Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Look 586 review

Blending comfort-giving flex with rigidity under pedalling, the 586’s 1,050g frame should be ideal for the sport rider, with sportives its natural hunting ground.

As the 586 UD name suggests, the bike uses uni-directional carbon fibres. This, and the frame’s simplified shape, compared with the 695’s kinked top tube and super-skinny stays, makes for a frame with a more rigid feel. 

Previous Looks, and especially the 695, have a softer ride than the competition, making them great sportive bikes. The 586 feels more taut but still retains some of the smoothness of its dearer stablemates. The chassis is light too, with the frame creeping over the kilo and overall weight coming in at 7.6kg (16.8lb). 

We’re hugely impressed with the balance of handling and smoothness Look have achieved. The HS6 fork is plush over rougher roads yet tracks true when pushed through hard corners. It’s light too, with full carbon dropouts. 

The 73-degree head and 74-degree seat angles are what we’d expect with a head tube that’s low by sportive standards (149mm), paired with a 55.5cm top tube. It creates a low position, with slightly shorter reach. 

On the road that translates to a riding position with a duality that mirrors the frame’s quality – when you want to power on and make progress you can get down to beat a headwind, but if you want to sit back up on the hoods the Look will make you feel at home too. 

The 586 also features a triple chainset. These might have fallen out of favour on UK shores, where a compact is more in fashion, but having a range of 30 gears from a minimal 30x25 up to a 52x12 will help you cope with everything from the steepest of inclines to the fastest of descents. 

The Hollowtech crank offers superb stiffness, helping to keep shifts slick and silent, and though a triple will add weight, the Shimano setup doesn’t compromise on shift accuracy.

The 586 rolls on SRAM’s underrated S30 ALs. The slick hubs are based on Zipp 1080s, complete with oversized axles and preload-adjustable cartridge bearings, laced to the 30mm rim using Sapim CX-Ray spokes. These weigh in at a competitive 765g (front) and 890g (rear), including skewers and tape, and go some way towards helping the Look be such an accomplished climber. The Ultremos are some of the best road tyres available.

Look have stuck to 3T for the 586’s kit, with Pro aluminium versions of the Dorico seatpost, Ergonova bar and Arx stem. It’s all good solid kit, with the Ergonova bar’s compact shape and broad ovalised tops a highlight. These are all high quality, but ideally the 586 would have lighter carbon items. Fizik’s Ardea saddle is similar to the Antares but with a flexible rear hull. It’s comfy, though not our favourite Fizik.

All in all, Look have created a frame with a super level of rigidity without losing the buttery smoothness their bikes are renowned for. A few spec compromises have been made to keep the price down, and some may not want a triple, but compact Ultegra and SRAM Force options are available. 

We’d be as happy to race the 586 as we would be to go the distance on it, and that’s what makes the bike a great all-rounder. It focuses less on pure racing yet still retains enough potential to do that, and with a price tag that’s relatively low.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.



By: BikeRadar.com Road Bikes & Gear

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