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Discussion Starter #1
I have had my 585 for five months now and, while it is a great bike in many respects, it feels just so damn flexy to me. I'm not that big a guy (170lbs), I am not a Boonen-like sprinter and I ride a small frame, so it is a surprise that this frame should feel a little soft. I'm not talking wet noodle, just slightly damp linguini. I don't really care about any loss of power in sprints and I would be happy riding it, except that it just scares me so much on descents. On my Trek OCLV, if I push the pedal down hard to the six o'clock position on a tight corner, I can feel exactly where it stops; on the Look, it just feels soft. The bike feels less stable and controlled around corners than the Trek, and I generally take corners a little slower than on the Trek because of this. At first I thought it was the wheels (DT Swiss 240s with RR 1.1 rims), and as unlikely as this seemed I replaced them with Ksyrium ES (which I wanted an excuse to buy anyway - great wheels BTW) but it now seems obvious it is the frame rather than the wheels.

I have never seen anyone else commenting on any flex in the 585 - exactly the opposite, most people say how stiff it is. Am I missing something here? Do I have a defective frame? (The LBS thinks it rides fine and in fact the mechanic loves the bike.) Maybe I am just a poor bike handler and need to learn how to ride such an exotic frame compared to the pedestrian Trek.

Anyway, I am seriously thinking of selling the frame and replacing it with something stiffer, perhaps a Colnago Cristallo or Pinarello F4:13.

Surely I cannot be the only person in the world who thinks that the 585 is just not all that stiff.
 

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I've never ridden a Trek OCLV, so I can't compare how my 585 feels to that frame. But it feels every bit as stiff as my Cannondale CAAD7 and way stiffer than my old Kestrel 200sci. I weigh a little under 170 and also have Ksyrium ES wheels on my 585 (size medium) - I have no fear bombing the descents on the 585. That said, it isn't quite as stiff as my 486 - that frame will not budge!

If someone like you can exceed the limits on the 585, I would think Thor Hushovd would be screaming for a different frame! But ultimately it comes down to how you feel on it. If you need stiffer, there are some good choices out there.
 

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possibly yes or no 8^)

The current issue of RIDE Cycling Review (Australian magazine) tested 585 and on their test flexi-gizmo they did note that it flexed more than average at BB. But they loved the bike, overall so enjoy. Re Thor Hushovd, how do we know his personal 585 is not specially beefed-up? Tom Boonen's Time VRX(S) for example *is* specially beefed up, see recent article on www.cyclingnews.com. Sure it may be the same frame/geometry/carbon type/size but just built-up stronger at BB for a heavy and strong sprinter pro-racer. Petacchi has a "once-off" Colnago at his disposal this year. Another sprinter with a custom.

Re "pedestrian trek oclv" versus exotic Look, well, that pedestrian Trek carbon frame won more major races in last 7+ years than Look has of late, so don't be too quick writing it off. But it is 90% about the rider, not the bike.

Enjoy your ride, regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have that copy of Ride magazine (I am in Sydney), but I am always a little suspicious of their tests, particularly after that crazy crank stiffness test which tested stiffness perpendicular to the direction that force would be applied in actual use.

BTW, in my "pedestrian Trek vs exotic Look" comment I was being a little sarcastic - I certainly agree that the OCLV is an excellent frame and one of the best available.

Surely you can't use thin lugged carbon tubes in a sub-kg frame and completely manage to avoid any flex?
 

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My Madone SL is sub 1000g, according to LBS's scale. Of course, it is the smallest size that they have.
 

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rossb said:
I have had my 585 for five months now and, while it is a great bike in many respects, it feels just so damn flexy to me. I'm not that big a guy (170lbs), I am not a Boonen-like sprinter and I ride a small frame, so it is a surprise that this frame should feel a little soft. I'm not talking wet noodle, just slightly damp linguini. I don't really care about any loss of power in sprints and I would be happy riding it, except that it just scares me so much on descents. On my Trek OCLV, if I push the pedal down hard to the six o'clock position on a tight corner, I can feel exactly where it stops; on the Look, it just feels soft. The bike feels less stable and controlled around corners than the Trek, and I generally take corners a little slower than on the Trek because of this. At first I thought it was the wheels (DT Swiss 240s with RR 1.1 rims), and as unlikely as this seemed I replaced them with Ksyrium ES (which I wanted an excuse to buy anyway - great wheels BTW) but it now seems obvious it is the frame rather than the wheels.
I don't get it? You are talking about its cornering and calling it flex in a tight corner?

This is my experience with Look in general- mine has a wider wheel base and a more relaxed fork angle than another bike I own, and the other bike feels twitchy by comparison (and corners correspondingly tighter).

I have a lugged steel bike that flexes so much when I stand that I can toss the chain.

Your Look is not flexing on descents, I assume- my guess is you just need to relax more or you will induce wobble (if you tense up out of fear).
 

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acid_rider said:
Re Thor Hushovd, how do we know his personal 585 is not specially beefed-up?
It's possible, but this Cyclingnews.com article about Thor's bike seems to suggest that isn't the case, particularly this quote:
"Hushovd rides Look's lightest frame, the 585, which despite weighing under 1000g seems to be plenty stiff and tough enough for the 6ft 1in-tall (1.83m), 178lb (81kg) Hushovd."
I find it difficult to believe that Thor, Credit Agricole, and LOOK would pass Thor's bike off as a production frame if, in fact, considerable modification was required. At any rate, the point I'm making is that stiffness is something the 585 has consistently been praised for, and I find no reason to disagree.
 

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Roadbikereview Editor
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I just got back from Sea Otter. On my road race, there were some pretty gusty winds on a three mile descent. I've never found my 585 to be flexy. I'm 145 lbs

Anyway, my mistake was I was using some medium deep carbon rims (43mm). I figure, hey if it's too windy I'll just get blown around a little.

Here's the problem. The gusty winds on my wheels produced a front triangle shimmy. Twice! The second on was about 20 seconds long and I thought for sure I was going down at 35 mph. My handlebars and front triangle just wobbled and wiggled uncontrollably. I had drop off the pack and slow down after that.

So there. Less than ideal conditions but there is flex on the front triangle. As far as the bottom bracket is concerned, I find that to be very stiff and responsive.

francois
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Francois, thanks for confirming your view there is some kind of flex going on. I have felt exactly that "wobble and wiggle" you mention in most descents, although I would have said it was in the rear triangle. I'm also not entirely convinced the BB is without flex (as the Ride magazine test confirms, if its results can be trusted) - the flex isn't huge, but it is enough to cause some nervousness in twisty descents.
 

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The 585 I'm riding has been on the road for 16 months now. I wouldn't call it 'flexy.' I certainly wouldn't tell you that your call is wrong; rather the discussion might be about terminology. Then we could get off in to one of those wine tasting metaphorical reviews that would have many wondering just what the heck we were discussing....

Many years back, I commuted forth and back from work aboard a Trek 2300. That thing would beat the daylights out of the rider. I've ridden other bikes even stiffer than that one, but because I spent so many miles in the saddle riding over too familiar pavement on that bike, it's the one whose ride I recall very well....

When charging hard into and through a corner, particularly a downhill switchback, standing on the brakes coming into it and accelerating out of the other side is, in my experience, one of the best tests of how well a bike works for you. I put it that way because a large part of how the bike works under you has to do with your own technique, how you position yourself over the bike, how much you might feather the brakes (and on which wheel) coming into the corner, etc. A bike that works well for you through a particular corner might not work nearly as well for me. Then we could move on to further hair splitting discussions about 'The Bike': The setup, the wheels, rubber, tire pressures, etc. Hence, threads such as this....

For instance, I would suggest that a stiff bike isn't necessarily a good bike for downhill switchbacks. A bike that 'settles' into the corner predictably, perhaps with a bit of give is preferable to a bike that doesn't give at all and provides no indication whether it's near the limit and about to exceed it. A ride with some give in it would provide better feedback about how much further it can be pushed before exceeding it's limits rather than a bike that just pops over the top and down you go.

I've often thought that I'd rather ride up a particular climb on one bike and have another bike at the top to come back down aboard. Flexy while jogging out of the saddle up a climb isn't the same as flexy coming back down.

Bugman: I come pounding down the steep switchbacks with much more confidence on the 585 than my KG486. That should be qualified here with the fact that my 486 is the first model year before Look beefed up the bottom bracket area, and the bike is on Ksyrium SSCs, hardly a 'stiff' wheel. The fork was also updated in following years (mine's an HSC4), but the fork isn't detrimental to the nature of the bike's ride. The give in my 486 is in the rear triangle and it's a bit much.

What I'm getting at here is that neither you nor I are telling anyone they are right or wrong on the subject, but just sharing the experience with the hope that some of this might help you or anybody else reading through this stuff. Some of it might apply in your situation and some of it could be completely irrelevant. Er, hope this helps (?).
 

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Re Thor Hushovd, how do we know his personal 585 is not specially beefed-up?
to my knowledge (and that comes from Look france), the 585's used by TEAM CA are the exact same as the one you buy off the floor, no mod's whatsover to the frame or fork

in fact cyclingnews.com did an article last year about Thor riding his 585 completely stock
 

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Bixe said:
Bugman: I come pounding down the steep switchbacks with much more confidence on the 585 than my KG486. That should be qualified here with the fact that my 486 is the first model year before Look beefed up the bottom bracket area, and the bike is on Ksyrium SSCs, hardly a 'stiff' wheel.
Yep, I've got the later model 486 with the beefed-up BB, running DA wheels on it. That said, I've got no fear bombing the descents on my 585 either - I love 'em both!
 
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