Look (company)

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Look Cycle International
Industry Cycling components
Founded 1951 (1951)
Headquarters Nevers, France
Products Clipless pedals
Bicycle frames
Employees ~450
Website http://www.lookcycle.com/ www.lookcycle.com

Look is a French manufacturer of ski bindings, bicycle frames, equipment, and apparel.

History[edit]

LOOK Kéo pedals

Established in Nevers, France in 1951, Look was originally a ski equipment manufacturer. The company produces bindings under its own name and others such as Rossignol and Dynastar. The partnership with Rossignol (which later merged with Dynastar) made Look a leading binding manufacturer along with the Marker brand. Look pioneered a new binding, that set it apart from Marker in freestyle. This was branded with the pivot system (FKS for Rossignol). Following a change in ownership, it was replaced in 2008 with the PX series.

In the 1980s Look introduced a clipless pedal for cycling based on equipment for ski bindings. A spring-loaded latch on the top of the pedal held a cleat that was bolted to the sole of a shoe, a twist of the foot releasing the hold. They are called pédales automatiques (automatic pedals) in French. They were sold from 1984, and in 1985 Bernard Hinault used them to win the Tour de France. They were said to be safer and more comfortable than toe-clips. By 2000 the pedal was in widespread use on road bikes ("racing" bikes), track bikes, and mountain bikes, especially among experienced riders.

In 1986 Greg LeMond won the Tour de France on the first Look carbon frame, the KG 86. It was completely handmade and combined Kevlar with carbon for increased rigidity. In the early nineties, Look designed the revolutionary KG 196, the company's the first single-piece, monocoque carbon frame made of carbon, Kevlar, ceramic and aluminum. Being years ahead of its time, the KG186/KG196 featured sculpted aerodynamics, an integrated fork and steering tube, an adjustable stem, limited front suspension, and was designed for both road and track racing. The frame was extensively used by the ONCE cycling squad in the mid-1990s. This frame series has since evolved into the venerable KG x96 (KG 296, KG 396, KG 496, and 596) series of track bikes, used by numerous national teams around the world, as well as having its key innovative features widely imitated by other competitors years and decades later.

In the 1980s Look had been acquired by the Tapie group, which sponsored the professional La Vie Claire cycling team that included Hinault. Look pioneered bicycle frames from carbon fiber. In 1994, the ski binding division was sold to Skis Rossignol, and the cycle division became Look Cycle. In 1998, Look was sold by Bernard Tapie for 260 million francs.

Dominique Bergin bought the company with Look's management. Early in the 21st century, pro cycling sponsorship included up to three Tour de France teams. The name is now Look Cycle International. Laurent Jalabert, a French professional in the 1990s, is a consultant.

Track Bikes[edit]

Look 596 Track[edit]

Originally the Look 596 was created for Triathlons where aerodynamics play a vital role, as such each tube making up the frame is positioned to optimise the air flow between the rider and the bike. Look suggest that the 596 is up to 10% more aerodynamic than the predecessor 496. The 596 was manufactured in a way where it consists of three 'monoblocs'; the front triangle, integrated seat post and the two halves of the rear triangle. In keeping with the paradigm of aerodynamic efficiency the front forks were designed to act as a fairing for the front of the frame.[1]

Look L96[edit]

The L96 design is based upon that of the 496, optimising aerodynamics, improving power transmission whilst still reducing weight and maintaining stiffness and efficiency. The front forks are made up of three different types of carbon fibre in order to best obtain a compromise between stiffness, flexibility and handling whilst still remaining within the UCIs 3:1 aspect ratio.[2]

Look AL 464[edit]

The Look AL 464 is track bike constructed from 6061 Aluminium with its geometry taking inspiration from the Look 496.The diagonal tube is oversized and shaped like a tear drop in order to improve aerodynamic performance.[3]

Road Bikes[edit]

Look 675.

Look 566[edit]

Look designed the 566 frameset around responsiveness as well as comfort. It features 'X Design' seat stays which have been designed to provide lateral stiffness to aid responsiveness and some vertical flexing to provide the rider with some comfort. This was achieved by suing a flattened tube design, creating a virtual point of flexing. The 566 also features a taller than normal head tube, as well as a shorter sloping top tube providing yet further comfort. The manufacturer claims that the total weight of the bike 8.2 kg, with the frame weighing 1.1 kg.[4]

Look 586 SL[edit]

The 586 SL was developed from the fine tuning used to create the Look 695. The 586SL utilises a lighter carbon fabric (110g/m2), giving it a high comfort to stiffness to ratio. The frame passes under the 950g mark with an uncut seat tube. The rear dropouts are compressed during the manufacturing process which results in a single-piece rear triangle, helping to give the frame its light weight, whilst not compromising its stiffness. The 586 SL comes in versions which can accommodate Shimanos electronic Di2 groupset as well as Campagnolos EPS system.[5]

Look 675[edit]

The 675 is one of the most striking of all Look frames, primarily due to the integration of the stem into the top tube. The 675 was designed around the three most highly loaded (in terms of force) regions of the frame, with special technological advancements used in order to have a large gain in both stiffness and strength or previous models. The stem integration allowed Look to apply their 'Direct Drive' concept, optimising all cockpit parameters. This was achieved by using a shorter head tube, which tapers from 1 inch at the bottom to 1 1/8th inches at the top. The geometry of the frame favours more comfortable riding positions. The claimed weight for the bike varies from approximately 6.91 kg to 7.65 kg dependent on wheel choice.[6]

Look 695[edit]

The Look 695 is the current high-end bike that is manufactured by the company. This revolutionary frame offers high degrees of precision and infinite adjustability due to the integration of the stem, headset, fork and crankset. The shape of the tubes were optimised using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology, optimising their mechanical performance. The 695 is available in two versions ; the 695 SR (Super Rigid) was designed for racing cyclists whilst the 695 version gives similar performances to the 695 SRwhilst giving the rider the ability to be used under less demanding circumstances. The 695 comes in versions which can accommodate Shimanos electronic Di2 groupset as well as Campagnolos EPS system. Depending on wheels the bike weighs approximately from 6.27 kg to 7.01 kg.[7]

On June 26, 2013, the 695 Aerolight. The launch took place in Corsica where the 2013 Tour de France will begin. As a publicity stunt the bike was flown in via helicopter towards the waiting media. The Aerolight features integrated front and rear brakes, internal cabling, aerodynamic shaped stem and internal compartments for Shimano Di2 batteries. Look say that the bike weighs in under the UCI minimum weight limit of 6.8 kg, so ballast would have to be added for the bikes to be legal. The bikes will be debuted by the Cofidis team.[8]

Time Trial/Triathlon bikes[edit]

Look 596[edit]

The Look 596 is constructed from high modulus carbon fibre, where aerodynamic efficiency was the top priority during the design phase. Each tube which makes up the frame is positioned to optimise airflow between the rider and the bike, with a claimed improvement in aerodynamic efficiency of 10%. The aerodynamics (and rigidity) of the bike were achieved by integration of the bottom bracket into the downtube, in one continuous piece. Like the track variant the 596 is constricted from three monoblocs. The front fork also acts as a fairing.[9]

Look 576 RSP[edit]

Like the 596 the Look 576 is constructed from high modulus carbon fibre and weighs in at a claimed 1.1 kg. The Look 576 Aero was created for triathletes, with a 78 degree seat angle, allowing a triathlete to adopt their optimum aerodynamic position. The 576 was created using aerodynamic technology developed during the manufacturing of the 596. The 576s fork was specially designed to have an aerodynamic profile, minimizing drag.[10]

Sponsorship[edit]

Look sponsors a whole host of men's and women's teams typically with components. Cofidis are however sponsored to use not only Look components but also Look Road and Time Trial bikes. Look supply components to the following teams; BigMat-Auber 93, Team Tinkoff-Saxo, Ag2r-La Mondiale, Vacansoleil-DCM, Movistar Team, Astana, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Lotto-Belisol, Sojasun, Caja- Rural, Team Europcar, Bretagne Seché Environnement, Topsport Vlaanderen, Christina Watches - Onfone, Wiggle Honda, Optum Pro Cycling, Team Tibco, Ekoi/Devinici Team and 5 Hour Energy Racing Team.

They also supply track cycling equipment to the French, Chinese and Canadian national cycling teams as well as the German domestic track team, Team Erdgas.[11]

Look has contributed to numerous victories, a complete list can be found here

Product list[edit]

Frames[edit]

Track frames[edit]

  • Look KG196 track
  • Look 464P
  • Look 496
  • Look 596 track

Road frames[edit]

  • Look KG66
  • Look KG76
  • Look KG86
  • Look KG89
  • Look KG96
  • Look KG111
  • Look KG171
  • Look KG176
  • Look KG181
  • Look KG196
  • Look KG227
  • Look KG231
  • Look KG233
  • Look KG241
  • Look KG261
  • Look KG281
  • Look KG292
  • Look KG381i
  • Look KG386
  • Look KG451
  • Look KG461
  • Look KG481SL
  • Look KG486 Team
  • Look KX
  • Look KX Light
  • Look 555
  • Look 565
  • Look 566
  • Look 585
  • Look 586
  • Look 595
  • Look 675
  • Look 695

Triathlon/Time Trial frames[edit]

  • Look 596
  • Look 576

MTB frames[edit]

  • Look 920
  • Look 986

Pedals[edit]

Look Quartz (for MTB)[edit]

  • Quartz Cover
  • Quartz Cover
  • Quartz Carbon
  • Quartz Carbon Ti

Look Keo (for Road, Triathlon, Track, and Urban)[edit]

  • Keo
  • Keo Sprint
  • Keo Power
  • Keo Blade
  • Keo Blade Aero
  • Keo 2 Max
  • Keo Classic
  • Keo Easy

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]