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The 30th anniversary of Look’s first clipless pedal sees the French company presenting what it boldly refers to as “the most aerodynamic road bike ever built” with its new 795 Aerolight.
Rather than compare itself to its rivals’ products, however, Look took it’s existing 695 frameset – as used by Team Cofidis – and, with the application of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) aerofoil tubes, created a frame with almost a 12% aerodynamic saving while also increasing its stiffness. Coupled with a new HSC8 aero fork, Look has managed to avoid adding an weight to the frame, with differences to the 695 negligable.
The frame was ready, Look says, in time for the end of 2013, but was held back due to the world economic situation; this delay in production has allowed the company to hone many of the frame’s new attributes on the 695, however, to get them to a place where Look is really happy with them.
Like the 695, the 795 Aerolight features integrated brakes, with Look’s own design inside the fork blades and a Shimano Dura-Ace direct mount calliper beneath the bottom bracket. These brakes, says Look, are “20% more powerful than traditional brakes,” as well as having the advantage of being hidden away from the wind.
Coming over from another of Look’s frames – the 675 – is the integrated aerostem, which is now adjustable between +17 and -13 degrees – equivalent to 57mm of spacers – so as to provide the ideal fit without compromising on the aerodynamics. The cables enter the head tube, just below this stem, passing around the headset – with the integrated front brake cable actually passing through the centre of the steerer tube – to minimise their effect on the front of the bike’s profile.
The saddle is held on with a new E-Post 2 – which includes an integrated Di2 battery mount – and, while it maintains the the elastomer damping, the seat tube that it slots into is more vertically flexible than before to add to the frames overall comfort. A neat touch also sees Look include a hatch on top of the front end of the top tube, designed for stowing the Di2 control unit; a further aerodynamic detail, as well as an aesthetic one.
Like the rest of Look’s top end frames, the 795 comes with a Zed 2 one piece crankset, which the French company claims has the best stiffness to weight figures on the market.
Due to the size and shape of Campagnolo’s EPS battery, which won’t fit into the narrow 795 seat tube, Look doesn’t support the Italian company’s electronic groupset. Also, with the cable-pull of Campagnolo’s current brake levers, Look also discourages their use on the Aerolight’s integrated callipers.
Alongside the Aerolight, the 795 comes in a slightly simpler Light version. This version is identical to the Aerolight, aside from the conventional brake callipers in place of the integrated units, and so would theoretically be mechanical Campagnolo compatible. This will be the version that will be ridden by Pro teams thanks to the brakes being more-easily adjustable in the case of a different width rim from a wheel change. This version also carries a €700 lighter price tag.