The new 2012 Look 920 seems to have a polarizing effect due to nothing more than the head tube/stem assembly, but there’s so much more going on with the bike.
There are two frame variants based on size, plus a carbon upgrade kit that gives it a 50g lighter full carbon rocker, carbon seat post and carbon fiber DT Swiss rear shock. The frames differ near the seat tube/top tube junction. The XS and Small sizes have straight tubes meeting as you’d expect. The Medium and Large sizes have a molded, shapely top tube that flows upward into the seat tube much more gracefully, accentuated by the matte paint/carbon finish.
UPDATED: Corrected info about the frame variations at the top/seat tube junction above and other additions throughout the post…
Suspension is set at 120mm front and rear using a fixed rear triangle with no pivot near the axle, instead relying on carbon fiber’s ability to flex and recover to keep maintenance and weight at a minimum.
Up front, the Look 920 has a short, tapered headtube. One of the benefits of the design is the elimination of spacers. Height and reach are adjusted by using different A-Stems, which offer a range of 40mm length and 30mm rise. All finish at the frame the same, keeping the streamlined, integrated appearance.
The seatstays flatten out to create a flex zone that eliminates the need for a rear pivot. Look put metal guards behind the chainrings and on the bottom of the downtube to protect the frame. This model has the Carbon Kit, which drops the weight of the rocker from 160g for the alloy down to about 110g in full carbon.
120mm of travel has been the provenance of trail bikes until lately. While the Look is decidedly a race-ready weapon, Rocky Mountain’s new Element is damn quick and light, too, with 120mm front and rear travel for the 26″ version. We’re betting several other major manufacturers start offering a 120mm race bike before too long.
The rear chainstays are asymmetrical with a fairly stout looking cross bar in front of the rear wheel. This angle also shows the width of the seatstays where they flatten out to flex.
The top end model with Carbon Kit and full SRAM XX comes in at 10.26kg (22.62lbs).
A smaller 920 with color-matched X0 and SID fork.
Shown here in the glossy red paint option, this shows the alloy rocker and straight top tube that comes on the XS and Small frame sizes. The Medium and Large frame sizes use the shaped gusset to maintain a lower overall standover height on the larger frames. The pic on the right doesn’t do it justice, but the downtube is fairly massive and squared off.
You can check out Look’s MTB product manager’s personal XTERRA race bike over on Triathlonrumor.com, and sponsored rider Marion Lorblanchet took second in the women’s Pro field at the XTERRA World Championships this past weekend in HI.
2012 LOOK 986 RACE HARDTAIL
The 986 hardtail shares the same deep, short headtube and A-Stem deign and does come in two different frame options. Above is the standard model with regular seatpost and gloss paint scheme.
Up close, the lines really do look fantastic.
The top level 986 gets an integrated seatmast model for the racer…which is pretty much anyone still riding a 26″ hardtail these days.
We’ve got word directly from the Look reps working their Interbike booth that 29er versions for both aren’t far behind. If they can pull off the 920’s pivotless rear end with the big wheels and the sleek headtube, it’ll be a sight to behold.