Made from the same mold as the exclusive 785 D'Huez RS but with less expensive carbon, the Look 785 Huez is a race-ready chassis built with Shimano's dependable 105 5800 group and RS10 wheels. With lively geometry, a 52/36 crank and an 11-32t cassette, you can have fun going up and down hills. But the bottom line is that it's overpriced for a 105 bike.
Named for a mountain, made for the mountains
Aside from lightening the scales, a bike like this, as you would suspect, can also substantially lighten your wallet. So as many brands do, Look created some trickle-down options, using the same mold but with less-expensive carbon and more obtainable parts.
Look offers the 785 Huez in a few builds, but this Shimano 105 package is only available in North America. Built with Shimano RS10 wheels, which add a not-insignificant 1,848g, the bike weighs 8.3kg / 18.3lb. Look claims the 785 Huez frame weighs 990g in size Small, with the fork adding another 350g.
Adding budget wheels to a climbing bike doesn't do you any favors in the old power-to-weight equation so critical for going uphill, but there are other aspects of the bike that still shine.
For instance, the overall lateral stiffness of the bike is very good; whether out of the saddle of just mashing hard in the saddle over a steep rise, the bike provides a taut platform to leverage against.
Further, the 11-32t cassette can be a boon for steep climbs. While most bikes sold with Shimano 105 feature compact 50/34 cranks, the 785 Huez opts for a 52/36 sub-compact, which racers will appreciate. Having a sub-compact up front and a wide-range cassette in the back is in many ways the best of both worlds: top-end speed and a steep-climb-friendly low gear.
The geometry of the machine is fairly straightforward, with a bent towards competition over casual riding. On my Large test bike, for example, the 582mm stack puts it about a 15mm taller than an all-out race bike, such as a Cannondale SuperSix or a Specialized Tarmac, but well below an endurance bike like the Specialized Roubaix, which sits at 611mm for a comparable size. At 395mm of reach, the 785 Huez has effectively the same length top tube as a race bike.
The alloy seatpost and stem are unremarkable, but the alloy handlebar feels a touch old school with its narrow diameter and thin bar tape. More companies are opting for thicker and/or shaped handlebars these days to disperse pressure at the palms, and Look could gain from making the same change.
Saddles will always be a matter of personal preference, but I found the Selle Italia X3 comfortable, with a neutral shape, a middle level of padding and a small cutout. Along with the yellow housing, the yellow highlights on the saddle tie the bike's aesthetic together nicely.
All and all, the Look 785 Huez is a good machine, with a sporty frameset, dependable 105 group and a well put together look. The wheels are heavy and inexpensive, but that is fairly standard for a 105-level bike. What isn't standard is the $2,500 price (sorry, UK and European readers — we just have $ pricing on this one). You can buy a Giant TCR Advanced 2 with 105 for $1,734. Or, for $2,400, you can buy a Specialized Tarmac Elite with Shimano Ultegra.
The Look 785 Huez is a fine bike, but for the asking price, it's a hard sell.