Look’s new 785 Huez prioritises all-out climbing performance

Built for long days in the mountains, Look has focussed on weight and stiffness for the updated design

Clock04:29, Wednesday 24th April 2024
The Look 785 Huez is designed to be at home in the mountains

© Look

The Look 785 Huez is designed to be at home in the mountains

Look has unveiled the latest version of its 785 Huez and, staying loyal to the bike’s lightweight genes, it is focussed purely on climbing performance.

That refreshingly means that the bike hasn’t been released with any aero claims, something that is becoming a rarity in modern cycling. Instead, Look says that the bike has been designed to meet the “exacting standards of the most discerning climbers”, by combining lightness, responsiveness and comfort.

Rather than revamp the previous model, which was already a pure climbing bike, Look has refined the design in a few key ways to eke out extra performance. This includes the introduction of “Nano tubes” to the carbon lay-up to save weight, while the tyre clearance has been bumped up to an on-trend 32mm for added versatility.

Sticking to more modern trends, the bike is only compatible with disc brakes and electronic groupsets.

Read more: LOOK releases its fastest-ever pedals with the all-new KEO Blade

Climbing performance = lightweight

Given its name, it’s not too surprising that the bike is at home on climbs, like its namesake the famous Alpe d'Huez.

Climbing performance is usually equated to a light weight and Look hasn’t diverged from this thinking, with the most notable modification to the new frame being the addition of “Nano tubes” to the carbon lay-up. Incorporated into key areas of the bike, including the chainstays, head tube and bottom bracket, they have allowed Look to reduce the inner thickness of the tubes, which in turns reduces weight. However, the French brand says that it allows it to make these reductions without sacrificing frame performance or rigidity.

That’s important as stiffness is one of the other important factors for climbing performance, and Look says that the 785 Huez offers “unbeatable stiffness-to-weight ratio and maximum power transfer”.

The rounded tube shapes play a big part in this stiffness, hence why they’re generally the go-to profile for most climbing bikes. Look has resisted using kammtail tubes, like many brands now do to add a little aero edge to their lightweight bikes.

Read more: Sea Otter 2024: Si Richardson's top tech picks - Elitewheels, radical road bikes and more

Equipped for long days in the saddle

Look says that the 785 Huez isn’t just designed for climbing, but specifically long days in the mountains.

That is reflected in much of the design which aims to make the bike “adaptable” and “user-centric”.

Most notable here is the boosted 32mm tyres clearance from the 30mm available on the previous iteration. In a world where some road bikes are hitting the 40mm mark, it’s nothing too outlandish, and should provide enough space for most riders’ needs.

In a move that is sure to be popular with many, Look has ditched press fit bottom brackets for a traditional T47 threaded alternative too. Threaded bottom brackets are considered by many to be easier to service, and this ease of use is reflected in other areas of the bike, like the 27.2mm seatpost. The use of a standard profile, rather than a proprietary system, makes it easier to switch it out for something different.

Elsewhere, at the front of the bike, the integrated design creates a sleek appearance, but Look says that it also “simplifies the assembly and maintenance processes”, although it hasn’t provided specifics on this.

Look 785 Huez details

The Look 785 Huez frame has a claimed weight of 980g in a size medium, with the fork adding an extra 390g.

It is available as a frameset, costing £2,490/€2,490/$2,790, or in three different builds.

  • Shimano 105 / Shimano RS 171 wheels: £3,390/€3,390
  • SRAM Rival eTap AXS / Fulcrum Racing 900 DB wheels: £4,990/€4,990
  • Shimano 105 Di2 / Look R38 D wheels: £5,690/£5,490

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