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Thread: Look KG 241

  1. #1
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    Look KG 241

    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.
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  2. #2
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Cyclintom....the Look looks nice, but the wrong side of the bike is showing. What components are you using besides the FSA & Look pedals...notice your (DA?) bar-ends...that's a plus right there.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  3. #3
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Cyclintom, After reading your saga, it occurs to me that there are three ways to ruin: wine, women and bicycles. At least you've chosen the healthiest.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  4. #4
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    When I look at the picture I think I'm seeing 5 bikes hanging on the wall behind the Look. You're just about to where you're going to have one bike for each day of the week--unless there are some we can't see!!!

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    Hey jppe - you're missing the whole picture - you can't have too much money nor too many bikes. There's 5 more that you don't see in that picture. And a couple of frames.

    GrannyGear: The Look equip:

    Kyserium Equipe wheels
    Continental Force tires
    105 Triple rear derailleur
    IRD Compact front derailleur
    American Classic seat post
    Turbomatic 3 Saddle
    Ultegra brake levers
    Ritchey stem
    Nashbar brakes

    All on-road pedals are Look
    All off-road are Crank Bros

    And as for you Blackberry - what makes you think that bicycles are the only route I'm taking to ruin? The problem is that I have almost as much fun building bicycles as riding them. But it is true that you can be a happy man with a good bottle of wine, one good woman and two bikes.

  6. #6
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Terrific!! Now I know who to ask opinions on for bike parts (and wine)!!

    On bike parts:
    On the Look pedals, I've been using the Look carbon cx6 models (I think that's right) and really like them. The carbon eliminates the squeaks that I experienced in the alloy models. Any thoughts on Look pedal choices?

    Also, I saw your comment on the Centaur Compact crank. I've seen some recent deals on some FSA compact cranks (50/34). Any thoughts on the FSA's??

    On wine:
    Cab's for "special occasions"
    Cab's for non-special occasions!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    This is sounding like music to my ears since I have recently bought an '05 Look 555 frame off ebay. I started out wanting to just build up something (anything) and then decided that I wanted something "decent" as a result, and well, it's obviously gotten a little out of hand. I'll be doing mostly Ultegra but with an FSA compact crank. I'm getting psyched.

    Did you get one of the Look "SL" forks with the frame? No fork cone - bearing sits right on a carbon-formed cone that's part of the fork. Strange (but then, it's all strange to me...)

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Definitely not into road bikes- but on the randonnees we do there are always a few bikes with that bit of class about them that stand out- even from the custom built specials that seem to be in our area, One is Bianchi and that is the make of Mountain bike that I use. The other is LOOK. They seem to have that bit of class about them that makes you want to look at them. Then on closer inspection you start to see the quality, and that is the last you see of them. By the time we get to the end of the ride- They are packed away in their Gold plated cabinets and on their way home.

    Good ride, but swop you for a 5 year old Bianchi MTB and possibly a couple of bottles of superb 5 year old Cote Du Rhone, if your lucky. (Never know- a swop like that may get me interested in the Dark side)
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    I have so many road bikes that I've maintained my Look pedals from the time when it was just them and Time pedals to choose from. On the offroad, cross and touring bikes I use the Crank Bros Eggbeaters mostly because they're bulletproof and cheap.

    The problem with the Look pedals is that the cleats wear out entirely too rapidly.

    I did have a set of aluminum cleats at one time but they never quite fit the pedal right. If was pretty plain that someone who knew how to cast aluminum but didn't know how to make a mold model, just used a regular Look cleat as the model. The AL shrinks as it cools and so the cleat was a little short and never worked properly.

    I go through about three sets of Look cleats each year and eventually I'll get tired of that and change to Shimano. Look has consistently screwed themselves in those cleats and sooner or later it will catch up with them.

    My Look was "used" but there was only one small paint rub on the chain stay. However the original Look fork was missing and in it's place was an Easton EC-70. This is an aluminum steerer model. I have one just like it on my Colnago Super so I have a little faith in it. It rides nicely on both bikes. It really did transform the Super from a crappy speed wobbling ****** to one of the better riding bikes I've had.

    I'm not a big fan of Cabs. But if you want a knock 'em dead Merlot, Trader Joes has a Sebastiani 2001 Sonoma County for $10 a bottle and it is a KILLER vintage. And I also just bought a case of Peachy Canyon Irresistable Red Zinfandel 2004 that is outstanding.

    Oh yeah, Stapfam - I live 80 miles from the Healdsburg and the Alexander Valley. I ride my bike though there a couple of times a year. Napa Valley is closer. Sonoma Valley about the same distance. My cousin has a vinyard in the central valley that makes a pretty good Zin. A bike ride through the Napa Valley can take you to the Sattui Winery. Sattui in my opinion is one of the finest I've ever been to. Though I'm definitely not a wine critic.

    I like a moderately long ride followed by making a good salad and cooking up a pot of pasta. Throw a bottle of Chianti on the table and some barrel glasses and I'm in heaven.

    Cot du Rhone is nice but it's not the Alexander Valley.......
    Last edited by cyclintom; 02-16-06 at 08:46 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Partial to Amador County myself. Add a Pedro Ximenez with dessert and I'm onboard with the meal! I have to admit though that I am envious of your bike collection .

  11. #11
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    I'm not a big fan of Cabs. But if you want a knock 'em dead Merlot, Trader Joes has a Sebastiani 2001 Sonoma County for $10 a bottle and it is a KILLER vintage. And I also just bought a case of Peachy Canyon Irresistable Red Zinfandel 2004 that is outstanding.

    Thanks!! I'll definitely check those out!

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Oh yeah, Stapfam - I live 80 miles from the Healdsburg and the Alexander Valley. I ride my bike though there a couple of times a year. Napa Valley is closer. Sonoma Valley about the same distance. My cousin has a vinyard in the central valley that makes a pretty good Zin. A bike ride through the Napa Valley can take you to the Sattui Winery. Sattui in my opinion is one of the finest I've ever been to. Though I'm definitely not a wine critic.

    I like a moderately long ride followed by making a good salad and cooking up a pot of pasta. Throw a bottle of Chianti on the table and some barrel glasses and I'm in heaven.

    Cot du Rhone is nice but it's not the Alexander Valley.......
    One thing about the new world wines is that they are consistent. A 5 year old merlot this year will be the same quality as a 5 year old merlot in 10 years time. But I was taught to appreciate wine when I lived in France. If my customers wanted a special favour- or a cheaper bill- they used to come round in the evening with a bottle of wine for me to experience. Working in France was fantastic, but I can't remember too much of the evenings- Too many customers.
    Incidentally I have just started to look at French Bike Clubs in the North of France- hopefully to be able to get a few rides in over there. Have earmarked a couple of 140Km randonees for later in the year so I can see what sort of bikes they are riding . From what I can remember of the terrain, the rides may not be too tasking but am looking forward to the ambience of the French.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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