Phoenix rising

2009_LOOK_585After a 2-month wait, I’m finally riding the LOOK 585 again – or at least its newest incarnation. Recall that the bottom bracket shell on my old frame became detached, and rather than try to fix it Mike immediately called in for a warranty replacement (despite my having ridden the $hit out of that bike over the course of 3 1/2 years and 22,000+ miles). Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems it should be – the frame had to be disassembled and shipped to France for confirmation of manufacturer defect before a new frame could be issued. Recall also that I had selected the ‘Ultra’ version of the 585 as its replacement.  Part of this was due to the fact that I’m a, ahem… heavier rider, with a tendency to be a bit of a masher on the gears – I thought the stiffer frame might be a better idea given what I did, er… what happened, to my old frame.  Honestly though, another reason was the color – I wasn’t sure I liked the carbon front and gold highlights on the otherwise all-white ‘Origin’ frame.  The ‘Ultra’, on the other hand, was white in front fading to carbon and with red highlights, so I thought I would like it better. (I know – this is starting to sound really gay with all my fretting about colors and such… not that there’s anything wrong with it!).

2009_LOOK_585_headtubeTruth be told, I had a touch of “buyer’s remorse” after ordering the ‘Ultra’ – I started worrying that the stiffer frame might lack a little in comfort, and since I’m not racing anymore it’s not like I’ll be doing that much gear mashing on it anyway.  Oh well, too late – I made my choice and I’d have to be happy with it.  The god’s must have been smiling upon me, however, because when I finally got the call that the frame had arrived, it turned out they had sent the ‘Origin’ instead of the ‘Ultra’.  I don’t know if the order was wrong or the shipment was wrong, but I didn’t ask – I told the Shark don’t worry about it, I’ll take the ‘Origin’.  I decided even if I didn’t like the gold highlights I still wanted a white frame.  Seeing the bike built up, however, I don’t think that will be a problem.  The gold highlights are fine, and the frame – while not pure white – is white enough!  Add my wheelset and all the little touches of red I had from the previous build and it’s one hot MF’n bike! I had them check the fit with me, and although it seemed fine they ended up raising the seat based on measurements.  The saddle seemed a little far back, but they said the rails were already forward to the max, so I shrugged and blasted home to take the maiden voyage.

2009_LOOK_585_seatlugProblems with the fit were apparent from the start.  The seat was definitely too high, so I hopped off right away and lowered it about 1 cm, then got back on and flew down the hill out of my neighborhood and out onto Hardt and Ossenfort.  As I was riding down Ossenfort, I noticed the saddle seemed to be tilting upward a little.  Then I noticed it a lot, and before I’d gone even a mile it was obvious that the saddle was slipping backward – they hadn’t cinched the clamp bolt tight enough!  I got off again, loosened the bolt, and discovered that the clamp on the new LOOK Ergo 4 seatpost that came with the frame has about an inch of fore/aft adjustment – that’s in addition to the fore/aft adjustment available on the saddle.  The clamp was all the way back, so I moved it forward, eyeballed where I thought the saddle should be and leveled it up (so much for electronic leveling), cinched to bolt real tight, and hopped back on.  What an improvement!  Sometimes you have to forget what the numbers say and go with what feels right.  The saddle height still seemed a tad high during the ride, so before today’s ride I lowered it just a tad more, and now I think everything is dialed in.

The only other “issue” I ran into was this annoying feeling that I was struggling with the gears – both yesterday and today.  I’ve recovered almost completely from my broken rib and have been feeling pretty strong lately, so I was a little puzzled – until I remembered that I had switched out the 12-25 cassette on the Zipp wheel for an 11-23 cassette (since I was feeling so good at the time).  My backup bike that I’ve been riding the past 2 months has a 9-speed 12-25 cassette on it!  Once I figured that out and accounted for the different gearing, things felt much better – I’d just been pushing too big a gear (I bet you never thought you’d hear the BugMan say that!).

Needless to say, it rides like a dream – silky smooth and light as a feather.  I had actually forgotten how nice it rides, since I have been surprisingly content with my Cannondale CAAD7 during these past 2 months.  In fact, I had actually started wondering why I needed a fancy carbon frame when the C’dale seemed to ride just as nice.  Well, once I got back on the LOOK, there was no comparison.  Admittedly, the Zipp 404 wheels also make a difference in the feel – they’re just so smooth rolling.  All in all, it’s a comfortable and super fast bike for a not so fast guy who still appreciates the feel of a thoroughbred steed.  I may be the ultimate ‘Fred’ now – non-racer with high zoot racing equipment – but that’s for others to worry about.

Anyway, here’s the complete build:
Frame: 2009 LOOK 585 Origin Pro Team carbon w/ carbon lugs, size M (53 cm)
Fork: LOOK HSC 5 SL monocoque carbon, 1 1/8″ steerer
Seat post: LOOK Ergopost 4 carbon, 27.2 mm, gloss black
Cranks: Shimano DuraAce 7800, 172.5 mm, 53×39
Bottom bracket: Shimano DuraAce 7800
Cassette: Shimano DuraAce 7800 10-speed, 11-23
Chain: Shimano DuraAce 7800
Levers: Shimano DuraAce 7800 STI
Front derailleur: Shimano DuraAce 7800
Rear derailleur: Shimano DuraAce 7800
Brake calipers: Shimano DuraAce 7800
Bars: FSA K-Wing carbon, 42 cm
Tape: Fi’zi:k synthetic suede, white
FSA: OS-115 31.8, 110 mm, 84 degree rise
Headset: FSA carbone integrated
Pedals: Shimano DuraAce SPD-SL 7800
Saddle: Fi’zi:k Arione, Aqua & Sapone Team, white/red
Computer: Garmin Edge 305 GPS wireless
Bottle cages: Elite Patao carbon
Wheelset: Zipp 404 clincher
Tires: Continental GP4000, 700×23
Accessories: SRP red alloy chainring bolts, rear derailleur bolt and pulley screws, and cassette lockring

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2009

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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3 Responses to Phoenix rising

  1. Jim says:

    Looks good, Ted

  2. Boz says:

    Nice looking ride, Ted. I really like the combo of the Zipps with the carbon goodness. I’m without a race bike right now as the Giant TCR cracked and it’s off for warranty (replacement I hope.)

  3. Sam says:

    Looks fantastic, I just picked up the same bike and have one question that has been bugging me, why does every 585 I see have a braze on FD with adapter instead of a band on? mine included, I was thinking of switching to a straight band on? Am I missing something? Thanks!

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