Look has, perhaps expectedly, joined the e-road market with the e-765 Optimum range of electric bikes.
As a bicycle brand, Look is about as French as they come with a history stretching back 35 years to their early clipless pedals. Its pedals first won the Tour de France under Bernard Hinault in 1985 a year after they were launched. It wasn’t long after, in 1986, that Look decided to go into producing bicycle frames.
Its heritage is one rich with carbon, with both its bikes and pedals using the material as an integral part of their design.
Currently, Look claims that 41% of the pro peloton uses its pedals. It also claims that it spends 5% of its turnover on R&D. It holds 550 patents, sells one million pedals a year through 31,000 shops and is one of the few brands to have its own carbon manufacturing facilities in France and Tunisia.
AFSA 50/34 chainset sits up front Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
While Look has had road, triathlon, track and mountain bikes in its range, it has now expanded into the e-road market, which coupled with its road range is where they will now focus.
The Fazua Motor
Look decided that it needed a motor that did not restrict or limit the ability of the rider to get over the 25kph legal assistance limit. It should also be light enough to not interfere with the ride quality of the bike.
This is the drive interface between the motor and the BB Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Look felt that Fazua, the relatively new German motor brand had these same desires — Fazua wanted to produce a motor that is compact and lightweight, for use on the road. As such, Look is placing the Fazua motor in its range of e-road bikes.
The motor and battery sit together in a ‘Drivepack’, which clips into the downtube where it interfaces with the BB system, providing assistance. The Drivepack can be removed from the bike but this does not leave the bike disabled — it can be ridden without the Drivepack, just leaving the 1kg (claimed) BB system in place.
The BB from Fazua weighs around a kilo, and is bolted in to the frame Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The entire system weighs 4.6kg, resulting in a claimed weight of 13.2kg for a full bike.
The motor system provides 250w of continuous power (peaking at 400w) with 60NM of torque for fast accelerating. There’s a 250Wh battery, and four power modes (though one of those is a no-assistance mode).
In addition to the hardware, there’s a Fazua app to tie it all together. This gives info such as battery level, battery and motor temperature, and remaining range.
It also has mapping capability, which rather neatly includes a map showing the range at which you can ride out, and return to your start point. Look has also re-tuned the power levels and delivery of the Fauza motor’s power to better suit what they feel riders require.
A number of signature Look features can be found on the e-765 bikes.
Neat cable routing from Look Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
3D Wave Seat Stays
Look claims that a wave-like profile along the underside of the seat stays allows around 15 per cent more flex than a straight profile tube. As such, this design is used on both its road and gravel e-bikes.
On the road-based model this is largely included to aid comfort.
Direct Drive Concept
Look design the front of their bikes as a whole package – fork, steerer, head tube, stem and bar are all integral to the front end feel Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Across Look’s bikes, the front end is designed as a complete system — including the fork blades, steerer tube, frame head tube, stem and bar. This is done so that Look can control the comfort and stiffness across the entire system.
Look has adjusted the composition of the carbon layup slightly on the E-Road bike, with extra high modulus carbon for a ‘more reactive’ ride quality.
The full range of e-765 bikes are laid up in Look’s Tunisian facility and then assembled in France.
Look e-765 Optimum geometry
As you’d expect from an endurance-focused bike, the geometry of the new models are pretty tall and relaxed.
There’s a 70.3-degree head angle, with a 70.3-degree seat angle, mated to a 602mm stack (size large) and a 569mm top tube.
Look e-765 Optimum models
Two models will be offered by Look, both based around a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain — one mechanical, one Di2.
The top-end e-765 comes with a glossy red finish, Ultegra Di2 and 42mm deep carbon hoops Look
The Ultegra Di2 model will feature a 2×11 drivetrain with a 50/34 carbon-armed FSA chainset and 11/28 cassette. It rolls on 42mm deep Vittoria Elusion carbon tubeless wheels and Hutchinson Sector 32mm tubeless tyres. This will cost €7,699.
The cheaper, €6,499, e-765 Optimum comes with the mechanical Ultegra groupset, with alloy cranks and a 11/32t cassette. It is fitted with Shimano RS 370 alloy tubeless wheels and Hutchinson Sector tyres.
Shimano Ultegra is present on both e-765 Optimum bikes – either mechanical or Di2 depending on your budget Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Both bikes heavily feature Look finishing kit and a Fizik Antares saddle. International pricing is TBC.
Look e-765 Optimum initial ride impressions
I managed a brief 15km ride on the e-765 Optimum on rolling hills in the Loire Valley in France — enough to gain some quick impressions, but not a comprehensive set of evaluations.
The e-765 Optimum clearly takes influences from the Look 765 endurance bike, as you’d expect. This results in a comfortable, easy position on the bike with a relatively tall front end and relaxed geometry.
The overall ride is comfortable — the 3D Wave back end in addition to the reasonably voluminous 32mm tyres mounted to Shimano’s RS 370 rims offers some buzz reduction from the road.
Look spec 32mm wide Hutchinson Sector tyres Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
The Ultegra groupset works as smoothly as you’d expect, however, with a freehub in both the cranks and the hub, there’s a fair amount of free movement before power is transferred which racier riders may find frustrating.
The Fauza motor is excellent though. Rather than a punchy ride that might be found on other motors, the feeling is more like a gentle push on the small of your back. Power delivery is smooth and unobtrusive, and when you reach the limits of the motor’s assistance (25kph) the drop in assistance isn’t overtly noticeable.
That’s partly thanks to the low weight of the bike but also the systems minimal amounts of friction. Yes, it’s noticeable that there’s a touch more friction than a ‘regular’ bike, but it’s far better than many other systems on the market.
As such, riding above the limiter is less of a chore — you’re simply riding a bike that’s roughly 4kg heavier than it might otherwise have been. This is noticeable when stood on the pedals, swinging the bike from side to side.
The Drivepack easily drops out of the bike – here you can see the battery charging terminal and the on-off button Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Dropping the motor in and out of the bike is fairly painless in order to charge it. Though with cold fingers the push button on top of the downtube to release the Drivepack can feel rather stiff.
The Fauza controller is a touch chunky, although the column of LEDs that show you battery level and power mode selection is easy to read and the buttons offer reasonable feedback.