17°. That equates to 57mm of vertical adjustment on a 110mm stem. You can choose from five other stem lengths.

Look 795 - Stem detail.jpg

The stem also features a magnetic cover over its handlebar clamp bolts, and if you go for a Shimano Di2 electronic groupset, the junction box is hidden away inside the top tube. You flip up a little panel to access it. The Di2 battery lives inside the seat tube. It's not compatible with a Campagnolo EPS groupset.

Hardly any cable runs externally, just a small amount between the end of the handlebar tape and the top of the head tube. The cable then heads inside and is guided around the fork steerer and on to its final destinations. Look has actually patented the cable routing design. Although we didn't need to swap cables, Look claims it's a straightforward process from a mechanic's point of view.

Are there any other aero features?

The V-type front brake has arms that sit in windows in the fork legs (as they do on Look's 695 Aerolight). The idea is that from an aerodynamics perspective the brake barely exists. The cable is routed inside so that doesn't disturb the airflow either.

Look Cycles 795 - front brake.jpg

The direct mount rear brake is hidden away too, this time in a less unusual position on the underside of the chainstays. The cable is routed through the down tube and emerges just in front of the bottom bracket shell.

Look 795 - rear brake.jpg

Complicated cable routing can often deaden braking performance but these felt good. I wouldn't say the 795 Aerolight offers the sharpest braking I've ever experienced but I certainly didn't need to give it advanced warning in writing whenever I wanted to scrub off speed. Whether feathering the brakes or coming to a complete halt, they did a sound job, especially working on the Exalith surface of the Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon wheels on our review bike.

Look Cycles 795 - rim.jpg

The caveat is that the rear brake positioning does mean that it's in the front line when it comes to water/gunk/bits of dead badger thrown up from the road. You'll certainly find that the rear brake gets covered in muck far quicker than if it was fixed up on the seatstays, and that can affect braking in wet conditions.

> Check out our guide to the fastest aero road bikes here

If this braking arrangement doesn't do it for you, the Look 795 Light – as opposed to our 795 Aerolight – has brakes fitted in conventional positions.

The build

The Look 795 Aerolight comes as a frame and fork (with the integrated front brake) plus the Aerostem, E-Post 2 and the Zed 3 chainset.

Look Cycles 795 - head tube badge.jpg

The Zed 3 cranks are length adjustable. I could choose between 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm by swapping around inserts. Swapping from one to another is a bit of a faff, but nothing you can't handle. I can see the design being a benefit to the manufacturer who doesn't need to produce so many different options, and to the dealer who needs to carry less stock, but to the consumer? Not so much. No one changes stem length from ride to ride, do they? I guess it might be useful if you want to sell the bike on at some point.

Our bike was built up with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic groupset and Mavic Cosmic Carbon Pro wheels. They're excellent components although I'd question the speccing of a 50/34-tooth compact chainset on a speed machine like this. It's your shout, though. You can choose whatever you like; it's your frameset.

Look Cycles 795 - drive train.jpg

The 795 Aerolight is also available as a complete bike with a Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical groupset and Mavic Aksium Elite wheels for £6,209.99.

Verdict

An innovative aero road bike that delivers plenty of speed, but only for those with a large budget

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Look 795 Aerolight

Size tested: Large

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Look says, "The 795 is built using the most sophisticated carbon composition, based on very high modulus and 1.5K ultra-light carbon sheets."

The HSC 8 Aero fork is carbon-fibre too.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Look says, "30 years of experience in carbon and 10 years of experience in specific research conducted by our design department have made it possible today to introduce you to the most aerodynamic road bike ever built: the 795 Aerolight.

"With its 11 patents, it is without doubt the bike that embodies the most technology. New 1.5k carbon frame with NACA aerofoil section tubes, Aerostem carbon stem, ZED3 one-piece carbon crankset, new E-Post2 with Di2 battery mount, 100% integrated cable routing... all parts of the 795 Aerolight have been designed down to the last detail to offer you this extraordinary machine.

"The 795 is one of this new generation of bikes that pushes the performance envelope even further. In addition to the qualities to be found on high-end bikes such as efficiency, light weight and comfort, the 795 boasts an additional advantage: aerodynamics. The many integrated features boasted by the 795 and increasingly precise carbon compositions mean that it is possible to build an aerodynamic road bike today without increasing weight.

"The 795 weighs the same as the highly efficient and renowned 695 while achieving much better aerodynamics. A complete bike can therefore happily keep within the 6.8kg limit. In order to achieve truly improved aerodynamics, all tube sections have this teardrop shape that reduces turbulence behind the tubes and helps maintain high speeds. Not only the seat tube and down tube, but also the head tube, fork and stays have been designed with this shape known as the NACA aerofoil, validated by aerodynamics engineers then wind-tunnel tested."

It's an aero road bike designed for racing or at least performance-type riding.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

The build quality is very high and the finish is excellent. Looks always have classy finishes.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Look says, "The 795 is built using the most sophisticated carbon composition, based on very high modulus and 1.5K ultra-light carbon sheets."

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The Look 795 Aerolight comes in five different sizes from XS to XL. Our size L came with a 572.9mm top tube and a 184.7mm head tube and a 775mm seat tube (it has an integrated seatpost).

The stack (the vertical distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube) is 582mm and the reach (the horizontal distance between those points) is 395mm.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The geometry is fairly relaxed for an aero road bike – you might expect the head tube to be a centimetre shorter – but you can angle the Aerostem anywhere from +17° to -13° to get the handlebar to the level you want. That's likely to be enough for most people although we'd certainly advise you to take up the bike fit on offer if you buy through a UK dealer.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

It's a solid feeling bike but the E-Post 2 elastomers certainly add a degree of vibration absorption.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

It's notably stiff through the bottom bracket and chainset.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

It felt very efficient, yes, particularly when riding out of the saddle.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? More lively than neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

It's a quick-handling bike that's easy to flick around.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The E-Post 2's elastomers help to soften the ride.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Wheels and tyres

Controls

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? The price is the hurdle here.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes, if they could afford it.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your score

The Look 795 Aerolight puts in a very good performance, although you have to pay more than for a comparable bike from one of the bigger manufacturers.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, 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 past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

2 comments

Avatar
fennesz [159 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Looks shocking (subjective, I know) & old wheels.

Avatar
Rixter [58 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

The 795 is very polarizing. Personally I'm more a fan of the 695. Do like that new aero handlebar though