The French brand of LOOK has to be one of the most iconic in the world of cycling. Their sculptural use of carbon fiber at an early stage, their product development and affiliation with the La Vie Claire established them at the leading edge of both the peloton and the marketplace. This LOOK KG 396 dates from the 2000 Sydney Olympics and hails from Erik in Sweden.
“The early LOOK carbon monocoque frames have always fascinated me. When I got the opportunity to pick up this KG 396 Sydney, the decision to purchase it was easy. It was formerly used by a French national rider and has grabbed a couple of precious medals. The 396 is the same frame that Tournant still holds the altitude Kilo world record on and the frame that today’s track frames are based on.
“This frame has seen some fierce use over time but it’s still strong and sound, doing great in the velodrome. To the mandatory question,”Do you ride this on the street?!” the answer is no. I ride it on the track and occasionally for TT training on an old airstrip nearby.
“It’s not equipped with the fanciest of stuff, but definitely fast enough for me. Zipp 900 in the rear and a no-name five spoke carbon in the front with Continental Tempo tires. Dura-Ace drive train and pedals, Zen chainring. LOOK carbon drops with a custom stem: CNC’d from a block of aluminum. This is the way most of these frames were equipped when used by heavy sprinters—the Ergostem was replaced by stiffer aluminum blocks.
“There are not too many good images of these bikes on the web but they are so wicked I thought it would deserve some attention. Cold Swedish regards, Erik.” Cold regards indeed, but what a hot bike. Thanks for the story and photos, Erik.