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2011/2012 Look 695 SR — Riding Notes With SRM 7950 Power Meter Crankset
Related: bicycle power meter, Lightweight, Road Bikes, SRM
See the Look 695 SR test bike details.
This page is an adjunct and follow-on to my first test ride notes. The reader is advised to read that page FIRST, for context in reading this page.
On my first test ride of the Look 695 SR, I was quite impressed. The next week, I rode its less advanced sibling, the Look 586, with did not suit me. Following that, I continued to put on ascent and miles on my Trek Madone 6.9 SSL. Then I returned to the Look 695 SR, this time with my SRM 7950 power meter crankset.
With the SRM 7950 (DuraAce) power meter
My first test ride showed me that the Look 695 SR had potential, but I wasn’t sure how the bike would ride with my preferred SRM 7950 power meter crankset (Shimano DuraAce chainrings).
See the page discussing using a non-Look crankset on the Look 695 SR (instead of the Look ZED-2 crankset); Look offers a robust aluminum bottom bracket adapter that allows installation of a standard Shimano bottom bracket, which is what I used to install the SRM 7950 crankset.
The riding results with the SRM 7950 power meter crankset were terrific:
This was the exact-same test bike with the same SRAM Red setup, so the only variable was the crankset swap.
My 2nd test experience was even more instructive than the first experience.
I am comfortable with the following, noting that the crankset, wheels and tires were identical between my Trek Madone 6.9 SSL and the Look 695 SR test bike:
- Handling on fast curvy descents— the Look 695 SR handles far better than the Trek Madone, which feels positively sloppy by comparison. The difference was not subtle, the 695 SR was notably better at staying on line and has a wonderfully firm feel that invites leaning into the curve. I was even more impressed on my 2nd experience than on the first experience; I spent more time exploring the handling on fast descents. Wow!
- Climbing efficiency at 350+ watts, standing— when out of the saddle at 350-500 watts, the Look 695 SR feels significantly more efficient. This is not a bottom bracket stiffness issue so much as a whole-bike issue, the whole push-pull rhythm just feels fantastic on the 695 SR, while the Trek has an indefinite murkier response that feels “loose” and not quite there. Of course I cannot prove anything here (it is not a lab test), but the Look 695 SR felt efficient, and even if it only feels more efficient, that is already a win, because when it feels great, it’s an incentive— positive feedback is a huge win on a bike.
- Climbing efficiency when seated, 240-340 watts— I cannot say that the Look 695 SR is more efficient than the Trek Madone 6.9 SSL when seated, but it certainly felt no less efficient.
- Wheels— rides wonderfully with the Lightweight Obermayer of course, but the Lightweight 8-spoke VR8 time trial wheel was a really enjoyable combination both ascending and descending, and seemed particularly well matched to the structural integrity of the Look 695 SR.
- Comfort— as on the first experience, comfort of the Look 695 SR was excellent. That the Trek Madone 6.9 SSL is more comfortable is dubious; it has a sloppier feel in the front-end that might soak up some bumpy stuff modestly better, but this also translates into discomfort of another kind: “will I end up where I intended to go on that curve”. Bottom line is that I detected nothing with the 695 SR that I could call discomfort.
Bottom line: at least one of my Trek Madone 6.9 SSL framesets is going up for sale. the Look 695 SR is a better bike for my riding.