Far from his television namesake’s intense persona, professional rider Jack Bauer is like a kid in a sweet shop when talking about life in the Endura Racing team and his Look 595.
After years of racing off-road in New Zealand, Bauer moved to Belgium in 2009 to race with an amateur team on the road there. Thriving in the Kermesse scene, he picked up some wins and, returning home, beat ProTour competition to take the national title. Endura had signed Bauer before his nationals win, a move that has paid dividends.
2010 is a year of firsts for Bauer. It’s his first year as a professional, and his Look 595 is the first racing bike he hasn’t had to buy himself. It’s also his first experience racing on carbon rims with tubular tyres and using SRAM equipment. But anyone who's watched Bauer race would find this hard to believe, such has been his impact. He's finding life with Endura very much to his liking, and his incredibly positive outlook allows him to take every new challenge or component in his lengthy stride.
Asked about his XXL 595, Bauer says he finds it compliant over every surface but with no loss of power, which is essential for a rider in the classic rouleur mould. This is due to Look’s continued development of their carbon lugged framesets with bonded carbon tubes. The head tube in particular is an oversized one-piece affair providing a solid front end and precise steering.
Look have changed their customary green highlights for monochrome black and white for this race. The finish of the frames is excellent, and the riders' names are neatly added at the top of the seat tube for a personal touch. The Endura machines were the most uniformly identical in this year's Tour of Britain, with no deviations from team issue equipment but some interesting choices.
Chief among these choices is the use of SRAM Rival brakes, when Red items are expected. Team mechanic Brendan informs us it’s because the Rival callipers are stiffer than Red and perform as well. Next is the use of a Force front derailleur, which they also find to be stiffer than the slightly flexible Red mech.
The rear mech remains SRAM Red, and the final cable run from chainstay to derailleur body is taken care of with a Nokon casing. This can be curved more tightly and suffers from less compression than regular outer, giving more accurate shifting. SRAM Teflon coated cables keep everything running smoothly.
Having only used conventional Look pedals before, Bauer is impressed with the KéO Blades, and similarly now really likes the Look EDH handlebar, although as there's only one shape it took him a while to adapt.
The internally routed gear cables exit just above the bottom bracket.
Bauer prefers the Zipp 404s from Endura’s array of available wheels because of their aero benefits and stiffness, and he's a convert to tubular tyres. The freehub bodies are stripped of Zipp's grease and lubed with a light oil to make them spin better – this is fine if you're a pro team who clean and re-lube them every day, not a good idea for the rest of us. After a big race all of the freehubs are stripped and serviced.
The team-only green-striped Fizik Arione saddles perch atop an integrated seatmast and Look’s E post Ti mount. The join between the two parts has a coloured shim which provides differing levels of vibration damping. Although softer ones are available, the whole team seem content with the hardest black version, which must be some testament to the frame qualities.