Two LOOK bikes, one launch
And the star of the show is?
Posted 11 July 2012
Maybe you ought to have a good idea in advance what you are going to get at a bike launch, but it ain’t always the case. And not just because the manufacturer doing the launch might have managed to keep a secret, which does sometimes happen.
Pedal pioneer LOOK sprang a surprise at the recent launch of the 675 road bike, which features a stem integrated with the steerer and head tubes as well as an integrated seat post clamp and integrated PressFit BB86.5 bottom bracket.
It is indeed a well-integrated bicycle, although LOOK boss Thierry Fournier expressed a desire for even greater quantities of integrality – and will surely one day get it.
Something to look forward to, then; which is not quite what we assembled hacks expected still to have as the covering was withdrawn from the cycle sitting in the corner of a packed conference room in the Mercure Hotel, Liege. There, in front of a fully-LOOK’d up screen, sat a very tidy-looking road bike indeed. Poised on colour-co-ordinated American Classic wheels and decked out in team colours, the French firm’s stunning 695 Cofidis looked everything you’d expect of a machine fit to be launched just prior to the Tour de France prologue.
Thing is, paintwork apart, it wasn’t – isn’t – new. Which is not to say it was not wonderful enough to satisfy the appetite of the hacks. This appetite had been whetted by the presence outside the hotel of about two dozen covered-up road bikes that would soon be made ready to take for a spin and, despite the steady rain falling, there were plenty of journos anxious to take a bike for a lap of the prologue circuit. And we immediately assumed they would be 695s.
Just as this likelihood had sunk in, a second veiled machine was wheeled in – to the opposing corner. Another covering was removed to reveal – the new 675. A high-tech, progressive, attractive and entirely new machine, it is pitched at around half the price of the 695. This means, in the way of things that it is, therefore and like it or not, less desirable. And hardly likely to warm the thermometer bulb quite as vigorously.
Overwhelmed by the loveliness of the 695, some journos were clearly at a loss to appreciate the virtues of the innovative and imaginative but visually daring 675. Maybe two big surprises are just a bit too much to savour in one launch, even if one is but a new paintjob.
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