French frame, fork and pedal maker Look has enjoyed a successful 20-years-plus run as a top manufacturer for the road market, but quickly realized an opportunity on the mountain bike side, introducing the Quartz clipless pedal and the 986 carbon hardtail for 2008.
BikeRadar received a 21-pound 986 (size Large) for test recently, specced with: SRAM's X-0 shifters and derailleurs, a RockShox Reba Team fork with remote compression lockout, Mavic CrossMax SLR wheels, Continental Supersonic Speedking 2.1 tyres, Avid Juicy Ultimate hydraulic disc brakes with carbon levers, Gobi XM saddle, FSA headset, OS99 stem K Force Light cranks and flat carbon handlebars. As built, the carbon hardtail retails for US$5,499. An uncut frame weighs about 2.67 pounds, and retails for US$2,499.
Our goal? To see if a lightweight carbon hardtail can perform in a full-suspension crazy dirt world, and if a radical extended carbon seat tube design contributes or detracts from the experience. We've already clocked several hard rides in the Santa Cruz mountains, with a crazy two-day excursion around Lake Tahoe, complete with several thousand feet of climbing and descending at 7,000 to 9,000 feet elevation. We experienced more action putting the 986 through sand, fire trails and rock gardens in two days around Tahoe than most would ride in a season. Such is the nature of riding in northern California.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Look 986 on BikeRadar.