E-ROAD ROLLS ON AND ON
THE FRENCH TAKE TWO
Look shows off a road and gravel version
Like Italy, France, too, has its own history of road bike culture and technology to celebrate. Even before Edouard Michelin created the pneumatic tire in 1890, France’s love affair with cycling was already in place. It was at the same time that partners Charles Idoux and Lucien Chanel opened the doors of the Mavic factory, which a few decades later would alter the course of bicycle performance when they created the first aluminum rim in 1934.
What followed for the next century was a succession of cycling innovation and, of course, racing heroes, both of which would coalesce to create a new chapter of history when Look Cycles and Bernard Hinault teamed up to win the Tour de France in 1986 aboard the first-ever carbon fiber frame used in the race.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Look is introducing two different e-bikes—one for the road and one with a taste for the newest drop-bar category of gravel riding (light-duty off-road riding). While both the e-765 Optimum and the e–765 Gravel are based on their non-assist siblings that use different frames, both e-bikes share the same carbon frame and Fazua powerplant combo, but are spec’d with specific road and gravel components respectively.
Look says the e-bike frames are based on a more heavy-duty architecture than the non-assist models and use a carbon layup comprised of a 23-percent high-modulus, 25-percent intermediate-modulus, 37-percent
high-resistance and 15-percent-specific fibers. Both bikes use Look’s newly devised 3D Wave seatstays, which
offer added wheel clearance and a claimed 15-percent bump in vertical compliance.
Introduced in 2018, the Fazua battery and motor system quickly gained specific favor for the burgeoning category of e-road bikes due to its light weight and integrated design that helps maintain the look of a non-assist bike. Fazua claims that the motor and battery add just 4.6 kilograms to the overall weight of the bike, with Look claiming the entire bike hits the scales at 13.6 kilograms. The Fazua motor has four power modes, including a 400-watt Rocket mode that are all selectable through the handlebar-mounted remote
Look is proud to say that their line of e-bikes stand out due to the use of their own power-mapping profile that was developed in conjunction with Fazua. The German-made Fazua powerplant is based on a four-mode power selection. Like other systems, the Look/Fazua combo uses an integrated smartphone app to provide all the needed computer functions, including GPS navigation, speed recording, power ratings and battery life.
Of special note to anyone who still finds favor with non-assist pedaling, the Fazua system is completely detachable.
The e-765 Gravel will be available in two builds: the $7240 model featuring a SRAM Force spec and a $6460 version that uses the lower line SRAM Rival 1x groupset.
Like the gravel bike, the Optimum road bike is available in two models and colorways. The entry-level model sells for $9354 and is spec’d with a Shimano mechanical Ultegra drivetrain, while the next model up runs the electric Di2 Ultegra. Both bikes roll on 32mm Hutchinson tires and are available in five sizes.
PINARELLO’S NEW PUNCH
A new model for the American market
Having already amassed a record of 10 Tour de France victories to their credit, the Italian Pinarello brand is not want of headlines. But, under the creative eye of Fausto Pinarello (son of company founder Giovanni Pinarello), the legacy marque has continued to maintain their hand on the pulse of all things modern and evolutionary.
To the dismay of many traditional roadies who see anything that’s battery-assisted as heretical to all things that rely solely on human horsepower, Pinarello shocked the industry when they rolled out the luxurious Nytro e-bike last year. Based on the same high-end Dogma race bike that was used to win the Tour, it’s almost as if Fausto was poking the ancients with the Fazua-powered package.
However, since the Fazua powerplant has yet to gain legal status in America, for 2019 Pinarello is rolling out a new model that instead relies on the 250-watt Ebikemotion X35 rear hub motor system that has met the approval of U.S. regulations.
The $7999 Dyodo frame is available in five sizes and relies on the same Toraya 7000 carbon fiber, aero shaping and race bike geometry as its non-assist siblings. The component list includes a SRAM Force drivetrain with Hydro disc brakes and room for 28mm Pirelli tires that are mounted on Mavic Aksium wheels.
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