What happened to Look bikes?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Lugan
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:02 pm

by Lugan

We could rewind time ~10 years and throw Merckx into a similar "What ever happened to..." discussion. Around 2001-2006, the scandium Team SC was the "it" bike for many. I owned and raced two of them and still fondly remember the handling and feel. Then carbon took over and Merckx was caught flat footed. Only in the past two years have they, under new ownership, appeared to have resurrected a complete and seemingly well engineered line of bikes. However, I still cannot see one in the flesh here in Seattle as they still don't have any local dealers that I know of.

srshaw
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:06 pm

by srshaw

My take on Look is that about a decade ago, their frames looked great and were reasonably priced. Now they are goofy looking and very expensive. They might still ride great, but for that money I'd sooner buy a Colnago.

by Weenie


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TonyM
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by TonyM

FYI here some insight about Look 25 years ago (I was living and racing in France at that time):
25 years ago Look made just average carbon frames. But they were affordable and lots of people were buying these carbon frames in France and all dealers were selling them very easily. They had however a lot of issues concerning stability (vs. weight) and also in the glueing with the aluminum parts of the frame. At that time the best carbon frames were the TVT carbon frames (especially he HM frames). The TVT frames were used by many Pro riders, sometimes without the TVT name on it of course (like M. Indurain etc...). But the TVT frames were almost twice the price of a Look frame. Look managed however to get some key people from TVT to increase the quality of their carbon frames. And indeed the quality of their frames increased significantly. Time at that time was only making the pedals (vs. Look pedals) and they started later to go into the frame business - also with some key people out of TVT (the company disappeared later). Their target was to make a "TVT frame 2.0", which they achieved with the core competencies from the TVT people.

But that's only the "technical" part. The Marketing part is of course on top of that securing the distribution network, sponsoring, marketing, pricing, etc....At that time, Look always wanted to be in the mass market in Franc for Europe. TVT (and Time) just wanted to fill a niche market.

And now for the time of the last 10-20 years I am reading all your post.

flying
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by flying

TonyM wrote: At that time the best carbon frames were the TVT carbon frames (especially he HM frames). The TVT frames were used by many Pro riders, sometimes without the TVT name on it of course (like M. Indurain etc...). But the TVT frames were almost twice the price of a Look frame.


Thanks Tony I had all but forgotten about those TVT frames but now that you mention them I do recall :wink:

I also thought they all looked so similar back then...TVT-Look-Vitus...The Looks Hinault & Lemond rode in 86 or were they TVT?
Very much looked like TVT style
But also how much Vitus early carbon tube with aluminum lug frames also looked like TVT
My riding buddy actually owned one of the early carbon Vitus frames that had the carbon main triangle with the alum rear section.

But later Look did do a fine job with carbon lugs
To this day I still think the 585 was the most beautiful carbon bike I ever owned

Here is Pez review pic not mine ( I did post mine earlier in thread)

Image

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

by flying

Lugan wrote:We could rewind time ~10 years and throw Merckx into a similar "What ever happened to..." discussion. Around 2001-2006, the scandium Team SC was the "it" bike for many. I owned and raced two of them and still fondly remember the handling and feel. Then carbon took over and Merckx was caught flat footed. Only in the past two years have they, under new ownership, appeared to have resurrected a complete and seemingly well engineered line of bikes. However, I still cannot see one in the flesh here in Seattle as they still don't have any local dealers that I know of.


Oh yes I lusted after the scandium Team SC for many a year :thumbup:
I still have a Domo Farm Frites Cap :D

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bikerjulio
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Location: Welland, Ontario

by bikerjulio

I agree that the LOOK 585 is a wonderful frame. I have a Merckx SC too. It was Easton's showpiece for their scandium tubing.
Image
Image
There's sometimes a buggy.
How many drivers does a buggy have?

One.

So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

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maverick_1
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Location: Tokyo

by maverick_1

The 585, 595 are both classic frames and compete directly with TIME VXRS and VXRS.
Built quality on those framesets are second to none..

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

by flying

bikerjulio wrote:I agree that the LOOK 585 is a wonderful frame. I have a Merckx SC too. It was Easton's showpiece for their scandium tubing.


Wow beautiful pair julio :thumbup:

nayr497
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Location: North Carolina, USA

by nayr497

Growing up, LONG before I was into road cycling, the local shop was owner by a guy who used to be a pro mechanic for a U.S. team. They had ridden looks, so he had a number of early/mid 80s framesets decorating the walls. I also thought they were so cool, though I was only riding BMX bikes.

In the mid 2000s I became an avid road cyclist. LOOKs were always too expensive for my budget. Then they came out with the 566 and I could afford it. Was the first new road frameset I bought and the first frameset build-up I put together. I guess that was around 2010 or 2011 at this point. Many, many kms on that bike and still happy with it. (thought I don't love the white/black/red colors...not a fan of red/black together).

With the new all-around/gravel/endurance road bikes being pitched, the 566 was ahead of its time, in my opinion. Mine doesn't look unlike the current Giants being ridden by Sunweb.
A good day becomes a better day with a bicycle ride.

sawyer
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Location: Natovi Landing

by sawyer

g32ecs wrote:
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.


Yep ... they were warned on this forum years ago. Put simply, their strategy is obviously flawed.

I still have in my stable the 585 Ultra posted by 53x12 on the first page of this thread. Great bike.

If Look took the 595, gave it some aero features, knocked 100g off, and sold it for sensible money they would have a winner

As it stands, I would not be surprised if the company disappeared in the next 5 years as they face greater competition in the pedal market

Really sad.

Lots of love for Look on this forum ... and good ideas as to what they need to do. it may be the company has a leadership issue having been very successful from the 80s heyday onwards, those guys must all have faded now
Last edited by sawyer on Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

sawyer
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by sawyer

53x12 wrote:
kgt wrote:Comparing Time to Look in terms of manufacturing does not make sense... Time frames are 100% made in France and the only manufacturer (except Giant) that weaves its own carbon. They use exclusively RTM and add vectran and other fibers to finely tune the ride characteristics. Certainly a higher quality frame than a Look or any other carbon frame whatsoever.
Look just uses standard prepeg carbon sheets like everyone else and its frames are made abroad (Morocco?, China?).


That is true about present day Look, but not about Look when they were in their prime. That is part of the reason Look has gone downhill the last few years and why you see many people in this thread questioning Look's direction. Look lost its direction and calling when they stopped producing the 585 and 595.

However the 585 and 595 frames were made in France. Nevers, France to be specific. When they were building the 585 and 595, Look made their own carbon (HR, HM, and VHM). Look carbon was 100% Look carbon. They did not out source production. At one point, they did open up a facility in Tunisia to help with some of the lower end frames that they sold.

You can read Pez Cycling's visit to the Nevers, France facility back in 2007 here:
http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/technspec ... Ts3Y1KZNE4


I've been to that plant in Nevers also

Look and Time were very close and both at their best in the early to mid 2000s. I can say the 585 though light for its era (c1000g frame) is a very strong, very well made frame indeed
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

smartyiak
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:20 pm

by smartyiak

sawyer wrote:
g32ecs wrote:If Look took the 595, gave it some aero features, knocked 100g off, and sold it for sensible money they would have a winner


This.

The 595 (well, 585/595) is a "classic." If they reissued it today, (esp. the "ultra"), I'd want one. I occasionally see the 695 on the clearance at R&A and think about it, but the integratioon worries me.

...but, the 585/595 is a "gold standard" for me (like the C-40/50) that all frames are measured against.

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bikerdan
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Location: Germany

by bikerdan

I was at Eurobike last year as I was planning on getting a new bike. Top of the list was a Sarto or a C60 but in the end the two bikes that stood out the most were the skylon and the look 695.

I'm honest that the performance won't make such a huge difference for me and I wanted something where every ride I think wow. C60 I just didn't like the lugs...

So in the end I went with a 695 aerohead. Some of the integration I think is amazing where you think smart idea. Zed 2 cranks for example. Putting it together took a lot lot longer but it was worth the wait

Better than any of the storcks I've had and in my eyes beautiful [GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

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53x12
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by 53x12

sawyer wrote:If Look took the 595, gave it some aero features, knocked 100g off, and sold it for sensible money they would have a winner


Spot on. Take the 585/595, stiffen up the front end a little, update it to take wider tires, update the composite layup + resin to the latest and greatest to save 100-150g on the frameset, and a few other minor changes (maybe a electronic ready frameset) and Look would have a winner.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

sawyer
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by sawyer

Yes, those additional points are very valid 53x12. Can't see why it wouldn't be doable. In fact they could trade on ride quality
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Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

by Weenie


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