Just before the Tour de France 2013, French company Look launched the new 695 Aerolight in Corsica and four Cofidis riders have ridden the bike at the Tour.
Look was one of the first bicycle producers that began to integrate components into the frame design. Sounds logical one hand, because that way you ensure that everything works together harmoniously, but then you lose there is some flexibility, because it is not easy and sometimes impossible to replace parts with something new.
Look sees that integration primarily as a guarantee of quality: “We develop our own products because our requirements -our expectations- go beyond those of current standards. We can make more performing products than those found up to now on the market.”
“The integration of the various components brings the assurance of ideal compatibility between the elements, as they were developed to work together.”
“For example, the ZED 2 crankset and its bottom bracket have rigidities that are 100% compatible. Even the bearings are specific and were designed to have the best transmission of effort. This would not have been possible with an existing chain drive.”
We have seen far-reaching integration of parts in the original 695, but the Aero Light also has integrated brake calipers and a new aerodynamic stem while also working on the design of the tubes so that they produce aerodynamic advantage. The Zed 2 crankset, which can be adjusted with a crank length of 170, 172.5 or 175 mm, is again present.
The new Aerostem, where the traditional cap has been replaced by a cap is clearly inspired by the L96’s stem, designed for the track races in London. The down tube, seat tube and chainstay enclose the oversized bottom bracket without interruption in the form. This is called CFD or Continuous Fibre Design and improves lateral stiffness.
The bike is also coming with the LOOK’s famous Mondrian theme.
Fred Caron, LOOK Product Manager explains CFD: “Continuous Fibre Design is a concept that we have developed: we know that carbon fibres have extraordinary characteristics of resistance to traction but not to bending. To optimise the weight/performance ratio, we must thus avoid any sharp angles at the most solicited places. This concept thus allows us to clearly outstrip our competitors with extremely performing parts in Rigidity/Weight. A very striking example of CFD is the HCS7 fork, which shows lines without rupture, notably at the fork crown/pivot junction, a genuine evolution compared with previous versions, since the HSC7 is 16% more lightweight than the HSC6 (295gr) while remaining 15% more rigid.”
The new HSC 7 Aero fork, Head Fit 3 headset and E-Post seatpost are the other components that are integrated into the frame and specially designed. The lightness in Aerolight was achieved by using thinner 1.5K carbon.
The mechanical V-brake brake is hidden in the middle of the fork, in a housing which forms a ‘window’. This means that the brake arch proportion disappears completely into the fork to improve aerodynamics. The brake cable goes in, under and through the stem before diving into the fork tube. The rear brake is under the chainstay, it weighs a claimed 130 grams and also has internal cabling that passes inside the bottom bracket shell. According to Look, the integrated brakes of new Look 695 Aerolight are 20% more powerful than normal braking, and requiring less force though the lever.
Matthieu Lanz, Composite Manager explains: “We started working on aerodynamics a long time ago. It’s part of LOOK’s story. We were the first to integrate the wheels to the global aerodynamics of the bike. With the wheels turning, we were able to see that things were happening between the tires and the frame which could create drag. When you’re thinking aero, you have to think globaly.” Going even further in this direction, LOOK has been working closely with an engineer from the car and Formula 1 world for a year.