Look (company)

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Look
IndustrySports equipment
Founded1951; 70 years ago (1951)
FounderJean Beyl
Headquarters,
Key people
Bernard Tapie
Products
  • Ski bindings
  • Bicycle components and frames
  • Cycling clothing
Websitelookcycle.com

Look is a French sports equipment manufacturing company based in Nevers that has led the innovation of alpine skiing quick-release binding systems. The company later moved into cycling with innovations in clipless pedals and carbon fiber frames.[1] The Look logo was inspired by Piet Mondrian paintings.

History[edit]

Look is most known for clipless pedals which are widely used in road cycling (picture of Look Keo Blade Carbon)
A permanent Look exhibition at the Palais ducal de Nevers in the central French city of Nevers, where Look was founded and is still based[2]

In 1948, engineer and inventor Jean Beyl, who owned a rubber manufacturing company, broke his leg skiing whilst wearing a rigid ski binding, which then brought him into the fledgling safety binding business.[3] In 1950, Beyl invented the Look Nevada dual-pivot ski binding system.[4] The following year the Look company was founded, named after the American magazine Look.[3] The 1962 Look Nevada II single-pivot ski binding design was the main influence for the company's bindings over the next 40 years.[4]

Following Beyl's early designs of a clipless bicycle pedal, in 1983, Look was bought by French businessman Bernard Tapie, who created the professional cycling team La Vie Claire the following year.[3] The first clipless pedals released by Look were the PP65.[5] With the La Vie Claire team, Bernard Hinault won the 1985 Tour de France using PP65 pedals, helping secure the acceptance of clipless pedal systems which remains in widespread use today.[5][6] At the 1986 Tour, Greg LeMond rode a "Bernard Hinault" Signature Model Look prototype for his win of the race.[7] Look's pedal designs have been a source of inspiration for rival manufacturers ever since.[8]

Look started manufacturing carbon bike frames in the late-1980s.[5] In June 2016, Activa Capital became a majority shareholder in the company, together with Dominique Bergin and Thierry Fournier.[9][10]

Sponsorships[edit]

The top-tier professional cycling teams sponsored by Look include Kelme–Costa Blanca, Crédit Agricole, CSC–Tiscali,[11] and Cofidis.[12] Second-tier Continental cycling team Fortuneo-Oscaro rode Look bikes from 2015 to 2018.[13] As of 2019, Look Cycle is sponsoring team Nippo–Delko–One Provence.[14][15]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Clemitson, Suze (2017). A History of Cycling in 100 Objects. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4729-1890-1.
  • Moore, Richard; Benson, Daniel (2012). Bike!: A Tribute to the World's Greatest Racing Bicycles. The Miegunyah Press. ISBN 978-0-522-86183-9.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moore & Benson 2012, pp. 82–85.
  2. ^ Moore & Benson 2012, p. 85.
  3. ^ a b c Moore & Benson 2012, p. 82.
  4. ^ a b Needham, Richard, ed. (September 2002). "The ski industry: Look launches Nevada toe". Skiing Heritage. The International Skiing History Association. 14 (3): 28.
  5. ^ a b c Moore & Benson 2012, p. 83.
  6. ^ Smythe, Simon (7 April 2015). "Icons of cycling: Look's revolutionary clipless pedals". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Héritage - Look Cycle - Pédales automatiques et vélos carbone". Look Cycle. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  8. ^ Clemitson 2017, p. 46.
  9. ^ "Chez LOOK Cycle, l'innovation commande – Partenaires Libération" (in French). Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Le fonds Activa Capital reprend Look Cycle à Nevers". Les Echos (in French). 29 June 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  11. ^ Moore & Benson 2012, p. 86.
  12. ^ Scott, George (10 April 2013). "Pro bike: Edwig Cammaerts' LOOK 695 SR". Road Cycling UK. Mpora. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Fortuneo-Samsic et Look mettent fin prématurement à leur collaboration - Cyclisme". L'Équipe (in French). Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  14. ^ "BIKES by Look". Team NIPPO DELKO One Provence (in French). Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  15. ^ November 2018, Josh Evans 30. "Team Delko-Marseille Provence partner with Look for 2019". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 15 April 2020.

External links[edit]