LOOK 585 Pro Team Rebuild

2009 LOOK 585 Pro Team, completely rebuilt w/ Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 components & wheels

2009 LOOK 585 Pro Team, completely rebuilt w/ Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 components & wheels

I had waited for this day for almost three months—the completion of the rebuild of my 2009 LOOK 585 Pro Team! I got the call Thursday evening and picked it up the next day—I couldn’t believe what a beautiful bike it was. This is the last of three major bike jobs over these past three months—it had been almost 10 years since I had done anything major (the 585 frame was a warranty replacement for the original frame bought in 2005) and my stable needed upgrading badly. A busted fork on the 585 last October was the last straw, and I got my wife’s blessing to have my KG486 frame repaired (expertly by Calfee Design) and rebuilt with components from my 585, replace the fork on the 585, and build it back up with all new components, including full Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed drivetrain, wheels, and pedals. The only components already on the frame that I kept were the slick, new white/red Fi’zi:k Arione saddle and LOOK Ergopost 2Ti seatpost that I installed last August (moving the old to my 2004 Cannondale CAAD7) and the white Easton EC90 stem installed the year before. Thompson Road carbon handlebars, red shift/brake cable housings, white/red Elite bottle cages with matching Castelli bottles, and white Fi’zi:k handlebar tape completed the build. Total weight with pedals is a scant 15 lbs 13 oz!

LOOK HSC5 fork, custom paint and LOOK branding by Calfee Designs.

LOOK HSC5 fork, custom paint and LOOK branding by Calfee Designs.

The fork was actually the hardest part to replace. LOOK has moved on from the HSC5 fork that was used in the 2009 model frames, and the newer forks do not have backwards compatibility to older frames. We finally located a fork, but it was painted silver. That simply would not do, so we shipped it to Calfee for painting. I had wanted to paint it to match the original, but the lack of good photos of the detailing and a rather high estimated price for doing that caused me to reconsider. In the end, I decided that all black would match up nicely with the black headtube, and adding white LOOK branding would tie into the otherwise white frame in a simple and elegant manner.

Dura Ace sub-compact crankset, 172.5 mm, 52x36

Dura Ace sub-compact crankset, 172.5 mm, 52×36

For the 15 years that I have been a serious cyclist, I have ridden a standard crankset on all of my bikes—i.e., a 39t small chainring for climbing and soft pedaling and a 53t large chainring for high gear. Usually I paired this up with a 12-25 cassette (although I did run an 11-23 on my time trial bike). I had been talking to people recently, however, about the new “sub-compact” cranksets that were becoming popular. These feature a 52×36 chainring combo, with the 36t providing considerably lower gearing than a 39t for easier climbing, but without losing much on the top end because of the single tooth difference in the big chainring (52t vs. 53t) compared to a standard crankset. This latter feature negates one drawback of true compact cranksets, which max out at at 50t on the big chainring but nevertheless have become popular among amateurs looking for easier gearing in more mountainous regions. I decided to go subcompact, pairing it up with an 11-25t cassette. Obviously this provides easier gearing, but the 52×11 high-end combo still provides more top end than a 53×12! More low end, more top end, less weight… seems like the best of both worlds!

White Elite bottle cage w/ matching Castelli water bottle.

White Elite bottle cage w/ matching Castelli water bottle.

I’m a big fan of aesthetics, and I like my bikes to not only ride fast but look fast as well. I just about fell over when I found these white Elite bottle cages with red highlights—a perfect compliment to the bike’s white motif and red saddle stripe. I fell over again when, as I searched for the perfect bottles to place within them, I found these white bottles with red Castelli branding in classic ‘bidon’ size!

Red shift/brake cable housings and white Fizik handlebar tape.

Red shift/brake cable housings and white Fizik handlebar tape.

White handlebar tape was, of course, a requirement—I’ve talked about this before (I won’t consider anything else these days!). Fi’zi:k makes a really great bar tape that, unlike other brands I’ve tried, doesn’t seem to get dirty very easily and cleans up nicely when it does. I was also going to go with white shift/brake cable housings to keep with my “all things white” theme, but when I found out that Shimano was now offering their benchmark PTFE housings in red (no other housing can compare to Shimano, in my opinion), I jumped at it to complete the subtle red highlights at each point of the main triangle.

Sleek lines beg to go fast!

Sleek lines beg to go fast!

How does it ride? Well, I’ve ridden over 100 miles and climbed over 7,000 feet in the two days since picking it up, and I can’t remember the last time I felt this fast on a bike! We were careful to take measurements before removing the old parts and installing the new, so I didn’t have to worry about any fit adjustments—it was already dialed in perfectly. Obviously it’s light as a feather, but what has really surprised me is the effect of the subcompact gearing—not so much in just having lower gears available for steep climbs, but rather in the ability to stay in the big chainring more consistently on rolling/mildly hilly terrain. The slightly higher cadence allows me to power through small rises and use the cassette to fine tune rather than having to drop to the small chainring when the load became too heavy. Of course, the lower end also allows me to spin faster while climbing without bottoming out and even accelerate if I need to. After 15 years, I may have to completely rethink my approach to cadence and gear selection!

Fizik Arione saddle points the way forward.

Fizik Arione saddle points the way forward.

My thanks to Chris at Big Shark for the expert rebuild, not only on this bike but for stripping it down and using the parts for the KG486 rebuild as well and his very helpful discussions on component choice for the 585 (see below). With fully functional 9-speed, 10-speed and 11-speed bikes now in my stable, I should be set for whatever ride I want to do for the next 10 years!

Type Brand Model
Frame LOOK 2009 585 Pro Team, size M, white
Fork LOOK HSC5 carbon
Wheelset Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 C24 Carbon Clinchers
Shift/brake Levers Shimano Dura-Ace ST-9000 11-Speed STI
Crankset Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000 11-Speed, 172.5 mm, 52×36
Bottom Bracket Shimano Dura-Ace SM-BB9000
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 11-Speed, 11-25
Chain Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000 11-Speed
Front Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace FD-9000 11-Speed
Rear Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace RD-9000 11-Speed
Handlebar Thompson Carbon Road
Stem Easton EC-90, white
Saddle Fizik Arione, white w/ red stripe
Seatpost LOOK Ergopost 2Ti
Pedals Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 SPD
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000
Brake Pads Shimano BR-9000 Cartridge
Shift/Brake Cables Shimano Road PTFE, red housing
Headset Look Integrated
Tires Vredestein Fortezza TriComp, 23 mm

Ted C. MacRae 2015

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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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