How Much Have Carbon Bikes Changed Retro Vs Modern
Earlier this year, Look launched their latest and greatest bike, the Blade 795 RS. We’re going to take a close look at it, and take it for spin, but not without contrasting it with the first carbon bike to win the Tour de France, the Look KG86.
In association with Look.
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Look have kindly supplied us with this iconic bike, to allow us to compare carbon bikes from the first to the very latest generation. And no, it’s not Lemond’s own bike, but it is cut from the same cloth, almost literally, with its knitted carbon tubes, produced by TVT that Look then bonded in to alloy lugs. The history buffs among you will point out that Lemond won on Campagnolo kit, this has a rather rare Mavic groupset instead. To really see the difference that 32 years of engineering evolution has made, we’ll need to go for a ride...
When you think about that makes a bike “good”, price, weight, reliability, stiffness, comfort, and aerodynamics all spring to mind. Which of those that matter most to you depends on what kind of riding you enjoy. In this context, it’s got to be about speed. As the winner of the Tour de France, this was arguably the fastest bike in the world 32 years ago.
With the benefit of modern technology we’ll be able to measure. Or we almost would. On one of these two bikes we’ll be able to tell you exactly how much power we’ll need to put out in order to ride at a certain speed thanks to a very swanky new Look/SRM power meter. On the other, well we were reminded that old bikes require different pedals axle diameters. Not just different, these are the original clipless pedals, Look PP65/PP75, but the main problem about riding fast is that it’s a museum piece.
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