Now offered as a complete bike or a £1699.99 frameset, Look’s slinky 566 seduces with its appearance and what the French company describe as ‘pro Tour geometry’, with a shortened top tube and lengthened head tube. Comprising a monocoque frame in a mix of high-modulus and high-resistance carbon fibre, the 566 has been designed for efficiency and comfort above all.
The compact frame’s extended head tube mounts the full-carbon, 368g fork with a conical carbon crown and angled bearings. While the oversized fork crown helps responsiveness, the legs decrease in size towards the dropouts, allowing greater flexibility. The Look family-wide top tube kink within the 566’s flattened top tube is designed to create extra compliance by using Look’s X Design concept.
The flattened seatstays and twisted chainstays are there to provide stiffness and comfort, their shape inducing flex into the structure. The theory seems to work, as the 566 glides along smoothly however rough the road. But we just couldn’t find a spark, and were wondering whether we were missing something. Even fitting race wheels in place of the Aksiums didn’t change the frame’s characteristics.
Once up to speed the 566 is very willing to maintain it, rolling along quickly and comfortably with ease. It might be best described as a race bike with a damper that doesn’t react quickly to out-of-the-saddle efforts. It climbs neatly and has a refined ride, but if criteriums are your thing then look elsewhere. There’s a certain vagueness caused by undue twisting up top when hustling along. On the other hand, a sportive rider who’s in it for the long haul could appreciate its smoothness.
With so much of the bike’s value in the frame, you might expect low-rent kit, but that isn’t the case. Shimano 105 forms the basis, with some Tiagra kit and lower spec Shimano brakes. The callipers are powerful enough but lack serrated washers, and twisted during testing. This is easily rectified though. The Deda bar, stem and seatpost look classy, the shallow drops are a good choice and the price includes a pair of Keo Max pedals.
For a bike with the grace of Thierry Henry and the swagger of Eric Cantona, the Look 566 has class in abundance.