An aerodynamic race bike with comfort at its heart
- Comfortable ride
- Capability to be set up as a time trial bike
- Three bottle mounts
Look is a company steeped in heritage and is best known for the introduction of clipless road pedals way back in 1984. The company made a name for themselves in the mid 80s as Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond raced their bikes for the La Vie Claire team. The iconic Mondrian colour scheme seen back then has been showing up ever since, and the 2019 Look 795 Blade RS disc is a bike built on that heritage.
The Look 795 Aerolight was introduced in 2015 as the company's flagship aero road bike model. The Aerolight was well-liked by reviewers, but the heavy integration was not a favourite of consumers. Looking at the Blade RS, you can see how Look has applied what worked with the Aerolight but with more of a focus on comfort and less on integration. This year Look has joined the growing ranks of comfort-oriented, aerodynamically optimised, disc-equipped road bikes. The 2019 795 Blade RS disc is an easy bike to live with while still offering world-class performance.
Design and geometry
The geometry of the Look 795 Blade RS disc doesn't stray far from what you would expect. Compared to some, it has a slightly higher stack, and a bit shorter effective top tube but otherwise this is a race bike. One unique trick the Look has up its sleeve is a proprietary seatpost with a head that can change the effective seat-tube angle drastically. There's enough adjustability that the bike can be set up like a time trial machine.
Also notable is the lack of a bridge between the seat stays. This, Look say, allows the seat stays to bend under compression, allowing constant contact with the road and a resulting maximum transfer of power.
Even though the geometry might not stand out, the available paint options definitely do. There are four colour schemes available but just as a Bianchi deserves Celeste, a Look frame deserves the Mondrian colour scheme. Made famous in the 1980s by the Look-supported La Vie Claire team, the Mondrian paint compliments the 795 Blade RS disc. The paint is deep with just enough flash from the understated colour layout to make it feel like there's always more details to find.
The white does require a bit more attention to keep clean, but Look has made an attempt to help ease this burden. Inside the chainstays and the fork, you will find a fade from grey to black where the worst dirt is likely to show up. Whatever colour scheme you choose, it strikes a critical balance between being tasteful but not too flashy.
Components and build
Look offers the 795 blade RS in both disc- and rim-brake versions and with a wide choice of components. I spent my time on the disc frameset priced at US$4000 / €2,999. Paired with this frameset is a SRAM RED AXS groupset, Vision Metron 55 SL Disc wheels, a Velo Angle Glide saddle, Look ADH2 handlebars, and Fabric Knurl bar tape.
There are eight different build options available with particular model range, each of which varies in price. Included in all the builds are the San Marco Short Fit Dynamic narrow open fit saddle and the proprietary Look Aeropost 2 seatpost, and Look ADS stem. The ADH 2.1 Carbon bars feature in every build except for the $4600 option where you will find the Look LS2 alloy handlebars substituted. Because the seatpost and stem are proprietary, they are included with the frameset pricing.
The differentiator across the build options comes in the form of wheels and groupset. The lowest available build comes with Mavic Ksyrium Black UST wheels and a Shimano Ultegra groupset. The top shelf build gets you Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL UST Disc CL wheels and the SRAM RED eTAP AXS groupset with hydraulic disc braking.
Ride, handling and performance
When riding the Look 795 Blade RS disc, the one word that comes to mind is compliance. Normally bikes of this nature are characterised by several trade-offs such as a hard ride quality and a general sense of discomfort, especially after spending hours in the saddle.
What Look has accomplished with the 795 Blade RS is a bike that combines the responsiveness and speed of an out-and-out race bike but with none of the comfort sacrifices that usually go therewith.
All that compliance helps just as much when the road turns up, or down. The hydraulic disc brakes and large-volume tyres make for a very good descender. There is no twitchiness or loss of traction over small bumps, and the excellent SRAM brakes mean even the most nervous descender will feel confident.
Despite its prowess on the flats and descents, there's no denying the Look's weight on the climbs. Thankfully the 46/33, 10-33T combo offers a decent spread of gearing and turns this bike into a very capable climber.
The test route – comprising an undulating 150 miles – was the ideal setting to showcase the Look's many talents. Three bottle mounts and all that engineered comfort make it ideal for long days in the saddle.
The big advantage of the Look 795 Blade RS disc, compared to others in its category, is versatility. Look has included features that make it possible to transform it into an occasional time-trial bike - there's an adjustable seatpost and space on the ADH 2.1 Carbon handlebars for clip-on aero bars. There is also a third water bottle mount, useful for time trials as well as long-distance riding.
The one drawback of the Look 795 Blade RS disc is its weight – 8.1kg. But to dismiss this bike based purely on how much it tips the scales would be to completely miss its point as a road bike option. It's a bike that was designed for going fast - be that on the flats, climbs or descents - in style and comfort. Add to that the lifetime warranty and it's an intriguing proposition for both the serious and recreational cyclist.
- Temperature: 17 degrees
- Wind: Calm
- Road surface: Dry
- Route: Long flats with occasional steep hills
- Mileage: 150 miles (240km)
Specifications: Look 795 Blade RS Disc
- Price: €2,999.00 / US $4,000.00 (frameset)
- Frame: Carbon
- Size: 53cm
- Weight: 8.1kg
- Groupset: SRAM RED eTAP AXS HRD
- Crankset: SRAM RED AXS 46/33, 10-33T cassette (with power meter)
- Wheels: Vision Metron 55
- Tyres: Schwalbe Pro One TLE Microskin 28mm
- Brakes: SRAM RED eTAP AXS™ HRD
- Bar/stem: Look Aero Design 2
- Seatpost: Look Aeropost 2
- Saddle: Velo Angle Glide