Aero bikes offer the thrill of pure, unadulterated speed. But do you know what’s even more fun? Taking the same aero bike and making it way lighter. It’s an easy enough thing to talk about, but a much harder thing to actually pull off. But the latest generation LOOK 795 BLADE RS aero bike does just that, dropping a claimed 300 grams to bring a size medium frame down to 1 kilogram, painted.
The French brand, which has three decades of experience working with composites, says the weight savings came from designing the bike with new materials. Previously, this model was made of 32 percent high modulus carbon fiber. Now, the amount jumps to 63 percent, letting LOOK engineers achieve the same stiffness with fewer layers of material. Ultra high modulus carbon fibers are also incorporated into the layup to shore up the stiffness.
Beyond the layup, LOOK also uses a new manufacturing process to save weight: Extended Polystyrene (EPS). The EPS process requires two molds, one each for the outer shape and inner shape of the frame. Carbon fiber is then laid over the hard polystyrene, which eliminates impurities and folds in the layup. Previously, LOOK reserved this process only for its 765 GRAVEL RS model, due to the extra cost of this process.
Add in the new AEROPOST 3 seat post and the weight savings for the bike climbs to 420 grams over the previous BLADE RS. That’s nearly a pound, nothing to scoff at when many brands brag about shaving off even 100 grams or less.
Otherwise, the 2021 795 BLADE RS maintains a similar design to its heavier predecessor, including bowed seat stays that flex for optimal power transfer, and a tidy cockpit that hides cables but still allows for plenty of adjustability. And of course there are aero elements throughout including truncated airfoil tube shapes and the aero shaped handlebars.
The 795 BLADE RS comes in two different builds, Dura-Ace Di2 and SRAM Red eTap AXS, both of which come with CORIMA 47 mm WS BLACK DX wheels, for $11,000. It also comes in a more affordable build, the 795 Blade, which starts at $3,250 with Shimano 105. Fans of rim brakes are still in luck as well. There will be a rim-brake version available, but it is frameset only.
More info: lookcycle.com