Look Cycles had an all-new TT bike ready for Team Bretagne-Seche for the Grand Depart individual time trial of the 2016 Tour de France here in Utrecht, Netherlands. It’s so new, that according to one of their distributors, it doesn’t even have a name yet, but word is it’s replacing the 596 as the brand’s TT/Triathlon bike.
The graphics were done to match team cars (though we didn’t see any quite this audacious), which did a fantastic job of calling attention to it. As with other Look frames, there’s a lot of integration on board with some clever touches to minimize drag. The official debut is likely at Eurobike in August, but we’ve got quite a few details here…
The aero handlebar has mounts for extensions and arm rests, per usual, but…
It’s the flip-flop design that sets it apart from others. So, whether you like a tall or low cockpit, the same bar can accommodate both fits. Spacers for the arm rest and extensions handle the rest.
Up top is a 3D printed cable and wire port cover, indicating everything’s running through the stem and directly into the frame. Production models are sure to be more polished.
The bike gets a 2nd generation Aerobrake integrated into the fork.
Inside that fork is plenty of space between the wheel/tire and legs, which suggests they’re on top of the latest aero research that shows a little extra space helps reduce turbulence and drag. Plenty of space out back, too, with some very thin stays. Those small bits that appear to be connecting the seatstays to something just below the tire are actually the water bottle cage creating an optical illusion.
The graphics hide some of the joints, but it definitely flows together quite well.
The seatmast will be height adjustable like a seatpost, but then you’ll cut it to length. We couldn’t see what the small rubber cover hides (if anything), but the binder bolt is on the back of the seat tube.
This year’s participants will have a GPS tracker from the organizers attached to their bikes, which should make for some great real-time positioning on TV. The regular bikes (as in, non TT bikes) will also have timing chips attached to the chainstays to record finish times as they cross the line.
The team is sponsored by Selle Italia, but sometimes personal preference and a Sharpie win.
The bikes will use a next generation ZED one-piece crankset. The entire arm, spider and spindle combo is built as a single piece. To install it, the non-drive crankarm slides through the massively oversized, proprietary BB hole.
It’ll keep the length adjusting pedal inserts that let you easily change effective crank arm length by simply rotating the insert.
Not sure if the 596 will stay in the line as a price-oriented option, but it sure did look lonely on the auxiliary rack at the back of their pit area.
For the rest of the race, the team will be on the 795 Light Pro Team, which uses standard brake calipers versus the Aerobrake integrated ones found on the 795 Aerolite bike. I rode the latter down the backside of Alp d’Huez and they managed, but standard calipers definitely felt more confident.
A couple of riders wrapped a few layers of bar tape around the aero handlebar and finished it off with electrical tape to create a thicker platform on which to mount their cycling/sports watches. Electrical tape was used elsewhere on some frames, too.
Number plate holders varied from team to team, so we’ll include some images of them just to show what’s being used. Look’s were among the most basic – a simple metal plate mounted to the brake bolt.