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Look 695 Aerolight – full details

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Look 695 Aerolight

Look 695 Aerolight (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Very clean lines on the fork edge, and tension adjustment access holes in the outer brake arm

Very clean lines on the fork edge, and tension adjustment access holes in the outer brake arm (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Internal view of the front aero brake

Internal view of the front aero brake (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The brakes have these Ridley 4ZA inline adjusters for quick pad adjustment

The brakes have these Ridley 4ZA inline adjusters for quick pad adjustment (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The huge BB65 bottom bracket is needed to allow the Zed 2 cranks to be fitted, and is also immensely rigid. The rear brake cable exits before it but the gear cables remain internal, passing around the BB

The huge BB65 bottom bracket is needed to allow the Zed 2 cranks to be fitted, and is also immensely rigid. The rear brake cable exits before it but the gear cables remain internal, passing around the BB (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Look E-Post with red elastomer

Look E-Post with red elastomer (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Zed 2 crankset and rear aero brake behind

The Zed 2 crankset and rear aero brake behind (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The seatstays are uncluttered by a bridge or brake caliper

The seatstays are uncluttered by a bridge or brake caliper (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Left side view of the rear aero brake, developed with TRP

Left side view of the rear aero brake, developed with TRP (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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View of the rear aero brake from underneath

View of the rear aero brake from underneath (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The range of angle adjustment available from the Aerostem

The range of angle adjustment available from the Aerostem (Image credit: Look)
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Look 695 Aerolight in white acid finish with Dura-Ace mechanical and Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE wheels

Look 695 Aerolight in white acid finish with Dura-Ace mechanical and Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE wheels (Image credit: Look)
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Side view of the front aero brake and gear cable entry

Side view of the front aero brake and gear cable entry (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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From the front, the stem attachment is very clean, with a semicircular carbon shim between the clamp and bar

From the front, the stem attachment is very clean, with a semicircular carbon shim between the clamp and bar (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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With the magnetic cover removed, you can see the two 3mm bolts holding the handlebar via the thin steel clamp

With the magnetic cover removed, you can see the two 3mm bolts holding the handlebar via the thin steel clamp (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Look 695 Aerolight was launched in Corsica, via helicopter. Yes, you heard right...

The Look 695 Aerolight was launched in Corsica, via helicopter. Yes, you heard right... (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The new bike is unshackled and shown to the press

The new bike is unshackled and shown to the press (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A Look 695 Aerolight frameset with cutaways to show the internal features

A Look 695 Aerolight frameset with cutaways to show the internal features (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Rear brake and Zed 2 crank cutaway sections showing the hollow structure

Rear brake and Zed 2 crank cutaway sections showing the hollow structure (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Look's patented front aero brake has twin brake arms designed to maintain external aerodynamics at all times

Look's patented front aero brake has twin brake arms designed to maintain external aerodynamics at all times (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The new adjustable Aerostem, showing internal strengthening and the attachment area for the bar clamp

The new adjustable Aerostem, showing internal strengthening and the attachment area for the bar clamp (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The E-Post has an elastomer between it and the frame. Plus, on this example, a bracket beneath it for an internal shifting battery

The E-Post has an elastomer between it and the frame. Plus, on this example, a bracket beneath it for an internal shifting battery (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The rear aero brake was developed with TRP and sits out of the airflow, behind the bottom bracket

The rear aero brake was developed with TRP and sits out of the airflow, behind the bottom bracket (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Cutaway of the down tube showing internal cable routing

Cutaway of the down tube showing internal cable routing (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Look 695 Aerolight in Pro Team livery

The Look 695 Aerolight in Pro Team livery (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Aerostem with pivoting cover over the steerer clamp

The Aerostem with pivoting cover over the steerer clamp (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Look 695 Aerolight in Heritage finish with mechanical Dura-Ace and Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels

Look 695 Aerolight in Heritage finish with mechanical Dura-Ace and Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels (Image credit: Look)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Last week, in Corsica, French company Look launched the 695 Aerolight road bike in spectacular fashion – via helicopter. We gave you a sneak peek on BikeRadar, and now have full details on the aero machine being ridden by four Cofidis riders at the 2013 Tour de France.

The 695 Aerolight is the original Look 695 road bike with an aero makeover. It will be available in XS-XXL sizes, and each chassis kit will include a Look frame, fork, headset, Zed 2 cranks (minus rings), stem, brakes and seatpost for €4,699 with further pricing to be announced.

There will be several complete bike build options. Top of the tree will be the Premium Pro Team, with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels – this bike is said to weigh 6.6kg (14.6lb) with pedals but will cost an eye-watering €11,990. The same bike with Mavic Aksium wheels will cost €8,490.

An Aerolight 695 with Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed and Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLE wheels will be €7,990. The cheapest complete bike spec will include Ultegra Di2 11-speed and Mavic Aksiums for €6,490.

New 1.5k carbon and integrated brakes

To develop the 695 Aerolight, Look combined knowledge gained from their Look 596 and L96 framesets, sponsored track riders, the Cofidis pro team, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and a wind tunnel. They also worked with Dr René Hilhorst, who spent 17 years as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist.

They’ve developed an ultra-light, high-modulus 1.5k carbon for the bike, using a greater number of thinner layers to create lighter, stiffer structures with fibres oriented for optimum strength. Unlike many manufacturers, Look do their own carbon pre-preg preparation and development, allowing ultimate control of the finished product.

The main feature of the new machine is its integrated brakes – Look are the first to have placed the front brake in the middle of the fork leg. The HSC7 fork has a vertical rectangular window, which Look believe prevents deformation under braking loads. In this window is housed the patented dual lever brake concept, which comprises twin brake arms – the outer remains flush with the fork leg, to preserve aerodynamics, and the independent inner operates the brake.

Said to improve braking by 20 percent, the design is also adjustable to work with rim widths up to Zipp’s Firecrest, and permits tension adjustment without any disassembly. The front brake cable routing is completely internal too, passing through the stem and steerer tube all the way to the brake. Claimed weights are 320g for the fork and 137g for the brake.

Very clean lines on the fork edge, and tension adjustment access holes in the outer brake arm

The rear brake is mounted under the chainstays, and is a V model developed with TRP. It weighs a claimed 130g and also has internal cabling that passes inside the bottom bracket shell. This is also adjustable from 17mm to Firecrest width, with the use of washers. Because the rear brake has been moved, the seatstays have no bridge or caliper above the wheel, which avoids the turbulence they cause.

Another new component is the Aerostem. It has a similar square profile to the chunky C-Stem, but is slimmer with a cleaner frontal profile. Instead of a conventional bolted faceplate, the system uses a semicircular carbon cover – almost a shim – at the front of the bar. A thin stainless steel clamp then envelops the bar and holds it with two 3mm bolts, hidden in a stem recess protected by a magnetised cover.

Like the C-Stem, the 160g (claimed) Aerostem is adjustable from –13 to +17 degrees for a precise fit, and comes in 80mm to 130mm lengths in 10mm increments.

Each 695 Aerolight build comes with Look’s one-piece, 320g Zed 2 carbon crankset. It’s incredibly stiff and has unique triangular lobes within each crank, making it possible to alter the effective length to 170, 172.5 or 175mm.

The Look Head Fit 3 headset has a 1 1/2in lower bearing that fits directly onto the Continuous Fibre Design (CFD) tapered steerer. Its independent adjustment allows the stem position to be altered without the headset being loosened.

The Look E-Post seatmast design appears again, with coloured elastomer (three options) separating the frame and seatmast from the saddle clamp and offering some extra comfort – black is the hardest, red is average and grey is softest. There’s the option of a new bracket that hangs beneath the saddle clamp to support an internal Di2 battery.

The tubing has some aerodynamic shaping and, although it’s still largely square, Look claim it creates about 3 percent less drag than on the original 695. This measurement probably applies to the electronic cabled version, though, as with mechanical groupsets the Aerolight can be configured with removable down tube cable stops – together with the cables, this will interrupt airflow.

There are five colour options for the 695 Aerolight – the Premium Pro Team, as shown here; Premium Reflect, with bold reflective frame and wheel decals; Premium Heritage, which plays on the Look Mondrian logo; Flash Blue, which is black with blue highlights; and White Acid, which is white with acid green highlights.

First ride impressions

We rode a Look 695 Aerolight Premium Pro Team on a 40km Corsican route that had almost no straight or flat sections and would be a serious test for any bike. First of all, bike fitting was simple, with saddle height easily adjustable with inserts and stem positioning a cinch.

Corsica has more than its fair share of twisty roads, with endless blind corners, often with broken or melted tarmac and gravel in all the wrong places. When you’re descending on such roads for the first time, in a group of people who don’t know the roads either, you need a bike that’s responsive, agile, stable and predictable.

The combination of Zed 2 cranks, a massively strong BB65 bottom bracket area and beefy tubes gives the Aerolight immense lateral stiffness. No matter how hard you heave on the pedals, power is relentlessly channelled to the rear wheel, with no deflection at all. Acceleration and climbing are therefore very efficient, helped enormously by the super-stiff front end.

The integrated brakes on the Aerolight are wonderfully powerful but have great modulation, too, requiring less force though the lever but allowing great feel. The fitting of Zipp brake pads might have assisted this, as they’re compressible and grip the braking track tenaciously; the downside is that they wear out relatively quickly.

It’s impossible to comment on aerodynamic performance, but the Aerolight certainly seemed to gain speed faster downhill than the 695. It also demonstrated a more forgiving nature – the frameset wasn’t so rigid as to skip over bumps but offered a fine level of compliance and control when the going got rough.

We were surprised how fresh we felt after riding hard on such a tortuous route, and expect the Aerolight to prove a good choice over many more hours in the saddle.

For more information on Look products see www.lookcycle.com.