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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Excel catalogue and saw the several models of Look's. What is the difference between the KG386, 381i, KX lite, and the 461 frames besides weight, in other words which is the better frame and why? I would be looking for frame longevity rather than a throw away frame after a few years. How does the Looks compare to the Trek carbon bikes? And last question, how long is the warranty? Thanks guys.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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Many differences.

If you look in lookcycle.com, you'll get a basic description of the differences.

The 381, 461 and KX Light are both lugged carbon bikes. The 386 and 486 are
monocoque. I haven't ridden them so I can't comment on the differences in
ride character.

The KX Light has diamond-shaped tubes that are supposed to make the bike
stiffer. The 461 has oversized tubes compared to the low-end 451/361 series.
The 381 was the mainstay of the peloton for a while, before the KX Light and the
486 were introduced.

I'm sure others can better answer this than I can, but you can do yourself a lot
of favor by looking in the LOOK website.
 

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froze said:
I have a Excel catalogue and saw the several models of Look's. What is the difference between the KG386, 381i, KX lite, and the 461 frames besides weight, in other words which is the better frame and why? I would be looking for frame longevity rather than a throw away frame after a few years. How does the Looks compare to the Trek carbon bikes? And last question, how long is the warranty? Thanks guys.
when i bought my 281in June 2002, the Look warranty was only 3 years, i think, vs lifetime to original owner with trek; but there are a couple of regular posters here who have probably 10 year old looks they still are riding, and the only thing i've heard bad about the looks had to do with the frames they made in the late 80's(?)/very early 90's was that they couldn't keep the carbon tubes to stay glued to the aluminum lugs; everything i've heard since is that this is fixed.
What you will most often hear is that the Look has a livelier, smoother ride than trek; I'd also never describe the look ride as wooden or dead, which is how some have described the trek ride; ride them both and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks of the warranty information. I went to the Look website before I asked the questions but found the site to be vague. They talked about the monoque frames and the lug but did not give any thoughts of what the advantages were of one type over the other. I am interested in which of the 4 would have the longest life potentially. Visually wise I'm attracted to the KG386 (and the KG486 but thats over my price limit) followed by the Kx Lite. So any help in the area of longevity would be appreciated, thanks.
 

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froze said:
Thanks of the warranty information. I went to the Look website before I asked the questions but found the site to be vague. They talked about the monoque frames and the lug but did not give any thoughts of what the advantages were of one type over the other. I am interested in which of the 4 would have the longest life potentially. Visually wise I'm attracted to the KG386 (and the KG486 but thats over my price limit) followed by the Kx Lite. So any help in the area of longevity would be appreciated, thanks.

I have a first generation LOOK frame made in the mid 80's. It's a lugged frame. I also own a 10 year old KG286(monoque) frame. No problems with either frame. I wouldn't worry about longevity of the frame. IMHO, you can't go wrong with either. What size are you thinking about? The smaller KX's are a sloping top tube design. The diamond shape tubes of the KX are funky looking and not for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dave Hickey said:
I have a first generation LOOK frame made in the mid 80's. It's a lugged frame. I also own a 10 year old KG286(monoque) frame. No problems with either frame. I wouldn't worry about longevity of the frame. IMHO, you can't go wrong with either. What size are you thinking about? The smaller KX's are a sloping top tube design. The diamond shape tubes of the KX are funky looking and not for everyone.
I now ride on a 58cm frame.
 

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The KX light will be a standard frame in that size. So would the 461. I've had 3 Looks now (a 271, 361, and now a 461). They all ride similar, but there are slight differences. The 461 is definately stiffer in the bb, as I would expect the KX to be. All ride with a nice, lively feel, almost like steel except lighter :) . I have not ridden any of the monocoque designs, so I can't comment on them. I would expect that they would ride similar to a Trek cf bike. IMHO, the 381,461, and now the 451 (replaces the 361) will ride a lot alike. You can't go wrong with any of them-it's just a matter of style and taste and $$ The KX has slightly different
geometry.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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Between the 451/361 and the 381

The differences are that the lugs on the 381 are carbon monocoques, while on
the 451/361 they are aluminum. Also, the carbon tubes on the 381 are "butted".
I've heard comments from LOOK owners that the difference between the 451/361
and the 381 is apparent only at high speeds. Although our definitions of "high speeds"
may differ!

Other than that, the 381 uses a 1 1/8" fork while the 451/361 uses a 1" fork. Might
make a difference at high speeds but at my high speeds, the 361 does just fine.
The 361 uses a carbon fork/steel steerer, while the 451 uses a carbon/carbon fork.
 

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orange_julius said:
The differences are that the lugs on the 381 are carbon monocoques, while on
the 451/361 they are aluminum. Also, the carbon tubes on the 381 are "butted".
I've heard comments from LOOK owners that the difference between the 451/361
and the 381 is apparent only at high speeds. Although our definitions of "high speeds"
may differ!

Other than that, the 381 uses a 1 1/8" fork while the 451/361 uses a 1" fork. Might
make a difference at high speeds but at my high speeds, the 361 does just fine.
The 361 uses a carbon fork/steel steerer, while the 451 uses a carbon/carbon fork.
The 381 uses aluminum lugs not carbon. The 386 and 486 are the only all carbon frames in LOOK's line. All the carbon tube/lugged frames use aluminum lugs. This includes the 451,461,KX and 481SL....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dave Hickey said:
The 381 uses aluminum lugs not carbon. The 386 and 486 are the only all carbon frames in LOOK's line. All the carbon tube/lugged frames use aluminum lugs. This includes the 451,461,KX and 481SL....
Dave; is it better for durablity issues to go with a carbon frame that uses AL lugs instead of all carbon?
 

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froze said:
Dave; is it better for durablity issues to go with a carbon frame that uses AL lugs instead of all carbon?
It doen't make any difference. In the very early days of carbon tube/aluminum lug frames, there were problems with the tubes seperating from the lugs. That was in the mid to late 80's and the problem has been resolved for many years. IMHO, If longevity is important to you, either style will hold up for many years and shouldn't effect your decision.

Please keep us updated on your choice.....
 

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if you want some more, although maybe biased, reading on this, see "White Paper" at the Calfee web site; he does alot of explaining about why his frames are better than any one else's, and maybe they are; happy with my Look 281 regardless.
 

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froze said:
Dave; is it better for durablity issues to go with a carbon frame that uses AL lugs instead of all carbon?
I'm not Dave, but I think the issue with the lugged frames is that they can easily build them in one cm increments rather than 2cm.
 
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