Sea Otter 2012: Look’s X-85 Disc Brake Cyclocross Bike

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We’ve still got quite a number of new cyclocross products from the 2012 Sea Otter Classic to highlight, so check back regularly for more cyclocross bikes and gear. Today we highlight the Look X-85 carbon disc brake cyclocross bike.

Although we first got a glimpse of Look’s X-85 carbon cyclocross bike at Eurobike 2011 and then later at Interbike, the disc brake-only carbon cyclocross frameset is in production and shipping soon, and we’re excited to ride one of the first models in a true month-long test, rather than just a parking lot spin.

Look's new carbon disc brake-only X-85 cyclocross frameset is in production. As shown at Sea Otter 2012. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Look's new carbon disc brake-only X-85 cyclocross frameset is in production. As shown at Sea Otter 2012. ©Cyclocross Magazine

We got to check out our upcoming test bike at the Sea Otter Classic 2012, and the made-in-France frameset looks to be a neat mix of modern technology and classic standards. From a distance, the tube-to-tube carbon construction almost gives an appearance of a steel frame, without massive tubes or crazy shapes of some modern molded carbon bikes. A classic 27.2 seatpost diameter (which Look chose to allow the rider to “tailor the ride quality with their seatpost of choice”) also keeps the bike looking traditional, while the straight steerer and 68mm BSA bottom bracket are additional ways Look Cycle gives a nod to well-proven standards.

Look uses a Standard 68mm English thread bottom bracket shell on the X-85. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Look uses a Standard 68mm English thread bottom bracket shell on the X-85. ©Cyclocross Magazine

But of course, this is carbon frame, not an old steel frame, and quite a light one at that, listed at 1150g for the frame and 550g from the (disc) fork.  The “Mud Evac” chainstays and seat stays are quite shaped and designed for optimal mud clearance, and the chainstays are built to incorporate a vibration-absorbing flex, and the rear dropouts are armored with a plastic cover to prevent cyclocross-induced scuffs. The top tube is flattened for shouldering comfort.

The Look X-85, like most disc cyclocross bikes, incorporates 135mm rear spacing, allowing for most 29er wheel use. The show bike was built with a set of EC90XC carbon 29er wheelsets. Front and rear disc brake mounts are IS-standard, and the bike is built to accommodate 160mm rotors.

What makes the X-85 most unique might be the rare made-in-France construction, from Look’s own carbon fiber tubes. Its European heritage also keeps it well-positioned for major UCI podiums, and Look has done its homework preparing the frameset for such accomplishments with success in UCI approval process.

Former professional snowboarder and fast masters racer Ali Goulet (profiled in our sold-out Issue 8, available digitally) will be riding the Look X-85 this fall, as he attempts to come back from a few quiet years and make a run at a Masters World Championship in Louisville this season.

Frames should be available well before cyclocross season, and Look says any dealer that carries their pedals should be able to order the frame. Stay tuned as we give a Look X-85 a full test.

More info:  Look Cycle’s Website

See all our new cyclocross product news from Sea Otter Classic 2012.

Look X-85 Carbon Disc Brake Cyclocross Bike Photo Gallery:



Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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