Targeting the race and sportive market, the French Look 675 aims to be sharp and fast with enduring comfort, and as we rolled along our local valleys the frame worked hard to smooth the decaying road surface.
The integrated stem creates a very tidy front end, the top tube angle increasing to meet it, while the underside sweeps down to join the head tube. Angular tube shaping up front is mixed with flattened stays at the rear and a slim 27.2mm diameter seatpost, for a combination of both space age and conventional looks.
The stays and seatpost certainly offer a reasonable amount of compliance, and a different saddle might improve things further, but with such racy wheels there’s a limit.
Mavic’s 50mm deep Cosmic Carbone SSCs are noticeably stiff, and both help and hinder the bike. Through some testing switchbacks the dextrous front end turned in beautifully, the wheels helping to carve consistently, and over rolling hills their stiffness complemented the frame’s superb power delivery to climb efficiently.
Look 675: Russell Burton/Future Publishing
Going back down, handling and agility were both top notch, the incisive fork coping well with some optimistic cornering. The surprise is the usually excellent Exalith braking track; shedding speed definitely required some forward planning.
As the wind got up it tugged at the front wheel as we passed gaps in the hedge; the wider carbon spokes give more purchase for the wind, making them a little harder to handle, but in combination with the fairly conventional frame it didn’t give great cause for concern. And as the rain set in, wet weather performance was predictably consistent.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.