765HM Ul­te­gra Ui2

£3,799 En­durance bike from a brand with il­lus­tri­ous his­tory

Bikes Etc - - FIRST RIDE -

LOOK has rev­o­lu­tionised cy­cling in many ways, from cre­at­ing the first cli­p­less pedal sys­tem in 1984 to de­sign­ing some of the most iconic frames over the years, with sev­eral that have won the Tour de France. The 765HM is a rel­a­tively tra­di­tional frame shape, with­out the dis­tinc­tive de­sign of some of LOOK’S top-end bikes, where the stem and top tube fol­low an un­bro­ken line. The 765 is LOOK’S en­durance model, and the HM ver­sion uses high-mod­u­lus car­bon to keep the frame as stiff and light as pos­si­ble, with a claimed weight of 990g for a medium frame. The car­bon layup uses strate­gi­cally placed flax fi­bres wo­ven into the car­bon with the aim of im­prov­ing com­fort and re­duc­ing vi­bra­tions. How­ever, we didn’t no­tice a big re­duc­tion in vi­bra­tions and found the ride to be some­what harsh, es­pe­cially on rougher roads and when com­pared di­rectly against the other bikes on test. What was no­tice­able was a very com­fort­able rid­ing po­si­tion, with a taller head tube to give a more up­right po­si­tion and slacker head tube an­gle than a full-on rac­ing bike to give more re­laxed han­dling. On the long, tough alpine climbs, the po­si­tion was great and on the down­hills it proved to be ac­cu­rate and fast, al­though on slightly rougher sur­faces it did be­gin to lack some con­fi­dence. The com­po­nent se­lec­tion is good with no ma­jor short-cuts. While we loved the Dura-ace on the TIME, Shimano’s sec­ond-tier Ul­te­gra Di2 elec­tronic shift­ing sys­tem is to all in­tents and pur­poses just as good in use. The Mavic Ksyrium wheels are good all-round per­form­ers, be­ing re­li­able and solid, al­though this would be one area where an up­grade could un­lock ex­tra per­for­mance. While looks might not be the most im­por­tant fac­tor (who are we try­ing to kid?), in our opin­ion the vis­i­ble uni-di­rec­tional car­bon weave in the frame does look fan­tas­tic. Given that this is an en­durance bike, de­signed for longer rides, a lit­tle more com­fort would have been nice, but the tyre clear­ance should be enough to ac­cept a 28mm tyre, which might make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence.

The 765 uses flax fi­bres wo­ven into the car­bon for added com­fort

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