LOOK 595 CARBON ROAD BIKE 52 SMALL
LOOK 595 HSC6 REVIEWS:
The naked-carbon tubes might appear a bit thin, but the integrated seat-tube/seat-post system takes out lateral flex under the saddle. And where stiffness counts—at the bottom bracket, in the head tube—the cylinders drastically flare out, providing structural counters to any forces that might sap efficiency. But the 595's secret ingredient is "carbon nanotubes." Since the weakest part of carbon fiber is the spaces between the threads, Look impregnates its resin with microscopic carbon tubes that make the finished product lighter, stronger, and, you guessed it, stiffer.
The Look 595 made a splashy debut at the ’06 Tour as the all-new carbon racer under Credit Agricole’s sprinter Thor Hushovd and climber Pietro Caucchioli – a bike build for both sprinting and climbing.
LOOK’S Proprietary Carbon
Unlike many manufacturers, LOOK creates its own proprietary moduli (HR, HM, and VHM) from carbon at their own facilities. (They ‘cook’ it at different temps and times to create specific moduli.) They originally set up their carbon works at the HQ in Nevers, France but outgrew it’s capacity, and they built a second plant in Tunisia – where they mold carbon frames and parts exclusively for their own brands. Design and initial production of all carbon is done in France, while larger quantities are produced at the factory in Tunisia, then everything is shipped back to France for final finishing and quality checks. You gotta admire a company that is so committed to its products that it does not outsource production, nor do they produce carbon parts for anyone else. LOOK carbon is 100% LOOK carbon.
The 595 frame is – like most carbon frames – a blend of various moduli of carbon and layup patterns to create a desired weight, strength, durability, and ride quality. The primary grade in the 595 is LOOK ‘High Modulus’ – which provides much of the stiffness racers want, and is also lighter than comparable amounts of lower-grade modulus carbon. The rest of the ride quality is defined by the layup patterns and tube shapes.
The frame is a lugged design that really uses specific tube shapes to define the ride quality and features an original design integrated seat-post (called the E-Post). It’s designed as a true all-around race bike – light enough, stiff enough, and comfortable enough to satisfy the Thors, Pietros, and long stage racers in us all.
The headtube, bottom bracket and seat-post lugs all add stiffness at key joints, (by basically adding material where you need it) while the tubes provide the compliance part of the ride equation. The frame weight is under 1100 grams for the 54cm size. Add in the E-Post and fork, and we’re running around 1585 grams (3.5lbs) – it’s not the lightest frameset out there, but a nice balance of strength, durability, and lightness.
The head tube creates stiffness at the front using a wider 1-1/4” bearing at the bottom and a standard 1-1/8” bearing at the top. This essentially makes a larger platform to anchor the fork crown, which paired with LOOK’s own carbon fork, makes for a very laterally stiff front end. Internal cable routing makes for nice clean lines and uses fully enclosed guide-tubes so your cable will never go awol inside the frame.
The down-tube uses the same principles, but on a much larger scale, befitting the role as the ‘spine’ of the frame. It’s a big diameter tube at the top, that transitions to a wide, oval shape where it connects to the bb lug. Again the width at the bottom is designed to use physics (along with proper material density and fiber orientation) to hold the bottom end in a place where pedaling stress is maximized.
The seat tube is formed as an extension of the seat cluster lug, and the shape transitions from very wide at the bb lug, to ovalized from front to back – through and above the top tube. The purpose here is to again maximize the resistance of the twisting forces of pedaling at the bottom, but provide a slimmer profile at the top (no need to block more wind than you have to) while ensuring a solid platform to mount the E-Post.
The bottom bracket is a super hard carbon lug that is joined to the oval-ized downtube, top tube, and seat stays. Neither the downtube nor the top tube is the widest we’ve seen, but the whole configuration is so stiff that it doesn’t need to be.
E-Post – there’s a lot to like about this design. It fits down into the seat tube and stays put by actually resting on the top edge of the seat tube. Height is adjustable up to 4cm using multi-sized ‘spacer sleeves’ that fit over the bottom end of the post (see the three above – black, red, and black). The E-Post cinches into the seat tube via two red expansion wedges which also help damp road vibrations, and eliminate the usual pinch bolt that can damage your frame and some seat-posts. Comfort is further increased by a softer bumper used in the height spacers, it acts to absorb road buzz before it gets to the saddle.