Generations may pass but the quality remains

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Look road frame converted to a fixed gear

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A beautiful Look road frame converted into a fixed wheel ride.

“I found it on the net and I knew Look was a good brand. This was a cheap bike because the person who sold it, his friend was dead. It was kind of weird. I bought it and decided to ride it. It was really cool. It is a fixed gear and I was not used to riding with the bakes so I decided to take it off for the moment. I have the brake in my bag. If you are aware of what  is happening, people walking and all that, then you do not need brakes. But sometimes it is really useful.”

Photographer’s notes: This Look frame is a road bike converted into a purebred fixie. No brakes, just the solitary gear. Look frames were in their heyday when Greg Lemond was winning the Tour de France in the mid to late eighties. There were few riders who did not stare in awe, and wonder how they could extort their pocket book to get one.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Frontg wheel clearance on the Look frame

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The front wheel has barely any clearance from the tire, a ride that is exceptionally controlled.

Lemond heralded the technical revolution in cycling that we all enjoy to this day. His Look frame was carbon fibre – in 1986. He was a decade ahead of most riders, intimately involved in his bikes and their design.

Even a decade or three later, this standard Look frame is an incredibly tight design. Barely a centimetre of clearance for the tires through the front forks, along the rear stays and running along the downtube. Barring the changes in weight with new compositions, this bike could stand on its own next to modern designs.

The Look might be having a comeback, as well, in an indirect fashion. When Greg Lemond ended his professional career as the best American rider to ever compete in the Tour de France, he was supposed to have the required bike deal. That all collapsed in the Trek debacle when LeMond accused Lance Armstrong of doping.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Look frame has a close wheelbase design

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The rear wheel runs close to the down tube, demonstrating the short wheel base of the Look frame.

It is no underestimate to state Lemond lost millions, as well as his chance to extend his presence into following generations through a bike frame.

Well, now that Lemond has been brought back from purgatory, he has been able to find space for a bike deal. Last time I read anything, the frames will now be manufactured by Time, a connection with Jean Marc Geaugneaud who was an engineer with Look bikes when Lemond was riding in the yellow jersey.

Read more about Lemond’s return here…

And then there is the new Lemond steel frame: First Look: Lemond Washoe article here…

 

 

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