Look 795 Light RS ReviewJanuary 22, 2019
- Aero design
- Carbon bottom bracket
- Aero stem offers adjustments
- Non-classic design
Look’s 795 Light RS demands your attention. The design of the bike captures the rider and gawker’s focus. By contrast to other machines we reviewed, the Look is driving forward towards a new approach to bicycle design and creation, which caught our eye, and our appreciation. The Looks will reward the rider that enjoys that pioneering spirit, and an exceptionally light machine- it is our estimation that Look’s design is on the forefront of a design evolution of the double triangle.
The Look 795 Light RS has a quick and snappy handling characteristics are immediately evident when you hop on the bike. Nimble is a good word to discuss the feeling, yet the comfort aspects of the machine are evident too in that the rider’s position isn’t overly forward (yet more so than any other bike we tested this round), and the frame is at times compliant which can be nice over the long haul. Also, aero can be an endurance feature in its own right, by simply creating more efficiency, provided it doesn’t interfere too much with rider comfort.
Weighing in at a scant 16lbs weight, the Look is among the lightest bikes we tested. The Look was also the most compliant which can have both positive and negative aspects. On the climb, the Look ZED 3 crankset featuring an integrated bearing(s) set in the bottom bracket, which is also carbon, felt a bitter stiffer than the rest of the set up which was appreciated. The cranks can be adjusted at the pedal insertion for different lengths and the stiffness and responsiveness at the crank level is noticeable and appreciated on the sprint. We felt some compliance in the rear triangle or wheels. With a frame built with high modulus carbon fibers, out guess is that the wheels were the flex.
We tried the Look across two sets of wheels with two different testers and many different climbs. There is no question the Looks is light, 16 lbs, which shines on the uphill. Our testers had different interpretations of the Look’s performance, likely owing to climbing styles. The seated more “spin” oriented climber loved the Look’s performance, finding it comfortable, light and sufficiently stiff. Our more aggressive climber that was out of the saddle and attacking the insides of the switchbacks felt and observed rear end sway and flex stealing movement. This was less evident when switching wheels though still present. Either way, the quality of the Look is not disputable. The bike rips through just about any terrain, with a stated gain of nearly 12% over a standard aero design. This translates to 1 minute 14 seconds on the track over 100K.
Look’s 795 Light RS features Shimano Dura-ace caliper brakes which provided ample stopping power. This particular round of reviews found the caliper brakes performing with a similar capability to the discs we tested. The forward position on the Look makes for exciting downhilling. On fast straight downhills, the Look shines as its aero design encourages it to go fast. On the more technical downhills present in the high mountains, we found its descending to have less stability and quickness that takes some getting accustomed to, though this is often more about personal preference on bike handling and set up. The Aerostem (Look’s carbon stem) features a wide spectrum of adjustability, so changing the setup is easy and accessible for the rider.
Components: Drivetrain, Shifting, and Brakes
Shimano Ultegra is a perfect set up for this bike, especially the caliper brakes which are old school versus discs and perform with real quality. Their modulation is actually slightly better than the discs we felt, without the raw stopping power of the Ultegra discs which comes as no surprise. The shifting on the Ultegra 11 speed (11/28 cassette) provides ample gear spread, including a solid set of climbing gears at the high end. The shifting is extremely crisp and quick on the Ultegra, and the hoods are well placed in the palm.
We rode the Look using two different sets of Mavic wheels, the Cosmics and the Aksium Elite 25s. The Aksium’s are a low profile aluminum wheelset that are built for endurance and a rider’s favorite for a reasonably priced wheel, not surprisingly when we ran the Mavic Cosmic, which are a higher profile wheel made of carbon, we found them stiffer and more aerodynamic. There are several choices when purchasing the Look.
If low weight and innovation are your priorities, paying on the higher end is likely something you are accustomed to doing, in which case the Look will feel like a reasonable value.
Seth Portner has been riding and racing mountain bikes since the late 1990s, specializing in XC, marathon and ultra-marathon events. He also enjoys regular multi-day road tours, and is an accomplished ultrarunner and XC skier. Seth, his wife and their daughter all split their time between Lyons and Winter Park.