What happened to Look bikes?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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tranzformer
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by tranzformer

I remember when the 585 and 595 came out. Look was making some of the best frames at that point and had a lot of excitement at Interbike and other shows. Then they went away from the lugged carbon frames and moved into integrated monocoque frames that became a little generic and blended in with the rest of the crowd. Are they really any different than the vast number of other manufacturers they are trying to compete against? I remember when I had a few Look dealers within driving distance of me. Now there are none in my state nor the three surrounding states. Look USA is also no more and they have outsourced distribution and warranty to a 3rd party, Hawley LLC in the last ~2 years or so.

I guess they can live off of pedal sales and use that to do all the proprietary and integrated stuff on their frames. But to be honest, I don't see any new Look frames when riding. The 795/695/675/765 seem like a total flop, at least here in USA. Hard to get more exposure when dealers aren't carrying your product any longer.

If only Look would have continued building the 585/595 and updated them as time went on with new composites and resins to decrease the weight. Parlee seems to make it work with their Z1/2/3 and Colnago with their C60. So there is still a demand for more traditional looking bikes that are carbon lugged. It is just unfortuante to see Look slowly die a slow death here in the States when they were doing much better not too long ago.

MiddMan
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by MiddMan

I can't speak for Look's marketing strategy though I think the scarcity of European frames in the US is getting more and more rare: those who want them will find a way, otherwise, too much overhead for an LBS to stock a 'rare' or unfamiliar ride. They figure it's safer to go with a common household name.

The 795 is actually a bike I love and hate at the same time. I've never ridden it, so won't comment on ride quality, but as an overall package I think it does have a unique look to it, a je ne sais quo. (This coming from someone who loves trad geo, not a fan of 99% of sloping styles, and generally not that interested in 'aero' claims--I don't race anymore.) It's funky looking yet proportioned. It has an individuality to it... That said, I'm totally with you: I think it would be great to have one or two more lugged or at least traditional bikes on the market.

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boysa
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Location: Too far from my bike.

by boysa

Good post, great question. I owned a 595 (my wife still rides it) and it was a fantastic frame. Nothing after that model, however, gave me any reason to consider buying another Look. The designs didn't interest me at all. They ran the gamut of generic to ghastly, IMHO.

I'd love to know if there is anything behind the obvious changes.
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it." William Munny

flying
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:16 am

by flying

Yes pretty much agree....
My 585 was my all time favorite ride.
Wish I still had it actually
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53x12
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Location: On the bike

by 53x12

The 595 and 585 are two of my all time favorite frames. They were perfect and stiff in just the right places, handled well, comfortable for riding and just looked classy and nice. I will never sell mine and hope I never crasher damage them.

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Too bad they didn't keep making the two of them. They were selling well from what I remember, saw a lot of them in races and on group rides. Not so much any more. I wonder where they all went?
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

asiantrick
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:18 pm
Location: the OC, CA

by asiantrick

I own the 675 Light. Might not be the quickest in my stable which included Supersix HM, Izalco Max, Argon 18, but this is probably one of the best and most comfortable bike I've ever ridden.

Them Frenchies really know how to make bike :mrgreen:

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BRM
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Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:43 pm

by BRM

In the next Tour de France the French team: Fortuneo-Vital Concept team, will use Look bikes.

The 795 Light as normal bike and for time trials the 796 Monoblade


http://fortuneo-vital-concept.fr/

Seedster
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:05 pm

by Seedster

I believe the 695 is still sold alongside the 795. that said, the 795 is not my cup of tea. I do still love the 695 and it's semi traditional geometry. If it weren't so heavily proprietary, I would consider one for a fun build.

g32ecs
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:50 am

by g32ecs

tranzformer wrote: proprietary and integrated stuff on their frames.

This is what's killing them. You basically limit people from choices, but let's face it, nobody wants to be imprisoned with 1 choice.

I owned the 675 and hated the fact I was stuck with a porky stem. It was a decent bike otherwise.

maxxevv
Posts: 1958
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

Had both the 585 and 595.

The 585 was the best "all day" bike I ever had. The 595 was a little stiffer but the elastomer for the integrated post wasn't a great thing as it sometimes made the road feel vague.

The Colnago EPS I had after those was essentially a stiffer version of the 585 too. But it wasn't as comfortable for all day rides as compared to 585.

I too would say bring back the 585 and beef up the front fork end and to a certain extent, the chainstays. Keep the 27.2mm post and comfort of its seatstays. Forget about all that integrated nonsense!

If the market demands it, update it with flat mount disc brakes.

I'm very sure it would sell a lot more than its current offerings.

Look need to understand the old mantra of Keep it Sweet and Simple !!

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kgt
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Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

For whatever happened (or not) to Look frames responsible are also the consumers who don't care about manufacturing quality, just follow any silly trend that is promoted or prefer inferior frames just because A or B pro rider uses them... Just MHO.

bm0p700f
in the industry
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by bm0p700f

that's wrong. I bought my 795 not because a team used I liked the intergration. the fact I can only use a Look stem, a look seat post top and a the ZED3 crank is not an issue for me.

The 795 rocks as a bike. So quick it's flattering.

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kgt
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Location: Athens, Greece

by kgt

What I wrote was in defense of Look frames, not the opposite...

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Generally speaking people buy the low/mid range bikes from the big brands.
The big brands make it profitable for shops to take their full range.
There's little or no room for companies who only make top end stuff. So they either have to spend shit loads on advertising and/or sponsor a big team.

Sales are low, importers don't want to import and they pull out of the market.

So you end up slightly restricted in availability of exclusive/low volume euro brands in the US. And vise versa for us in Europe.

mrlobber
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by mrlobber

What starts to speak for Look's integration again, is that most other top brands are slowly migrating towards integration as well - many of the top end aero bikes already have proprietary stems or integrated cockpits altogether, and standard seatposts slowly start to be an exception.

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