I found the Look somewhere on the internet for a pretty good deal. I had worked my way down to just really nice bikes and winter was coming and I sort of panic'd that I'd have to ride my C40 in the rain.
So I needed a beater bike and I always liked French bikes and - well you know the rest.
Anyway, the frame and fork arrived with an Ultegra crank and bottom bracket installed much to my surprised though I shouldn't have been. Not a lot of people have Cranks tools for Octalink bottom brackets laying around these days.
Well, up on my shelf I had a couple of Campy cranks but nothing in the way of a Compact. So I left the Ultegra crank on it. So what? I was building a beater bike and you don't ride really difficult stuff with a beater bike as a rule.
Well, as it turns out, the KG-241 is the sweetest handling bike I've ever ridden by a substantial margin. I mean, my Eddy Merckx's are nice riding bikes but the Look is in a league of its own. The Basso Loto handles like a dream but there is a feel to the Look that I've only felt in old junky Peugeots in the past - that feel that you want to keep on riding forever. The closest thing to it is my 1982 Colnago Super with the replacement carbon fork and it is still short of the hoop by about 3".
The closest thing I have to the Look is that damned Fuji Newest that I bought as a beater bike AFTER I realized that the Look would NEVER be a beater bike. In fact - if I were to only be able to keep two bikes right now I'd give the nod to the Look and the Fuji. Good thing that'll never come up because I'd really miss the EX Pro and the C40. Riding them is (respectively) like driving a Ferrari and a Bentley down the street.
But pushing that 39 up some of the climbs around here now that I've gotten used to a Compact 34 is work I don't care for. The San Francisco bay area has its share of 15%+ grades and I make a point of climbing them whenever I can. The Fuji has a Centaur Compact alumunim crank on it and if you're building a bike up I HIGHLY recommend that as the natural best buy in the Compact world.
But here I was with an pretty fair Ultegra bottom bracket and no compact. I looked up Shimano but their Ultegra and DuraAce compact dirves are those silly two piece cranks designed to do things differently YET AGAIN. Sorry Charley, I'm done with "different for different's sake". Changing from the square taper BB instigated all this crap and I don't need it any more.
So I looked on Ebay and there was a FSA carbon crank with an Octalink coupling about to end. Bought it.
I installed it yesterday and then took the bike out immediately for a ride. It was so nice looking that I even cleaned the bike (no applause please). Now these cranks aren't significantly lighter than aluminum cranks so that wasn't much of a deal but the price was less than I'd pay for Tom Ritchey's latest aluminum compact cranks.
There's a portion of road here about 200 yards long that they say is 18% in a 1000 foot climb. So I went out and climbed it. Nice compact gears. I didn't have to stop this time like I did last Tuesday.
Now the cranks have EXACTLY the same weave pattern as the little "carbon" window in the Look paintjob that they leave just so you don't think that it's really a steel bike in disguise.
I'm rather taken by the who thing and intend to ride it most of the time this spring. Why I'll probably take it over to Ireland for my tour. Good thing we'll have a sag wagon to carry everything. I don't think that the Look would handle nearly as well with pannier and a handlebar bag.