LOOK 595 ULTRA / FORK : HSC 6 ULTRA
The 595 Ultra offers you the choice to ride the same frame as the 595, but with a unique 15% stiffer tubeset lay-up. The Unidirectional (UD) carbon fiber finishing weave sets this frame apart from the Pro Team, Origin, Origin Blue, and Elle 595 frames, identifying it as the Ultra model. This frame is special in that it offers that extra bit of stiffness without sacrificing overall comfort.
Frame material : Carbon fiber : VHM (Very high modulus)
Tube series : PRO LIGHT VHM Carbon (Very high modulus), oversized IN SHAPE section. Oriented stiffness
Fork : HSC 6 monobloc carbon
Frame weight : 1080 grs with full length seat post
Fork weight : 315 grs
Frame and fork weight : 1395 grs
CARBON VHM : very high modulus tube series ULTRA UD finishing
595 ultra stiffer vs 595
"IN SHAPE TUBES" Different thickness and shaped tubes
E Post seat post (Seat post with integrated elastomer)
Strengths: SIlky ride, mega fast, comfortable, responsive, beautiful finish, super acceleration, climbing, terrific feeling of being "one with the bike". Remarkably good.
Weaknesses: As if. The previous owner shipped mine in a box without padding and superficially scratched the carbon up a bit, which is why I got it so cheap. No weaknesses. Truly.
I've been on the 595 ultra for 3 weeks now, so I can give a pretty balanced viewpoint. The summary is -- Im sticking with LOOK for good now. I had a cervelo R3 and a ridley noah (new style) most recently, and I've owned a lot of bikes. The 595 is fabulous. It does everything remarkably well. ITs stiff like the r3, but its much more comfortable, and much faster overall. It also has the 'X factor. I'm not sure how to describe it, but its what makes you look forward to getting on the bike. Its very smooth, the power transfer is immediate, and there is a floating sensation of being able to move very quickly and maintain speed--I seem to be keeping up with really fast people somewhat easily, which is almost weird. Magic. If i knew how good it was, I'd even be willing to pay the full retail (or close). I was interested in a colnago EPS, a time RXR and the 595 ultra, and the ultra was the only one I could find under 2 grand. Very glad I did. Compared to the R3, it climbs just as well, is more fluid, more comfortable, descends and handles better, looks better, and it much more of a joy to ride. And bear in mind, i think the R3 is a great bike--a fabulous climber--but the look 595 is outstanding, and its not even close. I cant see how anyone would think of this bike as harsh at all-- its very smooth. But I thought the noah was smooth-- I ride tubulars, which make a huge difference in comfort--something most people do not know. My old specialized s-works tarmac E5-that was harsh. Anyway, if you are considering it, and you put miles in, you will be very very glad you have bought one. Im a big rider, in the 180's, so I wanted the ultra version. For reference, my Look time trial bike, the 496, is also extraordinary and makes me able to bridge to really fast groups, which is fun. I'd give the 595 ultra 6 stars if they let me. Its nice that I dont have to obsess over bikes anymore-- just buy Look frames and forget about it.
Weaknesses: Internal housing for derailleur cables is making a small vibration on rough pebbly road surfaces -- Look needs to find a way to keep the 2 cables separated in the down tube (I'll find a fix over time).
I considered both the standard 595 and the Ultra (UD carbon). I preferred the appearance of the Origin White 595 but because I'm 185lbs in weight, I decided to get the Ultra. Look indicates that the unidirectional carbon provides a wee bit of extra stiffness.
I built-up the bike myself with a Dura Ace 10 group (used black cable housing -- looks better with the Ultra), Easton EC90 stem, Easton Equipe bar, Ksyrium wheels, the new Fizik Aliante Carbon braided saddle, and speedplay pedals. The build was easy -- derailleur mounting a breeze, cable routing a cinch (rear brake housing runs with the cable internal to the top tube), fork/headset assembly a breeze (used all provided steer tube shims plus an extra 5mm shim before making my 1st cut -- I'll trim it down later when I get my bar height set correctly).
Before talking about cutting the seat tube I must mention that I started tweaking my riding position on my other bike 6 weeks before getting the Look 595 (it was exact before I received the 595). I also bought the new Aliante saddle before receiving the 595 installed it on my other bike and rode 3 separate rides with small adjustments to get the height and setback to match the other saddle (saddle rails differ in height and length from model to model). I was then able to get the target measurement for the Look 595 seat height (make sure you get your ride height and setback established correctly before you even think about cutting the seat tube). I then followed the instructions in the Look installation guide to make the cut (I made the cut 3mm shorter than the exact measurement taken from my other bike to avoid having to make a 2nd cut in the advent that I could not use the minimum 3-shim assembly recommended by Look). I made the cut and ….. damn …. exactly correct. The saddle height was exactly 3mm short of my ideal saddle height … so I just added the appropriate shim to compensate and the saddle height is perfect. I set the setback to match my other bike and set the saddle tilt for comfort. I must mention that setting the saddle tilt is a bit of a pain in the ass (compared to a 2 bolt design) but once it’s set, it’s set.
Okay, okay … enough of the build … let’s get to riding.
The Look 595 Ultra is … smooth … planted … extremely stable … tracks fantastically … amply stiff laterally … very comfortable … has a wonderful road feel. My other bike? It is a Colnago C50. So far, I feel that the Look 595 Ultra will surpass the riding and performance characteristics of my C50.
Regarding the Ultra vs the standard 595, functionally I’m glad I got the Ultra. I don’t feel the ride is harsh at all and the lateral stiffness is great for my weight. I still prefer the appearance of the Origin White 595 but that’s ok (it’s all subjective anyway).
So if you're in the market for a new frameset, this frame is FANTASTIC. If you like the Ultra appearance over the Origin White get the Ultra. If you're under 160lbs and prefer the Origin White, get that one. Point is the extra stiffness of the Ultra probably only becomes apparent to heavier riders.
If your worried about the integrated seat post/mast, there's no need to stress ... just get your riding position set up correctly on another bike outside on the road before you make that cut (not on a trainer indoors and not just a fit bike). The dynamic nature of riding on the road (cornering, uphill, downhill, road vibration, etc.) will yield a riding position that differs slightly from that attained on a fit bike or on a trainer.
Bike Setup: Dura Ace 10 group (used black cable housing -- looks better with the Ultra), Easton EC90 stem, Easton Equipe bar, Ksyrium wheels, the new Fizik Aliante Carbon braided saddle, and speedplay pedals