Video First Look – Look 596

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Back in July at the Look 2009 launch, Ming Tan of Look Cycles USA introduced us to the new 2009 Tri/TT 596. Riden by Thor Hushovd during this years Tour de France, the new state of the art bike was developed in Nevers at Looks worldwide headquarters and is the first Look frame to use carbon nanotubes. Not far from Nevers is the famous F1 Magny Cours Wind Tunnel (yes, the same wind tunnel many F1 and Lemans cars are tested at), and according to Look the only wind tunnel able to run tests with spinning wheels. Look took to this tunnel to develop the 596, and during their time there, developed several iterations of what would eventually become the 596. One of the major designs they worked on was the gap between the rear wheel and the seat tube. What most bike manufacturers have adopted, is a fairly tight gap, but Look found that design caused a lot of turbulence in the area behind the seat tube and ran counter to the ultimate goal of cheating the wind. So engineers actually added more space to give the spinning air somewhere to go. A radically different direction, but not completely unfounded, as many Lemans race cars have louvered fenders to reduce pressure in their wheel wells. Time will tell what design ultimately wins out…

Aside from the wind piercing design of the frame, the new 596 is equipped with Look’s new ZED crankset. Weighing in at an amazing 360g, the new crankset incorporates many new features. Not only is it stiffer than Dura Ace, the monobloc crankset is able to accommodate both 130 standard and 110 compact chain rings and allow for the rider to run 170, 172.5, and 175 crank lengths. This is achieved via a specialized Keo pedal. The ZED will only be available on the 596 for 2009, but we imagine it could be adopted on other Look models in the future.

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.

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