June 27, 2006

Cervelo R3 vs. Look 585

By In Cycling

I spent a few hours today testing the Cervelo R3 and the Look 585 at Wheelworks in Davis (amazing store). The guy had me on the trainer with my bike (Trek 5200) and measured and measured and measured. Then he built up a 58cm Cervelo R3, and two Look 585’s (55cm and 57cm) with the handlebars, seat, stem etc. all fitted for me.

I went in with a bias towards the Cervelo. There is a lot of technology behind this bike and I appreciate all the specs and scientific rah-rah around the bike. And seeing Basso and Team CSC kick everyone’s butts with the Cervelos kinda helps. But I kept an open mind about the Look 585 (the bike of the Credit Agricole team, and Thor Hushovd’s sprinting machine).

Right off the bat, the 55cm Look fit me better than the 57cm Look, which seemed strange. It actually felt like the same size as the 58cm Cervelo. I got to take the babies out for a spin through the town of Davis. Both bikes were superb. They have a direct feel on the ground, and you can sense the pedal strokes make its way to the wheels and pushing the bikes forward. On the Cervelo this feeling is quite extreme. It acts like one solid piece of material (even though the frame is not a full monocoque). The Look had a slightly more relaxed feel to it, and felt *very* comfortable. Riding over the rail tracks felt relatively smooth, and I felt completely in control on the bike. It behaved exactly the way I wanted it to behave, especially while cornering and getting out of the saddle. It felt fantastic. I had to try the Cervelo again and then the Look again to make sure I got it right, but in the end, I liked the Look 585 better! Maybe it is a matter of the frame fitting me better (although the guy set them up so that they had me positioned exactly the same on both bikes) but the Look felt more natural, zippy, and would work better for my riding style here in the Napa Valley.

Here is a nice review of the 585. Now the tough choice is between the Black Carbon and the Red. Initial thoughts were the Carbon, but I think I might get carboned out someday… so the Red is definitely an option.

BTW, wrenchscience.com has some great discounts and seems to have good prices for full build-outs.  Their bike configurator also rocks.

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