French brand Look has enjoyed a reputation for innovation throughout its 30-year history – as well as being very much a premium brand (as seen with the highly anticipated new 796 Time Trial superbike, which broke cover briefly at the Tour).
So it’s a big surprise that Look has debuted a new model, the 765, where the big story is that it will start at $1,999 for a Shimano 105 bike. Contained within the classy new frame, however, is some interesting tech.
It’s all down to the use of flax fibers. Some of you may say that you’ve seen this before – years ago – in Johan Museeuw’s eponymous bikes.
Look’s engineers, however, researched the use of flax-fiber in other carbon applications – it’s used in aeronautics (for carbon cockpits in fighter jets to reduce fatigue-inducing vibrations) motorsport and sailing.
The dedicated sub 300g fork is infused with flax fibers to aid vibration damping
The key feature of the fiber is its ability to absorb considerably more vibrations than standard carbon. Whereas woven carbon fiber has straight paths that the energy from vibrations can travel along quickly, the natural fibers within flax are much more irregular sizes and shapes. The energy therefore has a far less linear path to take, so it takes longer and is much reduced before it finds its way to you.
Look has designed the new 765’s carbon layup within the chainstays and the lightweight forks legs so that flax fibers are sandwiched between carbon layers to reduce noisy chatter from the road surface, yet retain low weight and make for a smoother ride.
The 765 is aimed squarely at the gran fondo rider so it’s around 15mm taller than the 675, with a shorter top tube too. The frame, it’s claimed, weighs in at around the 1kg mark, and with the dedicated flax-infused fork slipping below 300g the 765 hits the right numbers for the price point.
The Ultegra model gets the full Look ‘Mondrian’ team colors finish
The frame features full internal routing and Di2 compatibility. A BB30 bottom bracket shell and asymmetric oversized chainstays are designed to ensure great power delivery, while the tapered head tube provides handling rigidity.
The 765, at $1,999, comes with Shimano 105 and an FSA crank, running on Shimano RS11 wheels. There will be a Shimano Ultegra bike for $2,799 and a Shimano Ultegra Di2 model for $4,299.