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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the Look 281 and 381 framesets? Will the ride/handling of a 281 be noticably different than a 381?
Thanks.
 

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my327vette said:
Hi, Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the Look 281 and 381 framesets? Will the ride/handling of a 281 be noticably different than a 381?
Thanks.
if you wait a little bit you might get a better response than this one, but i own the 281 and test rode a 381 first; the main differences, imo, are that the 381 has 1 1/8 steerer tube vs 1" and has an internal/integrated headset vs standard external headset on the 281; some folks say the larger steerer in carbon = less flex; my 281 is my first really nice bike, and I am just a recreational rider so i don't really stress the steerer enough or had enough experience to say if there's a difference; mine is rock solid for what i do, and there are still plenty of nice bikes still being made with 1" steerers, although becoming rare. I also spec'd a Reynolds fork over the Look.

I went out of my way to get a non-integrated headset, because at the time (two years ago), there was a lot of debate as to the integrated's ability to work well over time--it may be to early to tell, but very few problems have been reported here (search the old board and you'll find alot of testimonials in favor, and few if any opposed based on experience). If I had it to do over now, I might have leaned toward the 381.

As far as ride goes, I rode the 381 for 1/2 hour, so really cant say now; I can say the 281 that i have is great--solid and very smooth. Hope this helps.

another thing: the 281 requires a 25.0mm seatpost that are hard to come by; i'm not sure, but i think the 381 may take the standard 27.2mm, at least the newest ones (now on 481) do.
 

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Nope. The 381 uses a 25.0

If you want a Look frame with a 27, you have to avoid the 281,381, 481 series as well as the 361 and the new 451.
 

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Dude, are you still obsessing over this? Weren't you the one who kept asking about Look frames last year? FWIW-here it is in a nutshell; if you can get a good deal on either of them, go for it. They are both very similar and will ride very much the same. The 381 MAY be slightly stiffer, but they will both be stable, comfortable, and you will wonder why you didn't get one sooner. Take the plunge. Bite the bullet and get one. Pronto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
different question

Kram59 said:
Dude, are you still obsessing over this? Weren't you the one who kept asking about Look frames last year? FWIW-here it is in a nutshell; if you can get a good deal on either of them, go for it. They are both very similar and will ride very much the same. The 381 MAY be slightly stiffer, but they will both be stable, comfortable, and you will wonder why you didn't get one sooner. Take the plunge. Bite the bullet and get one. Pronto.
Yeah, I was asking questions about 381s last year to help me pick the right size. I bought a KG381 about a year ago and have loved it. But I recently was looking to build up a second Look to keep at my summer house this year because I will be spending a lot of time there. And I have the opportunity to purchase a 281 and was just curious how it will compare to my 381 because I want both bikes to handle and feel the same.
 

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I have the KG281 and.....

my new /used KG381 should show up tomorrow Fedex. I ride a big frame, a 61cm. For me the 1-1/8 steerer should stiffen up the fork a good bit. I have two Look forks one with a steel steerer and the one that came with the frame. I put the steel one on first and the bike was rock solid. I then got curious and put the stock carbon steerer fork on. The fork was much lighter. I noticed on hard braking the fork would flex and vibrate a little, not enough for me to take it off and put the other back on. I think the ride will be perfect with this 1-1/8. I can't say enough about my KG281. The Look rides the best out of all the top-end framesets I have ever owned. Grab that KG281, it will be fine.
 
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